Editorial Corner

Editorals will appear whenever I get pissed off enough to write one.

PREVIOUS RANT: A Tale of no Chemistry: The Insta-love phenomenon and OLTL

Complaints, or Why I won't quit OLTL

TPTB, over the last 4 years, and in particular Jill Farren Phelps, have worked on the premise that the more a viewer is exposed to something, the more likely he or she is to accept it, sort of a ‘break down their defenses’ type thing. That is TPTB’s main weapon against us—they try to obliterate our memories by hitting us continually and in rapid succession with stories that try to dislodge what we know and what we feel. They hope that as the memories of Viki and Sloan, Viki and Clint, Todd and Blair, Todd and Tea, Max and Luna, Max and Maggie, Bo and Nora, Kevin and Cassie, Cassie and Andrew etc. etc. fade, so will our desires and our expectations. We see Viki/Ben, Nora/Sam, Grace/Kevin, Bo/Lindsay, Max/Blair, and Tea/Sykes continually thrown in our faces in hopes that they will dull our memories of what we once loved.

I don't really enjoy the show anymore, and I haven't for a very long time. After Malone left, the show suffered, but I still found some stories and couplings worth rooting for in the less-than-cohesive whole that was OLTL. Over the past 18 months, I found that I was no longer able to do that. I watch the show, but more often than not, I’m disappointed by what I see. I have nothing against changes. I do have something against poorly written and produced television, however. The changes we’re getting at OLTL have come so fast and there are so many. What’s wrong with moderation? This show has lost its balance and its heart. Where is this show’s anchor couple? Divorced? Separated? Try non-existent.

It’s extremely hard to be a long term fan of this show right now. Characters that viewers have built relationships with over years have been displaced by a whole new family of characters which has adopted various traits of longtime favorites. I enjoy Lindsay, but I’d rather see Alex Olanov and Tina Lord than a composite of the two.

Long time favorites are acting out of character. Practically every coupling on this show started within the last year, most without any buildup or history whatsoever to drive the story. Most of the stories of the past couple years have been largely forgettable—Nora’s perimenopause, Club Indigo/Blue Jay, Max’s kids are kidnapped, Todd has DID?, Maggie’s Clown School, Kelly’s whale obsession, Joey’s mere existence, Teen Quad, Dorian’s tea scheme, Dorian’s shot, shall I go on?

New characters, like Sam, Ben, Lindsay, Will, Sykes, Grace, Barbara, Mel, Tea, NuKev---they grabbed the spotlight and the long-term fan favorites have been reduced to supporting players while newbies dominate the canvas. I’m not willing to accept that. Let’s take "Viki’s" new story for example:

Would you rather have the story the way it is now, or would you rather the show had given Viki a front-burner story that remained true to her personality and character, as she had been portrayed to that point? I’m definitely in the latter group. Yes, I want Viki to have a story, but no, I won’t settle for an insta-romance that is essentially contrived to further cement the Rappaport/Davidson clan on the canvas.

New characters shouldn’t be shoved down our throats, no matter how much potential they may demonstrate. *They* should be supporting the long-term characters and *they* should have to win our hearts, not just be handed them on a silver platter because that’s what TPTB expect. We shouldn’t have to accept poorly conceived and written stories just because it means that we get to see our favorites front-burner.

I still watch this show from time to time despite my feelings of disgust. The fact is, I’m not willing to abandon a show after 13 years just because it’s been mired for 3 of those years in turmoil. I love One Life to Live, but I’m not willing to accept what it’s become. I refuse to blindly accept the garbage TPTB are offering. I refuse to be apathetic. I hate the current state of OLTL, true, but you know what? It’s so much better than not caring at all or worse yet, being complacent. Complacency is what will get this show cancelled.

The words of Victoria Wyndham, Rachel, AW, which I find very apropos of this situation:

"Complacency is what some people in this business count on from audiences. They expect you to accept whatever they offer you. Little did they know when they canceled AW that our loyal fans were anything but complacent.

"However this turns out," Wyndham told the audience, "rest assured that you have learned how to remind the industry that the airwaves are yours. And if you keep this up, the industry will think twice about offending the viewers they are supposed to be serving. That's how a democracy is supposed to work. The people insist on being heard and well-served. So don't give up. Keep up your good work."

I think that the boycott, no matter if its a sucess or a failure, will serve the purpose of reminding TPTB what their job is--it's to entertain. To put out a good product. To respect its audience. To respect its characters. To respect our show's history."

I'm not a boycotter, but I don't begrudge them their fight. I'm doing my part as an OLTL viewer by sending letters describing what I like (RJ and Dorian; Starr) and what I don't like (everything else.) TPTB expect the fans to take whatever they are given, but there comes a time where accepting what we're offered becomes too much of a chore. I will not sit blindly by smiling and nodding my head because that’s what TPTB want. That’s what many AW viewers did in order to stave off cancellation---and look what they got them. I’d rather voice my concerns than try to "save" a show through complacency. So though I complain a lot, it doesn’t mean I hate this show, or that I should go find a new soap. I don’t throw in the towel that easily. I’ll keep watching but I’ll also keep complaining until this show starts to show the long-time viewers some respect.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know! Contact me at ShannonC1@aol.com or post a response on the message board.