By Melody Brunson
WASHINGTON — I am a confessed hopeless addict. And, after a conversation this week, even my co-workers know the ugly truth. I rarely go an entire week without catching up on my soap opera - The Young and the Restless.
This devotion to the steamy, emotionally twistedness in Genoa City, Wis., didn’t just evolve. This year Y and R is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
And if you must know, I believe my entanglement in the drama playing out on my family’s black and white 19-inch Sylvania, pulling local channels with a set of rabbit ears, started when I was but a child.
I was a devotee of all the drama from the Phillip Chancellor mansion, and the Abbott-Newman feuds - and back then, the wealthy Brooks family and the working-class Fosters.
This spring, as each episode opened with a long-time cast member recalling his or her early days on the show, I would remember scenes from the good ole days when I had a crush on rock star Danny Romalotti and Dr. Snapper Foster (born William Foster Jr. in case you didn’t remember), played by David Hasselhoff.
Michael Damian, a real rock star and an 18-year veteran of The Y and R, still makes guest appearances as Romalotti on the show today. I’ll always remember the night on the campus at Vincennes University when, with my press pass around my neck, I was allowed backstage at Damian’s concert at Green Auditorium. He turned 51 last month, but is still very handsome. I’d probably still go to his show if he ventured this way again.
My mother was a devout Christian woman who tried to raise her three girls to always do the right thing. But, she must have had a soft spot for the soap opera herself, or maybe she just didn’t want to hear us whine.
Of course, we couldn’t watch the show most of our school years - at least not until the invention of the VCR. However, we could catch up on all the action over summer break.
Although Mother always had us busy outside with the yard, gardens and farm animals, we were allowed to go inside for lunch break just as the show began Ð which back then was 11 a.m., and it only last for 30 minutes. I probably did a celebration dance when CBS changed it to one-hour episodes in 1980.
I can still watch a one-hour episode in about 30 minutes, thanks to DVR and the ability to quickly skip through commercials. My husband says I could bypass a year’s worth of shows and not miss a storyline, but I’ve been brave enough to see if that’s true.
If it makes you feel any better about my ability to work fulltime in a demanding job, keep a household organized, chauffeur girls to piano and athletics, feed my family and keep clean clothes in our closets, and still nurse an addiction, please understand the value of newest technology on any TV in the house.
I can cook dinner, clean the floors, wash dishes, fold clothes and answers e-mails on computer, all while enjoying a little of Lauren’s current passionate extra-marital escapades with Carmine, or the warped affairs of Nick, Avery, Sharon, Adam, Chelsea, Dylan and all the rest of the clan in Genoa City who make the show - yes, very much addicting.
Melody is about to embark on a landscaping project which means all her spare time will be spent outdoors for the next several weeks. Thankfully, with lots of digital storage via satellite, she won’t miss an episode of her favorite show.