Monday, May 19, 2008

The Young and the Restless

Whenever I hear the theme music for The Young and the Restless (Y&R), I get a lump in my throat and immediately think of my mother.

I suppose for many, the habit of soap-watching begins in childhood, wide-eyed and seated next to one's mother on the living room sofa. My experience was no different.

My mum grew up in India, in a strict Christian household. Having a pastor/missionary father, she never watched a single film or even television during her formative years, and for a good part of her adult life also (preferring scripture and meditation instead).

However, in the late 70s while on a sick leave from the Toronto hospital where she worked as a nurse, mum discovered Y&R and immediately bonded with the show. A new world had opened up for her.

My brother and I often encouraged mum to take a few moments to herself each day and indulge in a little snippet of the show, before rushing off to her evening shift. We even taught her how to use those old brown-boxed "converters" (circa the late '70s) with the up-and-down button technology.

On those rare days when her days off collided with our P.A days, we'd be seated in close proximity to mum and the television set, alternating between whatever game we were playing and catching glances of the drama transpiring in Genoa City (I tuned in a great deal more closely than my brother). Victor Newman (the "Mustache") always pissed us off.

It moves me to think that the only programs (apart from the news and game shows) that resonated with mum were stories of love, romance and familial turmoil. She gave "Guiding Light" and "All My Children" a brief shot but Y&R was the only one that stuck. The only one she could relate to on some level. It was part of her growth and mine.

Our affection for the show lasted almost 30 years. My mother and I may have missed a few episodes, here or there (or a few years more like) but Y&R is a show we always return to. One that feels like home for us.

Every time I hear that theme song, I think of those sweet days and remember the journey we've taken together, Victor Newman included.


  1. That would always be on every time I would come home for lunch from grade school that is right after Family feud. My mom was obviously hooked as well. :D

  2. Yay for your mom! :)

    I used to come home for lunch during grade school as well. I liked watching the Flintstones at noon just before Y&R.

  3. OMG I always watched Y&R with my Mom... also, we watched "As The World Turns". I remember this as far back as my being a toddler.

  4. And another funny part is that my Dad would always make jokes if he was home during Y&R. (If you recall how many times Victor "died"). Dad would saunter through the den and exclaim, "Who's That?!?"

    We replied "Dad you know that's Victor."

    He would just say, "Victor?!?! I thought he was dead!"


  5. Yay AJ! I knew you were a Y&R baby too! We also watched As the World Turns for a brief period of time (do you remember Lucinda, Dusty, Holden etc.?).

    And your dad is too funny! We'd have the same line of questioning too. How many times are they going to do those types of storylines? And Victor is always "right" no matter what. He drives me crazy :)

  6. LOL! I know! Yes I remember those characters, that was in the height of my addiction.

    Viva Victor!!

  7. Anonymous5/30/2012

    My Mom passed away in February of this year. We spoke almost everyday and we loved to talk about the Young & the Restless. I miss her everyday. I hope that as viewers we get a chance to say goodbye to the very long time actors on the show when its time for them to go. For many people they are like family.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person. The long time actors are indeed like family. They've been with us and we've been with them for decades. That's such a great idea to say goodbye to those actors when it's time for them to leave the show.

      Are you on Twitter? Many Y&R actors have official accounts there and regularly engage with fans.

      Peace and hugs.

  8. The fictional Genoa City is probably equal to Racine, WI, or maybe even Milwaukee. In the real world, there is a real Genoa City, WI. That town has only a few thousand people, and would not be a municipality that could sustain a skycraper headquarters of a giant cosmetic company.

    The real life Genoa City, WI is located on US Highway 12, at the Illinois Wisconsin border.

    Lee Phillip is the wife & co-executive producer of the show. Lee started her career as a Chicago celebrity. She had a popular program at noontime. When I came to the babysitter's home for lunch, I had to "negotiate" the rights to watch Bozo Circus (infamous Chicago program, as opposed to the many other lesser quality Bozo shows, that were licensed by Larry Harmon) as opposed to watching the adult oriented "The Lee Phillip Show". Just the same, I did enjoy the days that I was forced to watch her show.

    Since Lee Phillip was a minor Chicago celebrity, during the 1960's, she was hired to be a celebrity guest at an Easter celebration, at a Chicago suburban hotel. She was the first so-called celebrity that I ever met. I have met hundreds of celebrities (from Larry Bud Melman to President Clinton), but Lee was my first, and I will always remember my "first."

    Sometime, in the next few weeks, I plan on writing a blog post (mainly photographs) on the different "sites" of the real life Genoa City, WI. COMPARE & CONTRAST.

    You can watch for it at SENTIMENTAL JOURNEYS

    Come to think of it, I did the same thing with the real life town of Evening Shade, Arkansas. The name of the town was the only thing that was used in the Burt Reynolds TV sitcom. The TV town was completely fictional. Just the same, I had an incredible need to see the real Evening Shade.

    If you don't remember Evening Shade, that is a shame. It was a very funny & warm comedy.

    1. Wow Ron, I look forward to reading your post on Genoa City. I always wanted to know more about the show's locale. Found it fascinating that it took place in Wisconsin. It just seems right for some reason. Loved reading your memories of watching The Lee Phillip show. Never knew too much about her. It was always a treat to catch one of those adult oriented talk shows as a kid.

      And yes I do remember Evening Shade. :)


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