Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 12:01 AM ET by Scotty Gore
Photo: Errol Lewis/SON
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” needs to shake things up a bit.
Brenda returns to Port Charles. Kendall returns to Pine Valley. These two heavily promoted events have so overshadowed “OLTL” in recent weeks, it’s almost as if the show no longer existed. “OLTL” was so much of an afterthought for ABC that it couldn’t even put together any sort of a promo for the same week as those two returns.
But, then again, that is more or less a moot point now because, after watching what “One Life to Live” had to offer this past week, they really didn’t have anything worth promoting anyway. This show continues on its collision course with cancellation and yet it seems in no rush to try to postpone the inevitable. The Ford brothers continue to be coma-inducing, Starr remains a spoiled little brat, Jessica is still a twit, Gigi’s hair continues to be unsightly and distracting, Rex won’t stop acting like a circus clown, John always sleepwalks and mumbles through all of his scenes, Kelly is as annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard, Dorian acts like an old shrew, David’s comedic antics are getting stale, and Viki and Charlie are as elusive as FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. So really…what is there to promote? Not much with this train wreck, that’s for damn sure.
Which leads me to the conclusion that “One Life to Live” needs something – anything – to drum up some publicity and set it apart from the rest of the soaps. And NO I do NOT mean another high school musical or hotshot recording artist to perform on the show. Instead, what the show needs to fire roughly between a quarter to half of its current cast (contract, recurring, and dayplayers) and lure back some huge name from Llanview’s past and/or from one of the other remaining soaps currently on the air. And yes, I realize that “One Life” has already done this once this year when it re-hired Gina Tognoni as Kelly Cramer. However, that was an ill-conceived idea from the start that has only gotten worse as the months have gone by. Not only has Tognoni’s return to Llanview been a huge disaster, but it has the audience painfully aware that the show really had no plan of what to do with her in the first place. It’s as if they only put her back on the payroll as a favor to her and a way to stick it the competition. And just look at how well that has worked out. Although the character of Kelly has always been a bit overbearing, this latest incarnation takes the cake…and then some.
That being said..”if” “OLTL” does manage to lure back another big name (as rumor has it), they should not, and cannot try and make that character be the center of the show even if he/she is playing a character that has been on the show before. That will lead to nothing but disaster, which is what I believe will eventually happen to “All My Children,” and especially “General Hospital” as well. In the past month “GH” has gone to extreme lengths to promote the return of the character of Brenda Barrett to Port Charles. And, while all the hype may initially cause a bump in the ratings, it is very unlikely to last in the weeks and months that follow. But that isn’t just the case with soaps (and all other television shows for that matter), it’s just human nature. People flock to experience something new and different from what they are used to. But once the ‘newness’ wears off, most people just simply lose interest and tune out.
Which brings me to my point…no one character or actor (no matter how popular or important) can carry a soap opera. While a show may have some ‘rising stars,’ it takes an ensemble cast to make everything gel together. Putting all your eggs into one basket and focusing on only person (or even on one particular group) is a risky gamble to say the least. However it is a bet that “One Life to Live” keeps taking and losing again and again and again. Hopefully they’ll learn their lesson before it is too late…but I don’t it.
Anyway, moving on, congratulations to “guilty pleasure,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest stars as Bill Medley and Darlene Love, who performed the hit song “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” for lovebirds Tina Roberts and Cain Rogan.
In case you missed the clues, here they are: This musician sang a nice little ‘Medley’ on “One Life to Live” in 1994 with a certain ‘lovely’ woman for someone’s wedding shower.
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 ‘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.
So who are these mystery celebrities from the past? Bonus points if you can tell me the name of soap without a soap “OLTL” ‘created,’ which led up to that fictional awards show. I’ll have the answers in the August 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 30th. Two people wrestle for a gun. A daughter spins a web of lies when her mother catches her in a tight spot. A grief-stricken individual wants to pay tribute to the memory of a loved one. A young couple gets pulled in opposite directions. Two students are surprised by who their teacher turns out to be. One woman worries her significant other will learn the truth. And something catches on fire.
Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Hope everyone is staying cool and out of this dangerous heat as much as possible. Enjoy the rest of the summer 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.