The Y&R is One Paradoxical Masterpiece

The Young and the Restless is as a phenomenon on television as it is a cultural phenomenon. It is one of the biggest—if not already being the biggest—dramas on TV, with a single core plot spanning two generations, for three decades and counting.

Which leads one to think—how can such hate spawn so much… well, hate? Do these characters even remember who Jill and Katherine are? For those who do not watch the show, The Young and the Restless (shortened to The Y&R) is all about the rivalry between two families, originally, the Abbotts and the Williams. Now, after thirty years of bickering, plotting, scheming, and screwing with one another, they have managed to involve several other families into the whole sordid mess. Congratulations, they have just created a modern-day blood feud.

In medieval times, blood ties were thicker than water, and even hand-braided leather. When someone incurs a familial insult, honor (and possible brashness) dictates that a member of the family avenge the insult given. Afterwards, another member from the offending family avenges the new insult, and then another member of the offended family avenges this new insult—and so on and so forth, until nobody even remembers where that much hatred came from.

Arguably, this has been Y&R’s greatest weakness, and its greatest strength. Why? Because you can also stretch a single plot only so much—it will either unravel or snap in two along the way. You would have to be amazed at how much underhanded chicanery can slip by unnoticed in a single city—especially when most atrocities seem to focus on only a handful of families. Are these the only people within that city? Are the lawmakers and citizens of fictional Genoa City (for there is an existing Genoa City) so laid back that they shrug off plane crashes and falsification of live births and all that other stuff? Do the judges allow such crimes go unnoticed and unhindered—since the crimes tend to repeat themselves—because they have been raking millions of cash from the divorces and remarriages among these families alone? No one can say. But what loyal viewers can and do say is that Y&R is becoming more and more like old soup. After all, after you have seen an adulterous affair for the nth time, you clearly have seen them all.

But the sheer genius of it comes from the fact that even though those who were once young and restless will always be replaced by another generation of restless youths. Just as the blood feud continues to renew itself, those who leave the audience are constantly replenished by others who have not had their fill of sordid affairs. Having a singular plot helps tie new watchers together, as it makes the unfolding drama easier to follow. It is one of the most brilliant and most ridiculous stunts any writer has pulled, and it has kept the restlessness for almost forty years.

The show, the plot, the assortment of characters and their kaleidoscope of nuances are both intriguing and disappointing. Mesmerizing and tiring. Brilliant and idiotic. Simple and complex. Something old and something new.

Comments

  1. Dian Adkins says:

    We have wathed young & restless for over twenty five years our children was raised up with nick & victoria .Everyone has been trading partners with all stars.Kate is the one that they go to when they want advise. Jill Jack Sharron Nell & all of the cast are number one soap opera out of all tv soaps . LOVE YOUR CREW KEEP UP GOOD WORK; Merry Christmas Happy New Year to one & all from Ky.

  2. Loretta says:

    When Y&R first aired in 1973, the original core families were the Fosters (Jill’s family) who were of modest means and the Brooks, who were quite wealthy. Katherine Chancellor joined the show later and Jill, who was a manicurist at the time, became Mrs. C’s paid companion who eventually had an affair with & became pregnant by Mrs. C’s husband, Philip Chancellor. Eventually, the Brooks family was written out of the show as were the Fosters, except for Jill. The Abbotts & the Williams families were brought in during the early 1980′s. The Newmans, the Winters & others were also added during the 1980′s.

    • helen says:

      I’m glad that the new writers are updating some of the places in Genoa City. I like that we get to see Avery’s home, and I like that we get to see Victor & Niki’s penthouse. It also seems that Nick may be going into the nightclub business. Maybe, some of the old families heirs (Fosters, Brooks, Williams) should come back to Genoa City & stir up a little trouble for everyone. What do you think?

      • Beth says:

        Helen, I like your idea of bringing back the Brooks… we have Williams (Father Tom? and Paul, and once in a while Patty…. Fosters are on Bold/Beautiful which intermingles with Y/R sometimes… already tired of Jacks addiction, miss Ashley, Katherine and Murphy….. and Genavive. . also Heather (this last one was great as her — don’t know why they let her go….. she was great on ATWT and as Heather on Y/R…. have watched this show from day 1. love it even my husband watches it with me…..

        • My husband got me hooked….in his other life, he used to come home for lunch and watch it for relaxation (?)..he has watched it since day one. I have been watching for 12 years now and we often watch it twice in one day!!!

          • CAROL says:

            I have been watching it since day one. When I cannot watch it, I record it and watch it when I get home. PLEASE keep Billy & Victoria. They are really cute together. Getting tired of couples splitting up, sleeping around and going back to each other. Very sick of Jack’s pill popping problem. Let’s see some action with his problem.

    • Carolyn Chilton says:

      didn’t Mrs Foster stay on a while as Mrs, Chancellors housekeeper?

    • Penny says:

      Well written, Loretta. I’m not sure where the original writer got their info, but they are way off the mark. Your post is precisely what happened, and in the order it happened. I was a lonely newlywed 18 year old wife, moved from busy central OH to the plains of SD in the summer of 1975 and discovered Y & R in the fall of that year. I have been a follower since.

  3. judy Hardeman says:

    I have watched the y@R since its inception. It is the only well written soapopera of all times. The acting is very good and professional and these r actors who have appeared in other shows and some have gone on to star in other films etc. They r very experienced actors. I have seen Victor Newman in TV westerns and movies. That’s one of the reasons that soap is so good. They could even make it a show lke’” Dallas”. Yes, it could go onto to prime time T.V. series. Has anyone thoght of that?

  4. Nora says:

    I don’t think I have ever missed an episode, unless I was unconcious in the hospital, LOL. I just get so mad when they take off my favorite characters like Abby. Please bring her back, she brings sunshine to the show.

    • Sandra Powell says:

      I have been watching The Young & the Restless since it began in 1973. Y&R is my favorite TV Show of all time! The actors on Y&R are incredibly gifted! My favorite 2 charcters on the show are Nikki & Victor. The chemistry between them is amazing & no matter if they break-up 4 or 5 times or more, they always find their way back to each other, & I love that!! I also love to watch Victoria & Billy, Nick & Avery, & I always love Mrs. Chancelor! Katherine is remarkable after all these years!! I hope Y&R stays on TV forever because I would simply die if it was ever taken off!! Thank goodness for DVR’s & VCR’s back in the day when I was working!! I just could not miss an episode of my favorite TV show!! Y&R keep up the good work!!

    • I loved Abby also…so cute and spunky! Never heard why they let her go…

  5. Faun says:

    I been watching scence I was a young girl with my mom.I watched as Victor and a few others got old and to loose this and Bold and Beautiful would kill me.

  6. Ruth says:

    I, too, have been watching the Y &R since episode #1 and can’t wait for it to come on each day! My husband watches it too and is more anxious to see the next episode than I am. It is the only soap that we watch and sure, it gets repetitious sometimes, but how can you run a show that long without that happening? I like the new writers and the changes they are making to the homes and such. I will continue to love and watch this show for 30 more years if it continues! And I sure hope it does!!!

  7. Brenda King says:

    I love the show ,Y&R has been a part of my life since 1986 I’m really crazy about the charter Victor Newman my husband watches it because of him and that’s a miricle keep it coming !

  8. Annie says:

    I’m in my late thirties and I’ve been a Y&R fan for over 25 years… I grew up with this show, love it all!!! Whoever these new writers are? They are phenomenal, love all the set changes and storylines… Love how they made Sharon bi-polar it explains her ridiculous behavior… Please do something with Phillis, she’s great simply needs a new love interest. Bring back Heather and Abby why would you write them off?

  9. Pam says:

    I have always loved Y & R, but apparently the show needs some new writers! Personally, I am tired of seeing the same people divorcing and remarrying each other, especially Nikki and Victor! Boring!!!!

  10. Ruthie says:

    It is fun to leave our own lives each day and ramble through the lives of the people on young and the restless. I like seeing Adam struggle to be good yet keep the pain and mystery of his heart on going. I am glad the writers have a great concept of realism with each and every character on the show. It is frustrating though when something really lame happens…like Kylle aging to be in the other group of kids…to big of a jump in to short of time….and the babies like faith didn’t age….but for the most part if i were the writer I can think of a least three major story lines to add to this already great soap, three that have never come into play…..but I will hope for a writer ..to think of them…i wish there was a place you could post privately ideas they could use…..hope Y&R runs many more years to come….

  11. Lynn B says:

    I too have been watching this show for so many years and would be heart broken if it were gone. I also don’t like how the children end up aging so quickly on this show, as well as other soaps. I really hope that Adam and Chelsea get a real chance. I really like her, she is refreshing and it is great that she is with bad boy Adam. I just wish he would stay away from Sharon. What kinda hold does she have over the men on this show? It is rediculous. Love the couples of Victoria and Billy, Nikki and Victor, Cane and Lilly, I just hope that Phyllis and Jack end up back together, and Neil certainly needs someone. I also would like to see some refreshing new story lines using some of the newer actors and couples. Keep up the great work!!!!

  12. Myra says:

    All I can say is ADAM NEWMAN. HE IS THE REASON I WATCH!!!

  13. Jeannie Hunt says:

    I’ve been watching the show ever since Victor stumbled upon Nikki as a stripper. I wouldn’t know what to do if they ever cancelled this show. I’ve already been tormented by the cancellation of ATWT and GL. I love that they have brought bipolar disorder to light on the show and Sharon is portraying the disease very well. I’m glad they got rid of Abby, she was a sore spot for me and I’ve disliked both characters she has played, including Lizzie on GL. Thank you writers!!! I am disappointed that they wrote off Heather again as I thought that Jennifer Landon did well with the part. I too love Adam Newman for all his misdeeds and even his transformation on the show.

    • I too, have been watching Y&R since Niki was a stripper! It is one of the best soaps on TV! Please keep it on the air!

    • Patricia says:

      I love Y&R too and I hope that it continues on as well. I cannot say that I like everything that the new writers are doing with the characters though. Too many of the storylines don’t make sense. I miss Abby, I thought she was different and fun. She was very pretty, she fit in extremely well the Newman bunch and they need to bring her home. I am bothered that they’ve brought Tyler in to disturb Lilly & Cane’s marriage. Give them something else to contend with, but not their marriage. That seems to be all they can come up with to give the characters something meaty…adultery. Other things do occur in peoples lives! I will always miss Drucilla, but if they can’t get her back, they should really give Leslie & Neil a shot. I did not like him with Sophia. Glad that’s over. I also miss ATWT’s, but had left GL b4 it left the air. For me, it had become really stupid.

  14. Cheryl Magee says:

    I love Y & R and have also watched since the beginning! Taped all I couldn”t be home to watch! I love the chemistry between Victoria and Billy, Sharon and Nick, Ronan and Phyllis & Adam & Chelsea. Was really getting into Heather and Daniel(please bring these 2 back!) All the other characters are great 2. It’s my all time favorite show. My husband watches it too. Never would have thought that!

  15. Myra says:

    Victor and Niiki are played out and BORING! Nick is just a DOG…sleeping with his wifes sister…divorced or not thats a NO NO.. The only reason to watch this show is ADAM NEWMAN. If he ever leaves, I won’t watch.

  16. Terri says:

    I love the Yand R. I have watched it for over 20 some years. I love Victor as he always gets his way no matter what. A new heart I thought would make him a little less of a bully but not so. Adam always trys to help someone and gets clobbered. Jack will turn on him you watch.

  17. Patty says:

    Love Michael Muhney (Adam). He is the reason I can’t wait to watch Y&R eveyday!

  18. Debbie Jeffrey says:

    I started watching when Victor had some guy locked in his cellar or basement.
    Have watched ever since and my husband jokes and says has let that guy out of the dungeon yet!!
    Australia is quite a few months behind and I’m disappointed to hear so many have been asked to leave the show ;((

  19. Debbie Jeffrey says:

    Oh and how great does Nikki look??
    Anyone know which diet regime she used??

  20. Martha says:

    I watched the show for years! I wish it was on in the evenings…It seems everytime there is a news bulletin, it preempts the show!! Love the story line except for letting the character “Abbey” be written off. She was such a character and lovable. Also, Ashley,,,,,cant figure you writers out! Just wish you would let Adam put Victor down, just once! That would be so much fun to watch!! And Jack, what can I say, he has had too many wives and girlfriends to be such a wealthy and supposedly sharp dude! Writers, let Jack be a classy guy for once… As for Nick, he comes off as being a nerd! He has Avery now to lean on and make him look good and make better choices in his business and life. Just love Billy and Victoria, please leave them alone and let them be happy ….

  21. Sue Bissell says:

    I Love the character of Adam he’s so handsome and he reminds me more of Victor than any of the other kids, they would make a great team to run Newman, as father and son, he and Chelsia were good together, wish they would of kept them together, let Victor forgive Adam, and they become a dynamic team

  22. M. LaCoste says:

    I just wanted Adam and Chelsia to stay together! Sharon needs to go on with her life; Why not send her out of town for a long while; While Nick and all can get their life together!

  23. Rachel says:

    PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE-Let Adam and Chelsie get back together!!!!! He was at his best with her!!!! Phylis to too much for Jack!!! Let her get involved with someone who has more Zip & Zest!!!!!!

  24. Sandie says:

    I have watched Y & R for about 30 years. It is truly the only show I look forward to watch everyday. Weekends are the worst. I can hardly wait for Monday. I absolutely love Billy & Victoria, Nick & Avery and Jack & Phyllis. I know that Phyllis is toooo much for Jack, but they are good together. Sharon really needs to go away. She’s just annoying to me. I could go on and on about all the characters, but I won’t. I would absolutely be lost of Y & R wasn’t on anymore. None of the other soaps are even close in it’s league. I LOVE Y & R!!!!!

  25. KatieRose says:

    I do so hate to see Marcy go.. she really plays a great Abby. I just hope they can find a suitable replacement. I would be totally lost without Y&R .. so much so that I watch it twice a day. Once at 12:30 est on CBS and once at 7pm est on SoapNet. Now that’s being a real fan. I’ve watched it the entire 40 years it’s been on the air. I am disabled and pretty much an invalid right now so this is just about all I have .. this computer when I can sit up and the bed when I can’t. I adore this show. And from what I hear, the man that plays Billy Abbot, just signed a new contract .. and I heard just this morning that Y&R was the NUMBER ONE SOAP OPERA ON TELEVISION! The ratings are through the roof! Good NEWS!! :) Keep up the good work, writers and cast! I just heard Chelsea tell Victor that HE was the reason Adam was in surgery from taking a bullet for him so that he could get his approval. and what a shame it was that it had to go that far before he did approve of him. Way to go Chelsea! Way to go writers! now KEEP CHELSEA and make Adam well and get those 2 back together!!

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