We're Growing Restless Of Y&R's Dead-End Diane Jenkins Storyline

"The Young and the Restless" is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, an incredible feat for the daytime drama. It takes a lot of talented actors, stellar writing, and a loyal fanbase to achieve that level of success. However, the idea of "Y&R" reaching another milestone like that with the current product is incomprehensible, because nothing is really happening. If they've participated in November or May sweeps, it's difficult to tell. Every episode feels like the characters are in quicksand. 

Last year, Susan Walters made her grand return as Diane Jenkins, setting up a promising storyline of suspense and intrigue. It had the makings of a thrilling plot, but the show dropped the ball at every turn. As soon as Diane returned, she was at war with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford). With such prominent players on the show involved, it should have been a slam dunk. The foundation was set for Diane to face the music for abandoning her son, Kyle Abbott (Michael Mealor), and faking her death for several years, but everyone forgave her so casually.

It could have been top-tier, but Diane has still not been revealed as the criminal mastermind she's being made out to be. That hasn't stopped everyone from stopping their lives to take her down. Phyllis in particular has given up everything in her quest for revenge. However, there are no results to speak of. At what point do they get off this hamster wheel of monotony? 

Diane's storyline is bogging down every other character

Way too much effort and time is being put into the Diane Jenkins storyline, and the impact it's having on "The Young and the Restless" as a whole is concerning. Nothing is exciting or fresh anymore. Tuning into the series means watching everyone in town taking another ride on the "Diane is evil" train. A complex and dynamic character like Phyllis Summers has been relegated to doing nothing else besides obsessing over Diane, and is even facing prison time for faking her death to frame Diane for murder. It's difficult to recall the last time Phyllis was in a scene and didn't mention her nemesis in some capacity. 

One of the cornerstones of "Y&R" has always been the significance of family, but this storyline is tearing one of the best apart. Nearly every living branch of the Abbott family tree is immersed in this. Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) is on the verge of going to war against her brothers, Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) and Jack Abbott. The writers have Ashley so entirely laser-focused on taking down Diane that they're turning her against them in the name of this storyline. 

Even Diane's son, Kyle Abbott, is having his life torn apart because of this plot. After everything Kyle and his wife, Summer Newman (Allison Lanier), went through to be together, they're throwing it all away to position Diane as the show's new central figure. The show can't survive under these conditions. 

Either reveal Diane to be a villain or end the storyline

If "The Young and the Restless" is going to recover from this blunder of a storyline and save itself and its characters, there's a clear choice to be made. The show should either finally expose Diane as a secret schemer and villain this entire time, or drop the witch hunt and move on. There are no other options at this point. Remaining in the same tired "Diane is bad" story and then never showcasing anything she's doing wrong can't continue. 

There are many routes they could take to make it add up after all this time. Diane could have a secret motive uncovered, with the most obvious being a desire to acquire the Abbott fortune or the family company (Jabot Cosmetics). It would satiate all of her detractors in town, give Jack Abbott another heartbreak, and set up Diane as the next big villain on the show. 

If that route isn't acceptable, the opposite direction is still a suitable option. If everyone finally backed off Diane, accepted her as the woman in Jack's life, and moved on to other issues, this could work. This is the trickier option to pursue because of how much has been invested in painting Diane as the vixen of vitriol. Whatever the writers decide to do with the character, simply saying she's bad and having everyone hate her isn't working anymore. Give it up.