How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

 

Paul Skipper/JPI

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Get ready “Days of our Lives” fans, the NBC soap opera is gearing up for the networks coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and they don’t want you to miss out on all the action, intrigue and romance that daytime’s sexiest soap has to offer.

Beginning the week of August 11, “DAYS” will change gears and center itself on two simultaneous storylines for two weeks that are expected to be shear fun for the everyday soap fan.

“There will be a very exciting film noir piece. It’s Nicole’s drunken fantasy, and the hospital stuff will be enticing as well,” says a “Days of our Lives” spokeswoman.

From what we know, after witnessing a shocking event in the hospital, a drunken Nicole (Arianne Zucker) goes into a fantasy world where the people in her life are transformed into 1940′s characters. Included in this storyline are Alison Sweeney (Sami), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), James Scott (EJ), Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip) and Kristen Renton (Morgan). Soap Opera Network has also learned that Dattilo’s role will be as Lucas Horton, Private Investigator.

Paul Skipper/JPI

In addition to Zucker, the hospital storyline which kicks everything off includes the likes of Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), Stephen Nichols (Patch), Drake Hogestyn (John), Deidre Hall (Marlena), Joseph Mascolo (Stefano), Thaao Penghlis (Tony), and Leann Hunley (Anna).

According to Soap Opera Digest, after all the fun is over “Days of our Lives” will kick off a set of new and bigger ongoing storylines as the soap gets ready for the fall season.

In case anyone misses out on the fun and the excitement, NBC.com will feature daily episode recaps on its website.



My View of Llanview: July 30 Edition

Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:04 PM | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In 1968, “One Life to Live” created controversy with a storyline in which viewers outraged when they saw what they perceived to be a white woman kissing a black doctor. Forty years later, African-Americans in Llanview appear to be nonexistent.

The year 1968 was a rather turbulent time in American history. The Vietnam was well underway, nearly 200 hundred women protest the Miss America pageant calling it an exploitation of women, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 into law, Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated while campaigning for President in Las Angeles, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death by James Earl Ray in Memphis, and Richard Nixon captured the White House by defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey and American Independent Party candidate George Wallace. It had only been five years since the former Klan leader Wallace gave his infamous speech after being sworn in as the governor of Alabama: “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

It was turning this tumulus time in America, during a decade stained with political, gender, ethnic, and racial strife and unrest that Agnes Nixon created what would become “One Life to Live.” Following her success as a writer on NBC’s “Another World,” ABC approached Nixon about creating a new soap for their network. What she would create would be unlike anything on television at the time. Reportedly tired of the “WASPy non-controversial daytime drama format,” Nixon created a unique that would center around four distinct core families.
There were the upper class Lords, the upper middle class Siegels, and the blue collar Woleks and Rileys. And to compound matters even further Nixon developed the Siegels as the television’s first Jewish family.

Nixon presented her concept to network executives, which she had tentatively titled “Between Heaven and Hell.” Concerned that the title of the soap combined with the storyline ideas were too controversial, Nixon and ABC compromised by changing the title to “One Life to Live.” Even so, the original opening sequence of the daytime drama (which lasted until 1975) featured a roaring a fireplace behind the words “One Life to Live.”

Not long after the then-thirty minute “One Life to Live” premiered at 3:30 pm et on July 15, 1968, controversy began to erupt. At first everything appeared normal for a 1960s soap. An African-American character named Sadie Gray was introduced. At first Sadie was portrayed simply as a close neighbor of the Wolek family, and as the Assistant Head of Housekeeping at Llanview Hospital. However, all was not as it seemed. Privately, Sadie longed to find her daughter Clara had run away from home in 1959 at the age of fifteen. Since that time, Sadie had been unable to contact her daughter. By October, another new character made her way to Llanview. Her name was Carla Benari, a struggling white actress.

Not long after arriving in Llanview, Carla was admitted to Llanview Hospital seeking treatment for appeared to be cirrhosis of the liver. Carla’s attention soon caught the attention of Dr. Jim Craig, a widower with a teenage daughter named Cathy. After studying her case, Dr. Craig concluded that an emotional problem could be the cause of her medical condition. Soon, the doctor began to fall in love with his patient, and a short time later Dr. Craig asked Carla to marry him. Although she responded favorably to his proposal, deep down Carla knew something wasn’t right. Although Dr. Craig would be able to offer her companionship, warmth, and financial security, she realized she was not in love with him.

Conflicted, Carla struggled with her emotions. Meanwhile, Dr. Craig, citing a conflict of interest, assigned Carla’s case to a young African-American intern named Dr. Price Trainor. After months of arguing and butting heads, Carla’s defenses eventually began to wear down, and she began to develop feelings for the young, black intern. Eventually, Carla confessed to Dr. Trainor “It’s a chemistry that makes us fight every time we encounter each other!”

Soon the young intern began to fall in love with his patient, while at the same time feeling guilty for being a black man in love with a white woman. Carla meanwhile, had recovered and was released from the hospital. Shortly thereafter, she took a job as Dr. Craig’s secretary. It was around this time that the romance between Carla and Price Trainor began to heat up. Their growing feelings for one another eventually resulted in a kiss. It was the kiss heard around the country as hundreds of angry viewers called into ABC to protest what they perceived to be a white woman kissing a black man. The uproar became so great that, for a time, one ABC affiliate in Texas dropped “One Life to Live” from their program schedule.

As the months went by, the storyline would soon take yet another shocking twist. One day after work, Carla decided to pay a surprise visit to Anna Wolek, whom she had become acquitted with at Llanview Hospital. But after knocking on her door a few times, she received no answer. As she was about to leave, Sadie Gray, the Wolek’s neighbor from across the hall, opened her door to announce that: “I’m sorry miss. The Woleks aren’t home. Can I take a message for you?” As she turned around to thank Sadie, Carla was frozen stiff. After several minutes of looking intently at one another, Sadie finally whispered “Clara!” Carla responded by calling her “Mama!” At last the truth was revealed, Carla Benari was really Sadie’s long missing daughter Clara Gray. This forced the audience into the realization that the character they had become invested in over the preceding months was not a white woman, but instead a light skinned black woman.

The revelation also changed those involved in the much-publicized recent controversial kiss, making it Carla and Dr. Craig who were part of the scandalous relationship, and not Carla and the black intern Dr. Price Trainor. Even so, the point was proven that America wasn’t quite ready for the racial lines between black and white to become colorblind in the name of love. In this regard, Agnes Nixon had created a storyline that was socially relevant at the time, and one that caught people’s attention and had them turning in each day to see what would happen next.

But what did happen in the weeks and months following that sensational kiss and the revelation that Carla was Sadie Gray’s long-lost African American daughter? Well, for starters, viewers were treated to rather emotional scenes between Carla and Sadie as daughter confessed to mother why she ran away from her life. Sadie blamed Carla for turning her back on her family, friends, and her heritage, especially in regards to being in love with a black doctor while being engaged to a white one. Carla responded by declaring that she didn’t ask to be born with lighter skin than most other black people, and that throughout her life she had suffered for “not being black enough.” As her emotions continued to poor out, Carla would also blast her mother for her lonely childhood. She reminded Sadie how she had always cared for other children as a maid and nanny, while Carla would be left home alone after school. And when she did come home she was too exhausted to pain much attention to Carla. And to rub salt into the wound, Carla declared “You had used up everything that you had to give on strangers that I didn’t even know.”

Fortunately, as the weeks went by, Carla and Sadie eventually reached an understanding. Carla faced the reality that she was who she was, and she couldn’t pretend to be someone that she wasn’t. She terminated her engagement to Dr. Craig (who would eventually find love in the arms of Anna Wolek), and confessed her secret to an angry Price Trainor. Carla’s newfound happiness was shortlived as Price denounced Carla for rejecting her race, something he himself was quite proud of. Even so, eventually they toyed with the idea of marriage, much to the dismay of Price’s disapproving, snotty mother Grace. Thinking that a housekeeper’s daughter was no where near good enough for her precious, wonderful son, Grace Trainor reminded her son that “There’s so much more to being ‘right’ for each other than love.” Although she cared for Price deeply, Carla was unable to accept the fact that he allowed his mother to make his decisions for him.
When that failed to result in the desired response, Grace pulled some strings to get Price a fellowship at Edinburgh University in Scotland in the United Kingdom. Now Price was forced to choose between his career and the woman he loved.

Although he trusted her advice, Carla reminded Price that she could not make the decision for him. She wrote him a note in which she stated “I just won’t decide for you. Since it’s your life… it has to be up to you.” Afterward, Carla who had left Llanview for a week, returned to discover that Price had left for Scotland. He did so with great remorse, however, after mistakenly believing that Carla’s passive attitude in her letter was a hint for him to leave). Price’s departure left Carla brokenhearted. However, she would soon find comfort in the arms of the prominent Bert Skelly, Llanview’s new black district attorney.

Bert Skelly was a shrewd politician who promised Carla that he could her everything her heart desired. Despite this, Carla began to have eyes for Police Lt. Ed Hall. Ed was everything that Bert was not, a blue collar working man who considered Carla to be stuck up and snobby. Eventually, however, Ed and Carla fell in love and were joined in matrimony in 1973. Also, around this time they finalized the adoption of a troubled young black boy named Joshua West (who took the name Hall following the adoption). At last, Carla appeared to have the life she had dreamed of. Also in the mix was Ed’s brother Gus, who became a recurring character in Llanview, and served as Ed’s best man in his wedding to Carla.

But all good things must come to an end. As the 1970s began to wind down, Ed, Carla, Josh, and Sadie gradually found their way to the back burner. By 1979, Carla had divorced Ed to wed Dr. Jack Scott, the surgeon who had operated on Ed’s recent heart condition. The following year, in 1981, Dr. Scott was killed off and Carla decided to leave Llanview. She would return over two years later and explained that she had attended law school during her hiatus from Llanview. After becoming the Assistant District Attorney, she was forced to prosecute Ed following a police sting gone bad. In 1985, Carla left Llanview for good after accepting a job as a judge in Arizona, never to return or be mentioned again. Shortly thereafter, the characters of Sadie, Josh, and Gus also faded from view.

Ed, meanwhile, would continue to call Llanview home for a few more years to come. He would become a Captain in the Llanview Police Department, however his scenes increasing more infrequent. Following Carla’s (Ellen Holly) departure from Llanview, Ed Hall (Al Freeman Jr.) was downgraded to a recurring character in Llanview before fading into oblivion in 1988.
Not much was heard from the Ed during the next dozen years until the year 2000, when his and Carla’s grandson Jared (supposedly from Josh) arrived in Llanview. Jared, following in the footsteps of his grandmother, became Llanview’s Assistant District Attorney. Jared (Herve Clermont) was introduced as having attended law school with established character Sam
Rappaport, had a checkered past. As he faced review from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Sam defended his friend in court. During the trial, Ed Hall was called to the stand to testify in his grandson’s defense. Following the conclusion of the trial, Ed Hall quickly and quietly disappeared once more. Grandson Jared would soon follow suit in 2001, following a brief relationship with Rachel Gannon, the bi-racial daughter of Nora Buchanan and Hank Gannon. Since that time the Hall’s have become an afterthought to the citizens of Llanview.

In 1998, Ellen Holly wrote a tell all memoir about the back stage prejudice she faced while working on “One Life to Live.” The book, entitled One Life: An Autobiography of an African American Actress, centers around how the African-American cast members of “OLTL” were pushed out in favor of their white counterparts. She specifically mentions then “OLTL” Executive Producer Paul Rauch (1984-1991), who systematically eradicated Llanview of diversity in 1986. Holly tells of how actress Lillian Hayman, who portrayed Carla’s mother Sadie Gray, was unceremoniously fired from “OLTL.” According to Holly, Hayman was unaware of her dismissal until an assistant to Rauch caught up with her in the parking garage one day at the studio, and informed her that “Mr. Rauch wants you to know that you just worked your last day.”

It would be several more years until African-Americans would be prominently featured again in Llanview. Following the departure of the show’s core African-American cast members; black people in Llanview were mainly reduced to background shots and bit parts. Meanwhile, the soap’s white cast members were given major storylines. Despite this disappointing reality, other minorities began to command airtime on “OLTL.” During the late 1980s as “OLTL” became a camp fest and larger than life thanks to Rauch, several actors of Mexican, Spanish, and South American decent began to appear on “OLTL.” Among them were Gabrielle Medina (Fiona Hutchison), Maria Vasquez Roberts (Barbara Luna), and Cord Roberts (John Loprieno). While these characters, and others like them, became intricate parts of the “OLTL” storylines of the late 1980s and early 1990s, it would be several more years until African-Americans would again take center stage in Llanview and on “OLTL.”

That year would turn out to be 1992, when Llanview’s next prominent African-American family would arrive. This go around it would be the Gannon family, which included football player turned District Attorney Hank, his white attorney ex-wife Nora, their bi-racial drug addicted daughter Rachel, and Hank’s seedy brother R.J. Time and space constraints prevent me from delving too deep into their stay in Llanview, but here are a few highlights. While married to Hank, Nora had an affair with his brother RJ. Daughter Rachel briefly dated Victoria Lord’s son Kevin Buchanan. RJ discovered a daughter he never knew he had in Keri Reynolds.
And Antonio Vega and Keri married only to break-up, but not before having a daughter named Jamie. The divorce would drive Keri to kill herself and RJ to fight Antonio for custody (with the aide of Lindsay Rappaport). I realize that I’m not doing this storyline justice, but that is the jest of it.

While the Gannons were heavily featured in storylines throughout the 1990s, by the year 2000, they were placed on the back burner. Hank was written off “OLTL” in 2003, while R.J., who was bumped to recurring in 2007, is rarely seen in Llanview these days. Rachel moved back to Chicago, and only Nora has remained. Following her divorce from Bo Buchanan, she has been involved with several men, the most recent of which is Bo’s brother Clint. Nora is also the Llanview District Attorney. One of the few Jewish characters on television, Nora’s religion is rarely mentioned in recent years.

Adding to the diversity in Llanview in the mid-1990s, the Latino Vega family was introduced. Headed by matriarch Carlotta Vega, the clan was portrayed as a blue collar working family. Although Carlotta ran the diner she and her late husband had successfully built and managed, her sons Antonio and Cristian constantly gave their mother trouble. Antonio was a gang leader in the Angel Square section of Llanview. He was released from prison after proving that he killed a man in self-defense, and soon became a lawyer and then a cop. It was there we married his white partner, Andy Harrison and the husband and wife settled in California. After returning to town, he married R.J. Gannon’s daughter, discovered his real father was Manuel Santi, head of a crime syndicate and that Carlotta was really his aunt and Cristian his cousin. He married Jessica Buchanan, only to divorce her when she had an affair with Nash Brennan. Most recently, he has the hots for Syrian Talia Sahid. Much to Antonio’s dismay, Talia broke the news to Antonio that his longtime adversary Carlo Hesser is her biological father. Carlotta’s other son Cristian, a talented artist, was once involved with Jessica Buchanan when were teenagers, and nearly married her after learning she was pregnant with Will Rappaport’s baby. His love for Jessica caused him to think he could raise the baby as his own. A few years later, he marries Jessica’s sister Natalie and shortly thereafter disappears. He returns and is programmed to kill Antonio by Carlo Hesser. Fortunately, Cristian ends up killing Antonio’s other brother Tico Santi and is sent to prison, where his memories come flooding back. Eventually he is released from prison by Llanview’s newest attorney, African-American Evangeline Williamson in late 2005. Eventually, they fall in love and he helps her after she is blinded for a time. Evangeline also helps clear Cristian of charges of fixing boxing matches when shady African-American businessman confesses to the crime. Cristian is angry when Todd Manning pays a high priced doctor to help Evangeline regain her sight. But they get back together just as she is injured during a hate crime attack with leaves her in a coma. After sleeping with Blair Cramer, he falls in love with Sarah Roberts (daughter of Tina Lord and Cord Roberts), and ends up attempting to save her when Carlo sends her sailing down a river and over a waterfall in Mendorra. In his earlier days Cristian sculpted the Angel statue in Angel Square. As for Carlotta, she moved from being Dorian’s maid to diner owner to the occasional shoulder for Antonio and Cristian to lean on when they are in need of advice. But beyond that, Carlotta has been reduced to nothing more than a background character at the present time. Before I move on, I don’t want to forget to mention Adriana Cramer. Introduced as Adriana Colon, a family friend of the Vegas, it is soon revealed that she is the result of an affair between Dorian Cramer Lord and the late Manauel Santi. As a result, this makes her a niece to Carlotta, cousin to Cristian, and half-sister to Antonio. Recently, Adriana paid off Brody Lovett, ex-boyfriend to her husband’s former girlfriend Gigi Morasco to keep her away from Rex, with the help of her good friend, Evangeline’s sister Layla Williamson. Rex found out and Adriana left Llanview for Europe. Once again, it’s hard to fit all the storylines of the Vega family into one paragraph, so my apologizes for omitting so many details.

Other minority characters worth mentioning over the past two decades include homosexual teen Billy Douglas (whose outing revealed just how homophobic Llanview was in the early 1990s), Tea Delgado (whom Todd Manning paid to marry him to help him keep custody of his daughter, was pushed out a window by Blair Cramer, and who Todd eventually fell in love with), the original Blair Cramer Manning (who was portrayed by Japanese-American actress Mia Korf from 1991-1993), and Irish poet and Marty Saybrooke’s love interest Patrick Thornhart (portrayed by German-American actor Thorsten Kaye). In addition in the early years of this decade, “OLTL” attempted diversity again by introducing the “Love Center Crew,” featuring Marcie Walsh, Jen Rappaport, and several new minority characters forced to live and work together in order to graduate from Llanview University. The group, which had Viki Davidson as their den mother, featured African-American, Asian, and homosexual characters. However, nearly all them would soon be killed off by the Killing Club Murderer. And who could forget how “OLTL” treated a storyline involving bi-sexual District Attorney Daniel Colson. In case you forgotten, in 2005, after the reveal that Daniel Colson had killed Paul Cramer, he then framed his son Riley’s girlfriend Jen Rappaport for the murder in an attempt to find his sexual orientation. When Jen finally learned the truth, Daniel suffocated her in a parking garage on Mother’s Day, as her mother Lindsay waited for Jen to take her out to dinner. The shock and media frenzy, which resulted when the truth was finally revealed, caused his wife Nora Hannen to suffer a stroke and slip into a coma.

Which brings us to 2007, and then “OLTL” Head Writer Dena Higley’s poison penned attempt to craft a hate crimes storyline for the soap. In theory, the idea may have sounded plausible, but in reality it was a severly-misguided attempt to return “OLTL” to its former glory. The storyline involved the arrival of baseball player turned underwear model Tate Harmon to Llanview. On the surface, Tate seemed nice, but he harbored a deep secret; one which Rex Balsom was desperate to uncover. While Rex thought Tate was gay, in reality he was white supremacist and head of the group “One Pure People.” His targets were many: Nora Hannen and her son Matthew (who were Jewish), Cristian and Antonio Vega and Andriana Cramer (Latino), Talia Sahid (Syrian), Evangeline and Layla Williamson and Vincent Jones (African-American), as well as others. His daring plan went so far as to bomb Llanview Hospital, place poison gas in Cristian Vega’s loft, set fire to Capricorn, and torch Nora’s house with her and Matthew still inside. Fortunately, Talia Sahid shot him while holding Adirana Cramer, Layla Williamson, Rex Balsom, and Vincent Jones hostage on a rooftop. Also, no one was seriously harmed except Evangeline Williamson, who was knocked into a coma. When Tate’s father Kirk discovered what his son was involved with, he took the rap and went to prison to protect him. However, he later had a change of heart, but was killed before he could confess his son’s activities to police. Eventually, Tate was found guilty and sent to prison, where he was given a black cellmate.

Had the arsonist in this storyline been an established character, or a returning character to Llanview, viewers might have invested their time in the storyline. But, by having the arsonist be a new character that no one really cared about, the storyline quickly fell flat. However, you have to at least give “OLTL” credit for attempting to recapture their original vision of telling socially relevant storylines, however mismanaged this attempt may have been.

Before I forget, I feel the need to comment on the soap’s recent list of special musical talents that have stopped by Llanview. It is important to note that while African-Americans have largely disappeared from the “OLTL” canvas, the show has been successful in landing several prominent African-American musicians over the years. The list ranges from Little Richard and Sammy David Jr. to Nelly Furtado, Mary J. Blige, Timabland, and Snoop Dogg.

It is now 2008, forty years since “One Life to Live” first aired on ABC. While certain aspects of the show have survived over the years, others such as the diversity of the cast, have not. In 1968, Agnes Nixon made headlines by introducing a light skinned black woman named Carla Benari tried to pass herself off as a white woman, who eventually created controversy by kissing a white doctor. In 2008, trying to find an African-American in Llanview is like trying to find Waldo in an Independence Day parade. Currently there is only one African-American cast member on contract with the soap (Tika Sumpter as Layla Williamson), however she hasn’t been seen in nearly three months. For others remain on recurring status with the show: Tobias Truvillion, who portrays Vincent Jones and is on his way out; Sean Reinggold who plays a bodyguard named Shaun, Mario D’Leon who plays another bodyguard named Keyshawn “Keys” Reddick, and Timothy D. Stickney as R.J. Gannon. However, all four of the African-American recurring cast members receive rather limited airtime, and are primarily used only to support other characters in their storylines. Otherwise, their importance in limited to mostly ‘filler’ scenes. The only other African-American characters seen in today’s Llanview are extras and dayplayer roles such as waiters, business patrons, and police officers. Other minority characters currently in Llanview include Markko Riveria (who busts tables at the diner), Langston Wilde (whose deceased parents were of Columbian decent), the aforementioned Vega family and Talia Sahid, Noelle Ortiz (waitress at the Bon Jour Cafe in Paris, Texas), and the rarely heard, but often scene background character of Carmen the diner waitress.

Even though “OLTL” can claim to have five African-American cast members as part of their cast, how many of their characters rise above common black stereotypes. Only one out of the five in my opinion, Miss Layla Williamson. The one contract African-American cast member on “OLTL” is half-owner of a lingerie company called Exposed, and appears to be making a decent living. The four recurring African-American cast members are not so lucky. Vincent Jones is a former mobster, who once tried to rig boxing matches by drugging Cristian Vega so that he would lose matches, and he would make money by betting against his own client. Eventually however, he confessed to his crime and promptly faded into the background. He will be leaving Llanview once Layla dumps him after discovering that he has been cheating on her. Saun and Keys are both portrayed as body guards who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty if it means making a few extra bucks. Shaun once earned a living doing Vincent’s dirty work. And, as mentioned earlier in this article, R.J. Gannon has a long history of run-ins with the law. Although he has somewhat managed to reform himself in recent years, he has found out that the past is hard to run away from.

So my question is this, “What has happened to all the diversity in Llanview?” In a sense, where have all the black people gone? How realistic is it to believe that in a major city such as Llanview that nearly everyone is white and rich? Seriously? Even the poor white people in Llanview seem to have an time surviving. Gigi and Brody, neither of which have a job, are living comfortably with Shane in Viki’s cottage house, Cristian Vega is able to keep his loft despite the fact that he is no longer able to paint thanks to a hand injury, Charlie Banks is able to stay at the Angel Square Hotel even though he can’t land a job, and even Rex Balsom manages to hang on to his apartment, despite the fact the so-called PI hasn’t had a case in ages. What happened to all the blue-collar characters who are forced to work for a living? What happened to the Woleks and Siegels? In essence, what happened to the diversity that “OLTL” became known for 40 years ago?

In the first edition of his 1985 book, The Soap Opera Encyclopedia , Christopher Schemering describes “OLTL” as “the most peculiarly American of soap operas: the first serial to present a vast array of ethnic types, broad comic situations, a constant emphasis on social issues, and strong male characters.”While that statement accurately depicts the early years of the soap’s history, it has become increasing more difficult to relate it today’s vision of “OLTL.”

Never was “OLTL’s” present lack of diversity more glaring than in Head Writer Ron Carlivati’s recent tribute to the daytime drama’s 40th anniversary. While the tribute was nicely done and touching, it in no way, shape, or fashion resembled the Llanview of 1968 (or 1978 for that matter). All the storylines revisited for those two special episodes were from 1987 and 1988…but nearly the first twenty years of “OLTL” were strangely omitted from the tribute. The only thing even remotely connected to the 1968-1987 time frame on “OLTL” showcased in the 40th anniversary salute was the rebroadcast of the original opening sequence (which lasted from 1968-1975), which was shown on the first day of the two-day salute, and the all to brief recreated scene we treated to in which Victor Lord told Viki how that someday all would be hers, including The Banner newspaper. Beyond the brief reminder of show’s original diversity and title “Between Heaven and Hell” from that original symbolic hellfire opening, no mention whatsoever was made concerning the dynamic African-American storyline which captured viewers attention in 1968. The tribute more resembled a 20th, rather then a 40th, anniversary.

Oh sure, characters Bo and Rex were transported back in time to 1968 after being struck by lightning. But they went back to the Buchanan Ranch in Texas, and not to Llanview. While I get the special nod to the year of the show’s creation, the Buchanan family was not a part of “OLTL” in 1968. In fact, the Buchanan’s didn’t arrive in town until 1979 and 1980. And, while it is interesting to see just what the Buchanan clan was like more than twenty years before they came to town, I would much rather see what Llanview looked like 40 years ago. Just imagine seeing younger versions of Vicki, Meredith, Larry, Vince, and Anna Wolek, and of course Carla and Sadie Gray. I get the fact that society has changed over the past 40 years, and that interracial marriage and relationships are more commonplace here in 2008, but the storyline could still have been revisited. Much the way the Bo/Rex 1968 storyline is dealing with the war in Vietnam (which both Robert S. Woods and his character Bo fought in), the Carla Gray storyline could have been revisited in historical context to show how African-Americans were treated in 1968 America, and how those attitudes have changed in the past 40 years. But instead, we saw nothing but rich white characters, with an occasional Latino character thrown into the mix. And there was not a single black person to be found in either one of “OLTL’s” 40th anniversary tribute episodes, even though they are at least partly responsible for the early success of the daytime drama. At least a picture from Carla and Ed’s wedding was among the dozen or so special promotional images from the past 40 years that ABC released to commemorate “OLTL’s” 40th anniversary.

Recently, following the airing of the 40th anniversary episodes, “OLTL” held a party for cast and crew in honor of the event. It was there that “OLTL” creator Agnes Nixon recalled how the story of Carla Gray, a black woman passing herself off as white, prompted viewer protests in 1968. She remembered one letter in particular from a viewer which read ”I want to protest her kissing that black doctor. But I’m confused. If it turns out that she’s black, I want to protest her kissing that white doctor.” Quite a change from the viewer response “OLTL” gets today, which likely includes things like wanting more airtime for a certain character or asking for an autographed picture of their favorite cast member. Gone is the controversy and viewer unrest over socially relevant storylines. Gone are the days when “OLTL” mirrored real life. Those days have been replaced with time travel, trips to heaven, and people being kidnapped and set plunging to their doom over a waterfall in a small fictitious European principality. Not that it isn’t a nice escape from reality, but it certainly isn’t groundbreaking television. But to quote the legendary Walter Cronkite “that’s the way it is.” It likely won’t change, and will probably stay just the way it is. Don’t get me wrong, I still love “OLTL,” but would give anything to see more of exactly what “OLTL” was like before my birth in December 1979. But I’m afraid that since many of the old tapes of the show were either reused or destroyed those days may be gone forever.

It was at that same party that long-time “OLTL” cast member Erika Slezak made the statement ”It’s amazing that that was only 40 years ago and the world is so different that now we have a black man running for president.” So true Erika, so very true. Forty years ago “OLTL” had a rather diverse cast, and many an African-American youth only dreamed of someday running for President. Today we have an African-American running for President for the first time on a major party ticket. However, at the same time, African-Americans on “OLTL” (as well as other soaps) have become nearly non-existent. The more things change, the more they stay the same I suppose. At least programs like “One Life to Live,” which helped pushed the envelope of what was acceptable in society during a turbulent time in American history, helped get us to where we are today. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud of his nation today. And that is something that even this white boy from a small Kentucky town that is over 98% Caucasian can appreciate.

But at least I can take solace in the fact that still have “One Life to Live.” That’s all for now, please join me again on August 15th for another installment of “My View of Llanview.” Until then, take care and enjoy your “One Life.” Good day.



Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:00 PM | By Angela Rosa


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Life changing decisions.

THIS WEEK ON: ALL MY CHILDREN

Frankie asks Randi out on a real date. Tad confronts Krystal on choosing to lie for Adam over trusting him. Colby attends an AA meeting with JR’s prodding but continues to deny that she has a problem. Babe and Amanda are fed up with Kendall and Greenlee’s work ethic. Kendall manages to smooth the waters with the ladies and convinces them to not abandon Fusion. Adam accuses Erica of just being concerned with getting Samuel into bed when she implores him to help out Dre. Carmen pays the price of defending her former cellmate’s honor on Wednesday, August 6. Fletcher tells Frankie he’ll leave Randi in peace, and alive, if Frankie buys her from him. Amanda mentions the prospect of a job at Fusion to Randi upon a chance encounter. Frankie is aloof with a confused Randi when he arrives for their date. Jake is intrigued by a woman he encounters while jogging.

The Inside Story: What Truths May Come

Tad, Krystal, Adam and Samuel converge at the police station where Jesse puts the pressure on the kids. Dre is moved by his father’s affectionate declaration. Dre convinces the girls that they need to tell the truth and confesses to being the one who was driving Colby’s car on Monday, August 4. Tad, Krystal, Adam and Samuel are affected after realizing why the kids tried to cover up their crime. Jesse arrests Dre and then also arrests Adam for interfering with the investigation. Jack, Samuel and Jesse speculate that Richie was already dead before the kids hit him with Colby’s car but Adam’s destruction of the aforementioned car makes proving that a very difficult task. Cassandra gives Jesse the cold shoulder as the Hubbard and Martin families gather for a barbeque. Tad and Jesse discuss Richie’s death. Jesse later follows his pal who goes to check out Annie’s car.

A Closer Look: Love and Marriage

Ryan gives Aidan the key that he and Kendall found, asking him to find out what it belongs to. Annie calls Zach when she’s unable to reach Ryan and plays out being the victim of a car accident. Ryan arrives at the hospital just in time to see a sonogram of his and Annie’s unborn child. A guilt-stricken Ryan tells Aidan to cease investigating his wife. An unstable Annie continues to play on Ryan’s guilt. Zach tells Kendall that they should take a brief “vacation” with the Lavery’s in order to find out what’s really going on with Annie. Ryan, Annie, Zach and Kendall board their flight to Las Vegas. As part of her and Zach’s mission to unearth some answers, Kendall tells Annie that she wants them to be friends again. Zach admits to Kendall that he thinks Annie knows more about Richie’s death than she’s saying.

Aidan and Greenlee enjoy the company of a sweet elderly couple they meet in Las Vegas. Ryan, meanwhile, can’t stop thinking about his ex-wife during the ride to Vegas. Greenlee decides to take Babs and Foster’s advice and example to heart and proposes to Aidan. Ryan, meanwhile, proposes that he and Annie renew their vows. Annie, Ryan, Zach and Kendall are on a collision course with Aidan and Greenlee on Friday, August 8, as the unsuspecting group heads to the same chapel where Greenlee and Aidan are becoming husband and wife.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF AUGUST 11, 2008

  • Monday: Ryan’s heart breaks as he watches Greenlee marry Aidan. Tad and Jesse have their doubts about Annie’s innocence. Cassandra and Dre find comfort with each other.
  • Tuesday: Annie is haunted by the ghost of Richie. Carmen and Randi clearly share a past connection. Krystal tells Adam that she doesn’t love him anymore.
  • Wednesday: JR sets his sights on taking over Fusion. Amanda reaches out to Randi as a friend. Jack comes to a conclusion about his and Erica’s relationship.
  • Thursday: Zach thinks he and Kendall should focus on themselves and not everyone else. Samuel can’t resist planting a kiss on Erica. Jake has his work cut out for him when he encounters his mystery woman.

  • Friday: Kendall questions Annie about the hidden key she found. Annie is taunted by visions of Richie. Kathy acts out against Krystal.



OLTL PreVUE: Week of August 4 Edition

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:00 PM | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Talia makes a deal with the devil in order to save her friends and loved ones.

THIS WEEK ON: ONE LIFE TO LIVE

While they are out shopping, Blair and Jack encounter Todd. Falling into their old familiar routine, Todd and Blair argue with one another. Afterward, Blair discovers a nightgown in one of her bags, and realizes that Todd must have bought it for his new ‘girlfriend.’ Starr and Cole are both heartbroken following their breakup. Dorian receives the cold shoulder when she crashes Viki’s goodbye party in search of Todd. Todd is filled with rage when he returns home to find Blair and Keys together. Todd immediately fires Keys, who doesn’t take the termination of his employment lying down. Blair and Todd have a major confrontation over the woman he is hiding upstairs. Meanwhile, Llanview Mayor Stan Lowell temporarily promotes John to the office of Police Commissioner, and plans to reinstate Bo to the position one he returns to town.

The Inside Story: Goodbye Mendorra, Hello Llanview

While still in Mendorra, Jonas shrewdly informs Talia that he has murdered Antonio. Afterward, Talia manages to ward off Jonas’ advances when he suggests they consummate their new marriage. Meanwhile, across the royal palace, Antonio devises a plan to disable the guards. A shocked Jonas and Talia are taken by surprise as Antonio barges into the room and runs off with Talia over his shoulder. At the same time, Cristian saves Tina and Cain just as they are about to lose their heads. Shortly thereafter, Antonio, Cristian, Talia, Tina, and Cain run toward an airstrip only to be confronted by Carlo and his goons. But just when all hope seems lost, Talia makes a bargain with Carlo by agreeing to remain in Mendorra if he allows the others to leave. When Antonio’s protests to Talia fall on deaf ears, he vows to return for her. Meanwhile, Cristian and Tina are left speechless when Sarah miraculously ‘returns from the dead.’ Back in Llanview, David Vickers makes a donation to the nuns at St. Ann’s in the form of his canine namesake. Back in Mendorra, Cain takes his leave by parachuting out of the plane with the crown jewels after confessing to Tina that he stole them back. However, Tina remembers that she hid the real jewels in doggie David Vickers’ jacket. After their plane finally arrives back in Llanview, Tina and Viki are reunited briefly before Viki leaves town to promote organ donation. Tess is none to pleased to discover that Auntie Tina will be staying at Llanfair. However, Tina and Natalie form a close bond. Also, Sarah and Cristian are very much in love. And Antonio faces an uphill battle in his attempts to bring Talia back to Llanview. Tina is delighted to have her hands once more on the Mendorran Crown Jewels.

A Closer Look: “There’s No Place Like Home”

Stuck in 1968, Bo (as Asa) ensures that history repeats itself by hiding from Clint the fact that Maria is pregnant with his baby. After encountering a man named Jeremiah at the Bon Jour Cafe, Bo and Rex are intrigued when he mentions a book about time travel and portals to other dimensions and universes. Their hope of returning to 2008 becomes stronger when Bo, Rex, and Jeremiah discover that Rex’s cell phone could lead them to a time portal. Rex makes a discovery and is disgusted at the idea that Bo will have sleep with Gigi’s double Emma in order for history not to be rewritten. Meanwhile, back in 2008, David is puzzled when he can’t see his reflection in a mirror. Back in the past, Rex contacts Professor Delbert Fina, author of the time travel book, and takes notice that she looks amazingly like a male version of Madame Delphina. Fortunately, Prof. Fina believes he can be of assistance to Bo and Rex. Meanwhile, in 2008, thinking she may be able to help, Madame Delphina is able to convince Gigi has Rex has gone back in time, resulting in Gigi asking Madame Delphina for her help. Brody intercepts Rex’s phone call to Gigi and thinks they are involved. Bo manages to force himself to act like his father and sends Maria away so history will repeat itself. Prof. Fina warns Bo and Rex that time is running out for them to return to the future. Meanwhile, Gigi and Madame Delphina set off on their journey to reach Rex.

What to Watch

  • Clint and Nora realize David is trying to con them.
  • Gigi gives into to Brody’s suggestion that they both work at Rodi’s.
  • Brody wants to be more than friends with Gigi.
  • Tess, still posing as Jessica, throws Viki a surprise going away party, and cannot wait for her to leave town.
  • Tess’ interest is quipped when Dorian mentions Victor Lord’s secret room beneath Llanfair.
  • Layla calls it quits with Vincent after discovering that he has been cheating on her.
  • Tess is forced to cover her tracks when a mechanic is certain the brakes on Natalie’s car were tampered with.
  • Tess contemplates her next move after Cristian drops the name of a shady contractor.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF August 11, 2008

  • Monday: Todd continues to make Marty feel sorry for him; Blair and John guess at the identity of the new woman in Todd’s life; Tess sets her new plan in motion.
  • Tuesday: Rex and Gigi desperately work toward one another; Marty is able to get Todd to open up about Blair; Tina and Cord’s reunion comes to an abrupt stop.
  • Wednesday: Time is nearly up for Bo and Rex; Gigi justifies her actions to Madame Delphina; Brody plans his next move.
  • Thursday: The love Gigi has for Rex allows her to overcome her fear of time travel; Tess vows that history will repeat itself; Natalie and Jared try to come to terms with their grief.

  • Friday: Gigi heads for the Buchanan Ranch in 1968; Todd attempts to persuade Starr to keep the baby; Blair throws caution out the window and has John on the brain.



Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:00 AM EST | By Errol Lewis



(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “Guiding Light’s” Robert Newman (Joshua Lewis) is returning to the Michigan stage courtesy of a new musical production from the Barn Theatre.

Newman has signed on to star in the musical production of “Shenandoah,” a story about Virginian farmer Charlie Anderson (Newman) and how his family struggles to stay together throughout the civil war. The production is based on the original 1965 screenplay by James Lee Barrett, which debuted in 1974 at the Goodspeed Opera House. Music by Gary Geld, lyrics by Peter Udell and a book by Udell, Philip Rose and James Lee Barrett.

Also starring in the musical are Joe Dely, J.P. Makowski, Isaac Bush, Alex Kip, Emily May Smith, Kevin White, Vaughn Schmidt, and Alyssa Schlageter.

“Shenandoah” opens at the Barn Theatre on Tuesday, August 5 at 8:30 PM and will play through August 17.

The Barn Theatre is located on M-96, west of Augusta . Tickets are $29.00 for all performances and Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Group prices available. The box office is open daily 10:00 am-10:00 pm . For tickets or more information call (269) 731-4121. On the web: www.barntheatre.com.

“Guiding Light” airs Weekdays on CBS. Anytime on CBS. Check local listings.




Wednesday, July 30, 2008 12:28 AM EST | By Errol Lewis



(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Just six months after joining “As The World Turns” in the contract role of Mike Kasnoff, Soap Opera Network has learned that Jon Prescott has been let go from the CBS soap.

According to a posting on his website, Prescott confirms his ouster citing budget constraints as the reason for his termination.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to the entire cast, crew, and production team who have made this an irreplaceable experience,” said Prescott. “I have been privileged to be a part of ‘As The World Turns’ and this concludes an invaluable education. Most importantly, thank you to the fans who have been energetic supporters of both Mike Kasnoff and the show as a whole. Stay tuned as I share my next creative challenge with you shortly.”

His last airdate is unknown at this time, but the actor is said to be appearing well into the fall.

Prior to joining “As The World Turns,” Prescott had a starring role in the MyNetwork TV series “Watch Over Me.” His other credits include guest-stints in “Las Vegas,” “CSI: NY,” and “Hot Properties.” He also hosted “Outdoor Investigations” in 2006 for the Outdoor Life Network. His film credits includes the 2006 film, “The Holiday,” starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jude Law and the 2007 film, “Careless,” co-starring Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”).

“As The World Turns” airs Weekdays on CBS. Anytime on CBS.com. Check local listings.




Monday, July 28, 2008 6:30 AM EST | By Errol Lewis


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — When you do what you think is right…how do you end up doing oh so wrong?

THIS WEEK ON: GENERAL HOSPITAL

Ric and Claudia form an alliance after Ric promises to figure out a way to get Johnny acquitted of the murder charges, while Claudia agrees to sleep with Ric in exchange for Johnny’s freedom. While at the apartment, Johnny is unaware that Lourdes knows the truth about Johnny and Lulu. Sal and Lourdes tell the story of how the Zacchara family destroyed theirs. Carly’s attempts to seduce Jax backfire, but she refuses to give up. Jerry is up to his old tricks when he tends to a meeting with Karpov. Despite warnings from Lucky, Sam accepts Karpov’s offer to captain one of his ships. Nadine plots to gain Matt’s trust.

A Closer Look: I Want to Believe

While this isn’t an “X-Files” movie, Jason wants to believe that Sonny hasn’t turned on him after he learns of Sonny’s dealings with Karpov from Ric. In need of digging up information, Jason enlists the help of Spinelli. However, after a conversation with Claudia, Jason is furious with Sonny and is out for blood. Claudia points out some hard truths to Jason. Diane warns Sonny against his dealings with Karpov, but Sonny refuses to believe that Jason would retaliate against him. Claudia finds Sonny and Ric together and questions Ric about his history with Sonny. Claudia has some words for Sonny. Sonny denies Claudia’s accusations, while Monica and Spinelli help Jason re-think his relationship with Sonny and how it has cost him. Jason interrupts a romantic evening between Sonny and Kate. Afterward, Jason runs into Elizabeth, Jake and Cameron in the park. Despite his desire to stay and be a family with Elizabeth, Jason allows himself to walk away.

The Inside Story: Eli Love Performs


Eli Love is having a concert in Port Charles and Robin sees this as an opportunity to help out her mother, who is down in the dumps over the end of her relationship with Eli. Robin forms a plan to get Anna to the Eli Love concert. At the concert, Anna finds herself snubbed by Eli, who has found himself a much younger woman. Wanting to prove that her mother is just as able as anyone younger than her, Robin has Max and Milo “kidnap” Eli in order to show him the real Anna Devane in action. Anna chastises Robin for setting up Eli’s phony kidnapping attempt. Eli is faced with the realities of life when an old girlfriend shows up with a young son in tow – his son. Matt overhears Eli’s statements of not wanting to be involved in the child’s life, while Patrick steps in and comforts the boy. Patrick warns Eli about what he is willing to throw away for his own selfish reasons. Anna finally wises up and dumps Eli, just before finding Noah a little more appealing.

What To Watch

  • Spinelli informs Maxie that they can no longer be friends.

General Hospital News and Headlines

  • Rolando Molina and Kristin Herrera joined the cast in the recurring roles of Sal and Lourdes on Wednesday, July 23.
  • Missed our casting updates on Friday, July 25? Check them out here.
  • “General Hospital” is working on a new opening sequence (see story).
  • On Tuesday, July 29, Eli Love performs the single “What’s Victoria’s Secret” from the Rick Springfield album Venus in Overdrive due out the same day. Also that day, look for Rick to perform the song on the syndicated talk-show “Live with Regis & Kelly.” Check local listings.
  • Speaking of “Live with Regis & Kelly,” actress Amber Tamblyn (ex-Emily) will appear on the show on Monday, July 28 to promote her new movie “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” due out for release on August 6. The film also stars Blake Lively (Serena, “Gossip Girl”), America Ferrera (Betty, “Ugly Betty”), and Alexis Bledel (“Gilmore Girls”).
  • Graham Shiels returns as Cody Paul on the August 6, 11 and 19 episodes of “GH.”

  • Genie Francis is returning as Laura Spencer beginning Tuesday, August 26 (see story). In the mean time, “Laura” can be seen via a body double beginning Tuesday, August 5.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF AUGUST 4, 2008

  • Monday, August 4: Jason confronts Sonny about his association with Karpov; Carly issues Kate a warning; Johnny can’t locate Lulu.
  • Tuesday, August 5: Carly fears the impending war between Sonny and Jason; Lulu visits Laura; Spinelli can’t keep up with Maxie.
  • Wednesday, August 6: Carly gets involved in dirty games; Johnny and Lulu are on the verge of discovery; Jerry has questions for Sam.
  • Thursday, August 7: Jason issues Karpov a warning; Lulu’s hallucinations continue; Sam and Jerry stand their ground with each other.

  • Friday, August 8: Jason and Carly’s lives are in danger; Sonny becomes Karpov’s enemy; Spinelli gets himself into hot water.


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Tragedy changes everything…
Sunday, July 27, 2008 11:10 PM | By Venus Stone

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Lives are forever changed and hard choices are made…

THIS WEEK ON:THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

Chloe is determined to claim her man at all costs when she doctors up a sonogram. Daniel and Amber have a heart-to-heart where he tells the blonde they should stick to being friends. Their moment is ruined when Adrian arrives. Neil and Tyra realize they have more in common than they thought. Cane is given the proof from Chloe while Lily has to make a decision that could change her life for good. Michael decides to go forth in looking for his father.

WHEN THE DUST SETTLES

Nick and Victoria get word about their mother being rushed to the hospital, Victor, learning of the car accident, rushes to the scene where he sees a criticallly injured David. Victor is told that the woman in the car with David has been rushed to the hospital, and Victor quickly thinks it is Nikki. Before he can head to the hospital, Victor realizes that it was Sabrina that was in the car with David. At the hospital, JT and Paul give Nikki and her family the news that David didn’t survive the car accident and that Sabrina was also in the car. Victor gets word from the doctor that Sabrina lost not only the baby but her life is fading fast due to a damaged liver. A defiant Victor refuses to believe the worst and promises his wife she will be fine.

Nikki, feeling fine after her ordeal, finds herself going to the ICU to peek in on Sabrina and sees Victor exchanging an emotional plee to his wife to fight. She leaves and Nick soon appears to see how his father is holding up. Angry at his son, Victor tells him he needs no support from him. Soon after, Katherine’s news about Sabrina’s pregnancy hits hard for Nikki and Victoria. Victoria, wanting to see her estranged friend arrives at the hospital. Victor immediately tells Victoria she is not welcomed there but Sabrina, who has come to, begs Victor to let her friend stay.

What to Watch

  • Adam decides to take on his true name.
  • Nick and Phyllis move to the ranch.
  • Jill sets herself as CEO of Jabot.
  • Jack pays top dollar for the crash site photographs.

Pictured: Melody Thomas Scott courtesy CBS

You may not reproduce content without written permission from author.

© 2008 Soap Opera Network. All rights reserved.



‘Romeo and Juliet’ get grounded….
Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:48 PM | By Venus Stone

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Reckless teens spur parents into taking action…

THIS WEEK ON:AS THE WORLDS TURNS

Meg can’t shake the ghost of Sophie. A new scent sends Emily into a rage, causing her to snap at Casey and calling Alison a slut. Chris has his own problems when he suddenly gets the case of the itches and starts to undress right in the middle of the on call room. Vienna, under the impression that Henry sold Metro back, decides they use the money to spruce up the diner. Things turn sour when Henry’s called away to Metro and Vienna catches him. When Henry tries to reason with her she tearfully tells him that it’s over between them.

Holden and Lily head pick up the girls from summer camp. Carly, not wanting run into the estranged pair, tries her best to hurry Sage along but wind up running into them anway. Camp counselor Winkie doesn’t make things any better when she jokes about Holden having two ‘wives’ and explains that the two shared quarters together. Before Holden or Carly can explain, Lily takes the girls and leaves the camp. Riding back with Carly and Sage, Holden finally arrives to confront Lily. Lily rails him for being reckless enough for Faith to walk in on him with the other woman. Holden, unable to reason with her, is told to get out and stay out.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE CASE OF PUPPY LOVE

Janet is floored when Liberty tells her that she and Parker had sex together, while Parker keeps mum with Jack. Unable to keep her mouth shut, Janet tells Jack everything about the two teens. When Jack becomes upset at their actions, Janet waves it off saying that they don’t plan on doing it again. Brad not pleased with how his daughter has been behaving resorts to tapping into her computer for information. Liberty and Parker soon meet up and discuss their parents. The teens head over to Liberty’s where they soon are making out. Brad arrives and immediately flips out when he sees Parker opening a condom. Before Liberty or Parker can do anything, Brad whisks the frisky teen down to the police station. Jack higtails his son back to the house while Janet attempts to talk to Liberty again. Jack and Janet meet up and he tells her her approach was a flop and Brad is right in saying the teens need not be together. Janet instantly thinks that he’s faulting her and they argue. Meanwhile, determined to keep Parker and Liberty away from one another, Brad hires on a bodyguard to keep his daughter under watchful eye.

Pictured: Austin Peck courtesy NBC

You may not reproduce content without written permission from author.

© 2008 Soap Opera Network. All rights reserved.



My View of Llanview: July 15 Edition

Saturday, July 26, 2008 1:25 AM | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — A review of “One Life to Live’s” 40th anniversary tribute.

Aloha everyone. It seems I just keep getting later and later with these columns, doesn’t it? I just get so wrapped up with everything going on around me, that I forget things, like this column. And I find it so difficult just to set down and write very much when there is so much to do outside this time of year. Also, I wanted to wait until after the two special 40th anniversary episodes of “OLTL” aired earlier this week before I wrote my column. But my apologizes for this being so late. There are just never enough hours in the day to do anything. Anyway, here are my thoughts on “One Life to Live’s” 40th anniversary celebration…

The Top Five reasons why I liked the two “OLTL” 40th anniversary episodes:

5. In theory at least, I appreciate the fact that “OLTL” decided to retell three past storylines to celebrate their 40th anniversary. I like the idea because it involves past characters and cast members. It is also a nice nod to the show’s history. That being said, I do have some issues with the storylines they chose, but I’ll get into that a little later. In an era when most other soaps celebrate major anniversaries and milestones with a montage of old clips and sound bites, you have to give “OLTL” credit for celebrating their past.

4. Say what you well about Agnes Nixon playing favorites with “OLTL” over “AMC,” but having her play God during VIki’s latest visit to heaven was brilliant. She was the perfect choice to place the omniscience Creator. And it was only fitting that Erika Slezak, “OLTL’s” longest running cast member, interact with her. And the nod to Erika’s tenure as Viki’s with Nixon’s comment that she had watching her 38 years was touching. And icing on the cake came at the end of the second of the two anniversary episodes when both Agnes and Erika looked into the camera, said that without the fans there would be no Llanview, and then wish “OLTL” a happy 40th anniversary. With Nixon’s two or three appearances on “All My Children” over the years, it was about time that she finally appeared on the only other remaining soap currently on the air that she created. It may have taken 40 years, but Agnes finally made a cameo ABC’s so-called redheaded stepsister.

3. Erin Torpey. To me she will always be Jessica. I wish there was a way the show could bring her back. I grew up watching her grow up on “OLTL.” Erin is so cute and has a certain child like innocence about her. Ron Carlivati is a genius for his quick thinking of getting her to play Viki’s guardian angel when Jessica Tuck had to pull out because of a scheduling conflict. And what makes it even more amazing is that all of this happened only a few days before they began filming the episodes. The sudden change literally occurred overnight. Now I have to admit that when heard, however, that Erin was going be playing her former character’s stillborn baby, I was rather skeptic as to how “OLTL” was going to pull it off. I mean think about it, how is a 27-year-old woman supposed to play the spirit of a baby who would only be about ten or eleven years old had she still been alive. But then I saw Viki asking the very same questions, and was satisfied by Megan Victoria’s line that “time moves differently for some of us here.” That makes sense. It’s heaven, and God is in heaven, and with him all things are possible. Plus it is important to keep in mind that the primary job of a soap opera is to entertain. It is not real life, but is instead an escape from reality. And it is important to remember that when you turn on the television. It’s not some reality show, or even Jerry Springer…. it’s a fictional scripted drama, similar to professional wrestling. But you didn’t hear that from me, ha ha.

2. Phil Carey and Stephen Markle. Asa has always been one of my favorite characters and I always considered Mel to be one of Dorian’s two true loves–with Herb Callison being the other. Although I find it a little strange that Asa ended up in heaven rather than in a hotter climate, it is always a treat seeing Phil Carey on my TV screen. While I’m not usually a fan of soaps using dead characters returning as ghosts to haunt the living (such as Paul Cramer, Margaret Cochran, Spencer Truman, and arrogantly smug Nash Brennan), I would gladly make an exception as far as Asa and Mel are concerned. Better yet, why not just reveal that Asa faked his death once more and that Bo and Viki’s visions of him were mere hallucinations brought on by grief from missing the old coot. And I could be mistaken, but as I recall when Mel’s plane went down several years ago they never found his body. So they could easily bring them both back. But until they do, I will set happily by and enjoy each and every time with are treated with their presence. And two thumbs up to the touching Dorian/Mel and Asa/Viki scenes we were treated to. Who could ask for anything more?

1. When I first heard that “OLTL” was planning two special episodes to honor their 40th anniversary, one of the first questions that popped in my mind was concerning the opening for the special shows. I thought to myself how neat it would be if they used the original fireplace opening (which ran from 1968-1975) to open the 40th anniversary episodes with. But the more I thought about it, the more I began to suspect that they would probably just continue to use the same old crappy opening which has not been updated since January. But imagine my surprise on Monday when, after Bo and Rex realized that had been transported back in time to 1968, the original theme music began to play and then we saw the burning flames from a fireplace with the words “One Life to Live” floating across the screen. It was the original opening, and I could not believe it. My joy was short-lived, however, as the old opening returned the following day. But still, I thought it was a nice touch.

The Top Five reasons why I did not like the two “OLTL” 40th anniversary episodes:

5. Ben Davidson. Although I thought it was nice that they were able to get Mark Derwin back along with all the other recent returns, I never have and never will like the character. I never did buy into the tripe that Ben was supposedly the great love of Viki’s life. Give me a break. Were the writers on crack when they came up with that one back in the final decade of the 20th century? Did these people ever watch the show before this character was created? Great love of Viki’s life, my fannie. What about Joe Riley, Steve Burke, Clint Buchanan, and even Sloan Carpenter? Ben Davidson does not even begin to compare with these greater, more developed characters. Ben has never been one of my favorite characters and I’m glad they killed him off. Good riddance. And the writer who first coined Viki’s nickname Blondie should be shot. I don’t mean to offend Ben and Viki fans here, but he does not even belong on the same stage with several of Viki’s other husbands, in my opinion. And to compound matters, I’ve always thought of Joe Riley as Viki’s one true love anyway. Too bad Lee Patterson is no longer with us, or they could have brought him back once more. I’d take that any day over Ben Davidson.

4. Tina, Sarah, and the waterfall. First, I have to admit that I have always loved Tina Roberts and Andrea Evans, revisiting the storyline where Tina was tied to a boat and sent sailing to her doom over the Iguazú Falls was not the best of ideas. Although I was only about eight years old when the original storyline involving Tina first aired, it was in the midst of one of the campest periods in “OLTL” history. It was during the same time period as the Old West storyline, the underground city of Eterna, Viki’s original trip to heaven, and the exploding wedding cake. While this time period did produce many memorable characters such as Tina, Cord, Max, and Gabrielle, it was also very different from the original concept of “OLTL,” which included socially relevant storylines featuring class and race relations, drug use, and mental illness. And even the supreme acting talents of Andrea Evans and Thom Christopher are not enough to save this storyline the second time around. David Fumero couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag, and would probably even be unable to emit emotion if his pants were on fire. This was one of the big let downs for me during the 40th anniversary episodes.

3. Dorian Lord. I’ll be the first to admit that Dorian has done some evil, slimy, vile, lowdown things in her life, but I have a difficult time believing that she would just leave Viki to die. Sure the pair have been feuding for over thirty years, but I’ve always felt that deep down, despite their hatred for one another, that neither would ever wish the other one dead. That doesn’t mean they would not want one another to suffer, however. But as for wishing death on each other seems a little far-fetched. In my opinion, deep down each of them actually respects the other, which shines through in the event of a crisis. Granted it is suppressed deep down, below levels and levels of hatred, jealousy, and envy. But it’s there. That’s why making David have to beg and plead with Dorian to save Viki’s life is low, even for Dorian. It makes her look even more despicable than she really is, which is saying a lot. Oh sure, she is having a guilty conscience about it afterward, but it doesn’t change the fact that she almost didn’t save Viki’s life. And to make things even worse, it appears, at least for the time being anyway, that Dorian is going to get away scott free with drugging Charlie. It seems like Dorian escapes punishment more and more as the years go by. Talk about justice being blind.

2. The return of the “OLTL” opening from hell. Well maybe not…I’ve always hated the satin sheets opening of 1992-1995 more than the present opening, but it comes in at a close second. The theme itself is okay; it’s the grainy pictures and flashing “OLTL” logos that seem poorly done and out of sync with the music. I think a teenager could do a better job on Microsoft Paint. That’s right…it’s that bad. After being treated to the original “OLTL” opening on Monday, I was wishing, hoping, and praying that Tuesday would bring a completely new opening for the soap’s 40th anniversary. But those hopes were quickly shattered when the same old crappy opening began to play. Newsflash to whoever at ABC is in charge of updating the “OLTL” opening…Nash is dead, Lalya and Vincent haven’t been seen in two months, and Miles hasn’t been around since April (unless you count the Memorial Day repeat of one of the “Prom Night: The Musical” episodes). I’d give my left arm (I’m left-handed) for a new “OLTL” opening. Imagine if you will a new opening that would encompass images from past openings such as the roaring fire and sunrise accompanied by a revamping of Peabo Bryson’s famous lyrics with all new actor shots from the various homes and businesses around Llanview. Just about anything though would be preferable to what we have now. Maybe one day soon “OLTL” will finally get a new opening sequence.

1. Perhaps my biggest complaint about “OLTL’s” recent anniversary tribute is that Ron Carlivati treated it as the 20th anniversary instead of the 40th anniversary. Two of the three storylines he chose to revisit (Viki’s trip to heaven and Tina going over the falls) occurred in the late 1980s. The third (Buchanans going back in time) also occurred in the late 1980s, and created a storyline one hundred years in the past. However, the sequel transported Bo and Rex back into 1968, when the show first premiered. However, it is focusing on events that happened more than a decade before the Buchanan family was even introduced to “OLTL” viewers. What I’m getting at is this…why were no storylines from 1968-1987 revisited? Those were some of the greatest years in “OLTL” history. It was during those years that we had the ‘death’ of Victor Lord and the first emergence of Niki Smith, Karen Wolek breaking down on the witness stand and proclaiming herself a hooker, Carla Grey passing herself off as a white woman and kissing a black doctor, Cathy Craig being treated for drug abuse at Odyssey House with real-life drug addicted teenagers, and the romance of Larry Wolek and Meredith Lord, among others. But instead there was not a single mention or even a flashback concerning any of them. It’s almost as if those first twenty years didn’t even exist. I realize that a lot of those early episodes no longer exist thanks to ABC’s policy at the time of erasing the tapes so they could be reused, but that doesn’t mean that homage could not be paid to those storylines. Characters from the first 20 years could have been brought back during the celebration. But instead everything they decided to include focused on the last twenty years. But even with that, a lot was left out. What about Wanda Wolek, the Gannon family, CJ Roberts, Mitch Laurence, Alex Olanov, Bo’s dead wife Sarah, and other former characters from the past dozen years? They too were strangely MIA. I realize that Ron Carlivati fell in love with the “OLTL” of the 1980s, which are also around the same time that my earliest memories of the soap began, but it is only one four decades in which “OLTL” has been on the air. And it’s not fair to celebrate one, and not the other three. “OLTL” was already an established soap with twenty years of history by the late 1980s, and that those years should be remembered as well, and not swept under the rug. Even so, I am at least grateful that the show even recognized any of their history. They could have easily gone the “General Hospital” route (i.e., their recent 45th anniversary), and simply stuck together a sixty-second montage of memorable characters and storylines. At least “OLTL” appears to honor its past, even though their memory is rather selective. And for that, I have to at least give them the benefit of the doubt.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. Enjoy the remainder of the summer. Take care and see you next time on July 30th.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..









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