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Mason
Nov 30 2009, 08:50 PM
BEST SHOW


THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS


The traditional 30th-anniversary gift is pearls, but Y&R deserves the gold - Emmy gold, that is. Executive Producer David Shaughnessy and Co-Executive Producer/Co-Head Writer Jack Smith have kept the strong storytelling tradition of Creator William J. Bell alive, while making changes that bolstered the action. To wit, the decision to cross-pollinate the landscape: Back in the day, many storylines were self-contained arcs, and some characters rarely - if ever - crossed paths. But now that stories have been opened up and intersected, magic - like the sparkling chemistry between Phyllis and Drucilla - has occurred.

Long-standing characters evolved in believable ways: We saw how neglect in his childhood led Victor to become a ruthless tycoon; doormat Sharon finally had enough and stood up to monster-in-law Nikki; Nicholas got out from under Victor's shadow, oblivious to the fact that his methods only proved he is his father's son; and attention-hungry Brittany stripped to spice up her life.

Y&R has always heeded its own history, and this year's crop of well-crafted, nuanced tales paid tribute to the show's rich past. Long-time business rivals Jack and Victor squared off again with the Tuvia versus Safra tale - but this round of antagonism not only pitted Newman against Jabot, it encompassed nearly half the canvas, as husbands competed with wives, brothers were pitted against sisters and children rebelled against parents. The corporate combat was especially riveting because of its human toll. Ashley's car accident on launch day resulted in the loss of her and Brad's unborn son, and the boardroom battle left Jack and Phyllis's marriage in tatters.

Multigenerational stories have always been a hallmark of Y&R, and unlike many other soaps, here they're still front-and-center. Case in point: The revelation that Katherine and Jill are mother and daughter put a shocking spin on one of daytime's longest-running feuds. Y&R also mixed familiar faces with new blood by bringing back such fan favorites as Danny and Liz, while incorporating dynamic new characters like Damon, Bobby and Kevin.

Spectacular events. Compelling stories. Complex, layered characters. Snappy dialogue. Each of these unique pearls, when strung together, produces a result that's precious: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.
Yes! Y&R was so good that year. I miss that Y&R so badly.
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SOD Best & Worst -- 2003 · Soap Opera History & Discussion