Having been appearing on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS since 1938, it’s naturally very difficult for Lauralee Bell (Christine) to choose a favorite storyline out of the many that she’s told on the long-running CBS soap. “Oh my gosh, that’s so hard to say,” she admitted when Soaps In Depth posed that very question to her.
The actress admitted that while she and her father, Y&R co-creator William J. Bell, would never really disagree, when she was younger she did question some of the choices he made on the soap. “Every time in the summer when there was a message storyline like, ‘It’s okay to say no to sex and drugs’ or date rape or alcoholism or whatever,” Bell recalled. “I would get really nervous because I felt for teens, it could come off as preachy. They want to watch two kids fall in love. They don’t want to be preached to.
“But my dad did it in such a great way,” she added. “Where he’d get the message across in an entertaining way. So after I grew up and I made a web series called MI PROMISE to get kids to not text and drive, I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, here I am doing this little love story to try and teach these kids not to text and drive.’ But in a way that’s identifiable and it’s not like they’re being preached to.”
So while Bell conceded that it’s impossible for her to pick one story out of the many powerful tales that have been told over the years, she now understands exactly what her father was going for in storylines like Cricket’s date rape. “My dad would say it is our responsibility as writers knowing that date rape statistics are going up, we have to address this,” she revealed. “Doug [Davidson, Paul] sent me a clip of when we were on PHIL DONAHUE and I hadn’t seen that clip in probably 20 years. Of my character and Derek where he… went too far in the date.
“And I was like, wow,” Bell continued. “I knew he was brilliant and smart but he was so right to tackle these subjects. So anyway, it’s a very long answer, but I think all those message storylines. My mother having AIDS… anything that told a story about what was important at that time.”