Voodoo Dating: Why and R
Last yesterday evening, I introduced/forced Brother Gnatalie to the soap opera The Young & the Restless. After only five insipid episodes, Gnat asked me why I had never written anything about Y&R for Frothy. I hadn’t an answer…I mean, I’ve always had an answer as to why I watch the show, but I can’t explain why I’ve never wowed critics with an analysis.
I got soaped on The Young & the Restless about five years ago and was addicted after two weeks spent figuring out who had been married to whom and how many times. Thank GAWD for the Internet, so I can catch the episodes I miss buzzing about on holidays or being inconveniently placed in a hospital. (Because, as all Soapies know, if you lose even one show you are hopelessly behind.)
The Young & the Restless takes place in a fictional mod Wisconsin town dubbed Genoa City (no relation to the Genoa City, WI). The show’s initial families, the Brooks & the Fosters, were sorta ‘Rich Mouse Poor Mouse’. Several screen writes later, Y&R moved on to a more Montague & Capulet fight showcasing the Newman & Abbott families. I’m not going to drone on about the characters, plotlines, etc., but I will write that Y&R is one of the longest running soap operas (first birthed on March 26th, 1973) and is currently the highest-rated ‘daytime drama’ in the Americas. Go Midwest!
I am a HUGE fan of ‘bad television’ in general. The acting on The Young & the Restless isn’t stellar but I’d like to believe this only adds to the whole ‘car accident-can’t look away’ theme Y&R achieves. The attire on the show is completely implausible-if you’ve ever been to the Midwest in the Winter, I doubt you would find anyone running/tramping around in only six inch heels, stockings, and trench coats. Although, I grew up in Michigan and haven’t ventured to Wisconsin during a snowstorm, so, really, who am I to judge?
The plotlines written for the show are spectacular and I really mean that. I never watched daytime dramas until I was about twenty-eight because the idea of someone being possessed by the devil and continuing to work over to General Hospital was more than a little out there. However, whoever is writing for The Young & the Restless certainly deserved their seven Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama. I’ve heard several accusations against Y&R, saying it’s a breeding hotbed of divorce, sexing around, and that it can’t possibly be a good message for families or monogamy. My thoughts are that with all the drama, sex, and multi-marriages running around, the good folks at Genoa City have taught me exactly what NOT to do if I wanna continue to have a secure and productive relationship.
The creators of Y&R, William J. Bell & Lee Phillip Bell, have also taught me the following:
-There is no economy lag or job shortage in Genoa City. If one slides into town and makes friends, they can find employment at any time. If you are a kidnapper, drug dealer, or baby snatcher, you’ve got a pal and a waitressing gig in GC.
-If your Husband is in danger of being deported back to Australia, have your friend act as a surrogate Mother for the twins you can’t have (because you have cancer), and the situation will seem so dire that the Government just CAN’T send said Husband down under.
-It is possible (also encouraged) for your Mother to be your Aunt and your step Sister all at once. (And Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob…)
-When leaving your Father’s company, remind him that the reason is because HE asked YOU to take that illegal antique gun to Japan in order to bribe a company official and YOU did. Then, upon leaving, get a tattoo with your Boyfriend of each others’ names, buy a house together, get yourselves knocked up, and have a wedding in your front yard…in the span of three or four weeks.
-So, your ex-Husband’s new wife was murdered and the he grievingly disappears to Mexico. Why not ring up another of his ex-Wives to look for him while you go on a drinking binge (as an ex-alcoholic stripper, mind your skillz), then, get ticked when the Husband returns and re-marries the other ex-Wife. (The mourning period for Husbands and Wives who have handed in their dinner pails is rather speedy.)
-Don’t get involved with drugs and dirty cops. The plotlines are too confusing and eventually become boring when one realizes that they don’t care if the characters are crooked or on dope…or both.
-It is illegal to get married in Jamaica after eight o’ clock pm.
-Drinking games should be initiated during The Young & the Restless. My current favourite is taking a swig when someone is continuously redundant. For example:
Niki: You’re not attending your own Daughter’s wedding?! Fine! Have a good time here, alone, all by yourself!
-No one pegs out in Genoa city, not really. Happily, if you fall to your death from a cliff, turn gay and flee to a different continent, sold your baby on the Black Market, or even if your entire family buries you, chances are you’ll probably turn up, again, in about twenty years.
I’ve learned a lot from this The Young & the Restless, mostly what not to do in order to be content with my own choices and existence. Most importantly, above all else, if anything (drink!), Y&R teaches me to consistently feel