How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

My View of Llanview

My View of Llanview: July 15 Edition

Saturday, July 26, 2008 1:25 AM | By Scotty Gore

( — A review of “One Life to Live’s” 40th anniversary tribute.

Aloha everyone. It seems I just keep getting later and later with these columns, doesn’t it? I just get so wrapped up with everything going on around me, that I forget things, like this column. And I find it so difficult just to set down and write very much when there is so much to do outside this time of year. Also, I wanted to wait until after the two special 40th anniversary episodes of “OLTL” aired earlier this week before I wrote my column. But my apologizes for this being so late. There are just never enough hours in the day to do anything. Anyway, here are my thoughts on “One Life to Live’s” 40th anniversary celebration…

The Top Five reasons why I liked the two “OLTL” 40th anniversary episodes:

5. In theory at least, I appreciate the fact that “OLTL” decided to retell three past storylines to celebrate their 40th anniversary. I like the idea because it involves past characters and cast members. It is also a nice nod to the show’s history. That being said, I do have some issues with the storylines they chose, but I’ll get into that a little later. In an era when most other soaps celebrate major anniversaries and milestones with a montage of old clips and sound bites, you have to give “OLTL” credit for celebrating their past.

4. Say what you well about Agnes Nixon playing favorites with “OLTL” over “AMC,” but having her play God during VIki’s latest visit to heaven was brilliant. She was the perfect choice to place the omniscience Creator. And it was only fitting that Erika Slezak, “OLTL’s” longest running cast member, interact with her. And the nod to Erika’s tenure as Viki’s with Nixon’s comment that she had watching her 38 years was touching. And icing on the cake came at the end of the second of the two anniversary episodes when both Agnes and Erika looked into the camera, said that without the fans there would be no Llanview, and then wish “OLTL” a happy 40th anniversary. With Nixon’s two or three appearances on “All My Children” over the years, it was about time that she finally appeared on the only other remaining soap currently on the air that she created. It may have taken 40 years, but Agnes finally made a cameo ABC’s so-called redheaded stepsister.

3. Erin Torpey. To me she will always be Jessica. I wish there was a way the show could bring her back. I grew up watching her grow up on “OLTL.” Erin is so cute and has a certain child like innocence about her. Ron Carlivati is a genius for his quick thinking of getting her to play Viki’s guardian angel when Jessica Tuck had to pull out because of a scheduling conflict. And what makes it even more amazing is that all of this happened only a few days before they began filming the episodes. The sudden change literally occurred overnight. Now I have to admit that when heard, however, that Erin was going be playing her former character’s stillborn baby, I was rather skeptic as to how “OLTL” was going to pull it off. I mean think about it, how is a 27-year-old woman supposed to play the spirit of a baby who would only be about ten or eleven years old had she still been alive. But then I saw Viki asking the very same questions, and was satisfied by Megan Victoria’s line that “time moves differently for some of us here.” That makes sense. It’s heaven, and God is in heaven, and with him all things are possible. Plus it is important to keep in mind that the primary job of a soap opera is to entertain. It is not real life, but is instead an escape from reality. And it is important to remember that when you turn on the television. It’s not some reality show, or even Jerry Springer…. it’s a fictional scripted drama, similar to professional wrestling. But you didn’t hear that from me, ha ha.

2. Phil Carey and Stephen Markle. Asa has always been one of my favorite characters and I always considered Mel to be one of Dorian’s two true loves–with Herb Callison being the other. Although I find it a little strange that Asa ended up in heaven rather than in a hotter climate, it is always a treat seeing Phil Carey on my TV screen. While I’m not usually a fan of soaps using dead characters returning as ghosts to haunt the living (such as Paul Cramer, Margaret Cochran, Spencer Truman, and arrogantly smug Nash Brennan), I would gladly make an exception as far as Asa and Mel are concerned. Better yet, why not just reveal that Asa faked his death once more and that Bo and Viki’s visions of him were mere hallucinations brought on by grief from missing the old coot. And I could be mistaken, but as I recall when Mel’s plane went down several years ago they never found his body. So they could easily bring them both back. But until they do, I will set happily by and enjoy each and every time with are treated with their presence. And two thumbs up to the touching Dorian/Mel and Asa/Viki scenes we were treated to. Who could ask for anything more?

1. When I first heard that “OLTL” was planning two special episodes to honor their 40th anniversary, one of the first questions that popped in my mind was concerning the opening for the special shows. I thought to myself how neat it would be if they used the original fireplace opening (which ran from 1968-1975) to open the 40th anniversary episodes with. But the more I thought about it, the more I began to suspect that they would probably just continue to use the same old crappy opening which has not been updated since January. But imagine my surprise on Monday when, after Bo and Rex realized that had been transported back in time to 1968, the original theme music began to play and then we saw the burning flames from a fireplace with the words “One Life to Live” floating across the screen. It was the original opening, and I could not believe it. My joy was short-lived, however, as the old opening returned the following day. But still, I thought it was a nice touch.

The Top Five reasons why I did not like the two “OLTL” 40th anniversary episodes:

5. Ben Davidson. Although I thought it was nice that they were able to get Mark Derwin back along with all the other recent returns, I never have and never will like the character. I never did buy into the tripe that Ben was supposedly the great love of Viki’s life. Give me a break. Were the writers on crack when they came up with that one back in the final decade of the 20th century? Did these people ever watch the show before this character was created? Great love of Viki’s life, my fannie. What about Joe Riley, Steve Burke, Clint Buchanan, and even Sloan Carpenter? Ben Davidson does not even begin to compare with these greater, more developed characters. Ben has never been one of my favorite characters and I’m glad they killed him off. Good riddance. And the writer who first coined Viki’s nickname Blondie should be shot. I don’t mean to offend Ben and Viki fans here, but he does not even belong on the same stage with several of Viki’s other husbands, in my opinion. And to compound matters, I’ve always thought of Joe Riley as Viki’s one true love anyway. Too bad Lee Patterson is no longer with us, or they could have brought him back once more. I’d take that any day over Ben Davidson.

4. Tina, Sarah, and the waterfall. First, I have to admit that I have always loved Tina Roberts and Andrea Evans, revisiting the storyline where Tina was tied to a boat and sent sailing to her doom over the Iguazú Falls was not the best of ideas. Although I was only about eight years old when the original storyline involving Tina first aired, it was in the midst of one of the campest periods in “OLTL” history. It was during the same time period as the Old West storyline, the underground city of Eterna, Viki’s original trip to heaven, and the exploding wedding cake. While this time period did produce many memorable characters such as Tina, Cord, Max, and Gabrielle, it was also very different from the original concept of “OLTL,” which included socially relevant storylines featuring class and race relations, drug use, and mental illness. And even the supreme acting talents of Andrea Evans and Thom Christopher are not enough to save this storyline the second time around. David Fumero couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag, and would probably even be unable to emit emotion if his pants were on fire. This was one of the big let downs for me during the 40th anniversary episodes.

3. Dorian Lord. I’ll be the first to admit that Dorian has done some evil, slimy, vile, lowdown things in her life, but I have a difficult time believing that she would just leave Viki to die. Sure the pair have been feuding for over thirty years, but I’ve always felt that deep down, despite their hatred for one another, that neither would ever wish the other one dead. That doesn’t mean they would not want one another to suffer, however. But as for wishing death on each other seems a little far-fetched. In my opinion, deep down each of them actually respects the other, which shines through in the event of a crisis. Granted it is suppressed deep down, below levels and levels of hatred, jealousy, and envy. But it’s there. That’s why making David have to beg and plead with Dorian to save Viki’s life is low, even for Dorian. It makes her look even more despicable than she really is, which is saying a lot. Oh sure, she is having a guilty conscience about it afterward, but it doesn’t change the fact that she almost didn’t save Viki’s life. And to make things even worse, it appears, at least for the time being anyway, that Dorian is going to get away scott free with drugging Charlie. It seems like Dorian escapes punishment more and more as the years go by. Talk about justice being blind.

2. The return of the “OLTL” opening from hell. Well maybe not…I’ve always hated the satin sheets opening of 1992-1995 more than the present opening, but it comes in at a close second. The theme itself is okay; it’s the grainy pictures and flashing “OLTL” logos that seem poorly done and out of sync with the music. I think a teenager could do a better job on Microsoft Paint. That’s right…it’s that bad. After being treated to the original “OLTL” opening on Monday, I was wishing, hoping, and praying that Tuesday would bring a completely new opening for the soap’s 40th anniversary. But those hopes were quickly shattered when the same old crappy opening began to play. Newsflash to whoever at ABC is in charge of updating the “OLTL” opening…Nash is dead, Lalya and Vincent haven’t been seen in two months, and Miles hasn’t been around since April (unless you count the Memorial Day repeat of one of the “Prom Night: The Musical” episodes). I’d give my left arm (I’m left-handed) for a new “OLTL” opening. Imagine if you will a new opening that would encompass images from past openings such as the roaring fire and sunrise accompanied by a revamping of Peabo Bryson’s famous lyrics with all new actor shots from the various homes and businesses around Llanview. Just about anything though would be preferable to what we have now. Maybe one day soon “OLTL” will finally get a new opening sequence.

1. Perhaps my biggest complaint about “OLTL’s” recent anniversary tribute is that Ron Carlivati treated it as the 20th anniversary instead of the 40th anniversary. Two of the three storylines he chose to revisit (Viki’s trip to heaven and Tina going over the falls) occurred in the late 1980s. The third (Buchanans going back in time) also occurred in the late 1980s, and created a storyline one hundred years in the past. However, the sequel transported Bo and Rex back into 1968, when the show first premiered. However, it is focusing on events that happened more than a decade before the Buchanan family was even introduced to “OLTL” viewers. What I’m getting at is this…why were no storylines from 1968-1987 revisited? Those were some of the greatest years in “OLTL” history. It was during those years that we had the ‘death’ of Victor Lord and the first emergence of Niki Smith, Karen Wolek breaking down on the witness stand and proclaiming herself a hooker, Carla Grey passing herself off as a white woman and kissing a black doctor, Cathy Craig being treated for drug abuse at Odyssey House with real-life drug addicted teenagers, and the romance of Larry Wolek and Meredith Lord, among others. But instead there was not a single mention or even a flashback concerning any of them. It’s almost as if those first twenty years didn’t even exist. I realize that a lot of those early episodes no longer exist thanks to ABC’s policy at the time of erasing the tapes so they could be reused, but that doesn’t mean that homage could not be paid to those storylines. Characters from the first 20 years could have been brought back during the celebration. But instead everything they decided to include focused on the last twenty years. But even with that, a lot was left out. What about Wanda Wolek, the Gannon family, CJ Roberts, Mitch Laurence, Alex Olanov, Bo’s dead wife Sarah, and other former characters from the past dozen years? They too were strangely MIA. I realize that Ron Carlivati fell in love with the “OLTL” of the 1980s, which are also around the same time that my earliest memories of the soap began, but it is only one four decades in which “OLTL” has been on the air. And it’s not fair to celebrate one, and not the other three. “OLTL” was already an established soap with twenty years of history by the late 1980s, and that those years should be remembered as well, and not swept under the rug. Even so, I am at least grateful that the show even recognized any of their history. They could have easily gone the “General Hospital” route (i.e., their recent 45th anniversary), and simply stuck together a sixty-second montage of memorable characters and storylines. At least “OLTL” appears to honor its past, even though their memory is rather selective. And for that, I have to at least give them the benefit of the doubt.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. Enjoy the remainder of the summer. Take care and see you next time on July 30th.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

My View of Llanview: June 30 Edition

Monday, July 7, 2008 4:14 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — Tina Lord’s history and connections to Llanview.

Greetings! I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe 4th of July holiday. Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. In what seems to have become a broken record with me, this column is late again as usual. I’m starting to get lazy in my old age (I’m pushing 30), so you can imagine how bad I’ll be by the time I’m really old. Anyway, here is my column. I thought this go around I would help out new viewers by providing a character sketch of Llanview recently returned vixen Tina Lord Roberts.

However, before I delve into Tina’s history in Llanview, here’s a quick look at the various actresses who have portrayed Viki’s younger sister over the years. Since her arrival in town in 1978, a total of six different actresses have portrayed Tina. Of those, the most popular is Andrea Evans (1978-1981; 1985-1990; 2008-present), who originated the role. Other actresses to step into the role over the years have been Nancy Frangione (temperarily in 1980), Kelli Maroney (1984), Marsha Clark (1984-1985), Karen Witter (1990-1994), and Krista Tesreau (1994-1996; 1997). Now on to the history of Tina Lord, as presented in my own words…

In 1978, Viki’s dear childhood friend Irene Clayton realized she was not long for this world. Worried about what might become of her daughter Tina, Irene asked Viki to take in the 16-year-old troublesome teen. Viki agreed, however, she soon found her new arrival to be quite the handful. Around this same time, Llanview’s dastardly conman, Marco Dane, saw a golden opportunity to seek revenge on Viki.

Marco, quickly setting his plan in motion, buddied up to Tina and decided to open a modeling agency. Unbeknownst to Tina, Marco planned to snap pictures of underage teen, and superimpose them on pornographic images. He would then release the pictures to the media, resulting in the public humiliation of Viki. However, Marco’s plan soon hit a stumbling block as the conman began to become enamored with Tina. Never a man to miss an opportunity, however, Marco still managed to use the faux photos of Tina to blackmail Viki. A short time later, a horrified Viki stumbled upon Marco’s dead body, which resulted in her being arrested for murder. Fortunately for Viki, she was eventually cleared as a suspect in the murder.

As time progressed, Tina became romantically involved with a man named Greg Huddleston, and by 1980 had turned into quite a seductress. At the same time Tina was seducing Mark Gordon, boyfriend of her best friend Samantha Vernon, and lusting after country-music artist Johnny Drummond. Around this time, Ted Clayton, a man claiming to be Tina’s father, arrived in Llanview with only one goal–to swindle Tina and Viki out of as much money as possible. While in town, Ted (whose real last name was Clarkson), began to position himself against Clint Buchanan. Clint meanwhile had begun to have a soft spot for Viki, who had recently lost her husband Joe Riley to a brain tumor. Upon learning that Clint planned to pop the question to Viki, Ted executed his plan to kidnap his ‘daughter’ Tina. He schemed to not only receive the ransom money, but also to cozy up to Viki. Later, after making sure Tina had been safely returned to Llanview, Ted proposed to a shocked Viki. Clint appeared to have dropped out of the running for Viki’s affections, as the widow asked Ted to give her a little breathing room so she could make up her mind. Time, however, was not on Ted’s side as he was arrested and placed in prison for his part in Tina’s kidnapping. After managing to escape, he pursued a plan to kill Tina. Before his plan could be carried out however, Police Detective Ed Hall gunned him down. Deeply troubled by the turn of events, Tina decided to leave Llanview far behind her.

Nearly four years later, in 1985, Tina decided to return to Llanview in search of her biological father. Shortly before returning to town, Tina had come across an entry in her mother’s diary confessing that Ted Clayton was not her real father. Not along after returning to Llanfair, Tina inadvertently discovered a secret room beneath the library of the former home of Victor Lord. As she searched the room, Tina came across numerous valuable paintings, which had been plundered by Nazi Germany during World War II. She also found a letter written from the late Victor Lord to his daughter Viki proclaiming that Tina Lord was his daughter, the result of an affair with Viki’s good friend Irene Clayton, who was 19 at the time of the affair.

The news began that her father had seduced her best friend, began to take its toll on Viki, especially when the letter became public. Tina, meanwhile, became to enjoy the title of heiress, and all the perks that came along with it. Enter into the picture cult leader and all around bad guy Mitch Laurence, who plotted to rob Tina of her inheritance. After learning that Victor’s estate would be placed in Tina’s possession if Viki’s DID ever returned, Mitch convinced a reluctant Tina to assist him in his evil plot.

Luckily, Tina’s conscious got the better of her when Mitch revealed he planned to murder Clint Buchanan and pin the crime on Viki. As a result, Mitch instead killed Harry O’Neil. Sometime early Harry, not realizing she wasn’t real, fell in love with Niki Smith. Now with Harry O’Neil dead, Tina used Viki’s illness to gain control of Victor’s empire. Also, after suffering a relapse of her multiple personality disorder, Viki was able to recall seeing Victor and Irene in bed together. This led Viki to believe at the time, that the traumatic incident brought about her struggles with DID. But now, Tina found herself charged with the murder of Harry O’Neil. It took take Niki Smith’s testimony in court before she would be cleared of the crime.

Next, in 1986, Tina began to fall in love with Clint Buchanan. As she plotted to get Clint into bed, Niki, ready to distance herself from Viki, posed as her supposedly cured alter ego. Unfortunately, Tina would stop at nothing to get the man she wanted, even going so far as to blackmail Niki Smith into filing for divorce from Clint. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, she also pretended to be pregnant with Clint’s baby, although Dorian Lord quickly exposed her scheme. Cint soon discovered that Niki was still around, and developed a plan to place Viki back in control. He tricked Niki into discovering him and Tina in bed together. Although the encounter was staged, it proved successful in getting Viki to reemerge.

As Viki and Tina worked to mend their relationship, Tina found herself attracted to good guy Cord Roberts. The two had met after Tina had intercepted a letter from Maria Roberts to her brother-in-law Clint. After traveling to El Paso, Texas, Tina discovered that the letter was nothing more than a job request for Cord. Before Tina could return to Llanview, however, she was introduced to Cord. Instantly smitten, Tina was treated to a tour of the American Southwest by Cord. As he was snapping pictures of her in the family barn, Cord declared his love for Tina. However, being the schemer that she was, Tina was unable to picture herself with him.
She said good-bye to Cord and returned home with her wealthy fiancé Richard Abbott.

All around good guy Cord would not take no for an answer. He moved to Llanview, and took as a job as a photographer for The Banner newspaper, which was being run by Viki and Clint.
Tina managed to control her emotions until she returned to Texas with Cord for the funeral of Clint’s ‘father’ Al Roberts. Earlier, while on his deathbed, Al had revealed to a minister that Clint was not his biological son. Upon arriving in Texas, Tina was horrified to learn the minister was none other than her old adversary, cult leader Mitch Laurence. Furthermore, he floored Tina with the news that Clint was really Cord’s father.

Roughly twenty years earlier, Clint Buchanan and Maria Roberts had been teenage sweethearts. However, Clint’s disapproving father Asa Buchanan, would have nothing to do with his son’s relationship with a Mexican, and managed to bully Maria and her mother back to Texas. Clint remained oblivious to the fact that Maria was carrying his child. After placing all the pieces of the puzzle together, Tina realized what had happened, and paid Asa a visit. During her confrontation with the Buchanan family patriarch, Tina blackmailed Asa into claiming that Al Holden’s will contained a provision that Cord would receive a million dollar inheritance upon his death.

Learning that he was actually Clint’s son, Tina plotted to wed Cord before he discovered his true heritage. The two were married, resulting in Tina having both Cord’s love and money. However, all good things must come to an end. A few months later, Viki confessed the truth to Clint, who shared a tenderhearted reunion with Cord. This was followed by Cord’s discovery that Tina had long since known the truth and that she had swindled Asa out of a million dollars. Although hesitant to give the money back, Cord handed Asa a check for the money. However, it was too late. Tina had already dumped the money into a frivolous investment, a supposed exotic island known as Devil’s Claw. While taking a tour of the island, Cord and Tina quickly discovered that the island was a safe haven for terrorists. Barely escaping with their lives, Tina and Cord found their marriage nearing an end.

Although successful in her quest to marry Cord, she soon faced the wrath of his disapproving mother Maria Roberts. Not long after the ceremony, Maria forged a deal with her good friend Max Holden in 1987. She ordered Max to court Tina and whisk her out of the country.
However, Tina soon learns that she is pregnant, and that Cord doesn’t seem to want the baby. In reality, Cord has no idea that Tina is pregnant, thanks to Maria. Heartbroken, Tina agrees to leave for Buenos Aires, Argentina with Max. Once out of the country, Cord learns of Tina’s bun in the oven, and heads for Argentina with his archaeologist friend Kate Sanders. Cord arrived to save Tina, but it was too late. After plunging over Iguazu Falls, Tina was believed dead by all her loved ones.

In reality, however, Tina was very much alive. Kate’s brother Jamie Sanders had kidnapped her after she and Max unknowingly find themselves in the middle of a drug ring. When Tina fell over the falls, Jamie had been shot and fell over the side of the boat. Now, in the jungle of South America she meets Gabrielle Medina, who was also pregnant…but with Max Holden’s baby. Gabrielle befriends a distraught and despondent Tina, who believes she has suffered a miscarriage. In time, Tina becomes well enough to deliver Gabrielle’s baby body. Believing that Max and Tina are soon to be married, Gabrielle makes the difficult decision to give her baby over to Tina so she can make sure he has a good life. Tina leaves for Llanview with the baby in tow, but not before naming him Al, after Cord’s dead stepfather.

Meanwhile, back in Llanview, Cord and Kate have grown quite close in the months since Tina’s ‘death.’ In fact, they are about to be married, when Tina suddenly arrives at the church with Gabrielle’s baby proclaiming, “Stop! Am I too late? Cord, I’ve come so far … this is your son,” before fainting. Cord, whose marriage to Kate in now invalid, is thrilled that Tina and baby Al are alive, however, he still plans to divorce her in order to marry Kate. Not missing a beat, Maria blackmails Tina after learning that Al is really Max and Gabrielle’s son, ordering that she divorce Cord immediately. At the same time, Maria starts to fall in love with Clint. But, in order to do so, she must first get rid of Viki. So she plots to murder Viki and frame Tina. When her plan to plow down Viki with her car is a bust, Maria poisons a pair of earrings that Tina plans to give Viki as a gift. This plan to backfires, as Gabrielle touches the earrings instead and collapses, but manages to survive. Meanwhile, a struggle ensues between Tina and Maria over the vile of poison. During the altercation, the bottle spills onto Maria, resulting in her death.

In court, Tina is convicted of Maria’s murder, but later acquitted. She and Cord make love, but his heart still belongs to Kate. She finds comfort in the arms of Max Holden, who she agrees to marry. A short time later, Tina and Max learn that while she was in the South American jungle and consumed by fever, that natives helped deliver Tina’s baby, and that it was being held captive by a henchmen named Rolio. As Tina and Max head back to Argentina in search of the baby, Cord, after breaking things off with Kate, also heads south of Equator. After several twists and turns, Max and Tina locate the baby, named “Milagro” (miracle), back to Llanview in 1988. Cord and Tina name the baby Clinton James, and call him CJ for short. Max calls off his engagement to Tina when she accidentally says “I take thee, Cord” while at the altar with Max. Following this, Tina once more goes after Cord, who has by this time taken an interest in Sarah Gordon. Around this same time, Gabrielle reveals that Al was really Max Holden’s baby and that she pressured Tina into claiming the baby as her own. After getting back together briefly with Cord, Tina finds herself courted by Bo Buchanan, who has recently returned to Llanview. However, unbeknownst to anyone, he is not actually Bo, but instead Kate Sanders’ ex-lover Dr. Patrick London. Hired by Asa Buchanan’s adversaries, London had plastic surgery in order to pretend to be Bo and infiltrate the Buchanan clan. While pretending to be Bo, London plans to marry Tina and gain control of her inheritance. Before he can do so, however, he is ousted and killed by the real Bo Buchanan, whom London had been holding captive for months.

Finding their way back to one another in November 1988, Cord and Tina wed in a double ceremony with Cord’s grandfather and step-grandmother Asa Buchanan and Renee Divine. Ursula Blackwell, Tina’s newest rival, hides an explosive device in the wedding cake. But, instead of hitting its intended target, the blast kills Max’s brother Steve Holden. In January of 1989 Tina, along with Gabrielle and Michael Grande, discover the underground city of Eterna, and the trio became trapped there for months along with Viki, and many other residents of Llanview. Also around this time, Tina concocted a number of other schemes, including searching for lost jewels and other get rich quick schemes.

By 1990, Cord and Tina’s latest marriage is once again on life support. Cord is becoming fed up with Tina’s lies and schemes. But the final straw comes when Tina accesses Cord of sleeping with Gabrielle’s sister Debra. After Cord requests a divorce, Tina takes baby CJ and leaves Llanview for San Diego.

Cord and the Buchanan clan arrived on the island of Badderly only a few months later, in an attempt to infiltrate the isle. It was then that they first met Carlo Hesser’s son Johnny Dee, and learned that Tina was his guest on the island. Although excited to see Cord again, Tina was didn’t want him to get in any trouble with the mobster. When Johnny was about to rummage through Clint’s room, Tina distracted him with sex. A short time later, while still on the island, Tina and Cord reunited, and made love as well. Back in Llanview, Tina soon discovered she was pregnant, and mistakenly believed Johnny to be the baby’s father.

Being the man that he was, Cord, nonetheless offered to help raise the baby. Johnny Dee, however, had other ideas. He broke into Llanfair and knocked Tina out cold, and planned to kidnap her. Meanwhile, Viki saw the whole thing. However, the town matriarch had recently suffered a stroke after being shot while giving a speech as the newly elected mayor Llanview. Unfortunately, the stroke left Viki confined to a wheelchair and unable to move or speak. However, Viki could sense that Tina needed her help, so she allowed Niki Smith to reemerge. Niki could accomplish what Viki was unable to do. After managing to stand and threaten the mobster, Niki pumped Johnny Dee full of lead. At first, neither Tina or Viki could recall what had happened, but Tina soon became the prime suspect. An audiotape was soon discovered in the room, which proved that Viki had murdered Johnny Dee in self-defense. The cassette had been recorded by Johnny, and stolen from his pocket by Gabrielle Medina only minutes after the shooting. While the tape proved that Niki had shot Johnny, it also revealed that Gabrielle Medina had been present at the crime scene.

Soon, Carlo blackmailed Gabrielle into attempting to convince Tina to give up her baby to him. Reluctant to ally herself with the notorious crime boss, Gabrielle was forced to do Carlo’s dirty work when he threatened to go public with a videotape of her seducing Father Tony Vallone. Tina soon fled to Texas while being pursued by Carlo Hesser, who wanted custody of his unborn grandchild. Cord soon joined them in hot pursuit, armed with paternity test results, which revealed him to be the father of Tina’s baby. In February 1991, while still in Texas, Tina went into labor while stranded in a blizzard. Cord soon located her and, with the aide of DuAnn Demerest, delivered the baby, which they named Sarah Victoria after Viki and presumed dead family member Sarah Gordon Buchanan. Shortly thereafter, Tina and Cord returned to Llanview where they remarried for a third and final time. Later that year, Tina devised another of her signature doomed to fail plans, by planning to write a book on the history of the Lord and Buchanan families. Her interest in the project peaked when publisher Hudson King offered to pay Tina a huge amount of money for the book, and she began to put in long hours at his New York City apartment working on it.
Cord, however, soon discovered the truth, that Hudson King was, in fact, the cleverly disguised conman Cain Rogan. Cain had arrived in Llanview disguised as three different fictitious people in order to help Dorian Lord gain control of the Buchanan family’s assets. But proving it to Tina was easier said than done. In order to prove his point, Cord concocted a scheme where he would ‘discover’ Tina and Cain together. He would then portray the jealous husband and shoot Tina with a blank, and she would play dead. The ruse worked. After ‘killing’ Tina, Cord threatened to ‘shoot’ Cain if he didn’t confess his true identity. Cord had once again saved Tina’s life.

Meanwhile, Megan Harrison was distraught over Jake being so far away in Jaba City, so she hit the slots in Atlantic City. It was there she bumped into Cain Rogan, who was pretending to be German film director Heinrich Keiser. After Tina encountered the conman in an elevator at the Palace, she spilled the beans to a horrified Megan. Meanwhile, Tina and Cain decided to get revenge on Carlo Hesser and Alex Olanov. To do so, they plotted to steal the Cleopatra jewels and pin the heist on Alex. The scheme backfired however, when Alex, posing as a cleaning lady, tricked Tina and Cain into stealing the jewels, and watched from a distance as the security alarm sounded and the lovebirds fell into her trap. Not to be outdone, Tina and Cain found the jewels, planted them in Alex’s apartment, and contacted District Attorney Hank Gannon. No charges were filed in the complicated case, and Tina and Cain got off scot-free.

Cord, along with Rev. Andrew Carpenter, were called in late 1991, to go to Jaba City and rescue Jake Harrision from a prison camp. While Jake and Andrew managed to escape, Cord was shot in the chest. Although no body was found, the Buchanan family, and especially Tina, mourned for Cord, who was presumed dead. In time, however, Tina managed to move on, and soon became involved with conman and master of disguise Cain Rogan. In 1993, Tina received the shock of her life when Cord ‘returned from the dead.’ But something had happened to Cord during his time in the Middle Eastern prison camp at Jaba City. He was now angry at the world, and unaware that Tina had moved on with her life. Cord had tracked Tina down at a casino in Atlantic City. In her room, Tina was dressed in lingerie, anxiously awaiting Cain’s return. Instead, Cord walked in on Tina, at which point she promptly fainted. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder he was horrified to learn of Tina’s involvement with Cain Rogan. He was equally upset that his friends and family had keep mum while Tina had spent time with both him and Cain. He began yelling at everyone he cared about, including CJ and Sarah. CJ didn’t care much for Cord or his attitude, and considered Cain a more fitting father figure. This only infuriated Cord even more. Cord also forced Tina to make a choice–either him or Cain. In the end, Tina chose Cain. Bitter, Cord managed to dig up Angela Holiday, who had once been Cain’s partner in crime to break up the new couple. Tina didn’t respond well to the news that Cain and Angela had once been married. In time, however, Tina forgave Cain, although Angela Holiday remained a thorn in their side.

Some time later, children CJ and Al found themselves trapped in a cave. While working to free them, Cord bumped his head, which resulted in selective amnesia. Not being able to remember anything after Jake’s rescue mission in Jaba City, Cord believed he and Tina were still married. Dr. Larry Wolek cautioned Tina about telling Cord otherwise, citing health concerns. Tina, happy her son was safe, readily agreed. For months, she and Cain met behind Cord’s back, until one day Angela Holiday confessed the truth to Cord. The blow prompted Cord to divorce Tina, leaving her free to be with Cain.
The pair then wed on Valentine’s Day 1994. However, while on their honeymoon, the newlyweds received a postcard from Angela Holiday, stating that before she skipped town, she had hired a fake minister to marry them. Less than a year later, Tina, having dumped Cain, returned to Llanview.

Once back in Llanview, Tina became acquainted with another charming conman, David Vickers. With Dorian Lord sentenced to death for the 1976 murder of Victor Lord, thanks to a recently published book by Viki’s husband Sloan Carpentar, David Vickers arrived in Llanview with the alleged diary of Tina’s late mother Irene Clayton Manning. In an entry in the diary, Irene confessed to murdering Victor. David also claimed that the diary made mention of another child she had of Victor Lord’s, with David claiming to be that very child. However, the entire episode was a scam, with Dorian paying David to help get her out of prison. Although the plan initially went off without a hitch, it soon encountered a speed bump when David started to fall for his ‘sister’ Tina. After learning Tina felt the same way, the two gave into their passion at Viki’s cabin. Not long after, David confessed to Tina that he wasn’t really her brother, but that Todd Manning was, and that he was only in it for the money. Tina, blinded by love, agreed to go along with the ruse, and the pair were married in Las Vegas. Following her release from Statesville, Dorian learned that Todd Manning was the true Lord heir, and floored Viki with the identity of her long-lost brother. Dorian also caused Viki’s personality to fragment by revealing a disgusting fact that Viki had buried deep in her mind–that Victor Lord had sexually abused his own daughter as a child. As Viki’s personality to split, a strange new altar emerged. Her name was Jean Randolph, and she was calm, cold, and calculated. As Viki, Jean confronted David Vickers. She warned him to divorce Tina and break all contact with her, or else she would report him to the authorities. In addition, Jean ordered David to marry Dorian, who couldn’t stand the sight of him. Later that year, Tina informs Todd that Blair is only after him for his money. This results in Todd forcing Blair to take a pregnancy test. However, much to Blair’s delight, she learns that she really is pregnant with Todd’s baby.

The following year, in 1996, Tina received a job offer from Logan’s Department Store as a professional shopper. Deciding to take the job, she packed up and headed to Baltimore with CJ and Sarah. In early 1997, she briefly returned to Llanview to help usher Cord Roberts out of town.

Although off-camera for nearly a dozen years, Tina had frequently became the topic of gossip between the years 1997 and 2008. This was especially true when her daughter Sarah, who had become a professional singer and starting referring to herself as “Flash,” returned to Llanview in 2003, without her mother. Sarah was unsure of her mother’s recent whereabouts, as was Viki, Clint, Cord, and the rest of her family and friends. No one seemed to know what had happened to Tina since she had moved to Baltimore. Sarah stated that she had left her mother and brother and joined a rock band called “Midnight Logic.” According to Sarah, Tina had left Baltimore, hooked back up with Cain Rogan, and that neither of them supported her dream of being a musician. Furthermore, Sarah noted that, due to Tina’s abrasive parenting techniques, that her brother CJ had also left home, and had joined the military. The following year, in 2004 Cord made a quick return to Llanview to escort Sarah back to London, and vowed to Viki and Asa that he would do his best to locate Tina.

However, when Sarah returned to Llanview in 2007, she informed her loved ones that Tina was off somewhere up to her old tricks, and that Tina occasionally sent her money. However, the two rarely communicated. Sarah also informed Viki and Clint that they encounter extreme difficulty in finding Tina, stating “she’s where I got my run and hide genes.” Later Clint, after assisting Cord with his search, reportedly that were unable to find Tina.

Then came June 11, 2008 when Tina arrived back in Llanview, only to be greeted by Jonas Chamberlin, the U.S. Ambassador to Mendorra. In the days that followed, Tina was revealed to be the Crown Princess of Mendorra. She paid a visit to Police Commissioner Lee Ramsey who had earlier arranged for the Mendorran Crown Jewels to be ‘stolen’ while on exhibit at Lindsay Rappaport’s Art Gallery in Llanview, and placed in his possession. Once back in her hometown, Tina visited Ramsey and offered him money in exchange for the jewels. However, Jonas soon turns the tables on Tina, and hires goons to bust into Ramsey’s penthouse and shoot the place up. Ramsey, his doorman, and Jonas’ two hired goons end up murdered in the attack, while Tina manages to successful sneak away with the jewels. During this time, Tina reveals that she now has a dog, which she has brought to Llanview. A dog that she has named David Vickers, after her former lover. Also, while in the park spying on his children Starr and Sam, Todd spots his sister Tina from a limo. After ordering his driver to follow her, he loses sight of her after she enters his former apartment building, which was bought by Lee Ramsey. Tina leaves with Jonas, who threatens her, but not before he shoots Police Detective John McBain in the arm. John, while working to uncover the identity of Ramsey’s female houseguest, chases Tina, but the trail soon grows cold. The mystery woman John was searching for is revealed to be the presumed dead Marty Saybrooke.

Jonas, who threatens them, but does not harm them, holds Sarah and Cristian at gunpoint in the park. Later, while trying to hide out from Jonas, Tina reveals herself to Sarah and her boyfriend Cristian Vega. Sarah manages to convince Cristian to help hide Tina in his loft. He reluctantly agrees to, all the while questioning her about why she is back in Llanview. Jonas, however, gets the upper hand by kidnapping Sarah and her roommate Talia Sahid, whom he forces to call Antonio and send the Vega brothers on a wild goose chase to their mother’s diner while he drags the women out of Llanview. But after learning from Carlotta that Talia had lied about injuring her leg, they become highly suspicious. Meanwhile, Tina flees Cristian’s loft and ends up in Angel Square, where she comes face-to-face with Jonas. Holding her hostage, Jonas threatens to kill the canine David Vickers if she doesn’t turn over the jewels. However, K-9 David carries out Tina’s command that he bite Jonas, which results in the dog being able to escape. In the ensuing melee, Tina manages to sneak away with the jewels. Later, Antonio, Cristian and Tina learn from Jonas that Sarah and Talia have been taken to Mendorra, and that they will be heading there as well.

Once in Mendorra, Tina is reunited with Cain Rogan, who is now the Crown Prince of Mendorra. Shortly thereafter, they reveal how they conned the people of Mendorra into believing that Cain was the rightful heir to the throne. Meanwhile, Sarah has been thorn in a dungeon with Talia, who receives a visit from her father Carlo Hesser. Cristian and Antonio are also held captive in the palace. And David Vickers the dog, ended up with Natalie Buchanan and Jared Banks who, after learning of the dog’s identity, takes him Dorian Lord’s home where he meets his namesake.

Well, there you have it. That is a *brief* character history of Tina Lord Roberts. Although those are some of the highlights, they do not include all of Tina’s exploits in Llanview. But you get the picture; Tina has a long history in Llanview with many past and present characters. I hope this helps newer viewers understand Tina’s connection to Llanview. I know that I myself learned some things about Tina that I wasn’t aware of while doing research for this column.
I hope you do the same. And I hope you enjoy reading this column as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Before I close, don’t forget to submit your fondest memories of “One Life to Live’s” first 40 years by including them in your responses to this column on the Soap Opera Network message board. You can also leave your comments on the SON website, or you can PM or e-mail them to me. I look forward to hearing from all my fellow “OLTL” fans! Remember that “OLTL’s” 40th anniversary is coming up very soon on July 15th, which will also be the date of my next column, which I swear to post on time.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. Keep enjoying your summer. Take care and see you next time on “OLTL’s” 40th anniversary on July 15th.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

My View of Llanview: June 15 Edition

Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:32 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — The 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards and “One Life to Live.”

Greetings soap opera connoisseurs. Once more procrastination has become my Kryptonite. It’s so hard to set down and write a column this time of year because there is so much to do outside. But then again, it is hot, and typing is a painless activity while cooling off under the air conditioner. So sorry this column is a little behind schedule, but you know what they say…..better late than never.
Ha ha. Anyway, on to the Llanview lowdown…

Last Friday night, the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were handed out in their typical lackluster fashion. Hosts Cameron Mathison and Sheri Shepherd made for a grueling two-hour snooze fest block of time that we will never get back.
Two thoughts first came to mind as I turned on ABC to watch the debacle. First, Sheri Shepherd seems really annoying and overanxious, and second, is there any program that ABC won’t use as an opportunity to pimp Cameron Mathison?
But beyond the oblivious, there were a few other things about this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards that really grinds my gears.

First is the severe lack of any “One Life to Live” recognition in all but one of the acting categories. In fact the only “OLTL” actor even nominated for anything was Brian Kerwin (Charlie Banks), and he lost. I don’t get it. “One Life to Live” has the best cast on daytime, yet they are routinely shut out year after year after year. Granted other soaps have some terrific actors as well, but “OLTL” appears to have cornered the market in that regard. So how is it that they get shut out of the Emmys when “General Hospital” gets nominated for nearly everything?
Remember last year when Genie Francis won an Emmy for only a month’s worth of episodes? Or this year when Anthony Geary won an award for a sub par six-month performance?

And the kicker of it all was when “GH” won the Daytime Emmy for ‘Outstanding Daytime Drama,’ and hearing Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps rudely proclaim while prancing on stage to accept her undeserved statue that “This was expected.” That one left me scratching my head and repeating “REALLY?!?” I kept watching the clock and waiting and hoping for the network to cut off her acceptance speech like they did in 2005. I have nothing but contempt for this woman and this soap. Although my mother watched “GH” while I was growing up, and that I was named after two characters on the soap, I have slowly manifested a hatred of all things “General Hospital.” I suppose it is due in part to the royal treatment it receives in comparison to “All My Children,” and especially to “One Life to Live.” It boggles my mind how “General Hospital” can receive a Daytime Emmy for crap on a stick, when there were three other, much more deserving, nominees. There was “The Young and the Restless,” who has long been daytime’s number one sudser, next there was “Guiding Light,” the longest running soap who celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, and then there was “One Life to Live,” who has increased substantially since the dismissal of Head Writer Dena Higley (and the promotion of Ron Carlivati to that position). But once again, “GH” wins an award they do not deserve. But what else is new? The Daytime Emmy Awards have been a joke for years now. It’s no wonder the over-the-top broadcast losses viewers and interest with each consecutive year. And, as if Phelp’s snarky comment was not a big enough slap in the face to the other three nominees (especially “OLTL”), then seeing ABC Daytime President Brian Frons setting
in his usual spot at the “GH” table certainly took the icing on the cake. Hey Mr. B.S. Frons (and yes, those are his actual initials), “GH” wasn’t the only ABC soap nominated for the top honor you know. But seriously, he is slowly sucking the life out of ABC’s Daytime schedule. And what does his terrible job performance earn him from his bosses? One promotion after another. Imagine that. And the most frightening part in all this is that, except for our last names and one letter in our first names, both Frons and I have the same name. His first and middle names are Brian Scott, whereas mine are Bryan Scott…. that’s some freaky stuff if you ask me. And I just think God that Jill Farren Phelps got out of Llanview when she did. Just imagine what “OLTL” would be like today had she still been in charge. Yikes. But anyway, I digress…

Since Daytime Emmy Awards were first handed out in 1972, the majority of past and present soap operas have won the category of ‘Outstanding Daytime Drama’ at least once. “General Hospital” tops the list with 10 wins in the category (1981, 1984, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, and 2008). Next up on the list is “The Young and the Restless” with 7 wins (1975, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1993, 2004, and 2007 [tied with "Guiding Light"]). Third is “As the World Turns” with 4 wins (1987, 1991, 2001, and 2003). In a three-way tie for fourth place on the list are “All My Children” (1992, 1994, and 1998), “Guiding Light” (1980, 1982, and 2007 [tied with "Y&R"]), and “Santa Barbara” (1988, 1989, and 1990). In fifth place is “Ryan’s Hope,” with wins in 1977 and 1979, and “The Doctors,” with wins in 1972 and 1974. The sixth place spot is a four-way tie between “Another World” (1976), “Days of Our Lives” (1978), “The Edge of Night” (1973), and “One Life to Live” (2002), each with one win. And seventh place consists of “Passions,” “Loving,” “The City,” “Port Charles,” and all other since cancelled soaps who never won a Daytime Emmy for ‘Outstanding Daytime Drama.’ On a related note, also fitting into that last category is “The Bold and the Beautiful,” which holds the distinction of being the only one of the eight current daytime dramas to have never won the category.

I believe that “OLTL” would have had a decent shot at winning the category this year had they submitted two good episodes from the past year, instead of just one. They made a good decision to submit the episode featuring the death of Asa Buchanan. But their kiss of death was with their second submission, one of the craptastic “Prom Night: the Musical” episodes. For those of you who have valiantly attempted to erase that vomit-inducing memory from your craniums, I’m going to rub a little salt in the wound. “Prom Night: the Musical” was a week’s worth of episodes centering around Starr and Cole’s high school prom. And yes, for any who may have missed it, it was as good as it sounds. It was like nails on a chalkboard. And not even the wonderful performances of Kathy Brier, Jason Tam, and Brittany Underwood could save the sinking ship. I think that, by submitting that episode as their second choice, “OLTL” sealed their fate in losing the ‘Outstanding Daytime Drama’ category at last week’s Daytime Emmy Awards. After doing a little research, I discovered that 2008 marked “OLTL’s” sixth nomination for ‘Outstanding Daytime Drama’ in the Daytime Emmy’s 35-year history; it also marked their fourth loss in the category. “OLTL’s” other nominations occurred in 1973, 1983, 2000, 2002 (in which it won), and 2007). And, while “OLTL” has lost more times than it has one, it is interesting to note that four out of its six nominations in the category have occurred within the past eight years.

On the plus side, “OLTL” was nominated in several technical categories, winning six of them. Nominations included the categories of “Outstanding Achievement for Casting for a Drama Series,” “Outstanding Achievement for Multiple Camera Editing for a Drama Series,” “Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition in a Drama Series,” and “Outstanding Original Song.”

Wins for “OLTL” came in the technical categories of “Outstanding Achievement for Costume Design for a Drama Series,” “Outstanding Achievement for Lighting Direction for a Drama Series,” and “Original Song” (two “OLTL” songs won in this category, ‘Chemistry’ and ‘Little Starr’). Also, “OLTL” was nominated fro and won in the “Best Directing” and “Best Writing” categories. It feels so good to be able to say Award Winning Head Writer Ron Carlivati. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? I think it does. Congratulations to everyone at “OLTL” who won Daytime Emmys this year, especially the directing and writing staffs. It was well deserved and long overdue. Keep up the good work! I am so proud of “OLTL” right now, and cannot wait for the 40th anniversary celebration next month.

With the 40th anniversary of “OLTL” coming up on July 15th, please share your thoughts and memories of the soap’s long history. I just may use some of your comments in a special edition of the column on July 15th.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. Thanks for reading and patiently enduring my twice a month ramblings. Take care and see you next time.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

My View of Llanview: May 30 Edition

Saturday, June 7, 2008 7:37 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — Ron Carlivati helps “One Life to Live” rise from the ashes and return to its former glory.

Hello to all you fellow “One Life to Live” fans out there in TV land. I am finally writing this column about a week late again, as usual. However, one thing that is different now is that I am going to actually write a column, and not just copy and paste some random “OLTL” article from the past. I am so very thankful that summer vacation has arrived. I finally have the opportunity to catch up on things “OLTL,” including writing a meaningful column again. So without further delay, here are my latest thoughts and rants on “One Life to Live.”

For starters, I remain in shock and awe from the past week’s events in Llanview. From corporate takeovers to family squabbles, “OLTL” seems to have it all these days. Head Writer Ron Carlivati has nearly completely won me over after these last five episodes. This is the “One Life to Live” I fell in love with as a child, which I thought was gone forever after the past few years under Dena Higley’s tyrannical, botched reign. We would have never had storylines like this under Higley’s poison pen. I think that it is safe to say that Ron Carlivati is arguably one of the best soap writers of 2008. And here are a few reasons why….

First, as the old saying goes, ‘you can’t live in the past.’ But don’t they also say that ‘the past never stays buried?’ The latter of those two quotes seems to fit “One Life to Live” nearly perfectly these days. In my opinion, a good soap is one that embraces its history instead of ignoring it. That’s not to say that a soap can survive solely by regurgitating old storylines or by focusing entirely on past characters. However, it does mean that any soap writer worth his or her salt should thoroughly research the history of the daytime drama they are writing for, in order create new storylines out of past events. The trick is to find the correct balance between the two. And Ron Carlivati seems to have found that delicate balance. For instance, earlier this week, Jessica became a widow this week following the death of her husband Nash. While the focus of this storyline will center on Jessica’s grief and anger toward Natalie and Jared, it also creates an underlying storyline that eerily mirrors that of her mother, Viki. Longtime fans of “OLTL” can recall how Viki’s husband Joe Riley died when Kevin was a young child and before Joey was born. Aside from a casual comment made by Viki to Clint about Joe, nothing was said to connect the two events. However, viewers noticed the connection, and appreciated the subtle nod to history. Notice how Ron Carlivati connected the past to the present without unnecessarily dwelling on it? That’s how to you a soap’s history the right way.

While the Joe Riley mention was the most memorable to me, it wasn’t the only history reference made this past week on “OLTL.” There was Dorian looking up to heaven to ask her deceased ex-alcoholic lover Mel to forgive her while she poured elixir down Charlie’s throat. There was also Adriana angrily reminding Dorian that she had loving parents (her adoptive parents) before coming to Llanview and accusing her mother of only loving her inheritance (from dear ole Aunt Betsy). We also had Jessica, in a fit of rage, telling Natalie that she was no different than she was when she first arrived in Llanview, and how much Natalie’s behavior and actions hurt Viki and Jessica, both then and now. And who could forget Sarah’s periodic mentions of Tina, Clint’s of Kevin, Joey, and Cord, Dorian’s comments about Cassie and Kelly, or Starr’s reference of River and Zane? While all these nods to the past may appear in writing to be overdoing it, they all served a purpose. They weren’t just randomly thrown out to impress longtime viewers; they actually were tied to various current storylines on “OLTL.”

Second, it’s never too late to go home again. Since Ron Carlivati took over the reigns from Dena Hackley (I mean Higley) last August, we have been treated to the returns of a number of former characters and actors to “OLTL.” While some of these returns have been limited to only a handful of episodes, others have turned into indefinite engagements. The list of short returns includes Ann Hamilton (Aunt Corinne Balsom), Tari Signor (ghostly Margaret Cochran), R. Brandon Johnson (Chuck Wilson III), John Rue (Moe Stubbs), January LaVoy (Noelle Ortiz), Dan Gauthier (Kevin Buchanan), Nathan Fillion), James DePaiva (Max Holden), John Loprieno (Cord Roberts), Phil Carey (Asa Buchanan, for the reading of his will), Janet Hubert (Lisa Williamson), Jason-Shane Scott (Will Rappaport), Timothy Adams (Ron Walsh), and Christine Jones (Pamela Stuart). The list of returns with extended visits in Llanview includes Andrea Evans (Tina Roberts), Susan Haskell (Marty Saybrooke), Thom Christopher (Carlo Hesser), and Christopher Cousins (Cain Rogan). Also we have been treated to recurring visits from Tuc Watkins (David Vickers), Tonja Walker (Alex Olanov), and Barbara Garrick (Allison Perkins). I grew up watching many of these characters and actors on “One Life to Live,” and it was/is wonderful to have the opportunity to see them again.

Third, seeing things in 3-D is always more lifelike. One thing in recent weeks and months about Ron Carlivati is his ability to write three-dimensional characters. Under Dena Higley, most of Llanview became one-dimensional cardboard props to characters such as Spencer Truman and John McBain. They lacked personality, depth, and emotion. Most characters were written in such a way as to revolve around a handful of core characters that viewers were unwittingly subjected to day in and day out. The majority of these characters quickly became predictable and boring. Now, however, the characters have regained their depth and composure and showcase their human characteristics. Jessica and Natalie are two such characters that immediately come to one’s mind. Both exhibited powerful, emotional scenes last week following the death of Nash Brennan at the hands of Jared Banks. Another example is Dorian Lord, who showed, in classic form, just how big of a bitch she can by publicly destroying and humiliating the entire Buchanan family at their annual shareholders’ meeting. One other example is Marcie’s breakdown following her realization that she may never be a mother again. The raw emotion Kathy Brier exhibited in those scenes really tugged at the heartstrings. If nothing else, it demonstrated how much being a mother truly meant to her. The viewer is able to feel and sympathize with these characters because of the depth to their characters.

Fourth, history is not rewritten, but is built upon. As I mentioned toward the beginning of this edition of the column, history is very important to a soap. However, what is even more important is to use that history to effectively build upon current stories. It is disrespectful to both the soap and to the viewers, for a writer to take that history and twist it into something unrecognizable for his or her benefit. While I have never been a fan of rewriting history, I have to admit when there are a few instances on “OLTL” when it actually produced a powerful storyline and positive outcome. The best example of this was the transformation of Victor Lord into a child molester. While it did demoralize the old man’s character, it also created some powerful, compelling drama for Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, and the other actors involved. It revealed a fact that “OLTL” fans have long known, that their soap has the best cast of actors and actresses in daytime. And that remains the case today. With a few exceptions, the cast of “One Life to Live” is arguably the best group of performers of any daytime drama. For the last few years, they have been forced to turn horrible material into gold, which they did extraordinarily well, considering what they had to work with. But the viewer was always left imagining just how great the show would be if these wonderful performers had great material to work with. Well, after this past week, that speculation became a reality as “One Life to Live” confidently reminded of us of the definition of a classic soap opera. And Ron Carlivati did that, not by rewriting history, but by building upon it. On the flip side, there have been some horrible storyline decisions over the years, most notably bringing Victor Lord back in 2003 when he and Mitch Laurence attempted to steal Natalie’s heart. But I’ll save discusion of that for another day.

And fifth, and perhaps the most important, Ron Carlivati has a genuine love and respect for “One Life to Live.” After all he has been a member of the “OLTL” writing staff in one form or another since 1996. In those twelve years, he has had a hand in helping to write some of Llanview’s most memorable storylines. Those dozen years have also helped to give him an understanding of the personalities of all the characters on the soap, as well as their respective histories. And Ron Carlivati appears to understand this perfectly.

With all that said, here are a few random thoughts I have on last week’s episodes. First, I may be in the minority, but I like the episode titles. They are unique, creative, and relevant. I enjoy seeing how each one relates to its respective episode. My favorite so far is “Cramer vs Cramer.” Second, I liked the nod to “OLTL’s” upcoming 40th anniversary at the BE shareholders’ meeting when Clint announced it was the company’s ’40th annual meeting.’ On the flip side, to those critics who claim, “I like everything ‘OLTL,’” here is a list of a couple of things I don’t like right now. I think it’s a disgrace that Nora does not have more of a story at the moment than Clint’s girlfriend. I also didn’t care for the Antonio/John bathroom scenes with John at the urinal doing his business and then not washing his hands (although I did like the fact that the scenes were shot in an actual restroom though). And I’m still wondering where the heck David Chisum has been lately. We have not scene Miles Laurence in a couple of months. And finally, I’m still waiting (although rather impatiently) for “OLTL” to announce that Michael Storm will be returning as Dr. Larry Wolek for the 40th anniversary. With everyone else that is coming back, I personally see no reason why the good doctor can’t return either…. even it’s just for only an episode or two. I would rather see him come back than Marty Saybrooke. Although I am looking forward to Tina and Carlo returning (and Cain Rogan to an extent). On a side note, I wish Anthony Call would return as Herb Callison. After watching Youtube scenes of him on “OLTL,” it made me remember just how powerful his character was and just how much he is missed in Llanview. And, why not also bring back Hank Gannon while they’re at it?

Before I close this column, I would like to include an excerpt from Ron Carlivati’s Wikipedia page. Granted that nearly anyone can modify entries on that site, however, I think Carlivati’s page stands as a testament to his creative ability as a writer.

“Ron Carlivati is an American soap opera writer born in 1968. It was announced in the February 27th edition of ‘Soap Opera Digest’ that Carlivati was promoted to Co-Head Writer of the ABC Daytime One Life to Live alongside Dena Higley. On June 4, 2007, Brian Frons announced that Carlivati would be promoted to head writer effective immediately. The first episode with Carlivati as Head Writer aired September 11th, 2007. In the months that followed, the show experienced a creative resurgence, receiving great critical acclaim for revitalizing characters, routinely incorporating and honoring the show’s long history and improving dialogue.[citation needed] However, the show’s rating continued to slide, a problem that all daytime soap operas have been experiencing in recent years. Carlivati’s work aired until mid-February 2008 when the Writers Guide of America strike forced a new head writer (Gary Tomlin) to take over. Once the WGA strike was settled, Carlivati returned as head writer, with his first post-strike episode airing on May 2, 2008. He is a lawyer, graduated from George Washington University, lives in New York City and has been recommended by Claire Labine.”

And now for a sneak peak at some of the storylines coming up a few weeks down the road. A recent death continues to haunt Llanview. A surprise marriage proposal occurs as an enemy nears the truth. One young woman’s quest to be a mother causes her to reach a difficult decision. A Princess reveals the reason she returned to Llanview. And friction mounts between two young lovers and one goes to drastic lengths to keep an unborn child.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. I would like to personally think each and everyone of you for your patience and understanding these past few months while I was very busy with school and student teaching. I apologize for just copying and pasting so many old “OLTL” articles during that time in order to keep the column afloat until I had more time to devote to it. In addition, I apologize for my ramblings in this column. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I am not a writer, and have never claimed to be one. I am simply a person who loves “OLTL” and enjoys sharing that love with other fans of the soap. That is all. I wish I were a better writer, but I’m not. Anyway, that’s all for now; please be sure and join me again on June 15th. I promise to present my next column to you on time Thanks again for your patience. See you next time.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

My View of Llanview: May 15 Edition

Black vs. White
Friday, May 23, 2008 8:52 PM| By Scotty Gore

( – Ellen Holly comments on playing a black woman (Carla Gray) pretending to be white.

Hello everyone. Yes, this column is again several days late. Sorry about that, but I just have no time in schedule for much of anything these days. I hope that improves soon.

With the 40th anniversary of “One Life to Live” just around the corner, I thought it appropriate to reflect upon one of the soap’s first controversial storylines. It involved an actress by the name of Ellen Holly, who portrayed Carla Gray. Unknownist to viewers at the time, Carla, was actually a black woman passing herself off as a white woman. The following article, written by Ms. Holly herself, appeared in the August 10th, 1969 edition of the New York Times.

In September of last year I was approached to try out for a part on a brand new ABC soap opera called “One Life To Live”; the part was a black girl who passes for white. I didn’t give it much thought. If you’re black you don’t get white parts, and if you’re a “black who looks white” you don’t get black parts either. But what most people don’t realize is that even when there’s a part for a “black who looks like white,” it never goes to a black person but to a white one. Follow? I know … I know … it’s hard for me, too.

Some years ago I was interviewed for the film “I Passed For White” and the part went to the white Sandra Wilde. Some years later, I was seen about the remake of “Imitation of Life.” Ross Hunter cooed over me, told me I looked like Loretta Young, and gave the part to the white Susan Kohner. I had dim memories of Jeanne Crain in “Pinky,” Ben Aliza in “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” Mell Ferrer & Co. as the family in “Lost Boundaries” and numerous other whites masquerading as blacks masquerading as whites which, as far as I am concerned, cancels out the whole point much in the manner of a double negativity. So I thought I knew pretty much what to expect from “One Life To Live.”

At the interview with the producer, Doris Quinlan, I smiled and did my best to look amiable, talented and 20 (which was what the part called for and which I hadn’t seen for a goodly while), but in the back of my head I was already bracing for the inevitable turndown. She smiled a lovely smile back and said that they were being polite about things and looking at all the white girls the agents were sending them but that she didn’t really see the slightest point to the whole thing if the girl wasn’t the genuine article. It sounded revolutionary enough to report her to the H.U.A.C. They tested me. A couple of days later I had the part. I couldn’t believe it.

Then I began to worry. I have such a personal distaste for blacks who pass for white that I wondered how the story line was going to be handled. If an actor’s at all squeamish or apprehensive about the part he’s playing, a soap poses a rather special problem for him. In a play or film you know the whole story before you contract to do it, but in a soap the story is open-ended. New writing is a constant and you don’t know from one moment to the next what words are going to be put into your mouth. If you’re dealing with dense writers, you can end up playing a ventriloquist’s dummy Uncle Tom or quitting the job to avoid it.

On the other hand, in terms of the particular story line, I found the idea fascinating. I felt that the unique format of a soap would enable people to examine their prejudices in a way no other format possibly could. In a play or a film the audience would relate to the character as white only briefly and then discover she was black perhaps an hour later, but the soap audience would relate to her as white for months … months in which she would become part of their daily lives … for some, virtually a member of their family. The emotional investment they made in her as a human being would be infinitely greater, and when the switch came, their involvement would be real rather than superficial. A lot of whites who think they aren’t prejudiced – are. It seemed like a marvelous opportunity to help them confront their own prejudices. When the switch came, those who would radically alter their response to the character would surely demonstrate to themselves that they don’t dislike black people because they are dirty or lazy or stupid, but just because they are black – i.e., they would have a chance to isolate not only the existence of their own prejudice but, also, its lack of a logical base.

My character, Carla Benari, was introduced last October. For four months thereafter I was presented as a white girl, a struggling actress engaged to a white doctor but gravitating – against her will – toward a gorgeous black one. Ironically, for the first time in my life, I had to “cool” being black lest I tip the plot. I had to forgo an appearance on another ABC show called “Like It Is” that deals with the black scene, and patiently wait for an issue of Look in which I appeared properly labeled as a black actress to disappear from the stands. Even though the situation was temporary, I found it much more destructive to my psyche than I had dreamed …

A month went by, and we got to an important turn in the plot. I kissed Peter De Anda, who plays the gorgeous black doctor, and confessed my love for him. Immediately, the switchboard was flooded with calls from irate white men defending my supposedly Caucasian virtue (later, after the switch, I’m sure they felt like a bunch of idiots) and the show was dropped like a hot potato by a station in Texas. Most producers would have blanched and dropped the story line; Doris Quinlan had been prepared to lose more. The reaction from white women was different. They wrote in (people who are angry seem to call at once to relieve their feeling; people who are pleased seem to write at their leisure) and said, “Well, it’s about time.”

… Finally, we got to the switch. In an ingenious script whose parallel cutting was almost as well done as Hitchcock’s tennis game sequence in “Strangers on a Train,” I met up with the black mother I had abandoned nine years before (a major character, who had already been well established in the story line long before I was, and played by Lillian Hayman of “Hallelujah, Baby” fame). People were genuinely surprised. Most found it absorbing. Others were fascinated by the way all the pieces fit. There were, of course, the inevitable ones who found it hard to accept …

It is now several months since the switch. Presumably, people would have made emotional adjustments they felt necessary and settled down. Still, there are those who call the show from time to time to check to make certain that a black actress rather than a white one is playing the part. Whether it’s a black person checking to make sure that a soul sister wasn’t done out of a job, or a white person checking to make sure a white actress isn’t playing opposite a black actor, is never clear. What is clear is that it’s going to be a great day when America ceases to be obsessed with color…

I love my job. Jack Wood and Don Wallace direct the show with a special care of things. The actors are some of the best around. The writer, Agnes Nixon, is more sensitive to the vibrations of the black community than any white I’ve ever met and I think three or four of the episodes have been more relevant to life and real concerns than any I ever dealt with during a decade in the theater. The tedious but necessary aspects of soap opera are definitely present – exposition to help newcomers catch up on plot lines, dull stretches, repetition. But within the framework of the genre surprisingly much has gotten said – among other things, that blacks pass for white not because they value whiteness per se, but rather because they value the special rights and privileges that unfairly accrue to whiteness … New as it is, “One Life To Live” has one of the highest ratings of any soap on the air. Not only because of this story line, but because of several things equally well done, including the major one about some swanky goings on on the Philadelphia Main Line.

I love the job, but I have one major regret … I look forward to the day when America believes that the relevant thing about me is not that I am black but that I am Ellen.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. That’s all for now; please be sure and join me again on May 30th. See you next time.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

Pictured: My View of Llanview courtesy Matt Smith/Soap Opera Network

My View of Llanview: April 30 Edition

Back to the past
Sunday, May 4, 2008 11:44 PM| By Scotty Gore

( – A look at Viki before Erika.

Hello everyone. My sincere apologizes for this column being a few days late, but I am about to enter the final days of my student teaching semester. With graduation fast approaching next Saturday, things have gotten rather hectic around the house, seriously limiting the amount of free time I have available
to write this column.

So, because of homework and tests, here an article from the June 1971 edition of After Noon TV, entitled “The Good Witch of the North Riding Side Saddle on a Washing Machine.” It was written by Robert Narrows, and talks about Joanne Dorian who became the second actress to portray Viki on “One Life to Live” between Gillian Spencer and Erika Slezak. Hope you enjoy…….

Return with us now to El Mirage Lake in California, a sea of sand where Joanne Dorian once road the toughest, the orneriest, he most rip shortin’ washing machine in creation.

Yup, that’s what we said folks. A washing machine. Rode it sidesaddle, no less. And that’s not all. Joanne’s also been a puppet come to life, had conversations with an imaginary dog, been stuffed in a Volkswagen with 23 college boys and dreamed about flowers inside a coffee cup.

Hard to believe? Well, the truth is that anybody can do it. Anybody, that is who’s young and beautiful and has what they call in the business “a commercial face.”

And Joanne Dorian has it. So much so, that if you haven’t yet caught her performance as Viki Riley on One Life to Live, chances are you’ve seen her work in dozens of little commercial dramas. Last Christmas, for example, she was popping out all over the tube as the Avon Lady, the one who sold her goodies to a deliriously happy Mrs. Santa Claus at the North Pole. And do you know that surrealistic split-screen classic? That masterpiece where on one side is a girl soaping her hair, and on the other is a baby running through the fields while an off screen voice coos “Remember the baby like softness that was born in your hair…?” Well, Joanne was the sudsy one. She’s also been a Crisco lady, and if you live in the Midwest, you might recall her throwing snowballs and shilling air-conditioning for Columbia Gas. And so on, ad commercio nauseum.

Joanne has been on the commercial whirl for the past two years, ever since she migrated to New York from sunny California. That’s not to say she singled out commercials as a life work. When you earned a degree in drama from UCLA, danced and sang in a USO sponsored tour of Carousel in the Orient, worked in repertory and appeared in the national company of There’s A Girl in My Soup, you don’t necessarily dream about huckstering for Johnson and Johnson, Crisco, Top Job or ringing doorbells for Avon.

What we’re trying to say is that life just ain’t that easy for an aspiring actress. So up till now, and except for a brief appearance as a copy girl in The Secret Storm (oddly enough, she is cast as an executive assistant on a newspaper in One Life to Live), Joanne’s talent has been displayed largely on 30 and 60 second commercial spots. Not that we’re knocking commercials. Joanne regards them as rewarding and fun. Some so funny, in fact, that they’ve never made it to the home screen. Like, for instance, that mechanical dreadnaught we spoke about earlier – the washing machine.

“I rode side saddle on that thing for three days,” said Joanne “driven across the desert by a little old man who was scrunched up inside the machine at the controls. There were food stains set up at particular intervals, and the driver was supposed to stop at those marks when he heard a horn blast, the signal being given by the director who was riding along side of us in the camera car.”

“The trouble was that the machine didn’t stop. It zipped right through the bloodstains, the coffee stains and the egg stains. It went faster and faster. I was screaming and yelling and banging my feet, and the director was screaming and yelling and tooting his horn.”

“But then things got even more ridiculous. As we were galumphing along, looming on the horizon and heading straight for us was an entire house, pulled a long by a little car. And off in the distance we could see another commercial being filmed – some guy flying in the air with a wing like apparatus.”

“So you can just imagine how ludicrous it was. There we were, the washer and camera car rattling along, the house in front and aerial act above. It was like a scene out of a Fellini western.”

“Finally, a’la John Wayne, the director pulled me off the machine to safety. Later we discovered that the washer driver didn’t stop because he never heard the horn. Seemed he was hard of hearing.”

But that’s not all, folks. Here ‘s another commercial that died on he cutting room floor. Let’s call it the great Volkswagen caper.

“I guess the sponsor was trying to show how roomy the car was,” said Joanne. “Anyway, they put me under the dashboard and wedged in a fraternity house from the University of Southern California. Three of the boys were put in the trunk and the rest were plopped in the car like so many pancakes. I almost smothered to death.”

“For the grand finale, they all poured out of the car, put me on the hood and carried me off.” Why didn’t they air the commercial? Use you imagination. There’s something slightly risqué about a girl coming out of a car behind 23 young guys.

I got a mild case of claustrophobia from that commercial. My own car was a Volkswagen, and for the next two weeks I was afraid to get into it.”

There’s more. “Oh let me tell you about this coffee ad,” she laughed. “It was partially animated to give the impression that my husband and I were sitting in the middle of a coffee cup. Every time we took a sip we’d have a psychedelic experience. He’d see boats. I’d see flowers. The images kept alternating until one of our visions merged and we were lifted out of a cup by a balloon. It was fun, really. But they never did put that coffee on the market.”

Her first commercial, and one that did see the light on the TV screen, was a Top Job ad especially tailored for the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz. The detergent bottle caps were shaped in the puppet form of Oz characters, and Joanne sprang to life as the Good Witch of the North.

“I had to sprinkle magic dust over a little girl who was playing Dorothy and guide her through the Land of Oz,” recalled Joanne.

According to Joanne commercial auditions can be crazier than commercial itself. Without a script or prop to work with, She’s been asked to recreate some nutty situations. Among them carrying on an impromptu conversation with an invisible dog and lifting imaginary tables and chairs.

Now if you think that’s ridiculous, consider the lunacy of her most recent audition. Consider also, that it’s you, not Joanne who has just walked into the commercial studio. The director speaks:

“Okay,” He says, “I want you to imagine that it’s very early in the morning. You’re half asleep when you go to the window and open the Venetian blinds. You pull the string, and while it’s going down the string on the other end is going up – with a box of Jell-O. Throughout the day, you see boxes of Jell-O everywhere. Finally, you get in your car, and because it’s raining you turn on the windshield wipers. And attached to the wipers are boxes of Jell-O going back and forth, back and forth.”

Now if you can do that, you can do commercials. Who knows, you might even be lucky enough to ride sidesaddle on a washing machine.

Saving the best for last, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the plotlines coming up on “OLTL” a couple of weeks down the road. A concerned woman is relieved to learn that one Cramer woman is a virgin, but shocked that another is with child. A young child has a medical crisis on someone’s wedding day.
A man of the cloth confronts a lustful couple for not keeping their hands to themselves. And a mother is heartbroken to discover her daughter’s present living conditions.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. That’s all for now; please be sure and join me again on May 15th. See you next time.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

Pictured: My View of Llanview courtesy Matt Smith/Soap Opera Network

My View of Llanview: April 15 Edition

Glory Days
Saturday, April 19, 2008 7:51 PM| By Scotty Gore

( – An examination of Andrea Evans’ popularity in Llanview.

Hello everyone. My sincere apologizes for this column being a few days late, but there has been a lot of excitement around here lately. From meetings and classes to homework and illnesses to an earthquake. Yes, that’s right….I was one of those people who was jolted awake last Friday morning at 4:38 am by the 5.2 magnitude quake. While it caused no damage or injuries here, it did shake things up…..literally. That was the first earthquake I remember going through, and it was both scary and fascinating at the same time. On a separate note, I received some very good news yesterday. For those of you who are familiar with the PRAXIS exams, then you’ll know what I’m referring to. For those who are not, it is a required test in order to become a certified teacher. I have to take three parts of the test, social studies, language arts, and classroom management/discipline (PLT). I take the last two next Saturday. Anyway, I took the social studies part back on March 15th and finally received the results in the mail yesterday. I passed the exam with a 178 (passing score is 149). I am so excited!!!!

So, because of homework, and in honor of Andrea Evans return to “One Life to Live” as Tina Roberts, here is a look back at an article from August 19, 1985 explaining the popularity of Evans and her character Tina. The article was written by Alan Carter and is entitled “It’ll take more than a bubble bath to clean up Andrea Evans’ act as daytime’s diva of dirt.” Hope you enjoy…….

As daytime’s answer to Alexis Carrington, Evans doesn’t wear dresses as fancy as Joan Collins’, but she certainly wears fewer clothes than any other actress in the afternoon soaps. For one recent shower scene, even the ABC censor visited the set. “I thought the scene was very sexy,” insists Evans. “People were coming up to me for weeks after that scene and saying, ‘Were you naked in there?’ and I’d say, ‘Well, do you wear clothes in the shower?’” Despite her sass, in Evans’ case the answer is affirmative: She wore a body stocking for the scene. With Evans, ABC’s “One Life To Live” has undressed for success, now ranking a strong third in the competitive daytime soap ratings. “She makes a tremendous difference to our show,” says producer Paul Rauch. “Her ability makes her go beyond the ordinary viper. In large part, she’s responsible for the show’s recent success.”

Evans sees herself as “a tigress,” which is in marked contrast to the “scared doe” one reporter called her four years ago. At that time the University of Illinois theatre graduate was making news by marrying her older (30ish) “One Life” co-star, Wayne Massey. They Valentine’s day ceremony took place in Evans’ hometown, Downers Grove, Ill., and was attended by her mother, Audrey, a piano teacher at Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music, and her father, Robert, a semi-retired apartment building manager. “I was very young then,” says the strawberry blonde. “I depended upon Wayne quite a bit. He took more control of things and I was like a scared doe. Now I’m on my own. The scared doe doesn’t exist anymore.”

Having played Tina Clayton since 1978, Evans left “One Life” in December 1981 with Massey, and the couple moved to Nashville. While Massey pursued a career as a singer (he now duets with his new wife, country crooner Charly McClain), Evans took it easy for a year. Then she landed the role of Patty on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, which is filmed in Los Angeles. “I don’t think it’s possible to run a marriage across the country,” says Evans, and hers didn’t travel well. The couple divorced last year.

Evans returned to “One Life” last January. “I’m more confident,” she explains. “I’m able to have fun with the character and have fun with myself.”

Like Tina, she’s also shrewder than she was in an earlier incarnation. In the tradition of her trade, Evans likes to shave four years off her past and give her age as 24. She insists that there is a typo in her college records. While in college she entered and lost the Miss Illinois pageant back home. “I’m not against beauty pageants,” she says now, “but I’m torn because I tend to be feministic in a lot of ways. Is feministic a word?” Savvy about cross-promotion as well as self-promotion, Evans recently signed with the Elite agency as a model. On the subject of romance, she is circumspect. Her current man is a publicity-shy L.A. producer. Though her marriage couldn’t withstand long distance, this relationship “gets a lot of help from GTE Sprint, People Express and MCI,” says Evans.

The steadiest males in her life are still Grompit (a nonsense word used by her father) and Uff da (a Norwegian expletive). The dogs even accompany Evans to work. “They sit in the makeup room under a sign that says, ‘Permanently reserved for the Evans boys.’ Bob Woods [a "One Life" co-star] said that if he’s ever reincarnated, he wants to come back as one of my dogs. Of course he said that after he found out they sleep with me.” Arf, arf.

Saving the best for last, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the plotlines coming up on “OLTL” a couple of weeks down the road. A jealous fiancé is responsible for bringing unwelcome visitor to town. Llanview’s leading lady convinces her enemy’s puppet to stop his attack on BE. A cop is tempted by cash recovered in a drug bust. And, as one couple goes on the run, another nearly gives into passion.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. That’s all for now; please be sure and join me again on April 30th. See you next time.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

Pictured: My View of Llanview courtesy Matt Smith/Soap Opera Network

My View of Llanview: March 30 Edition

Back to the past
Sunday, March 30, 2008 11:23 PM| By Scotty Gore

( – A look back at Erika Slezak’s early days in Llanview.

Hello everyone. Student teaching is still keeping on my toes, so here is another article I found recently about “OLTL.” Hope everyone is enjoying the beginnings of the spring season. I hope all these April showers bring plenty of May flowers. Now that spring is here, I can hardly wait for summer to begin.

Due to that fact I am again taking a trip down memory lane with my column. My apologizes once more for the improtu column. The following article appeared in Daytime TV, in May 1972. It features Erika Slezak,
and is about her parents, childhood, and landing a role on “One Life to Live.” It was written by R. Marian Rose. Hope you enjoy…….

“Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord) lets you know every chance she gets, that she adores her family. Right now the family is a little scattered. Her dad, Walter Slezak, and mom, Joanna, live in Switzerland; her sister Ingrid, is married to a doctor and lives in Canada with her two sons; brother Leo is now in college but spent time with Erika last summer. However, Switzerland is not too far away for any of the Slezak offspring and, whenever they decide to go home, off they go to Mom and Dad.

Born in California on an August 5, Erika spent most of her young life attending boarding schools. They were not the kind that kept you from your family, though. She went to the Convent of Scared Heart in Greenwich, Conn., but didn’t like it there too well so she transferred to the Convent of Scared Heart in Philadelphia.

“I like the Pennsylvania school better because the girls were much nicer and the school had a pleasant atmosphere. I was always worried about being accepted by the other girls because I was younger than most. The school was a five days boarding school and the family was together on weekends.”

When did Erika first decide she wanted to act?

“I can’t recall a time when I didn’t want to act. As a child, I knew I’d act, but of course, I didn’t realize that it was difficult. When I was in my sophomore year in high school, Dad talked to me about training for a career in acting. At that time, Mom stayed out of the discussion, but today I’m more nervous when my mother in the audience because she’s very objective. “Dad goes to pieces when he sees me on stage. One thing he did for me at that time was let me have no illusions about the acting profession. He explained that it was going to be harder for me because I had a famous father. I would have to prove myself more than others and, as usual, he was right.

“All the fame did for me was get me in to audition, but once inside, I was on my own. I knew most of the producers because I had met them when I was a child, and I had to go through the charade of being introduced all over again. One thing Dad did ask of me was: ‘If you discover you have no talent, get out of the business. They’ll be twice as hard on you.’ He also added: ‘If I feel that you have no talent, I’ll tell you.’”

So for that hasn’t happened. And, it probably never will, because Erika is talented and has worked hard over the years preparing for her career. She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England, and was a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Company for three seasons. During those three years, she was a leading lady in everything from Chekov to Noel Coward.

“It was a marvelous experience; also rewarding. Theatre for me is most fascinating because it’s before an audience but I find daytime television wonderful, too. I’m glad I did repertory work first, though, because if you’re thrown into daytime television too quickly, it’s extremely hard. In repertory work, you’re given time to polish a performance. With time and experience, you find the easy way to do things. Everything I learned in repertory work can be applied to my daytime work and I find that it makes the load easier to carry.”

How does she feel about being on a daytime serial?

“I love it! I get a little peeved too because too many people think daytime actors are secondary people, but that’s not true. Some of your finest actors are on daytime shows. I’m enjoying everything about the show. I love my colleagues and the professional atmosphere in which I work.”

Erika, as beautiful as she is talented, is tall, slim, blonde-haired and blue eyed, so it was only natural the next question be about her social life. Is there anyone special on the scene?

“I have many friends but no one special. Actually, I don’t want to marry yet. I prefer to wait until I’m settled down. I enjoy being on my own and because of my work, my schedule keeps me from a more active social life. When I know I’m performing, I get to bed by 11 p.m. the latest because I have to be up early and in top notch shape.

“I guess I can also say that I’m waiting to find a man with whom I can have the same relationship that my parents have. Daddy never went anywhere that he didn’t take my mother along. Many times, the children also went. But he never was away from any of us for more than a week. Marriage is not easy and whatever my parents have together, they’ve worked hard for. I want the same kind of family life that I grew up in. uses that’s the European upbringing in me. One thing I still enjoy is watching my father and brother, Leo, who’s 23 now, kiss when they meet. Why shouldn’t they? They’re father and son, and showing love and affection for each other doesn’t make them less masculine. I rather like it myself.

How does Erika feels about the Women Liberation Movement?

“A great deal of it is legitimate but, in some instances, they’ve gone too far. The arts such as acting, singing and ballet really don’t require Women’s Lib to help them. These are fields that equal pay is a standard practice and almost every play has love somewhere in its theme, so male and female, both, are required. The publishing field, secretaries and nurses need Women’s Lib to help them establish themselves on an equal basis with the men. I think one thing that the movement has done is call attention to the fact that women are very capable in the business world. Too many people have been led to believe that a woman leaves he mind at home with her family when she reports for work. That is definitely not true. The movement also called the public’s attention to the valuable role women are playing and can play in politics.”

What about the world situation?

“What can I say except to elaborate on the fact that the whole world seems to have been governed, since time began, by men fighting. War is a single, predominant, force in history. I don’t feel the Vietnam War will stop in communism. The original policy was not to interfere, but it turned into just that – interference – because of politics. When we leave the country, the people will do just as they please, anyway. When our young people grow up, the world will have to change. And, if the youth of today maintain their ideals, the world will be a better place by far. They are more alert at a younger age and that’s good.”

It was on this note that the interview indeed – a most enjoyable two hours spent with a lovely, talented young woman. It was also very heartening to hear a young woman speak about her family with such love and devotion. Her eyes lit up every time she spoke of home (and that is wherever her parents happened to be living).”

Saving the best for last, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the plotlines coming up on “OLTL” a couple of weeks down the road. A vendictive female is revealed to be the mastermind behind the recent troubles at BE. A young Buchanan summons her former step-grandmother back to Llanview. Capricorn’s new owner enjoys her first night on the job. And a husband and wife continue to drift apart.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. My apologizes again for posting another article instead of rambling on like I usually do. But there are only so many hours in the day, and so many things to do. That’s all for now; please be sure and join me again on April 15th. See you next time. Enjoy the warmer weather.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

Pictured: My View of Llanview courtesy Matt Smith/Soap Opera Network

My View of Llanview: March 15 Edition

Saturday, March 15, 2008 7:59 PM| By Scotty Gore

( – A study of Llanview’s silver anniversary.

Greetings everyone. Hope all my fellow “One Life to Live” fans are having a wonderful weekend and a great month of March. I cannot believe that it is nearly springtime already. My how time flies when you are swamped with work. The last few days have been very hectic for me with homework, field trips, papers to grade, and the PRAXIS Test. For those of you unfamiliar with the exam, it is a test you are required to take over your content area in order to become certified to teach in your state. It is a nationwide testing system, that is modified to fit the curriculum taught in each U.S. state and territory. For me, there are three parts, one over classroom management and discipline, one over language arts, and one over social studies (which I took this morning). You must have a certain score on each test before you gain certification. Here is the basic set-up, remember all the material you covered in your social studies classes in school from 5th-9th grades, and cram it into a two hour block of time, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Needless to say it was exhausting, and has put me a little behind in other things (such as my “OLTL” viewing).

Due to that fact I am again taking a trip down memory lane with my column. My apologizes again for lack of original comments and content recently in my column, but student teaching is very time consuming and important to me, and because of that, everything else has to set in the back seat for awhile. Sorry if this upsets anyone, but I do have a life outside of “SON” and “OLTL,” and I intend to continue to make it my number one priority right now.

So, since the 40th anniversary of “OLTL” is coming up in just a few short months, here is a look back at an article about another Llanview milestone-the 25th anniversary of “OLTL.” The date was July 11, 1993 (three days before “OLTL’s” silver anniversary), when the following article appeared in “Newsweek” magazine. It is entitled “ABC Serial Hits a Quarter-Century, Still the Soap with a Social Conscience,” and was written by Libby Slate. As you read see if you notice many similarities between the “OLTL” of 1993 and of 2008.

“I had a recurring nightmare when I took over the show, ” says Linda Gottleib, executive producer of daytime’s “One Life to Live ” for the last two years. “I would turn on the set and there was the opening logo and theme music — and then a blank screen, nothing but static. “

Gottleib needn’t have worried. On Thursday she will help celebrate the ABC soap opera’s 25th anniversary. During that quarter century, life in the fictional Philadelphia suburb of Llanview has overflowed with the romances, trials and tribulations of the families Lord, Wolek, Riley and Buchanan.

Along the way there have been side trips to heaven, the Old West and even a buried underground city named Eterna. The show made stars of Judith Light, who won back-to-back Daytime Emmy Awards in 1980 and 1981 as prostitute Karen Wolek, and fellow Emmy winners Erika Slezak as Victoria Buchanan and Robin Strasser as Dorian Lord. The first black actor to win a Daytime Emmy, Al Freeman Jr. in 1979, did so portraying police Capt. Ed Hall. Other “One Life ” alums include Tom Berenger, Tommy Lee Jones, Jameson Parker, Phylicia Rashad and Esther Rolle.

The show was created in 1968 by the venerable Agnes Nixon, after ABC asked her to come up with a soap for the network. Nixon proposed a serial called “Between Heaven and Hell, ” dealing with relationships among different social classes and ethnic groups rather than the traditionally WASPish daytime characters.

The name may have changed before its debut, but the premise remained. The soap initially spotlighted the wealthy Lord family, whose patriarch Victor published the town’s newspaper; the working-class Woleks, and the Irish-Catholic Riley clan.

“When I started, ” Gottleib recalls, “I asked Agnes what the core of the show was, in her view. She said, ‘The haves and the have-nots.’ ”

Nixon wasted no time delving into socially relevant issues as well, with a story about African-American secretary Carla Gray (Ellen Holly) passing as white and becoming involved with both a white man and a black man; numerous ABC affiliates refused to air the show. When Cathy Craig (Amy Levitt), the daughter of a Llanview doctor, became addicted to drugs, cameras showed the teen-ager at the New York rehab center Odyssey House in therapy with real addicts.

“Agnes felt a real moral responsibility to teach, to do something worthwhile for a half hour, ” says Slezak, who has been on the show since St. Patrick’s Day, 1971. “I agree. You can do that and entertain at the same time. ”

Slezak, the show’s longest-running cast member, plays stalwart Viki, who periodically has suffered from a split-personality disorder resulting in psychologically suspenseful Viki-Niki story lines. Slezak’s favorite plot twists: a 1987 out-of-body experience in which she went to heaven for two weeks, and an Old West fantasy the following year, in which she played her own great-grandmother.

The show first took on a Western flavor in 1979 — the era of the prime-time soap “Dallas ” — with the advent of the oil-rich Buchanan family. By the late 1980s, it took on a fantasy bent. But the ratings were anything but fantastic, with “One Life ” usually at or near the bottom of the Nielsens.

In 1991, ABC daytime executive Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin recruited Gottleib to resurrect the once highly rated show. They had worked together in the early days of the “ABC Afterschool Special. ” Gottleib, who had had no previous soap experience (her credits include HBO’s “Citizen Cohn ” and the hit film “Dirty Dancing “), in turn hired novelist and fellow serial novice Michael Malone as head writer.

The two have worked to develop existing characters, create new ones and return to Nixon’s original mission to be the soap with a social conscience. “One Life ” now consistently finishes in fourth, fifth or sixth place among 10 soaps.

“The show has an even richer tapestry of characters than it did before, ” says Robin Strasser, who in February returned as Dorian after a five-year absence. “Linda and Michael have filled out this town, peopled it with quirky, interesting, full characters. ”

Both Gottleib, who has brought feature-film editing and music- scoring techniques to the show, and Malone say they believe in taking risks. Last summer they launched a soap first — a story line about homophobia that generated thousands of letters of gratitude from gay teens and their parents and has since been studied in college courses on popular culture.

Thursday’s anniversary episode brings together many of the show’s characters, including a confrontation between longtime adversaries Viki and Dorian. A future plot line, Malone says, will focus on the right-to-die issue.

Why has the soap been on so long? “I think it’s because it’s character-driven and has had a string of good actors, ” says Strasser. “It has deserved to stay around 25 years, because it’s never been afraid to change and evolve. ”

Saving the best for last, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the plotlines coming up on “OLTL” a couple of weeks down the road. A mother admits that she has no idea who her son’s real father is. One brother is surprised by the other’s behavior. Someone gets slapped for a false accusation. A mother turns to the cops for help protecting her daughter. An ice storm traps two in a cabin. A possessive father receives valuable advice from his newly independent mother-in-law. A young lady spots her best friend with a pregnancy test.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. My apologizes again for posting another article instead of rambling on like I usually do. But there are only so many hours in the day, and so many things to do. That’s all for now; please be sure and join me again on March 30th See you next time. Take care and stay safe.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

Pictured: My View of Llanview courtesy Matt Smith/Soap Opera Network

My View of Llanview: February 29 Edition

Blowing off steam
Friday, February 29, 2008 8:35 PM| By Scotty Gore

( — My latest rant on Llanview’s current state.

Hello once again everyone. Hope you are as glad as I am that spring is just around the corner. I can hardly wait for the warmer temperatures and short wearing weather to return to my little corner of the planet. I am also looking forward to spring break, which unfortunately will likely be shortened this year because of days missed for snow and ice. There is even talk of us going to school on one or two Saturday’s in March. Which would be virtually unheard of for elementary, middle, and high school students in the U.S.A. these days. But anyway, I guess it beats going to school in the middle of the summer. Anywho, it’s time to talk a little about “One Life to Live.”

I have so busy with resume writing and lesson plans recently that I am still playing a little catch up on my “OLTL” viewing. However, I have watched all the episodes surrounding the “Go Red” Ball. I have to admit that I think they did a really good job with the costumes. It was nice seeing everyone all dressed in red. “OLTL” has some very beautiful women as part of their cast. And it was nice
to see several of the vets, such as Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, and Hillary B. Smith involved in the a major storyline. Sure, at least half of the episodes were about Jared and his plight, but still I thought it was pretty nicely done. Although I am not particularly fond of Mr. Banks, I have to admit that he is starting to grow on me. I’m not sure why, but he is. Jared is actually one of the few newbies that I honestly care for. And that’s saying a lot.

When the going gets tough, add new sponsors? I guess cash must be in short supply these days around ABC Daytime, because there have been several product placements recently on “One Life to Live” alone, not to mention “All My Children” and “General Hospital.” Those three daytime sudsers have been hawking everything from Campbell’s Soup to V-8 Juice to the Oscars, and Big East College Basketball. I guess the next thing we’ll see is Roxy Balsom doing a commercial for Vitameatavegiman. I mean, come on, are they [i]that[/i] desperate for new sponsors? I can understand the logic with the soup and juice, what with the “Go Red” Ball to promote healthy heart care, but still I thought it was a bit over the top. And the Oscar mention happens every year, when Rex talks about the never seen celebration at Ultra Violet. Give me drama and good writing any day over a sixty-minute infomercial.

While we’re on the subject of the ball, can Jessica get anymore stupid? She is acting like she just fell off the turnip truck yesterday (in the afternoon, just before 5:00 pm). It was one thing when she got herself committed to St. Ann’s, it
was stupid, stupid, stupid when she broke Allison Perkins out of St. Ann’s, but it was absolutely, totally moronic to watch her beg for her life like a little baby when threatened at gunpoint by Allison. Granted, she was being held at gunpoint
(and I would probably do the same thing), but Jessica has always been more strong willed than that. She used to be more independent and tough than she is now. I blame that partly on that immature pretty boy husband of hers, however I also blame that on her family for allowing her to become a total wimp and spoiled little brat. I found myself rooting for Allison in those scenes, and was somewhat disappointed when Jared stepped in to help the little scaredy cat.

Speaking of Allison, I have to ask several important questions–”Was that it?” Was that the whole point in bring her back? To make Jared look like a hero, and to taunt the audience with a secret not even the writers themselves probably don’t
even know yet? And then to place Llanview’s beloved evil psychopath in a coma hovering on the brink of death? If so, then all I can say is, “what a waste!” I’m certain the writer’s strike had something to do with little gaff, but still it makes me wonder if anyone ever had any plan in place whatsoever when called Barbara Garrick and asked her to return in the first place. Maybe I’m alone in my thinking, but this return appears to have had no purpose other than to serve as a stunt which obliviously did not work. How do I know this? Just look at the ratings. “OLTL” is near the bottom once more. I love Allison Perkins just as much as the next person, but sometimes no matter how much air fresheners you spray in the bathroom, the place still smells like crap. Literally.

Now don’t get me wrong, “OLTL” is much improved than it was just one year ago. And the veterans are receiving increasing amounts of airtime and storylines. However, the ratings still have not recovered. But then again, neither have the ratings for the other two ABC soaps. How Brian Frons still has a job is beyond my level of understanding, and apparently everyone else’s as well. When the network you are in charge of loses over three million viewers in one year, you would think the person in charge would be reassigned to flippin’ burgers at McDonald’s, but not good ole Frons. Instead, he is still employed by the alphabet network and STILL in his present position. It almost leaves one to believe that perhaps ABC is deliberately trying to sink its daytime line-up. If so, they are likely trying one of two options–either they are allowing Frons to do whatever means he deems necessary to continuously flush their soaps down the drain, or he really is that clueless, and thinks that his ideas are it on a stick, with the ABC brass knowing better but going along for the ride in an attempt to kill two birds with one stone if the soaps get cancelled and Frons finally gets canned. Either way, it doesn’t look good. And even if ABC is not intentionally trying to destroy their daytime programs, it still leaves a viewer to wonder why he hasn’t lost his job already. Perhaps a higher power than I can answer that question. Calling Errol, paging Toups…where are you. hahaha…anyway, he needs to be fired, like three years ago. And, as if you couldn’t tell, ‘like it on a stick’ is my new catchphrase. Man I need a life.

Saving the best for last, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the plotlines coming up on “OLTL” a couple of weeks down the road. A cop may lose his fortune when victims of his family’s wrath sue for damages. A protective father refuses to allow his daughter anywhere near her boyfriend. The beau of Llanview’s leading lady learns the truth about her long-standing feud with another. A younger steps back out into the world for the first time since losing her son. A local artist may be hired to design a new label. One of Llanview’s most hated women comes clean about her scheme. And the town’s newest father and son duo gain the upperhand on their blackmailer.

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. My sincere apologizes for this column not being any longer. However there is only so much time in the time. I’ll try to write more next time.
Have a great weekend everyone, and hope you enjoyed this extra day of February. That’s all for now; please be sure and join me again on March 15th See you next time. Take care and stay safe.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

Pictured: My View of Llanview courtesy Matt Smith/Soap Opera Network

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