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The ‘Teriah’ Love Story: Why Sally Sussman HAD To Write It

The Young and the Restless

Just as The Young and the Restless (YR) made the foray into telling a lesbian love story, the show announced that head writer Sally Sussman would be leaving. The story has been getting quite a backlash from some viewers. Was it all connected?

According to an interview Sussman did with Daytime Confidential – absolutely not!

“The two events are not related; this storyline was approved last October,” she told DC.

The story was an attempt by the prolific writer (who worked on Y&R for years and created the NBC soap Generations as well) and documentarian to return to a type of storytelling that creator William J. Bell engaged in and that the show used to be known for – of-the-time stories.

“The sci-fi stuff, stolen babies, doppelgängers, people returning from the dead, etc. felt very passé to me, so I really hoped to make the show more cutting edge like daytime used to be in 80s and 90s, where the genre broke new ground.”

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Of course, telling same-sex love stories isn’t exactly new ground for daytime but it is for Y&R, except for a brief attempt Bell made in the early ’70s that was not well received at all. But, it’s a story that matters, which was important to Sussman.

“When I created Generations, my goal was to make the African-American families where you didn’t see race. I had hoped with this story people wouldn’t just see gender; they’d feel the honest love between the characters. I hope the audience watches as it plays out and doesn’t judge too quickly.”

The buildup between Mariah (Camryn Grimes) and Tessa (Cait Fairbanks) does harken back to the sweeping love stories of years past… as the hint of feelings begin to surface — a first kiss followed by the backing off, and the slow build driving fans crazy.

The story definitely has potential, but now with the woman who penned it no longer around to see it through, it will be interesting what the show ends up doing with controversial pairing.

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Share your thoughts, leave a comment in the section below. Win exclusive member-only Y&R spoilers, prizes, and more: sign up here. Also, join the conversation on our Facebook page.

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