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'The Young and the Restless': Mariah character could sink or swim

Grimes' Mariah character is a stark contrast to those long-gone Cassie days.
Grimes' Mariah character is a stark contrast to those long-gone Cassie days.
Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images

Camryn Grimes obviously wanted to work on 'The Young and the Restless' again. That's why she accepted the show's offer to return to work full-time. But, her 'Mariah' character is a stark contrast to those long-gone 'Cassie' days. Can she make her new role work long-term?

Child actors run the gamut from great to forgettable, just like any adult thespian. In Grimes' case, she was universally applauded when she embodied the indelible 'Cassie' character many years ago.

The choice to kill 'Sharon' and 'Nick's' beloved daughter off was a true stunner. Highly-controversial at the time and questionable still, the decision represented a major storyline gamble by the powers-to-be at YR.

When rumors began circulating that Grimes was returning full-time last year, it was natural for the audience to think that 'Cassie' was going to move into some type of 'John Abbott' (Jerry Douglas) role. And, initially that appeared to be the case, as 'Sharon' and her dearly departed engaged in multiple conversations within the fictional walls of Genoa City.

In two well-scripted twists, Grimes not only was paid to pretend to be 'Cassie' by Victor (Eric Braeden), but also turned out to be 'Tyler's' jaded ex-girlfriend. Many devotees would be hard-pressed to honestly claim that they predicted either bizarre surprise.

Factor in 'Mariah's' revealed associated with 'Ian' (Ray Wise) and Grimes has quickly become a main player in numerous interconnected storylines. So, executive producer Jill Farren Phelps has given this 24-year-old broad opportunity to work the room for as far as the CBS' eye can see.

Grimes has sharp acting chops, but is finding her way into this new role. At times her scenes seem somewhat strained. She's understandably trying to prove that she's not 'Cassie' anymore and that her range extends beyond that one favored character.

However, an evolving question has developed along the way. Will loyal viewers, who loved 'Cassie' way back when, and newer fans of the show find 'Mariah' to be consistently compelling now?