Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The Top 5 reasons “One Life to Live’s” ratings are in the toilet.

Given the crap that “OLTL” has been dishing out lately in terms of poor writing, bad acting, and choppy storytelling, here are a few of the major reasons why I believe the show is getting what it deserves.

5. Constant re-writes and behind-the-scenes antics. To  anyone who is left watching this show on a regular basis, it is evident that certain scenes and plot twists have surely been revised and rewritten. Take Eli for instance…what possible motive would have for killing Melinda, pushing Marty down the stairs and killing her unborn baby, and severely beating Ford? It would make about as much scene as having Addie, Jack, or Sam do it. And the constant scenes with Eli trying to explain his actions to Hannah and Ford are not helping. This makes little, if any sense at all. I can just picture the writers all setting in their offices throwing darts at Post-It Notes with storyline ideas jotted down on them just to determine the direction they will go in next. At this point, I think a monkey with a typewriter would be able to do a better job.

4. Newbie and teen overload. “One Life to Live” took a huge risk when they chose to make this summer the year of the teens in Llanview. The more airtime and storylines the teen castmembers get, the lower the ratings seem to go. Things have gotten so bad that “One Life” is even getting their butts kicked by the cancelled sudser “As the World Turns.” That’s like being beaten by a 90-year-old in a marathon. And in what world is introducing a new character, and then immediately throwing him or her into a front burner storyline going to prove successful? Do they seriously think the audience will become invested in someone that just started appearing on their TV screen a few days ago? Whatever happened to the days where a new character was introduced slowly, allowing for time for their personality to be developed and to give the audience a chance to determine whether they liked, hated, or loved to hate that person? I guess those days, along with the days when soaps were actually entertaining, are long gone.

3. Pushing the vets onto the backburner. I can’t speak for everyone else, but when I watch “OLTL,” I want to see characters I recognize, like Viki, Clint, Dorian, Nora, Bo, etc. However, judging by the ratings, I’m apparently not the only one who feels that way. Having storylines centering around teenagers is okay in moderation, and when veteran characters are involved as well (and no, I’m not referring to the overexposed John and Todd). Take Starr and James for example. Outside of Todd, who was involved at the end, their recent exploits did not really involve any of the older folks on the canvas. And, as a result, the ratings have continued to falter. I realize that “OLTL” is more focused on specific demos, such as the Women aged 18-34 category, rather than overall ratings. But, even there, the ratings are slipping. Why you ask…because even younger folks don’t want to watch teens dominate every episode with their idiotic adventures. I should know…while not a woman (obviously), I do fit into that particular age category, and I couldn’t care less if most of the teens on the show right now were backburned and didn’t have another major storyline for the next decade. Perhaps the powers that be at “OLTL” and ABC will realize that sooner rather than later as well and try to get the show back on track. Then again, probably not.

2. Recycled storylines. It’s bad enough when a writer uses a nearly identical storyline that a previous writer on the same show used. But it’s even worse when you start re-using your own storylines again and again and again. These days, the plots on “OLTL” are nearly as predictable as the sun rising and setting each day, and have more holes in them than a piece of Swiss cheese. Where’s the suspense, the drama, and the romance? Not in Llanview, that’s for sure.

1. Six words. Ron Carlivati — Frank Valentini — Brian Frons.

Well, that pretty well sums up how I feel about “One Life to Live” these days, but how do you feel about it? Be sure to leave your comments and voice your opinion on what bugs you about “OLTL” right now. I always enjoy hearing from fellow “One Life” fans.

Oh, by the way, before I forget — happy 42nd anniversary to “One Life to Live.” I felt the need to throw a little something positive in this column. But don’t get used to it though.

Anyway, moving on, congratulations to “Lee,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star which was the talented actor Robert Vaughn.

In case you missed the clues, here they are: This “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” star whose “World” was left unhappy, agreed to a short stint as a man of the cloth in Llanview in 1996. A few years later he played dad to Charles Shaughnessy’s “Nanny” character.

Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

This rapper ‘blew’ through Llanview in in late 1990, first as a consultant for the show, and then later appearing onscreen as himself the following year in an episode that focused on the son of the town’s top cop, who wanted to pursue a career in rap music rather than going to college.

So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? I’ll have the answer in the July 30th edition of My View of Llanview. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of August 2nd. A child doesn’t want their mother to get remarried. An unsuspecting person holds the key to a mystery. One woman won’t heed the warnings of a family member regarding someone she cares about. Will a certain couple make it the altar before it is too late? Another person is attacked in order to keep a secret. A frightened young lady experiences déjà vu when she is forced to to do something familiar. And someone may be on the verge of confiding some big news to their partner.

Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Hope everyone is having a great summer. Hope it’s not too hot where you leave. Stay cool and take care everyone!

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

“One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.

  • One Life to Live
  • SOAPnet
  • ABC
  • OLTL
  • As The World Turns
  • Frank Valentini
  • Starr
  • James
  • Hannah
  • Brian Frons
  • Viki
  • Dorian
  • Clint
  • Bo
  • Nora
  • Ron Carlivati
  • Eli
  • Ford
  • Melinda
  • Robert Vaughn
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  • The Nanny
  • Charles Shaughnessy

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