Young and the Restless Opinion Article
Article by Suzanne 5/10/22
The biggest news lately on the show is the return of Diane Jenkins, Jack’s ex-wife and father of Kyle, who was thought to be dead. At first, the story seemed to be about Jack finding his long-lost son, Keemo, and then Keemo’s daughter, Allie. They sure surprised us by having that springboard into the DIANE’S ALIVE! story. (See what they did there?)
Of course, on soaps (as the saying goes) no one is really dead. It’s a cliché, really, so it’s hardly a big surprise when anyone comes back. However, having Diane return fixes one of the mistakes they made back in 2012 when Nikki and Deacon both confessed to murdering Diane.They bashed her head in many times, and her body was found. The writers seemed to be saying, “Yes, she’s really dead! Dead, dead, dead!”
Deacon went to jail for awhile for that. He’s over on B&B now, so maybe someone will mention to him that she’s alive, and they can stop calling him an ex-con! At any rate, it’s usually a bad idea to kill off a major character, even one like Diane who seems to have few redeeming qualities. She was a trouble-maker, but not evil, like, for instance, David Kimble. He deserved to die, and no one was unhappy to see him go.
Diane spent most of her time on Y&R sleeping around, stealing husbands and trying to get money and fame from Jack and Victor, among others. Susan Walters is an amazing actress who managed to play Diane well, to make her seem more human than the writing reflected. It’s great to have her back. When her character was “murdered,” she was played by Maura West, who had previously played Carly on “As The World Turns” and now plays Ava on “General Hospital“. She’s another fabulous actress.
Now we’re supposed to believe that Diane faked her death and has been alive all this time. Also, she has supposedly changed and gotten therapy. If they’re going to make her into a better person now, that would be boring, so I hope it’s not true.
Of course, like a lot of stories in Soapland, it makes little sense. She not only died, but there was a body. Whose body was that if not Diane’s? Y&R is not like GH or “Days of Our Lives“. There’s no Helena Cassadine or Dr. Rolf there to give people magical drugs to make them seem dead, so it strains credulity. I wonder if they will even address this point? This is why it’s a bad idea to kill off major characters because later on you have to really jump through illogical hoops to bring them back. Leaving town or going to jail is a much better way to get rid of them, IMHO. I’m sure the writers would argue that killing off a character makes for great drama and gives them more story to work with. However, it’s happened so often now that it’s no longer such great story. It’s not even very surprising. Kill off someone who’s been there for 30 or 40 years (Nikki, Victor, Jack, Lauren et al.) and maybe then it would be surprising. Diane died after pissing everyone off, and everyone threatened her, so it was pretty obvious that she would die.
I was not very happy when they killed off Cassie on Y&R because it was just too sad (and had already been done with better effect on GH). Although I love the actress who played her, bringing her back as Cassie’s twin sister Mariah later on was pretty ridiculous. This is why soaps get such a bad rap. Stories like this would rarely fly on primetime or in movies, unless it happened in a comedy or scifi. I hate when people say, “It’s just a soap.” Stories like this are why they say that. Then people wonder why the poor soaps actors are unable to further their careers (or have to start all over again) when they’re trying to get roles elsewhere. It’s really unfair because the acting is usually really good on soaps (aside from a few newbies). It’s really the writers and producers who should have trouble getting more work outside soaps if you ask me. They just keep throwing up the same crap on our screens over and over. I’m sure the Y&R writers thought that bringing Diane back was a brilliant idea.
I hope that they turn Diane’s return into more than just the usual story about how she’s just coming back to cause more trouble. It would be nice to see something unusual and interesting happen for her, Jack and Kyle (and Summer, who’s returning). As I said, nobody wants to see her be a goody-two-shoes, either.
How about some original and unusual ideas? The idea to have lesbians on Y&R was a great one. The writing of the two characters has been hit-and-miss, but the idea was great. I hope the writers do drag more of the show into the 21st century. I’m not really in favor of having Kevin suddenly becoming gay because I hate when they change history, but if it will keep the actor happy, maybe they should. Then he won’t keep running over to Days. Or if you must use a soap trope, how about having Kevin learn that he has a twin gay brother? Maybe this Diane is not the real Diane, but the mother of the twins. Now that would be exciting!
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Proofread and Edited by Brenda