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