The CBS soap The Young and the Restless has been number one in the ratings for decades and riding high on a wave of fan appreciation of the William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell creation. But that goodwill will last just so long if the current writing and story-pacing situation (or lack thereof) continue.
The Young and the Restless: If It’s Not On The Page…
All soap operas have their mainstays, but Y&R can lay claim to having many characters who’ve been on the Genoa City landscape for decades. The CBS serial has benefited from its core remaining strong, steady, and beloved. You can’t beat the fact that fans love watching the exploits of Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), forever love Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), their children, their romances, and their grandchildren. You also have the beloved Abbott clan — headed up by patriarch Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman).
Additionally, there’s longtime instigator Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford), who has a new rival in the dynamic Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope), who has infused the series with some much-needed “young and restless” blood into Genoa City. However, Sally’s presence on the canvas shines a bold spotlight on a major issue with the longtime CBS soap — where is the writing that such dynamic personalities like Sally and others deserve?
Sally’s Young And Restless — And Aimless
People in town don’t know much about Sally but what they do know is – that they hate her! They hate that she dared to scheme against former mean girl Summer Newman (Hunter King). Oh, the nerve! Sally wanted a job worthy of her talent, having succeeded on her own in the fashion world on The Bold and the Beautiful and in Los Angles — a much bigger pond than Genoa City. She wanted more than being Lauren Fenmore Baldwin’s (Tracey Bregman) assistant. And for this, she’s treated as if she was plotting an illegal activity.
Sure, Sally manipulated the job offer Summer received. (Ex-“Mean Girl” Lauren and rental-car Phyllis have done much worse over the years!) And let’s not forget, Summer ultimately chose to stay in the position abroad of her own free will.
Sally’s being judged by many characters who don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to having perfect pasts. Moving her into black sheep Adam’s (Mark Grossman) orbit is a step in the right direction. Overall, her lack of direction is just one example of the aimless direction characters are suffering from these days.
Look at any story happening in Genoa City and you’re hard-pressed to see the kind of planning that went into stories from soaps’ olden (or golden) days. Tales are started and dropped on a dime. Elena Dawson (Brytni Sarpy) practically had an emotional breakdown as she vacillated between Nate Hastings (Sean Dominic) and Devon Hamilton (Bryton James).
All About Amanda
Also, what is going on with Amanda Sinclair’s (Mishael Morgan) story? Her grandfather Sutton Ames (Jack Landron) hasn’t been seen since he was tricked into confessing on a digital recording his role in the fate of Amanda’s father. Is he going to jail? What will he do to stop that from happening? Amanda’s half-sister Imani (Leigh-Ann Rose) showed interest in Nate but that’s a dynamic that needs some airtime.
The show appears headed in a Devon/Amanda pairing but shouldn’t her resemblance to his late wife Hilary (also played by Morgan) be a factor in their moving forward? Speaking of Devon, he’s suddenly not so happy about walking away from a child he helped bring into the world. We saw this coming. Why did Devon, who lost both his wife and unborn child a few years ago, want to father a child he won’t raise? Traditionally, surrogate mothers don’t carry their first babies for another couple but that’s just what Mariah (Camryn Grimes) chose to do. Didn’t anyone advise against that?
The Write Stuff
There is still so much that is right and that we love about Y&R including long-running favorites being in the spotlight and superb performances by the show’s award-winning cast. Soap fans know that the ultimate star of any daytime serial is the story. Who are we rooting for? What couples do we want to see unite? What are the secrets we’re waiting to see be revealed? The answers to these questions can help make Y&R be the show we know and love.
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.