Soap viewers who worried that The Young and the Restless might rush through its current breast cancer storyline have since realized that the CBS drama is taking its time in unfolding the emotional situation that beloved character Sharon Newman has found herself facing. The care the powers that be have taken to tell this story harks back to the early days of the soap, when creator William Bell would indulge in long, emotional beats that are much different than the fast pace at which many soap stories are told today. Fans have noticed the change of speed, as has Sharon's portrayer, Sharon Case.
"A storyline like this does have a different pace. I enjoy playing that pace. I like to think a lot in my scenes. I like to take more beats. Sometimes that works more for certain storyline and, yes, this is one of them," the actress tells TV Insider. "This pacing is familiar to us. It's the way Bill Bell wrote the show...I can jump back into that!"
One example is the Friday, February 7, episode of Y&R, in which Sharon has a dream that reunites her with her dead daughter, Cassie (Camryn Grimes, who also plays Mariah Copeland). The special episode focuses solely on Sharon and the fears that she has been experiencing since being diagnosed with breast cancer. It's an emotionally wrought episode that took its toll on Case -- though in the best possible way.
"That was fun and also it was the craziest day ever, ever, for me. It's unusual to have a day when you're pretty much in the entire script," she explains. "What made doing this one so exhausting was the material. There are a lot of emotions and Sharon's having a terrible nightmare. I think I did seven costumes changes that day. It was an exhausting day. It was the last day of shooting before we went on break at the end of the year. It was a great show. I really like when we do dream episodes. They're out of the box and fun. This episode is very scary."
The real fear for fans is whether or not Sharon's current health situation will take the character off the canvas. After all, many sick people claim to see late relatives before they themselves are about to die. As it stands, it seems likely that Sharon will survive her breast cancer scare (thank goodness!), so the fear can now translate to how this whole situation might affect Sharon's romantic life. Fans of Sharon's partnership with Rey (Jordi Vilasuso) fear that her diagnosis will take its toll on their somewhat new connection, while fans of Sharon's history with Nick (Joshua Morrow) fear that Rey might get in the way of a Shick reunion. So which camp should be shaking in their boots?
"In a way, this [story] has brought [Sharon and Rey] closer because Rey is always there for Sharon. However, she is not in the mood for romance right now. This has changed her focus," Case says, adding that even though romance isn't Sharon's focus at the moment, she isn't ruling out the possibility of her alter ego eventually reuniting with Nick. "Life has a way of leading us to where we want to be. Maybe Nick is the one? Sharon's had a lot of conversations with him about how she's too much of a caretaker. Maybe Nick isn't the one? Maybe what we will see is that what Sharon's going through will give her a new direction in life -- whatever that may be. She's going through discovery right now."
For more from Sharon Case on her emotional Y&R breast cancer storyline and what is in Sharon's future, read TV Insider's full interview with the actress here.
What do you think about the way Y&R is handling Sharon's breast cancer storyline? Are you happy to see Camryn Grimes reprise the role of Cassie? How do you think Sharon's health situation will affect her romantic life? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.