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« This Show Is Heartbreaking. Interpret That As You Please. | Main | Dear Afternoon Television Program, »

March 23, 2011

That Other Show

I realize that most of us soap viewers have been spending the week either panicking about the cancellation rumors regarding the drama that airs right before OLTL, or throwing things at the television and having rage blackouts regarding that little show that airs after OLTL, and I count myself among these viewers. I therefore apologize that I may be remiss in covering all the bases when pointing out the various infuriating and awesome and horrible and delightful details of One Life to Live. It's especially difficult at the moment when I'm finding it near impossible to determine the tone of the show much less respond to it.

On that note, David Vickers is back. I have no idea how long Tuc Watkins is sticking around this time -- it could be three days or three weeks, and I honestly don't care. Either way puts a crimp in our willing suspension of disbelief since we always know he's not staying. I'd like to be happy for Dorian. It's good to see her smile and have a little joy that just about her, but I can't help feeling that the happier we see her, the more miserable she'll be when David's latest visit comes to its inevitable end. And look. Sending someone to a Moroccan prison for eight months and letting his loved ones think he just abandoned them is a really, really bad thing to do. Clint was wrong and bad and mean to do it, and Rex was wrong and bad and mean to allow it to continue. I don't blame anyone for wanting Clint to pay for it (though I do blame everyone who has just given Rex one earful and then let him completely off the hook). But if they want this storyline to have any stakes at all for us, they have to clarify the tone. Because all we've had since David's return is "comedy" (I assume I do not have to explain why this is in quotes). Jokes that suggest the worst thing about being imprisoned for the better part of a year was that the guards withheld astringent and how David is going to avenge what happened to his pores... well, these jokes don't exactly up the ante. It just makes me shrug the whole thing off and root for Clint because he happens to be more interesting, which I assume is not the intent. Newsflash: it is possible to have a character who often functions as comic relief actually play the darker moments when necessary (Have they met Roxy? No seriously, sometimes it feels like they haven't.). In fact, David used to actually be a character with both lights and darks. Right now he's no more than a cartoon, so I can't muster up a hoot to give regarding his quest for justice.

And then there's Echo. I like having her in the mix, I honestly do, but the character is suffering from a serious lack of attention. It feels like the idea is that she came to town to start trouble and to find her son, and she achieved both. The next step was to hurt Viki by messing with her marriage, and she achieved it. And somewhere along the line she was supposed to evolve, or at least show her good side, and through it all legitimately and quite sincerely fall in love with Charlie. I believe it because of how Kim Zimmer plays it, but I don't believe it outside of that at all. There was a glimmer of hope when she learned about Shane being the victim of bullying at school, and they really could have done themselves a favor by playing up the caring grandmother role, but they dropped that like a hot potato. Charlie will find out that Echo knew all along that Clint was really Rex's father, so she's headed for a terrible fall and I have to say: no one's going to care. Either way. Shouldn't the audience either feel sorry for her or delight in her downfall? As it stands, I think the most response it's going to elicit from the audience is a shrug of the shoulders and a quiet, "Well, that happened."

When they could have been taking care of laying the proper groundwork for that storyline, they were instead focusing on newcomers Aubrey and Cutter and just... I have given Aubrey a chance. Time's run out. I don't mind a schemer and a con artist -- that's how we got Blair, it's how we got Natalie and Tina and Dorian. But there is nothing else to her. I could not possibly care less about her plan to the point that I'd be fine if she succeeded with flying colors by Friday and took off for good. She's just dull. Every one of her scenes is identical to the one before -- she's always almost caught and then comes up with some ridiculous lie to get out of it that the other people in the scene inexplicably believe without further investigation. It'd be interesting if she were a good con artist, but the only reason she ever succeeds is because everyone in a scene with her is written to be a drooling moron. She's not clever, she's just the luckiest grifter alive. Time's up!

Cutter, on the other hand, held some potential. I think the actor brings more layers to his scenes, and the character has a tendency to go rogue on Aubrey's master plan, so he's a little less by-the-numbers. But sweet mercy, what is it with this show and its obsession with mentally ill women getting it on? If he has sex with Tess, my brain is going to implode. I get that he's not a good guy so I can't ask him to behave all the time, but can we have a fucking moratorium on bad guys sexing up or trying to sex up Jessica while she's nuts? I realize Tess has had plenty of sex before while she's "out," but the distinction is that all of those one-night-stands and the initial relationship with Nash happened with men who didn't realize Tess isn't a real person, but a crazy lady's alter. Cutter knows. SO STOP IT.

Now, while the scenes yesterday between Cris and Rama were interesting to me -- Cris needs something to do and I'm really liking Rama -- they ignored a whole lot of history. Cris talked about understanding what it feels like to be separated from the one you love, and only used his geographical distance from Layla as an example. Hey Cris? Remember when you were, like, sold into some sort of slavery and assumed dead by your wife? And then remember when you were programmed to kill and subsequently imprisoned? Wouldn't those be good examples of being separated from someone you love? Also, can someone please give Cristian a call and let him know that Natalie is now single again and could use a shoulder? Just sayin'.

Yesterday's episode did give us one moment that made me giddy (well, besides the total absence of the "ooooo no, Todd got shot!" storyline). Viki and Dorian had a little chat, and Dorian asked how she can help Viki during this difficult time with her family, and Viki told Dorian she was already helping by being such a good friend.

Dorian[1] 

Dorian looked truly touched. And then Viki actually teared up about it, and said to Dorian, "Sometimes I think I don't know what I would do without you."

Viki[1] 

Hang on, you guys, I've got something in my eye. Sniff.

And I know. I get it. This is all so when Viki finds out that Dorian's known all along about Charlie sleeping with Echo, she can get more outraged and in part take it out on Dorian (which is ridiculous, because for once someone on this show has a pretty damn good reason for sitting on a secret for a while). But I love it. I just love these two actresses, these two characters, and all the history between them and to see them honestly and openly treat each other as close friends after all these years absolutely warms my chilly heart. 

Divider

So who caught Bree Williamson (Jessica) and Melissa Archer (Natalie) on The Wendy Williams Show yesterday? How cute were they? Seriously, they both looked so adorably nervous (especially Archer). I guess since things like Soap Talk (is that what it was called?) went off the air, soap actresses don't do a whole lot of talk show appearances (especially the few remaining East Coast soap actors), so it really seemed like something that wasn't a part of their routine. I'm kind of a sucker for actors who aren't completely polished and poised outside of their roles, so I enjoyed the very brief segment (they showed the clip after the wedding when Jessica pulls off Natalie's necklace and says she doesn't have a sister) and the little photos of each gal with her hubby. The bad news? Williamson suggested that Jessica "might" have another alter that we'll be meeting soon. Mercy. Can this personality's name please not rhyme with Jess? That would be awesome. We're all exhausted here.

Comments

As always - and forever, I hope! - Thanks to you at SD for writing another amazing column. I'm not loving everything on OLTL right now, and in particular, I relate to what you said about "tone". Is it comedy or is it drama? That line is most fuzzy when it comes to David Vickers and Rex.
rankly, Rex hasn't entertained me in quite some time, in any way at all. David Vickers, on the other hand...well, I'll put up with the ambiguity just to enjoy the talent.

But one thing is for sure.....OLTL, be it good, bad, or indifferent (and I rarely find it indifferent), is still a soap in all the best ways. It pays attention to its vets, treats their characters with respect, and is the only daytime show I look forward to, each and every day. I'm very happy that I finally tuned in 3 years ago, when I could no longer count on AMC at all.

There are two places I go to online every day. One is to watch OLTL. The other, is check out Serial Drama. I know class when I see it!

Maybe Jessica's next personality will be male. Didn't Viki have a male alter?

Melissa and Bree both looked beautiful on the talk show. Melissa looked so different than Natalie, which I found weird since Natalie is this fiery character, yet the show dresses her so dull. Her husband looks like a Secret Service guy LOL. The photo of Bree and her husband in the hurricane on their wedding day was awesome.

As a long time fan of Brody and Natalie, I have to say that I had no idea what was supposed to be going on in those scenes yesterday. I couldn't tell what they were going for there.

Why won't Dorian tell Viki about Charlie and Echo? Wait, I know. So that when the truth comes out Viki spends the majority of her time blaming Dorian instead of the real culprits. Ugh.

I wish they'd chem-test Tess with the backburner. It's been a month and I am siiick to death of her.

And was I supposed to feel bad for poor Ford that he was running around chasing after the mentally ill woman he willingly kept out of the hospital? I'll pass.

Brody singing to Liam...could he BE any dreamier? And he's still invested in being a father to Ryder. Take a lesson, McBain.

I don't think there is any other name that rhymes with Jess that they haven't used yet, so we might luck out there. Maybe this alter will be a man. Didn't Viki have a male alternate personality? Maybe Jessica gets so tired of men sleeping with her alters that she creates a male alter to escape that possibility.

Yes, Viki had two male alters -- Tommy and Victor. But with all due respect to Bree Williamson, I just don't see her pulling that off!

The one part that I loved was the hinting at there being more between Nat and Brody. It literally made me squee.

Next alter's name, maybe Celeste?

Also the only way that scene of Brody singing to Liam would've been to have shown him singing to Liam while holding a puppy. Maybe have the puppy belong to poor neglected and still parentless(and rarely mentioned) Bree. So throw in a puppy and the sort of orphaned Bree in that mix. Singing, cute baby, adorable and lonely child and add a puppy. Could anything top that as dreamest?


Good Lord, who the hell on the writing staff did Kerwin piss off? Forget throwing him under the bus. This is more like throwing him under a supertanker.

Best part was Brody singing to Liam. I don't care how the show explains it, he has to be the father of both Ryder and Liam (if I had to pick one though, it would be Ryder hands down since the rapist Ford doesn't deserve a kid).

You know, I've only watched for two or three days after a hiatus (and I'm not sure my watching will last), but I've actually thought it's pretty good. For once I actually thought David was more serious than he's been in quite a while. Yeah, there were the lines about pores and stuff, but he wasn't the cartoon he usually is. He seemed really out for revenge.

Brody singing made my non-existent ovaries twitch.

Brody love!

I enjoyed David when he had the shotgun on Clint. I don't think they played that for comedy, but I do agree that he has downplayed what happened.

I totally don't understand why the writers dropped the ball with Echo and Shane. When Echo found out that Shane had gotten into more trouble at school and was suspended.. all she did was suck face with Charlie in the living room while Shane was up in his room. Earlier she told Shane that if he didn't handle things and things didn't get better, that she would step in.. and then nothing. I had such hopes.

Ford and his whole, "I have to make sure my baby is protected!" Ugh. Honestly.. it drives me crazy. He is the only one putting that baby in danger by keeping Tess around.

This is still the best soap going although that's not saying much right now.

Love you Louise!

I hate all that Clint is doing (well, except the Aubrey thing, cause she's annoying), but I CAN'T WAIT for him to find out that Charlie is cheating on Vicki. Clint, feel free to let loose, I'm sure even Bo will give you a pass on the shotgun/Moroccan prison/crazy guy kidnapping him. You can't be doing that to Vicki. Nope.

I thought Cutter was kind of sweet with Tess/Jess, and he opened up a little bit about himself to her in a nice way! I think they make a great couple, as crazy(pardon the pun) as it sounds! Maybe they can redeem Cutter through his relationship with her once they get past his gold digging lies, Jessica's alters, and her new baby and Bree! Cutter might actually...wait for it..make a great step-daddy!!!

I don't mean get past the kids, I mean for Cutter and Jessica to try to be great parents to Bree and Ryder! (Jess and Ford would be friendly co-parents to Ryder a la GH's Sonny and Carly).

I don't want Cutter as anybody's step daddy, unless he ends up marrying Echo. That way he would be Rex's stepdaddy, and he could give that rattail the beat down he deserves.

As for Jess being a friendly co-parent with Fudd, nope on that too. Unless being a "friendly co-parent" with Fudd involves locking him a secret room in the basement or having him fill that vacancy that has opened up in a Moroccan prison.

Ron, if Ford ended up in the Moroccan prison, I would be extremely happy.

Jessica and Ford should not co-parent. EVER. In fact, Ford should not have a role in Ryder's life at all. He raped Jessica and does not deserve a child as a result of that act.

Oh, BTW Louise, Dorian was NEVER a con-artist, she was a doctor when she first arrived in Llanview!

Come now, Dorian's run plenty of crafty cons over the years! She's just never been a con artist by trade!

Dorian was a gold-digger, but I wouldn't call her a con artist. I'll have to ask my mom cuz I was a little girl when Dorian first showed up.

I'm with you on the Dorian - Viki love, Louise. When those two are friends, it's awesome!

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