My View of Llanview

My View of Llanview: August 30 Edition

Soap Opera Network

( — Just another abnormal week for “.”

Last week was an example of just how quickly things can go wrong in Llanview, both intentionally and unintentionally. Two weeks ago the show was riding high on the fallout over the revelation of the real Todd Manning. However, just days later it was as if “One Life to Live” was cursed when a series of unforeseen mishaps and errors disrupted the continuity of the storylines and left viewers scratching their heads and screaming at their TV screens.

First there were the “breaking news” pre-emptions by both the network and local ABC stations covering topics such as the civil unrest in Libya, the East Coast earthquake, and the looming threat of Hurricane Irene. For the most part, each of those interruptions were relatively brief and understandable, although still nonetheless frustrating to “OLTL” fans who believe (rightly so) that news only seems to happen during the 2:00 pm ET hour on weekday afternoons.

Next was the so-called technical glitch that plagued last Thursday’s episode, which just so happened to be ‘s last airdate as the legendary Dorian Lord. As confusing and disprectful to Strasser and the character of Dorian as it drew attention away from what should have been a tearful farewell for her, I have to admit that the situation a little comical. At one commercial break, Viki and Dorian had just realized they were locked in her office together. But a few minutes later when the show returned after a commercial Dorian was setting at a table in the same office enjoying some cake with her Cramer girls (from the previous day’s episode). Then another commercial break, and suddenly Dorian and Viki were back to being locked in her office together.

Which brings me to my next issue. Whether you are a “spoiler whore” like me and have a rough idea of what is going to take place in each day’s episode, or you wish to remain spoiler free, you could not deny that there has just been something really off regarding the past four or five episodes of “One Life to Live.” The editing has been atrocious and choppy in the past few episodes, leading many viewers to wonder what exactly is going on. Rewrites of some of the storylines would be a good assumption, however, most of the things that were already spoiled to happen are still taking place on screen, but just in different episodes than originally planned. And to further compound matters, some scenes seem out of place and out of sync with how things ended in the previous episode. For example, last Thursday’s episode ended with Natalie talking with Clint in the library at Llanfair about his ex-wife Kim returning to town. On Friday, however, Natalie was shown in the cemetery with Rex, who was showing her how the death date on Gigi’s tombstone had been scratched out. But then the next episode (on Monday) picked up where Thursday’s show left off with Natalie and Clint back at Llanfair talking about Kim again.

To add to the confusion, random unrelated scenes have been popping up in places they shouldn’t be in some of the same episodes as well. Like a quick shot of Kim at the cemetery watching Gigi’s grave being exhumed sandwiched in between scenes of Victor and Todd arguing at his office at The Sun, or a short scene of Rex and Shane arguing in the middle of Monday’s episode even though neither of them were seen elsewhere in the episode (outside of last second shot of Rex holding a gun at the end of the show). These are just a few examples of the rushed, sloppy editing that is making this show disjointed, choppy, and rather hard to follow.

And it doesn’t help matters that the writers have begun dropping major storylines for days a time to focus on unpopular plots, characters, and pairings. What ends a cliffhanger one day may not be resulted or shown again for maybe two or three more episodes, adding to viewer frustration. This, combined with unnecessary and poorly defined “newbies” helps make this show its own worst enemy.  The cast remains bloated and we forget about half of the characters on the canvas the majority of the time because they are rarely seen or drawn into a storyline. Take Cristian for example, outside of his occasional scenes recently with Shaun and Rama, what purpose does he really serve? The same for James, Nate, Deanna, Baz, and several others. There are too many characters right now (contract, recurring, and dayplayers), and the scenes are often too short for fans to really become invested in any particular characters or storylines, not to mention the fact that the tales are becoming increasingly stupid and idiotic, and long-time legacy characters are turned into nothing more than props and plot points. But yet, I suppose it is still more believable and entertaining than “,” which has a crazy doctor who has somehow kept most of town’s deceased residents alive and well.

After watching “One Life to Live” all last week with all its interruptions and editing issues, it made me realize that this show never fails to surprise me, whether it be for better or for worse. There is never a dull moment when it comes to Llanview, and finding something to do an article about for SON. Take this column for example. A week ago I had no idea what aspect of the show I was going to write about this go around, and then the show gave me plenty of inspiration and material to work with as I sat down late this evening (as usual) to hammer out a (hopefully) somewhat decent column only hours before my “deadline.” As noted earlier, there is never a dull moment while reporting on “OLTL,” whether it means I am writing about HD cameras and equipment, MMA fights (i.e. ), prom dresses, or High School Musical themed episodes.  There always seems to be something to talk about, whether I like what is happening or not. Remember that, just because I write an article about something or someone pertaining to the show, it does not mean that I agree with the decision. I am simply the messenger, so don’t shoot…haha.

Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to my trivia questions from last time….although I gave everyone a second chance, so here are the answers:

So here are your questions again: 1. What connection did (ex-Joe Riley and Tom Dennison) have to legendary comedian ? Answer: He was his golf caddy at one time. 2. is cousins with what famous country music star? Answer: . 3. (ex-Max) is a descendant of what former U.S. President? Answer: .

So now, let’s try some new trivia questions. 1. What current “OLTL” cast member was the youngest soap star ever placed on contract with a daytime drama back in 2001? 2. In college, what subject did get his undergraduate degree in and from what school? 3. What foreign language did grow up speaking before learning English at five-years-old? I’ll have the answers in the September 15 edition of My View of Llanview.

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. Someone is forced to part with something very dear to them. An unexpected person becomes the voice of reason for a troubled individual. Two old flames revisit their past. And one person in particular demands justice be served.

Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone!

Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…

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  • Love your comments Scotty!   I agree completely with everything you said.  As a longtime fan, I have seen this show’s overall quality completely lacking in the last few years, anywhere from production, direction, and writing.  As far as I’m concerned, the majority of the actors (especially the veterans) are the only saving grace of this show.  If it wasn’t for them turning crappy writing into gold, I wouldn’t have been able to watch the past few years.  I watch mostly out of loyalty to these actors that I have grown up with for several decades, not because I love the writing or production of the show.   

    The show has lacked severely in consistency, continuity of story  lines and effective pacing of story lines at least from the time they have started to tape episodes out of sequence and especially since Dena Higley, then RC became head writers.  I’ve also been so turned off by the constant parading of new characters and introduction of entire new families who have no connection to anyone in Llanview but yet they get big stories.  It’s very hard to care about these newbies at all, because most often their acting skills and unconvincing role-playing is not enough to sell their story, much less sell me their characters.  The ensuing bad writing for their characters adds to their problems.  Then you have all these great returns, like Kelly, Joey, David, Tina, Carlo, Mitch, etc. whose returns turn into utter failures.  Mitch’s return started off great but then he was all over the place without a real purpose. 

     The writing of stories have been a lot more plot-driven than character-driven, and there in lies the biggest problem with this head writer, whom I see as someone with no vision or wherewithal to write for a soap and stick to the true nature of his core characters and families.  He really has no business being a writer for a major TV show!  Mr. Carlivati and Mr. Valentini have been acting most often like they don’t care about the product that they’re putting out (and I believe this lack of caring and interest in soaps starts with Mr. Frons).  They all act like they’re just going through the motions at this point.   The wonderful veteran actors on this show are the only ones I’ve been invested in.  I would walk a mile for them!  

    Thanks for allowing me this forum to express my views!

  • My2Cents

    Sadly the mishaps of the day Dorian said her farewell’s was almost unforgivable. I thought I was losing my mind, which took away from all Dorian & Vicki scenes!!

    The only thing that has kept this show going are the VETS.
    For that I say KUDOS to OLTL for using them. Unlike GH, they don’t fire their aging but talented actors!!

    Now we are entering into the final stages of the show. Dorian is gone.
    TSJ will be gone this week as I am sure he is shot dead. Tea is rumored to be out as well.
    I do see ES (Vicki) sticking it out until the end. As is Echo. Hopefully these few strong Vets can carry us through until the end of the show.

  • My2Cents

    btw Scott..GREAT commentary!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    The answers to this week trivia questions are…1, Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning) became the youngest person put on contract at 9 years old in April 2001. 2. Ted King (Tomas Delgado) received his undergraduate degree in business from UC Santa Barbara. 3. Erika Slezak (Viki Lord) grew up speaking German before she learned English at five years old.