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

 
Columns

My View of Llanview: August 15 Edition

Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 12:01 AM ET by Scotty Gore


Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” needs to shake things up a bit.

Brenda returns to Port Charles. Kendall returns to Pine Valley. These two heavily promoted events have so overshadowed “OLTL” in recent weeks, it’s almost as if the show no longer existed. “OLTL” was so much of an afterthought for ABC that it couldn’t even put together any sort of a promo for the same week as those two returns.

But, then again, that is more or less a moot point now because, after watching what “One Life to Live” had to offer this past week, they really didn’t have anything worth promoting anyway. This show continues on its collision course with cancellation and yet it seems in no rush to try to postpone the inevitable. The Ford brothers continue to be coma-inducing, Starr remains a spoiled little brat, Jessica is still a twit, Gigi’s hair continues to be unsightly and distracting, Rex won’t stop acting like a circus clown, John always sleepwalks and mumbles through all of his scenes, Kelly is as annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard, Dorian acts like an old shrew, David’s comedic antics are getting stale, and Viki and Charlie are as elusive as FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. So really…what is there to promote? Not much with this train wreck, that’s for damn sure.

Which leads me to the conclusion that “One Life to Live” needs something – anything – to drum up some publicity and set it apart from the rest of the soaps. And NO I do NOT mean another high school musical or hotshot recording artist to perform on the show. Instead, what the show needs to fire roughly between a quarter to half of its current cast (contract, recurring, and dayplayers) and lure back some huge name from Llanview’s past and/or from one of the other remaining soaps currently on the air. And yes, I realize that “One Life” has already done this once this year when it re-hired Gina Tognoni as Kelly Cramer. However, that was an ill-conceived idea from the start that has only gotten worse as the months have gone by. Not only has Tognoni’s return to Llanview been a huge disaster, but it has the audience painfully aware that the show really had no plan of what to do with her in the first place. It’s as if they only put her back on the payroll as a favor to her and a way to stick it the competition. And just look at how well that has worked out. Although the character of Kelly has always been a bit overbearing, this latest incarnation takes the cake…and then some.

That being said..”if” “OLTL” does manage to lure back another big name (as rumor has it), they should not, and cannot try and make that character be the center of the show even if he/she is playing a character that has been on the show before. That will lead to nothing but disaster, which is what I believe will eventually happen to “All My Children,” and especially “General Hospital” as well. In the past month “GH” has gone to extreme lengths to promote the return of the character of Brenda Barrett to Port Charles. And, while all the hype may initially cause a bump in the ratings, it is very unlikely to last in the weeks and months that follow. But that isn’t just the case with soaps (and all other television shows for that matter), it’s just human nature. People flock to experience something new and different from what they are used to. But once the ‘newness’ wears off, most people just simply lose interest and tune out.

Which brings me to my point…no one character or actor (no matter how popular or important) can carry a soap opera. While a show may have some ‘rising stars,’ it takes an ensemble cast to make everything gel together. Putting all your eggs into one basket and focusing on only person (or even on one particular group) is a risky gamble to say the least. However it is a bet that “One Life to Live” keeps taking and losing again and again and again. Hopefully they’ll learn their lesson before it is too late…but I don’t it. 

Anyway, moving on, congratulations to “guilty pleasure,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest stars as Bill Medley and Darlene Love, who performed the hit song “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” for lovebirds Tina Roberts and Cain Rogan.

In case you missed the clues, here they are: This musician sang a nice little ‘Medley’ on “One Life to Live” in 1994 with a certain ‘lovely’ woman for someone’s wedding shower.

Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of some mystery celebrity guest stars from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

This ‘Rich and Famous’ host stopped by Llanview to to emcee ‘The Daisy Awards’ (“OLTL’s” answer to the Daytime Emmys) in 1992, in which this one-hit wonder boy band, who left people’s ‘Minds’ almost as quickly as they came into them, performed their only memorable song.

So who are these mystery celebrities from the past? Bonus points if you can tell me the name of soap without a soap “OLTL” ‘created,’ which led up to that fictional awards show. I’ll have the answers in the August 30th edition of My View of Llanview. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest “OLTL” news and information at SON.

Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of August 30th. Two people wrestle for a gun. A daughter spins a web of lies when her mother catches her in a tight spot. A grief-stricken individual wants to pay tribute to the memory of a loved one. A young couple gets pulled in opposite directions. Two students are surprised by who their teacher turns out to be. One woman worries her significant other will learn the truth. And something catches on fire.

Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Hope everyone is staying cool and out of this dangerous heat as much as possible. Enjoy the rest of the summer and take care.

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

“One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.

  • All My Children
  • One Life to Live
  • AMC
  • OLTL
  • General Hospital
  • Port Charles
  • GH
  • Brenda Barrett
  • Gina Tognoni
  • Viki
  • Dorian
  • David
  • Charlie
  • Llanview
  • Kelly Cramer
  • John
  • Jessica
  • My View of Llanview
  • Rex
  • One Life
  • Brenda
  • Kendall
  • Pine Valley
  • Ford brothers
  • Gigi
  • Kelly
  • Bill Medley
  • Darlene Love
  • Tina Roberts
  • Cain Rogan


    My View of Llanview: July 30 Edition

    Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

    Friday, July 30, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

    (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” continues to wither on the vine by maintaining the status quo.

    Last week, Natalie and Jessica found out their were each pregnant (both women apparently conceived at the same time no less), foreshadowing two more “Who’s the Daddy?” storylines on a soap that recycles more storylines than most people change undergarments.

    Even worse, the canvas has been flooded with paternity storylines in the past year. Stacy’s baby’s daddy is Rex…no it’s Schuyler…no wait, it’s Oliver Fish. Schuyler is Roxy’s son. Rex is Mitch’s son…no wait, his father is some guy no one’s ever heard of, while is mom is an Native American woman who died of a broken heart…again, someone who was unconnected with everyone else. Inez is Ford and James’ mother….and Nate’s mom as well. Dani is really Todd’s daughter, not Ross’. And now this fiasco.

    Honestly, this show is becoming as predictable as the daily weather forecast for the Sahara Desert. And what storylines are not already played out, do not make an sense. Like why did Eli (aka Bennett Thompson) have to kill Melinda? No matter how many times the show tries to explain Eli’s actions with regards to being the source of all evil in Llanview, it leaves more questions than answers. What is this big secret he’s keeping? At this point, I doubt even the writers know what it is yet. And that is a big part of the problem with “One Life to Live” right now.

    Watching clips of old “OLTL” episodes on Youtube, as I so often do these days, reminds me of just how well-written, wonderfully acted, and very creative this soap used to do. Perhaps one of my favorite “One Life” episodes is the ‘Trading Places’ special that aired on July 4th, 2001. This was back in the day when ABC actually realized that viewership might just increase for their soaps by showing new episodes on the holidays instead of so-called ‘encore’ episodes that aired only a few weeks earlier (insta-classics the encores are not, by the way).

    I also often watch clips from Viki’s epic battle with DID back in 1995 (when she splintered into six alternate personalities), as well as Mitch and Dorian’s return to Llanview in 2003 as newlyweds, leading Viki to bitchslap her nemesis in front of friends and loved ones at Llanfair, as well as others. However, that is about as recent as I get. I typically don’t re-watch very many clips from episodes that have aired in the last half-dozen or so years. Hmmm….wonder why that is? lol

    If the powers that be at “OLTL” spent as much time on fixing the actual show as they say they do on the new bumpers, musical numbers, and special effects (like when Stacy fell through the ice back in February), then this show might actually be halfway decent. But, as it stands at the moment, there is simply too much wrong in Llanview right now to be ignored. So, is it really any wonder why the ratings are so horrible? You can’t expect newbies and teens to carry the show, when, judging by the ratings for the past few months, “OLTL” has been hitting record lows, and even slipping behind a soap that has already been cancelled.

    Perhaps what irks me that most is how a one-note character such as Ford, can go from a somewhat decent background character (when he was working with David Vickers last fall), to being front and center and getting an insta-family consisting of other mediocre newbie characters, when established, veteran characters like Clint can’t even get any airtime outside of playing the fool at Bo and Nora’s wedding when he burst in with a rifle. Hell even Viki, the show’s sole remaining original character, has been reduced to throwing skimpy, holiday-themed underwear at a man half her age in order to make the gold digger who once married her father in order to get a hold of his fortune, jealous. Speaking of Dorian, how embarrassing is it that she has nothing better to do than be envious of Viki and claim that she is out to ruin her life. Heck, even Bo and Nora have barely had a scene together since they got re-married. And where the hell are Renee, Nigel, and Addie?

    I realize they are trying to appeal to the female 18-49 demographic by showcasing the teens and half-naked cardboard pretty boys, but apparently even they (for the most part) are repulsed by all of this. Because, if they actually liked this garbage, “OLTL” wouldn’t be dead last in that crucial demographic right now. “OLTL” is just that bad…I’m not even sure how much ‘Life’ (pun intended) this show right now. As horrible as it is say, cancellation might actually be a blessing at this point. And you don’t know just how very much it pains this loyal, long-time fan to say that.

    Anyway, moving on, congratulations to “Judy from JC,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star which was rapper Kurtis Blow.

    In case you missed the clues, here they are: This rapper ‘blew’ through Llanview in in late 1990, first as a consultant for the show, and then later appearing onscreen as himself the following year in an episode that focused on the son of the town’s top cop, who wanted to pursue a career in rap music rather than going to college.

    Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

    This musician sang a nice little ‘Medley’ on “One Life to Live” in 1994 with a certain ‘lovely’ woman for someone’s wedding shower.

    So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? Bonus points if you can tell me the name of the woman who performed with him, the name of the song they sung, and which two characters were getting married. I’ll have the answers in the August 15th edition of My View of Llanview. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

    Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of August 16th. Two couples plan a double wedding, but will either of them actually end up walking down the aisle? Someone unexpected is arrested. One teen is upset by her friend’s decision to date someone she cares about. A certain young man thinks another person is innocent. A psychopath learns someone close may be on to him. A beau overhears his girlfriend’s private conversation concerning a ‘little’ matter. And a mother contacts a particular individual to help her son, unaware two men already have a connection.

    Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Hope everyone is well and healthy. Enjoy the rest of the summer. Take care.

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

    “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.

    • One Life to Live
    • SOAPnet
    • ABC
    • OLTL
    • Nate
    • Dani
    • Viki
    • Dorian
    • Clint
    • Bo
    • Nora
    • Eli
    • Ford
    • Melinda
    • Todd
    • Llanview
    • Natalie
    • Jessica
    • Inez
    • My View of Llanview
    • Stacy
    • Rex
    • Schuyler
    • Oliver Fish
    • Roxy
    • Mitch
    • james
    • Dnai
    • Ross
    • Bennett Thompson
    • One Life
    • Youtube
    • Sahara Desert
    • Native American
    • Trading Places
    • 4th of July
    • Llanfair
    • David Vickers
    • Renee
    • Nigel
    • Addie
    • Life
    • Kurtis Blow
    • Cop


      My View of Llanview: July 15 Edition

      Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

      Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

      (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The Top 5 reasons “One Life to Live’s” ratings are in the toilet.

      Given the crap that “OLTL” has been dishing out lately in terms of poor writing, bad acting, and choppy storytelling, here are a few of the major reasons why I believe the show is getting what it deserves.

      5. Constant re-writes and behind-the-scenes antics. To  anyone who is left watching this show on a regular basis, it is evident that certain scenes and plot twists have surely been revised and rewritten. Take Eli for instance…what possible motive would have for killing Melinda, pushing Marty down the stairs and killing her unborn baby, and severely beating Ford? It would make about as much scene as having Addie, Jack, or Sam do it. And the constant scenes with Eli trying to explain his actions to Hannah and Ford are not helping. This makes little, if any sense at all. I can just picture the writers all setting in their offices throwing darts at Post-It Notes with storyline ideas jotted down on them just to determine the direction they will go in next. At this point, I think a monkey with a typewriter would be able to do a better job.

      4. Newbie and teen overload. “One Life to Live” took a huge risk when they chose to make this summer the year of the teens in Llanview. The more airtime and storylines the teen castmembers get, the lower the ratings seem to go. Things have gotten so bad that “One Life” is even getting their butts kicked by the cancelled sudser “As the World Turns.” That’s like being beaten by a 90-year-old in a marathon. And in what world is introducing a new character, and then immediately throwing him or her into a front burner storyline going to prove successful? Do they seriously think the audience will become invested in someone that just started appearing on their TV screen a few days ago? Whatever happened to the days where a new character was introduced slowly, allowing for time for their personality to be developed and to give the audience a chance to determine whether they liked, hated, or loved to hate that person? I guess those days, along with the days when soaps were actually entertaining, are long gone.

      3. Pushing the vets onto the backburner. I can’t speak for everyone else, but when I watch “OLTL,” I want to see characters I recognize, like Viki, Clint, Dorian, Nora, Bo, etc. However, judging by the ratings, I’m apparently not the only one who feels that way. Having storylines centering around teenagers is okay in moderation, and when veteran characters are involved as well (and no, I’m not referring to the overexposed John and Todd). Take Starr and James for example. Outside of Todd, who was involved at the end, their recent exploits did not really involve any of the older folks on the canvas. And, as a result, the ratings have continued to falter. I realize that “OLTL” is more focused on specific demos, such as the Women aged 18-34 category, rather than overall ratings. But, even there, the ratings are slipping. Why you ask…because even younger folks don’t want to watch teens dominate every episode with their idiotic adventures. I should know…while not a woman (obviously), I do fit into that particular age category, and I couldn’t care less if most of the teens on the show right now were backburned and didn’t have another major storyline for the next decade. Perhaps the powers that be at “OLTL” and ABC will realize that sooner rather than later as well and try to get the show back on track. Then again, probably not.

      2. Recycled storylines. It’s bad enough when a writer uses a nearly identical storyline that a previous writer on the same show used. But it’s even worse when you start re-using your own storylines again and again and again. These days, the plots on “OLTL” are nearly as predictable as the sun rising and setting each day, and have more holes in them than a piece of Swiss cheese. Where’s the suspense, the drama, and the romance? Not in Llanview, that’s for sure.

      1. Six words. Ron Carlivati — Frank Valentini — Brian Frons.

      Well, that pretty well sums up how I feel about “One Life to Live” these days, but how do you feel about it? Be sure to leave your comments and voice your opinion on what bugs you about “OLTL” right now. I always enjoy hearing from fellow “One Life” fans.

      Oh, by the way, before I forget — happy 42nd anniversary to “One Life to Live.” I felt the need to throw a little something positive in this column. But don’t get used to it though.

      Anyway, moving on, congratulations to “Lee,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star which was the talented actor Robert Vaughn.

      In case you missed the clues, here they are: This “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” star whose “World” was left unhappy, agreed to a short stint as a man of the cloth in Llanview in 1996. A few years later he played dad to Charles Shaughnessy’s “Nanny” character.

      Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

      This rapper ‘blew’ through Llanview in in late 1990, first as a consultant for the show, and then later appearing onscreen as himself the following year in an episode that focused on the son of the town’s top cop, who wanted to pursue a career in rap music rather than going to college.

      So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? I’ll have the answer in the July 30th edition of My View of Llanview. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

      Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of August 2nd. A child doesn’t want their mother to get remarried. An unsuspecting person holds the key to a mystery. One woman won’t heed the warnings of a family member regarding someone she cares about. Will a certain couple make it the altar before it is too late? Another person is attacked in order to keep a secret. A frightened young lady experiences déjà vu when she is forced to to do something familiar. And someone may be on the verge of confiding some big news to their partner.

      Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Hope everyone is having a great summer. Hope it’s not too hot where you leave. Stay cool and take care everyone!

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

      “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.

      • One Life to Live
      • SOAPnet
      • ABC
      • OLTL
      • As The World Turns
      • Frank Valentini
      • Starr
      • James
      • Hannah
      • Brian Frons
      • Viki
      • Dorian
      • Clint
      • Bo
      • Nora
      • Ron Carlivati
      • Eli
      • Ford
      • Melinda
      • Robert Vaughn
      • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
      • The Nanny
      • Charles Shaughnessy


        My View of Llanview: June 30 Edition

        Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

        Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

        (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Llanview experiences an infestation of the teenage variety.

        Summer tends to bring carefree days, refreshing dips in the pool, and golden brown tans. However, it also tends to bring out the worst in daytime dramas, particularly “One Life to Live.” It may not even be the 4th of July yet, but Llanivew has been plagued with something far worse than locusts, boll weevils, and mosquitos combined. That’s right…a plethora of new one-dimensional cardboard teenage cast members whose characters are unrelated from pretty much any recognizable veteran character currently on the canvas.

        First it was the Starr X’d Lovers musical back in May which, by the way, was hideous in its own right, but what’s happening now makes that look like Emmy Award winning material. It’s times like this that I find myself longing for the days when Dena Higley was the Head Writer. It’s just that bad. I’ve seen better writing and acting on “Saved By the Bell,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “My Mother the Car.”

        It’s amazing that, in just the past few months, we have been introduced to more new teen characters than one can shake a stick at (which is a lot by the way). We’ve already been subjected to the likes of James, Nate, Hannah, Darren, Whitney, and Karen the Pizza Girl, alongside the overexposed characters of Starr, Cole, Dani, Destiny, Langston, and Matthew. And let’s not forget about Markko and Ford.

        Do I give a damn about Starr and James going on the run together? Hell no. Do I enjoy watching Nate and Dani getting all cozy? Of course not. Do I even care that Langston is torn over her relationship with Ford? No….I haven’t cared for her since she broke Markko’s heart. And, judging by the ratings, a lot of other “OLTL” viewers are feeling the same way.

        You know, I just might actually become invested in some of these new teens if they were somewhat connected to “legacy” families on the show. But, as we all know, that is not going to happen. Instead the canvas is flooded with these no-talent hacks, while the writers try to appease the older, long-time viewers by throwing them crumbs with regards to veteran characters like Viki, Dorian, Clint, Bo, and Nora.

        Calling this show in its current state a travesty is putting it mildy. It takes great talent to run a show into the ground, and for that Brian Frons deserves a great deal of credit. And judging by the current status of the entire ABC Daytime line-up, he must be damn good at his job. The worse things get, the more promotions and raises he receives. Talk about rewarding failure. Frons would fit in perfectly at BP or one of those big Wall Street corporations like AIG or Goldman Sachs.

        On a separate note, surely I am not the only person who finds it ironic that “OLTL” won a Daytime Emmy for best casting, yet lost out in the only three categories in which any of the show’s actors were nominated. Way to go “One Life.” 0-3 and still going strong. Not.

        Moving on, that’s all I’m going to say about the sorry state of “One Life to Live.” I’m just too disgusted and pissed off at it at the moment to continue talking about the show.   Again, it’s just that bad. 

        Congratulations, by the way, to “Chris,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star, which was the late, great legendary “Match Game” host Gene Rayburn, who played corrupt congressman Quentin Fraizer, a politican who was under the thumb of none other than the infamous Asa Buchanan.

        In case you missed the clues, here they are: Throughout the 1970′s this man helped “Match” ordinary people up with celebrities, but by 1982, he tackled a far different role when he came to Llanview to play a public official that was in the back pocket of the pariarch of one of the town’s most powerful families.

        Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

        This “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” star whose “World” was left unhappy, agreed to a short stint as a man of the cloth in Llanview in 1996. A few years later he played dad to Charles Shaughnessy’s “Nanny” character.

        So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? I’ll have the answer in the July 15th edition of My View of Llanview. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

        Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of July 19th. A scorned lover catches her adversary in the sack with her old ‘boy toy.’ A husband and wife are in need of a little R&R. One woman holds the fate of another in her hands. A certain young man decides to get tested after learning of the ‘history’ of a recent fling. Two sisters end up in the ER thanks to some rancid muffins. And someone is drugged.

        Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Have a happy and safe July 4th holiday weekend and don’t forget to save me a seat at all those family cookouts this summer. Stay cool and take care.

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

        “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.

        • One Life to Live
        • Starr
        • Langston
        • James
        • Cole
        • Hannah
        • Markko
        • Nate
        • Dani
        • Matthew
        • Karen
        • Whitney
        • Destiny
        • Brian Frons
        • ABC Daytime
        • Daytime Emmy Awards
        • Viki
        • Dorian
        • Clint
        • Bo
        • Nora


          My View of Llanview: June 15 Edition

          Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

          Tuesday, June 15, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

          (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The lazy days of summer are beginning to take their toll.

          The hot, humid days of summer (or technically late spring, since summer doesn’t officially arrive for a few more days) have made Llanview a boring place and me even lazier than usual, if that’s possible. So, instead of writing yet another column about how much “One Life to Live” sucks right now, and how it is being overrun with newbies and no-talent hacks, I’m going to step into the time machine 365 days and take a look back at a few excerpts from my column exactly one year ago, just to see how much (or little) the show has changed since that time. So here goes…

          “My first pet peeve with “OLTL” right now is the unnecessary canning of two-thirds of Llanview’s McBain family. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a member of the ‘I heart the McBains’ fan club, however, I did think it was a mistake to get rid of two decent characters when Llanview is overflowing with characters that need to be taken out by a serial killer. But Marcie and Michael were different. They actually had substance, and ties to the canvas. They were characters that fans recognized, and understood. Furthermore, neither ate up a tremendous amount of airtime, having been placed mostly on the back burner for the past year.

          Even so, Chris Stack and Kathy Brier are two very talented actors that “One Life to Live” will soon regret sending off into the sunset. Mostly because their presence on the canvas will be missed. But also because of the endless stream of newbies and cardboard actors taking their place on the television screens of “One Life” fans. I guess this means even more screen time for characters like Stacy Morasco, John McBain, Starr Manning (Kristen, honey, I love ya — but you need to try just a little harder to really sell it to the viewer), and Cole Thornhart. Yea…just what we need. Where the hell are Viki, Clint, Nora, Bo, Dorian, and the rest of the vets when you need them? I guess ABC believes that they have trained us fans to prefer Stacy over Viki. Wrong. If Stacy were to go missing from Llanview tomorrow I would order a cake to celebrate. Maybe Gigi can just throw some holy water on her and get it over with.

          At least fans can take some satisfaction in the fact that at least Marcie and Michael got there happy ending. I suppose that, much like the song immortalized by the Disney movie “The Prince of Epypt,” miracles really do happen ‘when you believe.’ I was so thrilled when I saw the pregnancy test setting on the table. Finally, they are getting the child they have longed for. What a fitting ending to their story. Hopefully, “OLTL” will wise up one day and bring Marcie and Michael back, along with their child. I wish both Chris Stack and Kathy Brier only the best.”

          Well, after reading that, all I can is “McBain’s who?” One year after firing both Brier and Stack, it’s almost like they never even existed in Llanview. Also, the vets remain on the backburner. And characters like John and Starr continue to hog most of the airtime…but at least Stacy is out of the picture. Always look for the silver lining.

          “My second pet peeve right now is the seemingly endless stream of musical guests. Okay, I admit, it was kinda fun when the show would have a big name musician perform once a year, but now they are booking musical acts every few months. Are they that desperate for more revenue and an increase in viewers? Maybe they could have Starr feeding Hope more Cheerios, or perhaps Carnation Instant Formula or Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup instead. Plugging real-life products on the show (and no, I’m not referring to Have-a-Seat Hemorrhoid Cream of the Toaster Tarts Todd fixed for Téa) would seem like a more logical way to boost show profits. It is also a great way to add some reality to a show, although it can easily be overdone. A little of this goes a long way.

          But just take a look at the facts. Since New Year’s Eve alone, there have been five separate musicial artists/groups to appear on “OLTL,” including Lionel Richie’s upcoming performance. The others included “Puddle of Mudd,” “The Plain White T’s,” “Rachel Yamataga,” and “The Pussycat Dolls.” The list grows even more when you factor in those who performed last year, such as “Snoop Dogg.” Each of these guest appearances has done relatively little to boost the show’s already sagging ratings. Instead, it may actually to have the opposite affect if “OLTL” continues to overload its yearly music quota. Fans may simply start viewing it as a bad attempt at stunt casting and begin tuning out in droves. As ABC learned a few years ago the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?,” there is truth in the term claiming that ‘you can have too much of a good thing.’ When the expanded to show to about three or four nights a week, interest soon waned. And when that occurs, it can be difficult to lure those viewers back.”

          Hmm…the product placement doesn’t seem to be such a big deal at the moment. And thankfully, there hasn’t been as many musical guests year to date as there were in 2009….however, I still loathe writing articles about musicians who appear on the show. Not only do they not get very many hits, but they are also a pain in the behind to put together. I would rather write about prom dresses and high school musicals…if that tells you anything.

          “Moving on, do you ever find yourself scratching your head as you watch a particular scene or character? I tend to do that quite a bit while watching ‘OLTL’ actually. Like, for instance, why couldn’t the show have gotten a decent skull cap for Shane when he lost all his hair from chemo? It was painful, but yet hilarious, watching it move and occasionally curl up on the edges during many of his scenes. Furthermore, why does Cole Thornhart always seem to be wearing black socks (and dark colored shirts and pants for that matter)? Whether it is suit, dress shirt, t-shirt, or tank top, his shirts nearly always seems to be a dark color. And anytime his feet venture into a scene (such as when he was going through detox in Starr’s bedroom), he has on black socks. Sorry, but I notice that sort of thing…I’m a sock man. ha ha Also, why does one of Erika Slezak’s eyes always seem to be twitching? Why is Michael Easton almost always chewing gum whenever he appears on camera? Why does Jessica give all her dead babies the middle name ‘Victoria.’ Sure, it’s a tribute to her mother, but why do it twice? We already had baby Megan Victoria, and now Chloe Victoria. And least Bree’s middle name isn’t Victoria as well, ha ha. And why does Trevor St. John sometimes use different accents while delivering his lines, and then smirk at the camera? Too many questions for my little brain to figure out.”

          It was scary to read that and realize that I feel exactly the same way about those things today that I did a year ago. Some things never change.

          But of all the things from that particular column, this quote just still makes me laugh: “I am anxious to see how the soap will handle their third attempt at a gay romance and story line. Maybe the third time will be a charm and ‘OLTL’ will do a good job with it. However, I have seen many a promising plot on this show go flat, so the seeds of doubt continue to grow in the back of my mind; and I’m sure in many of yours as well.” Yeah…well we all know how that turned out, now don’t we?

          Oh that was fun; we should do it again sometime. Perhaps we will. I just grow so tired of always looking for something positive to write about, and so bored with endlessly complaining about how bad the show is. For that reason I find it more enteraining to go back and read old columns and news articles I have written from the past few years. I know…I know…I lead a boring “Life.” Haha

          Moving on, congratulations to “guilty pleasure,” who correctly identified last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star, which was the late NBC News correspondant Betty Rollin. The journalist shared her battle with cancer with Llanview’s own Viki Carpenter, who was fighting breast cancer at the time.

          In case you missed the clues, here they are: This former NBC News reporter was visited by a Llanview leading lady a decade ago, as a result of a particular illness that bonded the two women together. This guest star chronicled her illness in a book and helped her mother, who was battling terminal ovarian cancer, end her life. And, on a side note, her husband is a mathematician.

          Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

          Throughout the 1970′s this man helped “Match” ordinary people up with celebrities, but by 1982, he tackled a far different role when he came to Llanview to play a public official that was in the back pocket of the pariarch of one of the town’s most powerful families.

          So who is this mystery celebrity from the past? I’ll have the answer in the June 30th edition of My View of Llanview. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

          Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of July 5th. A child learn the truth about a parent. A promise is made. A father is forced to choose. Two old flames dance around their feelings for one another. Brothers agree to keep a secret. And someone is rushed to the hospital after being injured.

          Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Stay cool and safe this summer. Enjoy your time off and take care.

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

          “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.



          My View of Llanview: May 30 Edition

          Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

          Sunday, May 30, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

          (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Like Momma always says “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”

          I’m sure some of you are expecting this column to lengthy, in depth, and opinion filled. If so, then I’m sorry but you’re mistaken. Two things are preventing me from making this particular edition of the column all of the things mentioned above. The first is a result of time constraints. I have a dozen things going on this holiday weekend, and I just simply don’t have the time to set down and compose a rather drawn out column. And second, even if I did, there is very, very little on the show right now that is even worth mentioning. And I would rather not get on my soapbox and rant and rave about how much “One Life to Live” stinks as of late. I’ve done more than enough negative columns about the show for awhile.

          So what that does leave for me to talk about then? Very little actually. But I will say this, things are NOT looking good as we head into the summer months in Llanview. Endless teen drama, a canvas overloaded with newbies, and veterans characters that are harder to find than Waldo. I realize that soaps have always played the teen card at the end of the school year, but that doesn’t excuse it. As for yet another new family, I say go ahead. Chance are it they will just fizzle out like nearly all the other new families in the past few years. Just look at the Evans’ and the Montez’s.

          And, as for the vets, Bo and Nora may be getting some airtime for their wedding, but I guarantee you that once they say “I do,” they will be shoved back into the attic with Renee, Shane, Charlie, and all the others, who are dusted off and pushed in from of the camera once in a blue moon. Clint seems to have gone the way of Marty and lost his focus. With Kim banished from Llanview (thanks to David), Nora with Bo, and things heating up between Viki, David, Charlie, and Dorian, poor ole Clint has no viable love interest and really no function outside of perhaps visiting with his daughters. That is much the same way Marty has been written for months. And poor Viki has no life of her own, and her only reason for living seems to be so she can prop Rex and Gigi and dispense advice to Jessica and Natalie.

          Getting back to the teens for a moment, the only ones I can really root for right now are Markko, and to a lesser extent Destiny and then Matthew. Of the three, Markko is my favorite. I also used to enjoy Langston as well until the writers turned the character into a moron. Lang-Lang totally deserves everything she is getting right now and more. And thankfully Markko knows the truth now about her and Ford. For awhile there, the poor guy was dumber than dirt about what was going on all around him. But now, Jason Tam, who is a remarkable actor by the way, is at last finally getting some juicy material that he can sink his teeth into. Markko is too good for Langston, who has become such an idiot that she has become oblivious to all of Ford’s lies. And speaking of Ford, I can’t stand this character. Apparently the powers that be at ABC and “One Life to Live” haven’t realized the fact yet that, just because someone is good looking, doesn’t mean they can act their way out of a paper bag. Just remember back to how horrid Mikey Jerome was if you don’t believe me.

          Finally, the demise of SOAPnet this week left “OLTL’s” fans even more concerned about the soap’s future, especially given a New York Times article that (apparently) inadvertently omitted “One Life to Live” when talking stating that “ABC remains committed to its soaps (“General Hospital,” “All My Children”), other broadcasters have been moving away from the genre, limiting the amount of product available for SOAPnet.” According to ABC Daytime God Brian Frons, the omission was the fault of the Times reporter, and that the network continues to stand by “OLTL” too. Really? Could have fooled me. Frankly, I have no idea why Frons appears to be so concerned about “One Life to Live” not being mentioned in the article, when he clearly doesn’t mind it being left out of other promos for the Alphabet Network’s daytime line-up. And he sure as hell doesn’t seem to care about what’s on the show itself, because if he did, “One Life” wouldn’t be at the bottom of the ratings, barely beating its cancelled competitor “As the World Turns.” But then again, according to that logic, he doesn’t really care about “AMC” and “GH” either, since neither regularly averages beating “OLTL” by more than one or two tenths of a point. Oh well, “One Life” will always remain the ugly red-headed step-child of ABC Daytime, sandwiched in between the baby and the first born. Some things will never change.

          Moving on, no one correctly guessed the identity of last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star, which was “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” actor Nana Visitor. In 1982, she replaced Ilene Kristen in the role of scientist Georgina Whitman. Kristen, of course, returned to the show years later, and now plays Roxy Balsom.

          In case you missed the clues, here they are: This Llanview ‘Visitor’ took over the role of a engineer who came to town on a top-secret mission, and fell hard for a leading man. Although this woman didn’t last long in the role, the woman she replaced returned to town years later as an unrelated character. Perhaps the saying is true afterall…’hair’ today, gone tomorrow.

          Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

          This former NBC News reporter was visited by a Llanview leading lady a decade ago, as a result of a particular illness that bonded the two women together. This guest star chronicled her illness in a book and helped her mother, who was battling terminal ovarian cancer, end her life. And, on a side note, her husband is a mathematician.

          So who is this mystery actress from the past? I’ll have the answer in the June 15th edition of My View of Llanview. Bonus points if you can tell me the name of the character that visited her. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

          Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of June 21st. A finger is pointed. Two reunited old flames drift apart. A scorned lover confronts the man who broke her heart. A daddy gives a surprise kiss to someone unexpected. One young man snitches on another. A girl is asked to help do something shady. And someone is being framed.

          Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Be sure to buckle up and drive safely if you are traveling on the roadways this Memorial Day weekend. A special thank you to the men and women (both past and present) who have fought to maintain our freedom. I also want to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation. Thank you all and God Bless!

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

          “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.



          My View of Llanview: May 15 Edition

          Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

          Saturday, May 15, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

          (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The promo says that “‘One Life to Live’ finds its voice” with this musical. Well, if that’s the case, I hope it gets a prolonged case of laryngitis.

          With the arrival of “Starr X’d Lovers: The Musical” came a sense of dread for me. Although I do like when the show experiments with new things from time to time, the thought of another prom night musical extravaganza left me with more than a few reservations.

          Then I heard a familiar tune: “Here’s what you do when you don’t find the rainbow’s end,
          This time. Here’s where you go when it looks like the rain won’t end, don’t cry. I’ll give you tomorrow. Let me be the one you share it with, And each day that follows, ‘Cause we only have ‘ONE LIFE TO LIVE!’”

          Granted it wasn’t performed by Peabo Bryson, as was the original, and the pictures and everything else in the opening was the same as it has been since 2004, but still any episode that begins with that upbeat song can’t be that bad, I reasoned. Then I watched the remainder of the episode, at which point I realized that my hypothesis was only partially correct.

          While I did find some of the musical numbers ‘cheesy’ and ‘gay’ for lack of better terms, I did somewhat enjoy the the musical’s signature tune “Starr X’d Lovers.” And I have to give these kids credit for such very hard work in practicing their singing and dancing. But still, I found the motivation behind the whole thing trivial at best.

          I mean, it’s not as if Starr and Cole are the greatest couple ever in the nearly 42-year history of “One Life to Live.” Likewise, they are not the popular characters to have ever lived in Llanview, no matter what the writers and producers may try and make us believe. And, while I don’t absolutely despise Starr and Cole, I’m not their biggest cheerleader either. In fact, the best word that comes to mind when describing my feelings for them is “eh.” I think that sums it up fairly well.

          And, while “OLTL” does have several cast members who have been blessed with talent with regards to their singing abilities, there are also some who are mediocre at best. Now granted I have no room to criticize, since I personally cannot carry a tune in a bucket (and that’s being generous). However, I’m going to have my say anyway. I like Mark Lawson (Brody), but the guy is not a very good singer. He may be easy on the eyes for the ladies, but he should probably leave the singing to the professionals.

          And God bless Roxy…working by herself on prom night, fixing hair and giving makeovers to six teen girls, and still able to find time to bust out into an elaborate song and dance routine. Only in Llanview, I suppose. Too bad that Jessica the twit is still roaming around the streets free. It’s amazing how all the adults in town seem content to let her run around acting like a ten-year-old kid again. But I suppose Viki is busy with other things, like propping Gigi and Rex to really care about her daughter’s mental state.

          Now, only two more days of his mind-numbing musical, and then hopefully we’ll be done it with for another three years, like the last one. At least one can hope anyway.

          Getting back to the opening, I like the thought of reviving the 1984-91 “Tour of Llanview” opening sequence. Having different cast members perform the song for each of the three days of the musical is all right, but I think it needs to be brought back full time. Along the same lines, it needs to be re-recorded by a professional musician, and not someone from the cast, no matter how talented he or she may be. And, if the song is to return for good, then the cast will all need new pictures, and the graphics will need to be more eye-catching and relevant. The current opening lost its appeal a few months after it debuted….and that was nearly a half-dozen years ago.

          No one correctly guessed the identity of last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest star, which was accomplished actor Eileen Heckart. In 1986 she played Allison Perkins’ (Barbara Garrick) mother Ruth, and in 1993, originated the role of Mortimer Burns’ mom Wilma, which was later taken over by Elaine Stritch. And, of course, Mortimer was the spitting image of infamous mob boss Carlo Hesser.

          In case you missed the clues, here they are: This late, Oscar winning television, stage, and film star of German and Irish decent, who was adopted by her grandfather as a child, had two small, but memorable roles on the soap. First she played mother to one of Llanview’s favorite psycho’s. Then she portrayed the mom of a super villain look-alike.

          Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

          This Llanview ‘Visitor’ took over the role of a engineer who came to town on a top-secret mission, and fell hard for a leading man. Although this woman didn’t last long in the role, the woman she replaced returned to town years later as an unrelated character. Perhaps the saying is true afterall…’hair’ today, gone tomorrow.

          So who is this mystery actress from the past? I’ll have the answer in the May 30th edition of My View of Llanview. Bonus points if you can tell me the name of the woman she replaced and the character she currently portrays on the show. Also don’t forget to tell me what bugs you about the show these days. I love hearing from fellow “OLTL” fans. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

          Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of May 31st. A matriarch is asked to play an important part in someone else’s nuptials. A Llanview landmark is ablaze…for the second time. Someone, or something, causes a big stink in a public place. One teen issues an ultimatum to another. Someone is trailed. And a big day is loaded with unexpected surprises.

          Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day holiday weekend. Take care and have a great day!

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

          “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.



          My View of Llanview: April 30 Edition



          My View of Llanview: April 15 Edition

          Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

          Wednesday, April 15, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

          (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live’s” closing credits have really been capturing my attention lately.

          This edition of “My View of Llanview” is brought to you by TurboTax.  Get your biggest tax refund ever, guaranteed!  Choose easy.  Choose TurboTax.  The #1 tax preparation software preferred by rich people in Llanview and all across the United States. 

          Sorry for the plug, but I just had to throw it in after watching “OLTL” recently and seeing Natalie promote TurboTax during a conversation with Jessica. 

          Moving on, the show has become so boring in recent months that little else (outside of the product placement for TurboTax) has been capturing my attention. The 2pm (1pm where I live) hour has become more of a time to fix lunch, finish some housework, or do much anything else to kill time while watching “OLTL.” I don’t even mind so much taping episodes I choose to miss with my trusty old VCR (yes some people still have those), or watching it later online. There is just nothing anymore that keeps me on the edge of my seat, biting my fingernails and worried about what was going to happen next. Gone are the days when I absolutely could not wait for the next day’s episode.

          Therefore, the majority of the time, the closing credits have become my favorite part of the show for the simple fact that it means another episode is over and I go about my life outside of Llanview. That is especially depressing, considering I used to so totally engulfed in the show that I would rush to report/comment on anything and everything about it. Now I have settled into the mindset of putting it off until I have absolutely nothing better to do with my time.

          Seriously, what is there left to enjoy watching? The Jessica is seventeen again storyline continues to be a flop. I no longer recognize the character of Langston. Viki is barely even an afterthought anymore. Dorian has begun to fade into the background. Todd’s constant pouting and whining grates my nerves. I couldn’t care less about John and his brooding. Rex and Gigi have the IQ of a box of rocks, and even that’s pushing it. And then there’s Kish raising Sierra Rose. Oh wait, that’s right…we won’t be seeing them anymore anyway.

          Should I care that Rex is, once again, trying to locate his biological parents? No, because I didn’t even care the first time around? Does it warm my heart that Bo and Nora have reunited and are talking marriage? Maybe, if we saw them for more than a few minutes a week. Do I think Viki and Charlie should get back together? Charlie who? There doesn’t even seem to be anyone in Llanview with that name any longer. Does it make me feel sorry for Todd that he cannot be with “the woman he loves?” You have got to be kidding me. And am I looking forward to the big musical next month? Yes, about as much as I am looking forward to having prostate exams on a regular basis now that I am thirty-years-old.

          So what does that leave? Spunky little Todd Jr./mini-Todd (aka Jack) explaining the obvious to his father? Loony Allison Perkins proving once again just how unhinged she really is? Roxy’s constant (but nonetheless hilarious) butchering of the English language? Mitch cheating death just one more time? Or how about the frequent musical guests who perform on the show? Shoult I find all that exciting, and “must see TV?”  Yeah right, and $10.00 will still put a full tank of gas in my car.

          Honestly, “One Life to Live” is practically boring me to tears lately. And looking at what is coming up in the next few weeks isn’t doing anything to make me want to watch the show with any more enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a fan of the show, and continue to feel a sense of loyalty to it, but I no longer try to revolve my day around the show. In fact, that hasn’t been the case for sometime now.

          That’s really all I have to say about that. Honestly, I’m at a loss for words right now when it comes to writing any further about how bad it is. I don’t even think mere words could do it justice anyhow. Unlike my credit cards, I am carrying a very low rate of interest with regards to “OLTL” at the moment. Thank goodness for the warm weather, the lawn mowing, the garden planting, and the flower potting, because it will all help to take my mind off of this crapfest that continues to play out on my television screen.

          I’ve always heard that the mind of a head writer was a scary place. Well after watching “One Life to Live” the past few months, I can believe it. Perhaps it’s time for a regime change. Or maybe it’s just time to take the show out behind the ole proverbial woodshed and put it out of it’s misery once and for all. And I never I thought I would have to say that. However, I guess there really is a first time for everything. It’s just a damn pity that this is the same “One Life to Live” that was wonderful just a year or two ago. Well, that was then, I suppose.

          So what bugs you about “One Life to Live” these days? Be sure and drop me a line…I would love to hear from you, and I just might use your comments in an upcoming column.

          Congratulations to “C.L.B.,” who correctly guessed the identity of last time’s mystery “OLTL” guest stars as none other than the Beach Boys. The group, which has been around for nearly half a century, is best known for hits such as “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfin’ USA,” and “Kokomo.”

          In case you missed the clues, here they are: It’s a short one this time. What 1960′s music group visited Llanview in 1988 to sing a few tunes with their old pal Bo Buchanan?

          Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery celebrity guest star from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

          This 30-year-old professional athlete from Alaska had a small walk-on role on “One Life to Live” on August 31, 2000 as an airport clerk.

          So who is this mystery jock from the past? I’ll have the answer in the April 30th edition of “My View of Llanview.” Also don’t forget to tell me what bugs you about the show these days. I love hearing from fellow “OLTL” fans. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

          Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of May 3rd. Two girls square off over a guy. One man is on a mission. Could one couple be about to bite the dust? A woman risks her career to help her best friend’s son. And someone receives some news that will change their life.

          Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column. Hope springtime is bringing warm thoughts and weather wherever you may be. Stay safe and take care!

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

          “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.



          My View of Llanview: March 30 Edition

          Photo: Errol Lewis/SON

          Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:01 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

          (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — One controversial life to live.

          “When trying to please everyone, you ultimately please no one.” Truer words were never spoken. After limping on one leg into 2010, things seem to have gone from bad to worse for “One Life to Live.” And, while the majority of the criticism has been justified, some of it is simply the result of misinterpretation.

          Last week, the website IrishCentral.com posted a story in which they villified “OLTL’s” recent St. Patrick’s Day tribute as “the most disgraceful depiction [they had] ever seen.” The site takes particular offense to Llanview’s resident drunk, Roxy Balsom, who was dressed in green from head to toe in honor of the holiday, and offering free beer to patrons of her hair salon, Foxy Roxy’s. Now, in and of itself, that does sound bad. When placed in the proper context, however, there is more to it than meets the eye.

          As mentioned in the article, the author’s wife observed “One Life’s” St. Patty’s Day celebration while apparently channel surfing. Based on her assessment of the episode in question, it is a fair assumption to make. Because if she were a regular viewer she would understand that neither the character of Roxy, nor the show itself for that matter, where intentionally trying to offend Irish-American viewers. Those of us who actually watch the show on a frequent basis understand that Roxy is, in essence, an equal-opportunity drunk. March 17th is not the only day out of the year that Roxanne Balsom hits the sauce. And St. Patrick’s Day is not the only holiday in which she flamboyantly expresses her free-spirit personality either. Whether it be Halloween, Christmas, Columbus Day, the 4th of July, Groundhog Day, National Potato Week, or Presidents Day, chances are that you see Roxy consuming more than the legal limit of alcohol.

          But this is what happens when a casual or first-time viewer watches only one or two episodes and misinterprets what they see without investing more time into the show, or researching the soap’s background and recent plotlines. True, soap stories often move at a snail’s pace, however, crucial details can still be missed by only occassionally tuning in.  Furthermore, I find it highly amusing that the people over at Irish Central think that “One Life to Live’s” St. Patrick’s Day episode was the most offense they have ever seen. Do these people even realize how the rest of America celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day? Contrary to what they may think, most Americans do not spend the day in church or studying up on the history of the saint himself. Instead, the vast majority of us wear green (for fear of getting pinched if we don’t), consuming several bottles of brew, hanging out in bars, and proudly sticking buttons to our clothing with such sayings as “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.” And let’s not even get into talking about leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.

          Also, just look at how other television shows have honored St. Partick’s Day. An episode of “Family Guy” had a plane landing on a runway in Ireland that was littered with thousands of beer bottles. Or what about “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which had a storyline where a newspaper editor came up with a new St. Patrick’s Day marketing campaign, where he dressed a midget up as leprechaun and offered a pot of gold to the first person who captured him. Or how about “The Simpsons,” where 10-year-old Bart gets drunk at a St. Partick’s Day parade and the town of Springfield imposes a ban on prohibition, only to have Homer (his father) secretly supply the local pubs with alcohol. And, of course, there’s the episode of “The Office,” where the gang celebrates the special day each year with a big party at a local bar, where they get drunk.

          The point is that there are a lot worse St. Partick’s Day celebrations out there, both in real and reel life, that are much more stereotypical and insulting than “OLTL’s” town drunk dressed in green, and a bar full of off-duty cops drinking (only after giving their car keys to the bartender) and singing “Danny Boy.” In addition, Irish Central’s claims that “Everyone, not just Irish-born or of Irish ancestry, should be offended by this show. We have decided that we will not watch anything on ABC.” Well I am part Irish (my paternal grandmother’s grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in the 1860′s), and I did not find it offensive at all. On the contrary, I found it to be rather amusing, as I know a lot of other people with Irish blood did as well. As for boycotting ABC, just go ahead and do that. In a few months, I’m sure they will be watching ABC again, as to most people to claim they are going to snub the network (among other things).

          Along those same lines, gay and lesbian viewers have also threatened to boycott and protest “One Life to Live” and ABC, however for a much different reason. Instead of being pissed off that the town drunk was seen drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, they are upset that the show has decided to write off its only same-sex couple. But that’s only half the story. Various media outlets have reported that the firing was not merely based on ratings, focus groups, or storyline direction, but instead was a direct result of the irresponsible behavior of the actors involved in the firing, Brett Claywell (Kyle Lewis) and Scott Evans (Oliver Fish).

          In what appears to be an all to familiar occurrence for the Alphabet network, the stars of their shows are thrown under the bus in hopes that the network to gain sympathy and garner support for their errant decision-making skills. Some claim that the ‘Kish’ firing was simply a means to an end, and that Claywell’s excessive partying and Evans’ frequent absences resulted in scenes being cut or filmed at the last moment. Both actors, however, have disputed claims that their on-set behavior was anything less than professional. So who do you believe….two recently fired actors who were just doing their job, or a network and show known for being less than honest and forthcoming? Hmmm…that’s a tough one.

          I recently received an e-mail from long-time “OLTL” viewer Willie Thomas, who asks the the soap not to push Kish into the closet. “Kish has transcended their sexuality. They are the ONLY decent love story on the show. I have been a viewer of ‘OLTL’ for over 20 years. I am a person in my mid 30s. But simply put there is nothing worth watching once Kish leaves,” writes Thomas.

          So what bugs you about “One Life to Live” these days? Be sure and drop me a line…I would love to hear from you, and I just might use your comments in an upcoming column.

          It appears that no one was able to correctly identify the mystery country music star from last time. The answer was Bill Anderson, best known for such hits as “Mama Sang a Song,” “For Loving You,” “World of Make Believe,” and “I Get the Fever.” While on “OLTL,” Anderson shared scenes with Becky Lee Abbott (Mary Gordon Murray), who was involved the father/son oil tycoons Asa and Bo Buchanan.

          In case you missed the clues, here they are: This real-life country music singer appeared on “One Life to Live” as himself several times in the early 1980s, where he took to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry with a certain young lady (who was involved with both a father and son), made her singing debut.

          Now it’s time to play another round of “Llanview, Who Am I?,” a new feature where you have to use the clues to figure out the identity of a mystery character from “OLTL’s” past. See if you can figure it out. Good luck!!!

          It’s a short one this time. What 1960s music group visited Llanview in 1988 to sing a few tunes with their old pal Bo Buchanan?

          So who is this mystery rock band from the past? I’ll have the answer in the April 15th edition of “My View of Llanview.” Also don’t forget to tell me what bugs you about the show these days. I love hearing from fellow “OLTL” fans. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter page for all the latest OLTL news and information at SON.

          Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of April 19th. Someone makes a horrific discovery. A guilty finger is pointed at a loved one’s old flame. A woman is grateful for another’s support. Will a wife give her husband what he’s been hoping for? Suspicions grow concerning a certain Llanview citizen. And a teen is tempted to fess up to his best friend about what has been going on behind his back.

          Well that’s concludes yet another edition of the column.  Thanks for reading my inchoherent ramblings on the present state of my favorite soap. Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Good Friday and Easter holiday weekend. Enjoy the warm weather. Take care!

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

          “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.









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