My View of Llanview: January 30 Edition

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — "One Life to Live" is having success with turning Clint Buchanan into the J.R. Ewing of daytime,  but an ever increasing cast size and endless display of pretty faces continues to cause problems.

Jerry verDorn has quickly become "One Life to Live's" saving grace who, in many ways, is carrying the show right now.  Speaking as someone who never watched his work on "Guiding Light," I am amazed by the quality of his acting.  His presence brings much needed depth "OLTL," and he has the ability to turn garbage into gold so to speak, and totally "sell" his current storyline to fans. 

It doesn't matter who he shares scenes with because verDorn has chemistry with practically every other member of the cast.  And, while this particular storyline has been at times a bit over the top, verDorn is able to make it work.  I think that the Daytime Emmy Awards committee should just skip the Outstanding Lead Actor category nominations this year, and just go ahead and hand the award to him because he is just that damn good.

And as I noted earlier there have been moments where the writers have taken Clint's actions a tad to the extreme and left a few too many loose ends while trying sew up the storyline.  But overall I have rather enjoyed watching Clint morph into Asa Jr.  This whole walk on the dark side really adds another layer to his character.  Even though Clint has his fingers in a lot of different pies in Llanview at the moment, his motives are easy to understand.  And, unlike Mitch Laurence and Spencer Truman, whose ability to control so many things that were far beyond their reach was never really explained, Clint's has been more grounded in reality with his endless supply of wealth, his hired goons, and his shrewd manipulation skills.

However, as good as verDorn has been, he can't continue to keep caring the show by himself.  And the powers that be are certainly not doing him any favors by adding more new faces to an already bloated cast.  The announcement that Austin Peck was coming to "One Life" left many fans shaking their heads.  Not so much because of his acting talents (or lack thereof), but mostly because yet another new character is the last thing this show needs.  As of the first of this year, there were 31 people on contract with the show, over a dozen more on recurring status, and still several others who are semi-frequent dayplayers.  So why, in a time when the economy is in a rebuilding mode, soaps are on the decline, and budgets everywhere are being slashed, does "One Life to Live" continue to add to their roster?  It doesn't make much sense, especially when half the actors they currently have on the payroll are rarely even used.  Why not just give them more to do and stop adding new faces that are not connected to anyone else presently on the canvas?

Along these same lines, the show continues to shoot itself in the foot by focusing on characters that have haven't clicked with the majority of fans.  And yes, I am referring to the Ford brothers (and mother) here.  You know the show is really desperate to force us to like them when they start trying to make them look good at the expense of others.  For example, normally, wouldn't it have angered Bo to hear Ford admit that she took advantage of his mentally ill niece Jessica?  Of course it would.  But that wasn't the case last week, when Bo hardly batted an eye when he heard Ford admit to sleeping with her.  But when the intent of the show was to make Ford look like an innocent bystander who was undeservingly attacked and blackmailed by big, bad Clint Buchanan, to hell with common sense.

The Fords ruin everyone they come into contact with.  Take Langston for example.  She was a very likeable character until she was paired up with Robert Ford.  Since then, Langston has been destroyed and all at the expense of making Ford look like the good guy.  At least one good thing has come out of the firing of Brittany Underwood, and that is that even further damage can't be done to the character of Langston than already as…although at this point, it may already be too late.

Moving on, one thing that continues to intrigue me is how "One Life to Live" continues to tease fans Roger Howarth may be coming back as Todd and that Trevor St. John may really playing Walker or someone else.  Let me first say that I have no new information regarding Howarth one way or the other, aside from Errol's article and recent comments.  I am speaking strictly as a viewer when I say this.  Just from picking up on subtle hints lately thrown out by the show, and by noting the encore episodes of the show airing on February 11 on ABC, and on February 13 on SOAPnet, I believe that Howarth will be returning to "OLTL" later this year.  Granted, it is possible that they are just screwing with the fans in an attempt to get some publicity and increase the ratings.  However, I think there is more to story than just yanking everyone's chains.  But with "OLTL" you just never know.  

Lastly, I know that some people have already started complaining about the high school bullying storyline involving Shane.  Well, I'll admit that I have my doubts about it too, but at least (compared to the Ford brothers anyway), Shane is a tolerable character and Austin Williams is a decent young actor.  And it doesn't hurt that it's a topical, socially relevant storyline at the moment.  So I'll have to give "OLTL" points for that, especially since it is, in a small way, a nod back to the early days of the soap when taking on important issues was commonplace.  

Anyway, congratulations to "Clbsyndrome," who correctly identified last time's mystery "OLTL" celebrity guest star as Jai Rodriguez from the Bravo show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

In case you missed the clues, here they are:

Llanview got a little queer back in 2005 when this actor played a receptionist for two episodes, even though he didn't have eyes for any straight guys in town.

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!!!

Things got a bit crowded on the set when this Puerto Rican singer-songwriter stopped by Llanview to sing her then hit single from her debut album.

So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? Bonus points if you can tell me the names of both the single and the album.  I’ll have the answers in the February 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 February 14.  One couple is caught in the sack.  A new father meets someone unexpected.  One-time lovers have a confrontation.  Two lonely hearts are involved in a brawl.  A revenge plot is hatched.  Loved ones are concerned that someone may have given in to temptation.  And one person misinterprets what they see.

Well that’s concludes yet another column. Hopefully everyone has finished digging out from all the recent snow that has fallen across the country, and that all is safe and well.  May warm weather and sunny days be in your future.  See you next time, 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

    WHAT DO YOU THINK? Comment Below...