My View of Llanview: August 30 Edition

Monday, August 30, 2010 at 12:01 AM ET by Scotty Gore


Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” is giving viewers something to talk about.

Seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was commenting that “OLTL” needed to go the route of its two ABC sister soaps and do “something — anything — to drum up some publicity” (oh wait it was).  Little did I realize, however, that only days after writing that apparently prophetic statement (at least I’d like to think so anyway, ha ha), the show would drop two huge casting bombshells on fans as well hold “the meeting” with the contract cast members.

Whatever your opinion of the news that both Kim Zimmer and Roger Howarth are returning to Llanview in the coming months, you must admit that it has certainly generated some much needed buzz for “One Life to Live,” at a time when it appeared nearly dead in the water as far as discussion on online message boards was concerned.

Which brings me to the infamous “meeting” that has been talked about in earnest these past few weeks. Among the many rumors circulating concerning the possible agenda of the said meeting, was the never ceasing talk of cancellation. Never mind the fact that only the show’s contract cast members (and not the recurring cast nor the show’s crew) were said to be required to attend. And don’t forget the fact that, had “OLTL” really been cancelled it would have been front page news on every legitimate media outlet and not just on the webpage of some obscure person who runs a fan website for a soap on another network (not to mention the fact that he removed the article only a few hours after first posting it).

It simply amazes me that when news breaks of any and every new talk show that is currently in the works, everyone feels the need to post about how it is the final nail in “OLTL’s” coffin and that it will be only a matter of months before the new show overtakes its time slot. Granted, “One Life’s” ratings have been stagnant lately, and it has frequently been overpowered by even the cancelled “As the World Turns,” which has only weeks left to live. But that doesn’t mean that it will likely be cancelled anytime soon. Many of “OLTL’s” own fans have seemingly turned into vultures, circling the drain, just waiting to swoop in and claim that their comments about the show’s supposedly imminent demise were correct. I admit that a few months ago I did state that cancellation may be a blessing for this show at the moment, considering how horribly bad it has become. However, as any loyal “OLTL” fan can attest, we really don’t want the show to get cancelled. It’s just like being a parent — no matter how bad your kids behave or really screw up, you still love them. You may be disappointed in them, but you just don’t stop loving them because they aren’t living up to your expectations. That’s how I feel about “OLTL.” While I have not particularly enjoyed the show in sometimes, I still love the show. I have grown up watching it, and it has become a big part of my life. And it just doesn’t feel right to abandon it now.

Getting back to Howarth and Zimmer, I have somewhat mixed emotions about each of their returns. I enjoyed Howarth’s portrayal of Todd, especially the first few years he was on the show…back when Todd truly was a true bad guy and not just the town’s whooping stick. And who could forget the hilarious “Trading Places” episode in 2001, when Howarth dressed up like Viki, and pulled off a nearly flawless imitation of Erika Slezak. In his final years on the show, his delivery seemed to be rather flat and boring. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see where the writers are going with this story and exactly how it will affect Trevor St. John’s (‘new’ Todd) status with the show.

With regards to Zimmer, I have never really watched her act for more than a few minutes at a time while flipping through the channels on the TV set. However, in just those few, brief moments (plus what I’ve heard and read about her), she seems to act a little over the top, meaning that she tends to be a bit overdramatic and ‘hammy’ for lack of a better term. Even so, I am cautiously optimistic about her upcoming return as Echo (a character that was last in Llanview when I was only four years old), for no other reason than it will likely give the veteran characters an actual storyline and some much needed airtime. Plus I really think it says something that the show and network are willing to hire a 55-year-old soap vet in a time when younger is better and teenagers have been sucking up nearly all of the airtime the past several months. My only hope is that “OLTL” will not disappoint me and all those other long-time fans out there the way they have again and again and again.

Anyway, moving on, congratulations to “Judy from Jersey City,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest stars as “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” host Robin Leach and the one-hit wonder band Information Society (whose only memorable song was “What’s on Your Mind”). However, no one mentioned the fact that “Fraternity Row” was the name of the ficitional soap within a soap on the show at that time.

In case you missed the clues, here they are: This ‘Rich and Famous’ host stopped by Llanview to to emcee ‘The Daisy Awards’ (“OLTL’s” answer to the Daytime Emmys) in 1992, in which this one-hit wonder boy band, who left people’s ‘Minds’ almost as quickly as they came into them, performed their only memorable song.

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 some mystery celebrity guest stars from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

This star of the big screen, who has frequently appeared as Woody Allen’s best friend in several of his movies, stopped by Llanview briefly in 1991 when, as a ‘Killer’ of a judge, he sent Gabrielle Medina off to prison for seven years for reluctantly aiding mob boss Carlo Hesser in his quest to poison Viki.

So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? Bonus points if you can tell me the full name of the character he played. I’ll have the answers in the September 15th 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 September 13th. A young lady grows concerned that her fiancé may no longer want to marry her. One half of a happy couple thinks they should get married sooner rather than later. A ‘dead’ person’s will is unearthed. A ne’er-do-well is arrested. Someone doesn’t like what she hears. Troubled, this young lady bears her soul to her beau. Will an old flame be given a second chance? And a job offer is extended to one particular individual by a family member of someone in a position of power.

Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. God bless and take care.

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.

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