As much as it pains me to say it, I may be done with Otalia. I don’t know if that’s what the writers want and I’m just being a great big sucker for giving it to them. Maybe I’m just tired of most of daytime and this current Otalia storyline is hitting my hot buttons. Once Jessica Leccia returns from maternity leave and I see Otalia back onscreen together, it’s possible that all will be forgiven, and that I will be back to rooting for them. For now? Not so much.
GL writers seem to be completely unable to tell a compelling storyline. Is it the writers? The executive producer blocking the way to good storyline telling? The CBS Execs? The way JessicaL’s Natalia was temporarily written out for maternity leave sucks – deeply sucks – sucks so bad that it makes ATWT’s writing out Carly Tenney to cover Maura West’s maternity leave look brilliant. What does THAT tell you? Clearly, the problems with Natalia’s decision to abandon Olivia once she realizes she’s pregnant with Frank’s baby is indicative of the problems GL has been experiencing under Wheeler’s guidance. First, who DIDN’T know that this would turn into another Susan/Ross/Carol (Friends) storyline? Who DIDN’T know the writers would force an ‘eternal’ triangle and ‘forced family’ with Frank/Natalia/Olivia, rather than let Otalia just be happy together? Second, this storyline takes me back to what I didn’t like about Natalia when she was first introduced. She was introduced as a weak, whiny, mealy-mouthed character, desperate for love. She stood in the shadows, afraid, insecure, making one bad decision after another that everyone around her had to pay for as she whined ‘poor me’. Our Lady of Perpetual Pain. Sheeeeee’s back!
I enjoyed the strength Natalia developed over time. I loved that she’d started growing up and making decisions that improved her life and brought her happiness. While I think all individuals should become the people they need to be BEFORE entering relationships, sometimes relationships can help change you for the better and that was the gift that Otalia gave one another.
Now? Watching Olivia hit the road to track down the woman who dashed her hope for happiness and abandoned her just as Liv gained the strength to face the world made me despise Natalia, and the crap offered as entertainment to GL fans. Listening to Liv cry, watching her scream out in vain for Natalia to come back made me realize that the writers used the Otalia relationship to weaken both characters. Not only did the old Natalia return, she dragged Liv down to her level.
How lovely would it have been for Liv and Natalia to have been filmed BEFORE JL’s pregnancy to air while she was away? How lovely it would have been for Liv and Nat to decide to leave town together, for a while. Frank could be conflicted on what it means to now be a part of this family and want Natalia to take all the time she needed to clear her head. He, Rafe, and Liv could have occasionally made the trip to visit Natalia – maybe with Rafe staying with Natalia to get use to the idea of his mother having another child and to help her and become reacquainted with her again. Slowly, they would have accepted their lives as they are and become a modern American family. Taping the scenes ahead of time would have meant no lost scenes for Otalia, or ending this madness with Frank on the outside/no on the inside/no on the outside/whatever. We could have finally had an end to the angry Rafe-monster… but the concept of lost time is one the GL writers and EP are all too familiar with.
More is the pity because now I say… BRING ON DORIS AND OLIVIA! Who’s afraid of the big bad Wolfe? Natalia should be!
Ratings and why CBS should reconsider
Despite the suckage that is GL these days, I STILL think the wrong thing to do is cancel this show!
Courtesy of Soap Opera Network:
Ratings for the week June 22-26, 2009
1. Y&R 3.5/11 (+.1/-.1)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/-.2)
3. DAYS 2.1/6 (+.1/+.2)
4. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.2) <—— ties low (Last time: 1.8/6 for June 15-19, 2009)
5. AMC 1.7/5 (-.1/-.2) <——– new low (Previous low: 1.8/6 for June 15-19, 2009)
5. GH 1.7/5 (-.1/-.4) <——— new low (Previous low: 1.8/5 for June 15-19, 2009)
7. ATWT 1.6/5 (same/-.3) <—— ties low (Last time: 1.6/5 for June 15-19, 2009)
8. GL 1.4/4 (+.1/-.1)
ABC soaps are falling like a ROCK! It’s not as if GL is doing so poorly in the ratings, in comparison.
HIRE better writers. Several of the current writers would do just fine but new leadership is definitely needed and Ms. Wheeler just doesn’t do it for me.
Maybe there’s a way to get ATWT and GL on soapnet (long shot I know). Lifetime might not be interested in producing GL, but would the network be open to airing syndicated eps if CBS continued to produce and air the show? Could there be a partnership that eased the financial burden for CBS?
Ride this thing out and let GL stick around with the rest of daytime. I only say that because I’m still sure that ATWT and GL still have room for improvement, in the right hands.