(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” does what it does best – comedy. And even if the storyline is absurd and vulgar, the show still manages to give fans a chuckle and poke fun at itself, all without skipping a beat.
I’ll be the first to admit that this whole Nate and Deanna do porn storyline idiotic, nasty, and just downright stupid. I have routinely shaken my head and sighed each and every time it has been mentioned on screen these past few months, and taking notes on the inconsistencies in the story and holes in the plot. For instance, why does a porno movie producer live and tape movies out of the same motel room, or why was we so desperate to convince those two in particular to star in one of his movies, going as far as to show up at Nate’s high school graduation to try and get him to sign off on the project. And just how stupid are Nate and Deanna exactly? I realize that Rick was blackmailing them, but come on….there are/were other directions this storyline could have gone…so why did the writers take this route in particular?
I like to laugh as much as the next person and have always enjoyed “One Life to Live’s” brand of humor. The show has never been one to take itself too seriously. From inside jokes, to nods to the audience, to humorous observations, over the years “OLTL” has often been at its best when it has tried to be funny – even if the storylines were rather campy and over the top. However, I don’t ever recall (please feel free to correct me if I am wrong) so much of the humor being so forced and consisting of such sexual overtones. In addition, many of the jokes recently have come at the expense of gay people. Furthermore, this bawdy and risqué dialogue has turned away some fans and left others wondering if the writers aren’t trying to convey some sort of deeper meaning with these types of jokes and one-liners about wieners, sexual innuendos, and men joking around about “flirting” with one another. I know it has left me somewhat concerned. And, while I’m not gay myself, I can sympathy with those who are that have found those sorts of comments to be offensive.
That being said, I rather enjoyed the “Vicker Man” movie premiere scenes on Thursday and Friday. Both episodes were hilarious, albeit a little cheesy and over done. The many references to the show’s past made me appreciate the scenes that much more. There was the mention of “Fraternity Row,” “OLTL’s” former soap-within-a-soap, as well as the screen credit at the start of the film, revealing it was produced by Melador Studios (a nod to the cosmetics company formed back in the early 90s by Blair Cramer, and named in honor of her aunts Dorian and Melinda, and mother Addie), and that it was a “Vickeroshi” Production, a reminder of David’s time of enlightenment a few years ago when he was a Buddhist monk.
But the most hilarious nod to the past involved Blair and her portrayer Kassie DePaiva. First there was brief scene on the red carpet where she was being interviewed by reporter Blanca Morales (Carolina Bermudez), when she asked Blair something to the extent of how she felt about an Asian-American actress playing her in “Vicker Man,” to which she replied that it was the “magic of Hollywood.” Later, as the movie was beginning, the opening credits listed “Mia Korf as Blair Cramer,” followed by a strange look from Blair herself. To me that was the most exciting of the nods to long-time fans of the show. And it also reminded me of the last time “OLTL” made an inside joke of Blair’s transformation from a black-haired Asian-American to a blonde American woman with a southern accent (DePaiva is from Kentucky – as is yours truly). It was in 2001, when Asa Buchanan faked his death and all his living ex-wives showed up to pay their respects. Scenes from each ex-wife’s time with Asa were shown, including scenes of Blair and Asa not long after the character first came to Llanview and was played by Mia Korf. After the flashback, Blair looked at herself in the mirror of her compact, and let out a sigh of relief. These types of scenes are prime examples of why I think “OLTL” could make it as a comedy, or at least as a comedy-drama. As long as they lay off the sex jokes for awhile, I think they concept could really work.
Also worth mentioning from the movie premiere episodes is how “OLTL” honors and pokes fun at its own and manages to throw in lines relating to current events and issues. For example, Dorian and Starr announced on the red carpet that their dresses were designed by Gammie and Lesser, who are “One Life’s” Emmy Award winning Head and Associate Costume Designers. And, while not part of the “Vicker Man” episodes themselves, as recently as a couple of weeks ago David, who is played by Tuc Watkins, told some of his loved ones that he wanted to get Tuc Watkins to play him in the movie but he was asking for too much money. On a separate note, the show has also been homage to Shenaz Treasury’s (Rama) new Bollywood film “Delhi Belly,” by coming up with a drink with the same name. And last year, Rama kept reminding everyone that Cristian (David Fumero) had been voted Llanview’s “Best Arms,” referencing Fumero winning the title at the 2010 Soaphunks.net Awards. Check out some pictures of some of the fashion’s from the premiere on the official “OLTL” Facebook page.
With regards to current issues, Dorian threatened Ionia to go ahead and call SAG and AFTRA (actors unions) when she had her thrown out of the premiere, noting that it wouldn’t do any good. This was in reference to both groups’ appeals to ABC back in April when the network cancelled the show, which fell on deaf ears. Robin Strasser tweeted that the line was actually not part of the script and that “I made up the SAG line-glad it aired, thought they’d cut it.”
I also thought that the movie premiere served as the perfect backdrop for all the other stories revolving around it. As much as I hate to admit it, it tied in rather well with the revelation of Nate’s porn debut. It also provided for some lighter moments involving Rama, Vimal, and her parents (although the Cristian and Shaun scenes were unnecessary), including the scene where the toothpicks popped Rama’s baby balloon. And having all the Mannings together helped build suspense for Rex to put his revenge plot in motion and for the ultimate of Friday cliffhangers to take place – with the man with Todd’s old face revealing himself to Todd’s family as he looked on in disbelief.
Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who correctly answered all three trivia questions from my July 15 column. In case you missed the clues, here they are, along with the answers: 1. What is Robin Strasser‘s (Dorian) middle name? Answer: Victory in Europe. 2. For what Disney show did Brittany Underwood (ex-Langston) audition for before joining “OLTL?” Answer: Underwood tried out for the starring role on “Hannah Montana,” which ultimately went to Miley Cyrus. 3. What was Sean Ringgold‘s (Shaun) occupation before becoming an actor? Answer: Bodyguard.
Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. See if you know the answers to these questions about some of the current and former cast members of “One Life to Live.” 1. What connection did Lee Patterson (ex-Joe Riley and Tom Dennison) have to legendary comedian Jack Benny? 2. Tonja Walker is cousins with what famous country music star? 3. James DePaiva (ex-Max) is a descendant of what former U.S. President? I’ll have the answers in the August 15 edition of My View of Llanview.
Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. These are for the week of August 15th. A schemer sets their sites on a new target. One woman tries to make peace with another. Several people are confronted over their actions. And someone requests to see a key piece of evidence.
Well that’s concludes yet another column. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and staying cool. Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…