Life in Genoa City is, to put it mildly, complicated. And it turns out that it’s just as complex creating all those love triangles and temper tantrums for THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS! Soaps In Depth sat down with executive producer/ headwriter Mal Young for
Soaps In Depth: You recently introduced the Rosales family. What motivated you to bring them in?
Mal Young: In the early days, [Y&R’S creator, the late William J. Bell] started with the haves and have nots. Then the show went through different periods of development. Now there are a lot of rich people in [ Genoa City], which is great, because you can show that no matter if you are a billionaire, your life still sucks! (Laughs.) But I wanted to introduce a different class of people. The [ Rosale- ses] are blue- collar, but they’re also aspirational. That’s important for viewers to see. It feels like more of a realistic representation of life.
In Depth: Do you have a technique for introducing new characters?
Young: What we try to do is create a character, then live with him or her for three months, maybe lon- ger, so we know who they are. The character of Nate was on the canvas many years ago. But this is a new incar nation with Brooks Darnell. Or like Michael Mealor’s Kyle. We hand the character over to the actor, and they are now the custodian of the character. We want that. I love the vibe of writing for the actor. It becomes a two- way street,
[ blending] what we’re writing with the actor. There’s something exciting about that!
In Depth: Y&R looks fabulous right now. What changes have you been doing behind the scenes?
Young: We’ve changed the way we write the show a bit. When I came in, I wanted it to run like a primetime show. We have a writers’ room upstairs now and two storyliners, which was a position that didn’t exist before. They work with me on the long- term projection of the show but also the details of each day to get the best possible storytelling.
In Depth: Looking forward, what can we expect in overall storytelling?
Young: We’re turning up the heat! It’s not good enough to have Clif fhanger Fridays — we’ve got to have a cliffhanger every day! People don’t watch five days a week. They’ll pop in and out. We’ve got to really make it as compelling as possible with those big, talkedabout stories. We really want a good mix of the big drama moments, and the big, “Oh my God, I never saw that coming!” [shocks]. We love to play the game of, “Well, the audience will think this, so let’s do that.” When I watch TV, I want to be surprised and enthralled! I think we can bring a lot more humor to the show, but we also want deep emotions [to] make people cry or lean in on the edge of their seats!
“We’ve got to have a cliffhanger every day!”
Pick up the next CBS issue of Soaps In Depth (on sale Monday, October 15) for the rest of our chat with Young!
J.T.’S death was the mix of high drama and shocking moments for which Young strives.
The Rosaleses are helping Y&R get real.