Famous TV Shows – The Young And The Restless Soap Opera

For more than thirty four years The Young and the Restless

soap opera has been a success on TV. What is interesting is

that it’s even highly attractive to college education and career

women. Camille Paglia, a professor of Art and author, confessed

that she has been watching it for 20 years plus. What is so

attractive about this show and why has it won so many

daytime Emmy awards ( at least seven)?

The dramas each day of course include romance but also lots

of family, business and corporate situations. Recently on a

forum I read that some women will work all day at their high

tech jobs and then at night replay the show while they iron

clothing for next day of work.

They have their share of return from the dead story lines,

but generally there is a level of realism in the themes

presented touching on daily concerns such as infidelity,

financial problems, jealousy, death of a family member,

promotion anxiety and very relatable concerns. This makes

“The Young and the Restless” not just another “rich and

famous type of show” that is out of the league of many viewers.

Nonetheless, there is the question of why people want to

watch a show that has so many crisis and unhappy situations

that unfold. When Nick and Sharon’s daughter Cassie died

last year the forums were buzzing about their grief over

this. Is it cathartic to view something similar to what we

may experience in our own lives?

Are we looking to see the way others cope and adjust to

difficult situations in order to gain coping skills

ourselves? The tragedies on a soap opera aren’t real yet we

cry despite that. We know these characters are not harmed

and may even watch them on talk shows in the morning when

they are interviewed! We know these different circumstances

haven’t really happened, yet they are so gripping to watch.

One recent incident that was popular at The Young and the

Restless was when Sheila kidnapped the babies of Phyllis and

her friend Lauren. These shows had high ratings (and it was a

bit confusing since Sheila had plastic surgery to look exactly

like Phyllis)! So many people fear having their kids kidnapped.

Also people are afraid of someone irrational and Sheila was the

best example of this as she shifted in and out of paranoia, lucidity

and jealousy. We have a deep fascination we have with someone

who is highly intelligent but has an obsessive side where

they redirect all that intelligence in an unhealthy way.

Another topic that was popular was the competition between

Nikki Newman and Jack Abbot for the state senator seat. They

both had their own share of hidden dirt that became exposed

and viewers were drawn to this due to the fascination of

slander, competition and political dramas.

At one point Jack’s campaign team even hid a camera in Nikki’s

conference room and recorded her kiss with her campaign

manager. Is there a question most of us have about whether

people have secrets and what are they? Are people always

acting with ulterior motives? Is there any honesty left in

the world?

One other aspect of the Young and the Restless that touches

contemporary audiences is the conflict between loving two

people romantically at the same time. This has been an

eternal theme throughout literature and what is refreshing

in the show is the dialog the characters have as they try

to clarify these matters. Though not as philosophical as

“Sex in the City”, there are reflections the characters

have on timeless themes including money versus love,

blackmail, lying to one’s spouse, the trials of taking care

of someone with an illness and parenting questions.

By having realistic daily scenarios combined with lots of

passion and corporate dramas with intelligent dialogs,

The Young and the Restless TV show works for many viewers as

a supplement to their day providing ideas for reflection,

entertainment and vicarious living.

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