Archive for the young and the restless

As I Saw It… The Young and the Restless

Posted in As I Saw It with tags on January 30, 2009 by Jeff

jeanne-cooperI’ve watched eight soaps in the last eight weeks. Some were good (All My Children), some were great (One Life to Live), and some made my week with them feel like an eternity.  Then along came The Young and the Restless.  I admit I was never a huge Y&R fan.  I watched it occasionally over the years but I was never a hard core fan.  After last week, I’m a convert.  I could write about all the happenings in Genoa City last week and how I enjoyed them, but instead lets focus on what Y&R does right.  Afterall, these are the things that won me over.

1. It’s The Veterans, Stupid!  Most shows push their veteran actors to the back burner after they stop looking hot in a bedroom scene.  Y&R not only relishes the fact that almost half of their cast has clocked in at least one full decade on the show, but the show’s producers are smart enough to know that those are the people we want to see.  If you go to a party who are most likely to want to spend time with?  Is it the person you don’t know or someone you’ve known for years?  Of course, everyone wants to be around familiar faces.  It makes sense that we want to watch the characters we’ve grown to know and love. Y&R has it’s share of newbies, but the vets are kept front and center.  Name one other show that has an eighty year old actress in a front burner storyline that involves half the cast? 

2. Talent On Screen/Talent Off Screen.  When Y&R first premiered it was known for being the “beautiful people soap” because it employed unknown actors who were, for the most, beautiful.  Not all were great actors, but they looked great.  Y&R is still glamorous, but the acting is superb.  It’s not fair to list them all because it would take up the entire page, but I have to mention that Melody Thomas Scott is the most underrated actress in daytime.  She brings Niki to life in a way that is so natural that you feel like you are watching a friend or a relative, not an actress playing a role.  All the great actors and actresses in the world can’t do justice to a show that’s not well written, produced, and directed. Fortunately, Y&R has a talented production team that knows how to make a good soap opera.  The writing is brilliant.  The storylines are great and the day to day writing is wonderful. The sets, the lighting, even the background music is all a notch above the other soaps. 

It’s a Soap Opera! At the end of the day, The Young and the Restless succeeds because it knows what it is.  Y&R doesn’t try to be Sex and the City or 24 or The Sopranos. Y&R doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel.  The show’s producers know that soap fans want to see a good soap opera and that’s what they do: they make a good soap opera.  

And now my experiment is over.  I watched eight soaps, and I liked half of them.  Of the four I kept on my TiVo list (AMC, B&B, OLTL, and now Y&R), I will keep two for daily viewing: One Life to Live and The Young and the Restless have brought this former fan back to daytime.  

If you haven’t watched soaps in a while, please check out your former favorites because daytime television needs every viewer it can get.  If I wrote something about a show you like (or don’t like) that you don’t agree with, please don’t take offense.  I love soaps and I genuinely hope the industry will bounce back.   Thank you for reading my blog.  I appreciate the feedback I’ve received and I’m humbled by the fact that people actually read what I wrote and bothered to comment.  

Special thanks to Snark from Snark Weights In, Nelson Branco from TV Guide Canada, and Mark from MarkH’s Soap Musings for their kind words.  And check out The Chronicles of Von Klapp entertainment news blog next week for an article about soaps in which I was asked to participate.

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When I Watched… “The Young and the Restless”

Posted in When I Watched with tags on November 30, 2008 by Jeff

young-and-restlessOf all the soaps I’ve watched over the years, The Young and the Restless has always baffled me.  I know it’s the most popular soap on the air, but I’ve always found it to move a bit slow for my taste.  My mother watched Y&R when it first debuted, and I remember Jill and Mrs. Chancellor; Lori Brooks and Lance Prentiss, and most of all, Lance’s creepy mother who wore a veil to cover the scars on her face.

In 1983, Guiding Light had become my favorite soap, and I watched As the World Turns also.  I saw a preview for Y&R and recognized Andrea Evans, who had played Tina on One Life to Live. I tuned in and liked what I saw.  Evans was Patty, Paul’s sister and the wife of Jack Abbott.  Jack, always the cad, was cheating on Patty and she had just found out.  Patty brought a gun to Jack’s office and told him she was going to kill herself. Jack tried to talk Patty out of suicide, and told her that if anyone should die, it should be him.  Little did Jack realize that Patty would take him seriously and shoot him.  At the same time, Jack’s overweight sister Traci was being tormented by her slim and beautiful rival for Danny Romalotti’s affection.  I kept watching Y&R.

Alas, while the show was great, it just moved a bit too slow for me.  By the end of the summer, the Jack/Patty shooting storyline still wasn’t wrapped up.  I felt that I could “take a month off” of watching and tune back in and the show would be in the same place as where I left off. I didn’t watch every day, but I kept track of the show here and there, and enjoyed it when I watched.

Unlike other shows, The Young and the Restless never turned me away because of lack of quality.  It was never my favorite show, and when I had time I’d tune in. The older I got the less time I had.  The last time I payed attention to it was about three years ago when Nick and Sharon’s daughter died. It was a great episode, but it didn’t leave me wanting more.

It will be fun to see what is going on in Genoa City when I tune in for a week on January 19.  I’ve heard good things about Maria Arena Bell and the Kay Chancellor/Marge storyline.  I’ll report my thoughts here after I watch.