Headwriter and executive producer Mal Young wants to make sure that every episode of THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS is one fans won’t want to miss, but he also wants to do even more special episodes that really stand out. “We are going to do more of those standalone episodes,” he promised Soaps In Depth. “Each one was beautifully crafted. We did the special one-off episode with the four women and J.T. I asked the writers to come with me on the journey to do an episode where it’s four women in the living room for 30 minutes. I said, ‘We’re not going to go anywhere else. We might go out to the garden for a brief scene, but I want it to be like a stage play.’ Everyone looked at me like I’d lost it! Everyone was a little bit scared, but that’s good!”
Young previously helmed the popular long-running British soap opera EASTENDERS, which is known for doing special episodes, sometimes even featuring just a pair of actors for the entire half-hour episode that are known as “two-handers.” And he would like to bring that to this side of the pond at some point. “My ambition one day is to have just two actors in a room for the whole hour,” Young confided. “I think we can do it. We have the people.
“It would be talked about,” he continued. “You need those moments where you are part of the national conversation. Twitter, social media… it’s the new water cooler. You don’t want to miss out on something. That’s the benefit of continuing drama. If you can make the audience feel like they are part of the journey, they feel like if you miss a show, you do miss out!”
Despite Y&R’s recent successes, don’t look for the soap to rest on its laurels. “We’re pushing ourselves,” Young declared, “trying out our green screen, pushing the writers to do different things. We’ve tried to make the show smarter, the pace more contemporary. Y&R is a fantastic legacy to lean on, to be proud of, but we can’t rely on it. We’re only as good as our last show — but that’s kind of thrilling!”
For more Y&R news, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!