In the October 7 episode of “One Life to Live” a dog and a baby were shown communicating with one another in adult voices. In the scenes, doggie David Vickers “told” little Liam that John McBain was really his father and not Brody Lovett, as nearly everyone in town currently believes.
And, while the scenes campy and somewhat amusing, some “One Life” fans have already taken to Internet message boards vilifying the show and claiming that it was finally the moment that the show “jumped the shark.” Various comments have ranged from embarrassment to disgust to threats of never watching the soap again are becoming increasingly common.
After reading and following the rather bizarre uproar and flack over a couple of scenes from just one episode of “OLTL,” it confirms my hypothesis that soap operas are a lot like politics. Every election year many voters seem to develop selective amnesia when deciding which candidate or party deserves their vote, seemingly forgetting why they were voted off of office in the last election.
Much the same can be said for soap operas. If “OLTL” fans think that a baby and talk “talking” to one another is bad, then how would those same fans react to some of the show’s more outrageous storylines from the past 40 years? Did “One Life” not “jump the shark” with the secret underground city of Eterna, or Viki going to heaven not once, but twice? Or what about the time travel plot from the 1980’s when Clint went back in time to the Old West, or three years ago when Bo and Rex were transported back to 1968, but yet were still able to communicate with the present day by using a cell phone? And what about Viki conveniently forgetting about the births of two of her children, including a daughter whose twin was conceived by a different father?
If that’s not enough to convince you, then what about when Victor Lord returned from the dead nearly three decades after one of his daughter’s alternate personalities supposedly killed him, to claim his granddaughter’s heart? Don’t forget Margaret Cochran’s 12 month pregnancy. Or, more recently, with the Stacy “back from the dead with plastic surgery to make her look like her sister Gigi” storyline, or how Todd’s mother was able to fake her own death, control a government facility in Louisiana, brainwash one son into thinking he was someone else, and hold her other son prisoner for eight years while torturing him on a daily basis?
And let’s not forget how the writers made a point of reminding viewers that Téa and Todd had sex on the tropical island in 2002, when she returned to town in 2009 with a suddenly teenaged daughter which he was the father of? Or how Jack Manning aged at least six years in less than a month? And don’t forget how Marty and Patrick’s 16-year-old son Cole returned to Llanview in 2006, when he really should have been their 8-year-old daughter, based on Marty and Patrick’s exit storyline from 1997?
I realize that all soaps occasionally age characters to fit storyline purposes, however they, along with the other examples I listed above, showcase only a few of the times from over the years when the show actually did “jump the shark.” Many of those storylines were a lot more outrageous then a couple of scenes involving a dog and a baby communicating with one another. Heck, it isn’t even the first time an animal (either alive or dead) has “talked” on this show. Back in the 1990’s, Todd’s parrot Moose chatted with him on a regular basis. And in 2009, Morris the Stuffed Porcupine was heard talking to viewers. So why should doggie David Vickers and baby Liam conversing with one another cause such an uproar, be so difficult to deal with, and insult viewer intelligence any more so than any of the other storylines over the years have?
My point is that, while the scenes may have been a little embarrassing for some fans, it is by far not the worst thing “OLTL” has ever done. It was just some harmless fun on the show’s part and was largely just cute and amusing. No real harm done. It’s not the end of the world….’Life’ will go on….
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83″ and “Mary,” both of whom correctly guessed the answers to the trivia questions from the previous column. In case you missed the clues, here there are again with the answers: 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? Answer: “Body Language,” Catherine Hickland. 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? Answer: World War II and the Korean War. 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? Answer: Seponski.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. 1. What was the name of the episode of “Kate & Allie” that Frankie Faison (Richard Evans) appeared on, and what character did he play? 2. What legendary television star does Melissa Archer (Natalie) consider to be her role model? 3. What U.S. city does Florencia Lozano (Téa) say that she wouldn’t like to live in? I’ll have the answers in the October 30 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. A former couple remembers the good old days. A child makes a troubling discovery about their parent. Two old flames find themselves in a compromising position. And one family is ordered to appear in court.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe and warm wherever you are!
Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…