What does it mean when no one believes that an epic, beloved character has supposedly died on the most popular soap opera (The Young and the Restless) currently on the air?
Is it cause for alarm that suspension of disbelief is no longer necessary when watching a daytime drama? Viewers have become so used to back-from-the-dead plots, not to mention evil twins and character-altering amnesia, that we don’t bat an eyelash when a character is pronounced dead. For the most part, we presume he or she is in a contract battle, taking an extended vacation, or will be replaced with a new face somewhere down the road.
And, so it is that the outrageous “news” that Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) is dead on CBS’ number one sudser, The Young and the Restless, is barely met with a meh.
There was a time when the outlandish announcement that a major, make that THE MAJOR, character on a soap had died would elicit a rush to the keyboard unleashing an onslaught of frenzied speculation about what happens next.
Not the case today. Besides the fact that no one believes The Mustache has died, as announced by his anguished family, there is a barely a blip on the speculation radar.
What gives? Should soap execs across the networks be concerned that virtually no one is consternated that arguably the greatest living soap legend could be gone from the daytime landscape?
Or, should they be content in the fact that soap fans are so loyal, so used to outlandish plots, that by all appearances they are taking this mega event in stride?
It says something that an epic daytime character is proclaimed dead, off the canvas, gone gently into that good night, and barely a trickle of outrage is rippling through the fandom.
I’m not sure what it means that Victor Newman’s demise is being taken so nonchalantly.
What do you think the collective response says about soap viewers’ attitudes, the state of soap operas, and the legacies of soap legends?
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.