Agnes Nixon, the woman who created All My Children and One Life To Live, used to quote Charles Dickens — who wrote magazine serials, the original soap operas — when she instructed daytime drama writers to “make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait.” The Young and the Restless used to know how to do that beautifully.
They could stretch out a story until every beat had been played, felt, and savored. But, this past year — no, this past summer…no, this past MONTH, it seemed like they’d completely lost any sense of how to pace a story.
In the space of not merely a few months, but a few weeks, here are the story points that flew by viewers at a breakneck pace:
* Victoria Newman (Amelia Heinle) learned Ashland Locke (Robert Newman) lied to her.
* Adam Newman (Mark Grossman) and Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) paid Ashland $500 million to annul his marriage to her.
* Ashland took the deal.
* Ashland saved Victoria from a car accident and testified that she didn’t cause it.
* Victoria told her family she was tired of being controlled by them and that she was throwing her lot in with Ashland.
* Victor named Adam CEO of Newman Enterprises.
* Victoria and Ashland flew to New York.
* Victoria got Ashland to hand over the money her family gave him, stole it from him, and hightailed it back to Genoa City.
* Victoria told her family she loved them all along and now she’s back and Adam can move over, she’s ready to be CEO again. Would Nicholas Newman (Joshua Morrow) like to join her?
Each one of those beats could have had a month to itself. We could have slowly figured out what Victoria was doing. We could have worried on a daily basis that Ashland would figure it out. We could have watched Ashland slowly get wise to what Victoria was doing. The breakup scenes alone could have lasted a week!
Instead, there was no laughing, no crying, certainly no waiting, and, as a result…no caring. That is the last thing a soap should want its audience to feel while watching.
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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