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« The Failure Is Legendary | Main | Quick! Start A Fund-Raising Drive For The Llanview Public School District! »

April 01, 2011

Tell Me, Is It Helping?

It's a sincere question. As much as I chide this show, there are no words for how hard it would hit me if it were canceled. So if they can come up with casting stunts or cameos or storyline ideas that are flashy enough to get publicity and ratings, I'm fine with that. Whatever keeps the show on the air is fine with me as long as it doesn't come at the expense of, you know, THE SHOW. Because my interest is not in keeping some sort of scripted television called One Life to Live on the air on ABC at 2pm EST every weekday, regardless of what the actual content is. I'm afraid some bizarre rotating-cast Swan's Crossing/Fifteen hybrid, just with less rehearsal and far more episodes, is not worth saving. Not to me. If some component has to be in that vein, I'll give 'em 50/50. If we get 50% awesome OLTL, I'll take 50% crap OLTL. My fast-forward button works just fine. In my 50% we'll have:

Vikiclint And maybe a little:

Viki 


And some:

BoclintAnd in addition, maybe some Nora and Natalie and Blair and Dorian and Marty (oh yeah, oops!) and Roxy.

But I have a few questions about the other half, because in order to find it acceptable, it actually needs to be helping. And is it?

First of all, yesterday we were subjected to an entire storyline that involved one character we don't know (Deanna) being talked into something by another character we don't know (does this dude have a name? I can only be certain whatever his name is, it's never followed by the phrase "portrayed by a Juilliard Drama graduate").

Deannapornguy 
Deanna 

Inexplicably, our "way in" to this storyline between strangers has been Rex, who the porn producer (unfathomably) is obsessed with getting to star in his adult film. Rex walked by yesterday and had an entire conversation with this porn producer while never making eye contact. Is Rex worried that porn is contagious?

I assure him, it is not.

Rexporn 

So...is this helping ratings? Why and how would it? An entire episode that involves Starr and then Gigi repeatedly assuring James that they have indeed seen this "Deanna" at the diner isn't exactly putting me on the edge of my seat (OMFG WILL JAMES ACCEPT HER FRIEND REQUEST ON MYFACE??!!). Is it working for someone out there? How will this draw in new viewers?

And then we have the bullying storyline, which follows supporting-supporting characters and is about as nuanced as your typical eighth-grader-written cautionary tale that some sort of afterschool club might put on at a junior high assembly.

Bullies 

It's also pretty disturbing because, if I actually imagine in my head that what's happened to Shane indeed is happening to a real kid, it's so traumatizing that I do not know how a kid bounces back from it (and I have a soft spot as let's just say I was hardly in the in-crowd growing up). But that is made doubly disturbing by its embarrassing execution -- and might I add that the sidekicks are mostly better actors than our lead bully, which isn't helping anything. I have hope only because Austin Williams (Shane) is really impressing me, but every other aspect is so cringe-inducing that I'm nervous just watching it. Perhaps the grownups' involvement will improve it?

And then there's the stupidest court case in the history of stupid court cases, in which they keep forgetting to mention that Viki already has custody of one of Jessica's children (Bree -- remember her?) and is doing just fine with it, and Nora apparently hasn't thought of asking Tess why, if she's really Jessica, isn't she fighting for custody of HER DAUGHTER (and why isn't she, anyway? I thought Tess was all about Nash's kid.) The entire hearing has been composed almost entirely of people standing up and speaking out of turn rather than offering up any legitimate testimony on the stand, and yesterday we got this gem when Tess started announcing that Charlie's a liar and a cheat: Tess and Ford's attorney sat her down and said, "There's no percentage! It just makes you look vindictive and desperate!"

Nopercentage! What? There's no percentage? Percentage of what? What the sweet fuck is he talking about?*

And while we're on the topic of Tess, I have a few other questions. So she's taken a photo of Charlie and Echo kissing with her smartphone and sent it to Viki. Does Tess know Jessica's Blackberry password?

Tesssmartphone

And really, when Tess is out, does she sit down with the bills and pay for the mobile service in Jessica's absence? Does she have her mail forwarded from Llanfair? Who is taking care of her credit card bills, as she has clearly purchased an entire new wardrobe?

I just have so many questions.

And so beyond this, we of course have random visits from one of the Kardashians, as well as appearances from Wendy Williams and, as I said, I'd be willing to suffer through all of this silliness if it meant I'd get a good chunk of the good stuff but (a) the "good stuff" chunk is hovering at about 10% which is nobody's idea of a fair trade-off, and (b) seriously, is this shit really helping?

Just asking.

(*Reader OLTLViewer cleared this up for me in the comments. D'oh!)

Comments

ITA Louise. ITA. My FF button on my TIVO remote is wearing down to a little nub because of this show. And it had so much potential the week of the wedding - such soapy wonderfullness, with vets, great acting and a good classic (if done thousands of times before...) story.

Now, not so much. I'm afraid to watch - i read blogs and summaries before even bothering....

The porn producer guy that Austin Peck is playing has a name, and his name is Rick!

Me too. I could live with the horrible stunt casting and the half-naked morons if they were bringing in viewers and making it possible to keep the rest of the show interesting. Instead the whole show is just painful to watch.

I'm actually surprised both by how much I dread this show being cancelled and how angry I am about just about everything Show is doing right now.

There was a point a few weeks ago when I was actually interested in what was happening. Now I'm just back to swearing at the TV every afternoon and cringing when the ratings come out.

What a bad week this show is having. And Ford has been front and center in every episode. Coincidence? I think not.

If only Kyle and Fish was still around to make the rest of this more bearable. Siiigh.

Thanks, guilty pleasure! I wasn't sure what to call him. Has his name actually been said on the show yet? I guess he's mostly only had scenes with people who don't know him yet.

I totally agree about the Deanna/Rick stuff but am actually enjoying the rest of the show.

Trust me, OLTL is THE best soap currently airing. Ron Carlivati may not hit it out of the park everyday (a fact I attribute to Brian Frons' interference) but he still manages to tie various stories together so that show seems cohesive. Y&R could only hope to achieve this level of story-telling.

It's becoming unwatchable for me.

I actually like the bullying storyline. Austin is rocking his scenes and it has the potential to be an umbrella storyline. I mean, it has Shane, Jack, Rex, Gigi, Starr, Blair, and Dani all somewhat involved already. Viki, Brody, Natalie, Clint, Bo, Tea, and so many other characters can become involved.

Shane's suicide note had me in tears today.

I'm a refugee from AMC, and for me, OLTL is mostly pretty good. I don't care for Gigi - that's putting it mildly. Or Gnat and Jawn, at ALL. But overall OLTL is a show I look forward to every day. There are days when it can be more of a disappointment than a pleasure. Count that as any day that focuses on any of the Fudds, or Starr. And although I would love to see the last of each and every Fudd, I'll put up with them in FF doses, as long as there are other stories I care about.

One thing OLTL does very well, IMO, is to use their vets, both characters and actors. AMC dumped as many of the vets as possible and uses the few remaining as little as possible. Frons and Carruthers and their stable of psychotic hack writers have virtually destroyed that show for me. I get great pleasure each time I see Vicki or Dorian, Bo or Clint, Roxy or Nora - and I very much enjoy Kim Zimmer, who I hadn't seen before since I never watched GL. There is such a wealth of talent there, a pool of experience so many of the remaining soaps have dispensed with. I love Brody, even though I hate him with Gnat, I love seeing David, I can tolerate Rex away from Gigi, I LOVE Tea, and I enjoy dispising Todd the horrid nutcase. (How anyone sees him as a hero and not a loathesome life form is beyond me, though).

I didn't expect to like the bullyng storyline, but I do, even with the sub-par acting by most of the teen crowd, excepting Shane. (My major complaint with OLTL is the overabundance and over-exposure of that age group). But I find the story hard to watch because of the emotions it generates, but I'm anxious to see what's next. The worst part of that storyline, actor-wise, for me, is Gigi. I just don't think that FF can pull off dramatic scenes, and I think JPL is pretty weak in that area too. But nontheless, I'm interested.

I started watching Y&R on the advice of friends, and although I can appreciate the show, it hasn't really drawn me in. OLTL has, hook, line and sinker. I want it to stick around for a long, long time. I never thought the day would come when I'd even watch any soap but AMC, but that show is as dead as a doornail, murdered by Frons and Co. OLTL still delivers, for me, the essence of what I love about soaps. It still has family, intergenerational relationships, still uses "women of a certain age" when other soaps run the other way from females over 40, and gives me (some, anyway) stories and characters to care about.

I'm a fan of the show, even more than I thought.

And besides, if OLTL ended, I'd be missing the best commentary on the web, which your provide right here!

Try google. It took me two seconds. See #4.

percentage [pəˈsɛntɪdʒ]
n
1. proportion or rate per hundred parts
2. (Business / Commerce) Commerce the interest, tax, commission, or allowance on a hundred items
3. any proportion in relation to the whole
4. Informal profit or advantage

I can understand and appreciate the criticism for this show but I suppose it’s a matter of perspective for the person watching and how high the bar is set for their expectations. That said as a long time viewer it’s easier to enjoy watching some veterans and long time actors in their scenes and some stories compared to the youngins and newbies who obviously have no acting experience. I will happily trade crappy writing and acting every now and then to keep this show on the air because it’s the one soap I still love despite it’s flaws. Even at its worst though this show is still much better than most of the other soaps on the air at their best and it’s the one I will probably watch until its very end no matter how soon or how far that may be.

As for the Deanna and Rick scenes these are new characters doing old characters stories in the vein of Marco Dane and Rachel Gannon. I’m going to give these characters a chance though particularly Rick because I think Austin Peck has done a much better job with this role in the short time he’s been on than he ever was as Austin Reed on DOOL. I also hope being Terri Conn’s (Aubrey) husband will give her a chance to do something other than make Joey look like a complete idiot.

Well, touché indeed, OLTLViewer. Although it still doesn't make it any better that they just used the annoying soap cliché of just not letting someone finish what they were saying -- obviously there is an advantage to Tess revealing that info!

Have you read Michael Logan today?

I have now! OH NO. I am off to put my head in the sand and remind myself that it's April Fool's Day.

I have to say, Louise, I'm not really with you. I can totally see all the faults of the bullying story, but it's still working for me. I like that it's slowly drawing in a large percentage of the cast. I like how the stories butt and intersect tangentially (the porn story with the Eddie Ford story with the bullying story, etc.) I like that the vets aren't invisible. I like that old people (Echo and Charlie) can have sex. The show is nowhere near its highs of a couple years ago, but it's miles away from anything else I've seen.

Couldn't agree more, Louise.
Seriously, this week has been atrocious. What the what is going with the casting department lately? Are they just not even trying because they know it's about to get canceled? (I hope not.) This Deanna girl is horrible, obviously Jack needs a recast yesterday, and I know Austin Peck is a "name" or whatever, but damn he's awful too!

Love the Swan's Crossing/Fifteen analogy, pretty much nailed it. I love OLTL mostly because it still feels more like a soap opera than AMC or GH, but I'm with you - if it's gonna be on, it can't just be any random nonsense. I can't spend 4 days watching people stare at their laptops and/or have vague, repetitive conversations about old boyfriends, money and porn. Unfortunately I saw the Kardashian episode live, and I had no choice but to turn off the TV every time she appeared onscreen. Let's hope they don't do that to us again!

And now today, they reveal that they are destroying a legacy character, Matthew. I thought they only did that on GH....

It's not working for me. I stopped watching this show a few months ago after 18 years of not missing a single episode. There's always been stories and characters I hated, but this is different. There's simply nothing I care to watch anymore. My favorites, who used to inspire sympathy or passion, just bore me now. I check in from time to time out of habit, but I've seen nothing that makes me want to tune in.

hey now..I loved Fifteen and Swans Crossing....don't be a hater. ;(

but yeah I have no idea what goes on in Frons's head most of the time....

That's an interesting point about Tess's focus being solely on Ryder. Does Bree not have a trust fund? Aren't 2 eight-figure trust funds better than one?

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