My View of Llanview: September 30 Edition

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 12:01 AM ET by Scotty Gore


Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” has once again proven that they don’t have a clue about what their fans really want.

The two breaking news stories today involving the show showcasing exactly what is wrong with “OLTL” at the moment. Both are nothing more than examples of undeserving people being rewarded for producing crap. As per ABC policy, the worse things get, the more praise and promotions those in charge receive. Just take ABC Daytime President Brain Frons for example. He has pretty much single-handed destroyed the entire weekday line-up for the network over the past several years…yet he is still employed by ABC has been promoted several times in as many years. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

But back to today’s news. The first story proclaimed the firings of Jason Tam (Markko) and Terrell Tilford (Greg). This reaffirmed my belief that “One Life” always fires the wrong people. Jason Tam is professional actor and has had a successful theater career, and his character of Markko was a fan favorite. However, I do agree with those that argue that Markko’s importance to the canvas did decrease when Langston was placed in Ford’s orbit, however the guy still had promise. And as for Tilford, while he wasn’t the greatest actor to ever grace the “OLTL” studios, he is the the least of the show’s problems right now. I mean, up until recently, he has been little more than the dayplayer doctor serving the residents of Llanview whenever they faced a medical crisis.

The real problem remains where it always has been, with unnecessary and unpopular (unless you’re a pre-teen girl perhaps) characters like the Ford brothers, along with the over exposure of others like John McBain, Todd and Starr Manning, and Rex Balsom, who top the episode counts month after month after month. But yet, instead of fixing that huge problem, they fire two backburner characters that are nothing more than supporting players in the never ending storylines featuring the airhogs mentioned above. This is reminiscent of a couple of years ago when Kathy Brier and Chris Stack were fired just so airhogs like John and Todd could featured even more often than they already were at the time.

The second bit of bad news today discussed ABC’s commitment to “OLTL” Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Head Writer Ron Carlivati, who were given two and three year contract extensions, respectively. This too is more bad news since thus far during their tenure with the show, “One Life to Live” has sucked to record low levels, where it has since remained. Granted Valentini is apparently a whiz at keeping the show under budget, but should that outweigh plummeting ratings? Apparently so. I understand that executives at the networks pay relatively little attention to the weekly Household and Total Viewer ratings categories, focusing instead on particular demographic groups, however even those have dropped to near the bottom of the ratings in recent years. The optimist may see this news as hope that “One Life to Live” will continue to live on for a at least a few more years. However the pessimist (like myself) sees it as merely an attempt by the network to get rid of the show once and for all by giving it just enough rope to hang itself.

“OLTL” needs new blood, not just the same old familiar faces that are recycled on a regular basis. Valentini has been with the show in various capacities for the past twenty-five years, while Carlivati has been on the payroll for fourteen years now. By keeping them on staff, the show continues to die a little more with each episode that airs. This makes it especially hard for loyal, longtime fans, who hate to watch the show they once loved die such a slow, painful death.

Anyway, moving on, congratulations to “Chris,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star as jazz musician Paul Taylor.

In case you missed the clues, here they are: In 2004 this smooth-jazz musician brought his soothing saxophone sounds to Llanview when he appeared as his himself, and performed a few of his musical numbers at R.J. Gannon’s popular nightclub Capricorn.

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 mental health care professional was summoned by this Llanview doctor to help his wife back in 1972, when she was suffering from depression following the death of one of her infant sons.

So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? I’ll have the answers in the October 15th edition of My View of Llanview. Extra credit if you can tell me the name of the doctor who sought her help, along with the name of his wife. 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 October 18th. Two loved ones are reunited. A secret finally sees the light of day. A confused individual becomes a suspect. One man makes a shocking confession. Several people face off with a murderer. A certain young lady celebrates her birthday. And a hostage works to free herself and a family member from the clutches of a madman.

Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed reading it as I did enjoyed writing it. Stay healthy, wealthy, and wise.

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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