We discuss Josh Griffith's first ninety days in his second tenure as Head Writer of The Young and The Restless! Learn more here--->
We are more than ninety days into Josh Griffith's second tenure as Head Writer at The Young and the Restless. We thought we'd give our own thoughts on the past ninety days. One thing for sure, there is much to discuss.
DISCLAIMER! DISCLAIMER! DISCLAIMER!
This isn't a b*tch session. It's just our honest and unfiltered perspective. You won't agree with everything we say. You might not agree with any of it. It is all good. Let's start with the good.
They have made changes. No one can accuse Y&R's brass of not recognizing that the previous experiment, prior regime, wasn't well-received by a lot of the fans and changes needed to be made. There is absolutely no question Y&R has made changes. And we believe they had the best intentions to make the show better.
They put the vets back in the forefront. Even when Y&R struggled the most creatively, you could count on turning on the show and seeing the characters you knew and loved. In our opinion, that was the biggest downfall of the prior regime, newbies on too much. That, for the most part, has been corrected.
They brought Adam back. We know that could be a controversial opinion. But for us, Adam is a necessary and pivotal character that impacts a large amount of the canvas. And his on-screen presence brings a much-needed dynamic and an additional complexity to the Newman clan.
They have brought favorite side-lined vets back to the forefront. We see much more of Paul, Christine, Michael, Lauren. Thank you.
They are giving more airtime to underrepresented characters than we thought we would see. We are seeing Devon, Ana, Elena, Nate, Mariah, and Tessa more than we expected. No, it's still not enough compared to other characters but it's better than Winters Wednesday and they gave Teriah a love scene. So we will give them credit for progress. But still, push for true equality.
The Not So Good;
The show is severely lacking in drama and stakes. The individual energy in the episodes is lacking and the drama is severely lacking. Let's use the return of Adam as an example. There is no question Mark Grossman is a great actor. But what has been the significant on-screen impact of Adam coming back? There has been a lot of talk about how bad it is that he is back in Genoa City. But what has been the impact? Nick lost Dark Horse? Um, we don't care. Yes, there is the custody battle we keep hearing about. But when? So, what has been the impact? Where are the stakes? Adam's being shot could have been a storyline with an impact and stakes. But Adam was shot, recovered and back home (with his memories) all within the same week! Really? Maybe Y&R could have Adam's life hanging in the balance and have the Newmans fighting on how to handle it? And maybe that was a better way of bringing Chelsea back than what we got. Y&R is slow. They need to pick up the pace and add in some high drama and high stakes. Now, there have been some really good scenes and moments in the last few months no doubt. The scenes between Nick and Victor when Nick asked Victor for money to help him take Dark Horse back from Adam stands out as one of the best. But as a whole, overall, not nearly enough drama and high stakes, no way, no how.
Not playing out Skyle vs Kola. One of the biggest blunders was the triangle that wasn't. We are still scratching our heads as to why it was nixed. We have three great actors and both pairings had their own chemistry. The story literally wrote itself but instead, we got the Home Improvement Show GC style. From a show that still benefits from one of the best triangles ever, Shick/Phick, it is inexplicable as to why the triangle didn't happen. Yuge mistake. And Theo's recent addition only strengthens our opinion as it could have made for a very interesting quad. So, we still have the three characters (four adding Theo) yet they aren't connected by a cohesive story. Baffling. That single triangle could have hatched multiple, diverse and, captivating storylines for years.
Lack of Development/Definition of Some Characters. Kyle, Ana, Elena, are three examples that immediately come to mind.
a) Kyle is the leading man of the younger generation. He is an Abbott. He is Jack Abbott's "only" offspring. He is a legacy character from a legacy family. He can love Lola. But he is boring. He has no depth. The character is single-layered. Put him in business stories. Give him something to do other than planning a wedding. If you can't write a compelling soapy story for Kyle Abbott.....
b) Ana, we know what Ana does she works for LP. But we have no idea who Ana is. We have seen and agree with the cry to give her a love interest, absolutely. But we are also crying for them to develop the character, please.
c) Elena, we have pretty much the same complaint as we have in relation to Ana. We have no idea who Elena is. No, she hasn't been on screen for that long. But all we know is that she cares for Devon, she blames herself for her mom's death and she doesn't like people invading her privacy. Develop the character, please.
We are hoping they have something better in the works for Celeste.
Unbalanced screen time. This is something we go through on every soap. Soap writers for whatever reason consistently struggle with this. And with Adam's return, my goodness it was too much. He hogged the screen, to say the least. We have Chelsea back and now it seems we are headed in the same direction with her return. Find some balance, please. We think if they would even out the air time it would greatly improve the lack of development of some other characters and the "B" stories. It's an ensemble cast, act like it.
Questionable Direction of Writing/Storylines.
a) On the heels of the murder mystery of JT that we endured for over a year, what is the upside to writing another one centered around day player, Calvin, that we know or care nothing about?
b) Another cooking show related episode(s)? Why? Enough said.
c) Yes, we get Chadam must have angst. But Chick? Why? Enough said.
Storylines we would like to see. Michael going dark. (Actually, see the progression of it and his struggle to fight his "demons".) Victor dealing with his mortality. (Dig deeper. It's just surface stuff so far). Devon grappling with all of his loss. (Going a bit darkish. Maybe going up against the Newmans and Abbotts.) Just a few thoughts. We have a laundry list of what we would prefer to see rather than a Calvin murder mystery, cooking shows, and Chick.
Boring Couples or Couples without any interesting or soapy storylines. For us, that is pretty much every couple on the show right now. A soap without good couples and/or good storylines ain't much of a soap.
Without question, one of the biggest stories of the past few months has been the mission to make Y&R iconic again and how they have gone about it. Everybody has their own favs, their own opinions and thoughts on the matter. All we are going to say is when Y&R was iconic and it was, yes the actors and the characters were a big reason why. But the biggest reason was the writing. You can cast Jesus himself but if the writing is crappy people will tune out. And Y&R has been consistently hovering at 4,000,000 viewers so viewers are tuning out.
And in all honesty, for us, the writing is still the biggest weakness of the show. We hope they fix it, STAT. We have seen a few spoilers that have us "hopeful." We will wait and see how it plays out on screen.
We give Y&R an "A" for wanting to make the show better. But the execution must improve, STAT.
What are your thoughts on Josh Griffith's first quarter?
I AM KP Smith