Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Young and Restless
I’ve been watching the Young and the Restless ever since it’s very first episode back in March of 1973. The only reason I watched it was because my best friend was at my house and she was a big soap opera fan. Not me. I had two small children and felt that I didn’t have time for such a frivolous thing as sitting down to my TV everyday at a particular time.
In spite of that, I found myself getting to know the Brooks and Foster families and all the intertwined drama they produced. I started feeding my kids lunch just a little earlier and putting them down for naps just before the program started. That way I could watch without interruption. I was hooked. I could feel myself becoming a part of this
community. Genoa City
Katherine Chancellor was introduced into Young and Restless in November 1973 as a wealthy alcoholic socialite. It was the first of what would be a long-standing exposure as to the effects alcohol can have on a person’s life. The producers have continued throughout the years to increase awareness of how alcoholism can ruin a person’s life.
I applaud the writers and producers of this show for their continuing efforts. However, I feel an entire segment of
population has been overlooked. That is
the effect of alcoholism on those who love the alcoholic. Here is a perfect
venue to make the invisible collateral damage less invisible and they have
dropped the ball. Genoa City
Of course, a soap opera is not a soap opera without dysfunctional families and
has more than their
fair share. Top of the mark would be the Newman family with the alcoholic
mother married to a man who seems to constantly confuse his children with
business co-workers. Maybe if Victor were less inclined to fix all problems
with buying solutions and pay more personal attention, the family would have
more of a chance to find peace. While Victor and the kids all say they are
worried about Nicky’s drinking, I see them covering up and lying in order to
protect her from herself. Genoa
Then we have the perfect candidate for showing how the family is affected when we look at the Winters’ family. Neal’s daughter babies him and protects him like he was her child instead of her father. Yet, I have yet to see anyone take Lily aside and explain to her that her father’s alcoholism belongs to him and he must be the one who does something about it. There are ways she can help him, but she cannot take his alcoholism away. Lily tries to find reasons for her father’s drinking and if she can solve the “reason” she can solve the problem. I would say to Lily, “Your father drinks because he is an alcoholic and that’s what alcoholics do.” I would tell her that to believe anything else is just giving him an excuse to drink.
The family dynamics in the circle of an alcoholic are not clearly depicted in the alcoholism story lines of the show. There is an opportunity for the writers to establish one with the creation of Jack and Neal’s newly founded association for addicted persons. I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.
Also, we have yet to see (unless I missed it during those years when I was without DVR and working) an alcoholic become end-stage. An end-stage story line would help so many people who are struggling with alcohol. It would help many family members know what is ahead of them. Of course, actually viewing what end-stage is really like may not be appealing to the masses. Maybe the masses could use a little eye-opening.
at 12:42 PM