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« The Day's Most Awesome Dialogue | Main | Awkward! »

August 22, 2007

Soap I Don't Watch #4: One Life To Live

I thought it was pretty hilarious that the show doing a week-long musical prom storyline was nominated as Best Drama at the Daytime Emmys.  But then I thought hey, maybe it was really good a few months ago, and has only recently declined.  That kind of unevenness happens all the time on soaps.  Especially  on Days of Our Lives.  Now, having watched the episode that got OLTL its Best Drama nomination, I have to ask:  Huh?  Why?  How was this one of the four best soap episodes last year?  What a sad commentary on the genre!

In fairness, I suppose this One Life to Live episode was slightly better than the Young and the Restless one that somehow won tied for Best Drama.  (Though from Mallory, I know that is damning with faint praise.)  And I imagine it would have been better if I didn't know that the dude in the casket whose funeral consumed the whole show was, in fact, not dead.  I don't know.  Overall, I'd say it didn't wow me, but it contained fewer clichés and annoying performances than Y&R, so it's not the basement-dweller of the bunch.  Of the Soaps I Don't Watch, I'd rank them:

  1. Guiding Light (by a mile)
  2. The Bold and the Beautiful
  3. One Life to Live
  4. The Young and the Restless

At some point soon I'll do a poll to get your rankings, since many of you actually watch these shows and therefore won't be just talking out of your ass like I am.  Not that I'm not totally comfortable with the ass-talking, mind you.  Speaking of, here is the highly refined pro and con list for One Life to Live:

One Life to Live Pros:

  • Michael Easton.  I didn't really like him on Days eons ago, but he endeared himself to me with his red carpet interview with Laura Wright at this year's Daytime Emmys, in which he joked about OLTL being an inch away from cancellation.  He wasn't actually in this episode, on account of his character being "dead" and "in a coffin" and "being buried," but I am trying to be generous.
  • The baby named Thomas is played by a seriously adorable little boy.
  • McBain is/was apparently a cop, and also a good guy and not a bumbling idiot.  GH and Days viewers, please try to contain your shock and confusion.
  • Some dude named David is hungover and shoeless in a park and seems like he'd be consistently amusing.
  • Some good casting:  Erika Slesak and that girl who wore the weird pink hair thingie to the Emmys look like they could be mother and daughter in real life.
  • Renee Goldsberry (whose name I only know from the Emmys) has a lovely singing voice.

One Life to Live Cons:

  • Almost nothing happened.  I mean, I get that when a major character dies, the funeral will consume most of at least one episode, but this was the nominated episode?  Huh?
  • Since the show opened with guy digging grave of John McBain and from the Emmys and recent promos I know Michael Easton is still on the show (and ABC Daytime would never fire a main character only to do something stupid and pointless and insulting like have him come back as a ghost), I'm assuming there was a stupid "not dead!" plot after this.  Yawn.
  • Uh, Robin Strasser?  You can turn it down about eleventy notches.  And also quitting smoking would probably be a good idea.  Your voice sounds like it's filtered through sandpaper and charcoal briquettes.
  • Some crazy apparent trailer-dweller with enormous hair slapped her daughter Natalie with the Moonstruck rip-off accompaniment of "snap out of it!" -- and even that wasn't interesting.
  • For some reason, probably associated with me not being that bright, I thought that at some point in the first few minutes of the show the guy who it turns out is John McBain's brother said he was McBain's son. This sent me off on an extensive rant about ridiculously age-inappropriate casting on soaps, and included a comparison of McBain's brother's forehead creases to those of Luke Perry when he was in "high school" on 90210.  Alas, it was all a misunderstanding, and my rant exists now only in an electronic recycling bin.  I'm not sure why I am holding this against the show, but since like I said almost nothing happened, I needed more bullet points.


You need to watch longer (if you want to gouge out your eyes), the LVPD is a bunch of bumbling idiots and apparently have about 4 cops, though only Jawn McBain can handle any case, especially if he has a conflict of interest. He might not literally bumble, but he can't solve a case in a timely fashion to save his (or anyone else's life) and he walks around brooding and making weird shapes with his lips.

We finally got sort of an explanation last week when we found out that Bo Buchanan, the commissioner, only accepts $1 per year for the job. It shows.

David(the shoeless dude)is the best character on the show! I would marry him if I could and hook up the kid who plays Tommy with my sister just so I could look at the kid all day! Also Michael Easton was burned and in some hospital while some other guy(son of a blonde lady and a crazy dude who was stabbed who's names I don't remember) died! Obviously the one who died is a non-important character who HAD to die so that John(a much more important and interesting character) could live. But I totally thought he was dead! Didn't you?!

All in all OLTL shouldn't have been nominated but, GH shouldn't have won all those Emmys while the name 'Robert Guza Jr.' was on our screens! GL is a rather good show I suppose, not that I ever watch it being that it is shown at 10:00 am! Though who ever played Jonathan(the bestest most bitchin' character ever, sadly gone)was amazing and deserved his win for Younger Actor before! David should win(and just might have) a million Emmys! He's that good!

I didn't realize until later that, not only was "Prom the Musical" an atrocity, it was a blatant rip-off of "High School Musical." I think they even used almost identical font in the ads.

In my opinion, the show's gotten a bit better since the head writer was kicked off. It's still not nearly as good as it was in the early-mid '90s, but at least it lacks GH's bizarre, offensive quirks.

I think you need to see more of the show to be able to appreciate the awesomeness that is Dorian Lord (as played by Robin Strasser.) Of course she's like eleventy notches over the top!

No, the craziest thing about Michael McBain - and this show - is that the actor who plays him used to play a different character on the same show! Yes, in a crazy twist on re-casting, they killed Al Holden... but had the actor come back to play Michael, with Al's 'spirit' inside him. WTF???

Part of the goodness (and also at times a draw back) is that OLTL is mostly a character driven show. Sure, occasionally plot points take over and characters are sacrificed, but not on a daily basis like GH.

David (Tuc Watkins) is freaking awesome and deliciously yummy. He so needs to be on as much as possible. (TPTB let him get away, I hope the new regime has lured him back.)

Michael Easton has become something of a 'con' on OLTL for me, but he is involved in a storyline now with his brother that is looking to be potentially awesome!

The big-haired trailer-dweller is part of the comic relief on OLTL and is amusing once you get to know her.

Definitely a 'pro' of this show is that cops are often (not always) portrayed as at least semi-intelligent and they are almost always portrayed as good guys! The truly evil villains are portrayed as bad, the sometimes evil sometimes merely vengeful villains are given motivation for their evilness, and the entertaining villains are shown as not being evil, but they aren't revered and worshipped by every other inhabitant in town.

Watching GH definitely puts one at a disadvantage when trying to understand OLTL.

You've encountered the awesomeness that is David Vickers - consider yourself blessed! Tuc Watkins has to be one of the funniest men alive and I'm glad he's coming back again in September - even if it is only for a short time. It's also patially his fault that I'm going to have to start watching Desperate Houswives agin since he's joining the show on as recurring character. (The other reason I have to start watching is Nathan Fillion - OLTL's one ane and only Joey Buchanan to me!)
You might want to check out OLTL again around his return - looks like it might be a lot of fun since he's going to find out he's a Buchanan.

As someone who's watched both GH, OLTL and Days for a very long time - trust me when I say OLTL can be just as uneven as the other two and I agree, the episode they won for wasn't that great either. I actually fell out of my chair in shock when they tied to win the emmy.

Actually, the most truly bizarre thing about Michael is that what we see onscreen is not what Michael looks like to the people of Llanview. We're seeing "Al's spirit". The people of Llanview are seeing Michael McBain who looked different than Al Holden. If the people of Llanview were seeing what we see, there'd be somethind made of the fact that Marcie's married to a man who looks exactly like her dead first love. I remember when the idiocy of that whole story first started, they'd show Michael looking in the mirror, and he'd see the face of the actor who played Michael, even though we'd see "Al" when he wasn't looking in the mirror. So, while we, the viewers are seeing Al, all of Llanview is seeing Michael. And yes, it is screwed up.

David is the best thing about OLTL!

I love GH a more but I've got to say, the LVPD is a whole lot better at detective work and solving crimes than the PCPD. The mob in PC is better at solving crimes than the PCPD and I'm not talking about the ones that they commit.

You should watch it more. Of the ABC soaps, OLTL is sheer brilliance compared with the other two - faint praise, I suppose, but it really works eleventy million times better than you think. Viki, Bo, Nora, Rex, Michael, and especially David carry the show. OLTL's story-hogging version of Jason and Carly is "supercouple" Blair and Todd, the only two characters I would have spontaneously combust if suddenly given the head-writing duties. Otherwise, OLTL is really pretty good and was robbed of a Best Show Emmy this year, for sure.

Ilove your show!

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