OLTL, the good, the bad, and the WTF!?!?!

The Good: Thank you writers for finally wrapping up the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline.   It’s been a long time in coming and I was getting sick of it!

The Bad: (With sarcasm):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.

The WTF: (with incredulity and a tad bit of disgust):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.  Of all of the storylines you COULD have told, this is what you saddle us with?

There are some legitimately wonderful reasons to love OLTL, in my book:

1.  It’s not All My Children.  Need I say more?

2. None of the characters are named Michael Corinthos Jr.  How is it is that General Hospital writers have a knack for taking an event that should be considered a blessing and turn it into such an awful AWFUL thing?  Little Michael Corinthos’ awakening was something I felt myself regretting about 10 minutes after the kid opened his eyes.  To the credit of OLTL’s writers, they haven’t managed to make me wish that any of their teen characters would lapse into a coma!  ALTHOUGH… I wouldn’t mind seeing LESS of all of them.

3.  Viki Lord.  Period.  What would this show do without Erika Slezak?  I don’t even want to know!

4.  The triangle between Clint/Nora/Bo will be heating up soon into a quadrangle with mixed partners Clint/Nora/Bo/Lindsey.  I’ve never been a big Bo/Nora fan – primarily because I’m not a Nora fan. I say that knowing that MANY OLTL fans are Bo/Nora fans and for their sake, I sure hope that the show’s writers honors its history and gives the couple back to the audience who loves them.  The question is… what happens to Clint?

Clint/Lindsey? (Can you imagine their couples name?  Clindsey?  Lint?  FUN!)  Since it seems that CH’s Lindsey’s stay is temporary, I have  doubt as to whether the writers would move in that direction.  Too bad, Lindsey was fabulous with both Clint and Bo in the past.  I would be interested in the chemistry between JVD’s Clint and CH’s Lindsey.

Clint, on his own? Angry?  Scheming to break up Bo and Nora?  Where’s the fun in that?  I’d rather see Clint go back to London before having him take on his own brother over a woman he shouldn’t have been with in the first place.  I had a preference for Clint and Nora over Bo and Nora, but to have Clint becoming involved with the love of his brother’s life was a bit much for most of you and in moments of objectivity, I agree.

Clint and Viki?  If you’re going to make me suffer through Bo and Nora, writers, I’ll take Clint and Viki (no worries, anti-Clint/Viki fans… I never get the pairings I like).  I think Clint and Viki/ Bo and Nora have the potential to take fans back to some of the glory days of  OLTL. I have to admit that I’m concerned about the initial awkwardness of the two couples getting together in light of Nora and Clint’s relationship… eh,there’s been worse on this show.

5.  Believe it or not, I think that John and Marty (or the prospect of John and Marty) would be far more interesting than Blair and John – who’ve only managed to put me to sleep.

6.  Jessica and Brody.  Even now, I’m still disappointed that Nash is gone and that Jared survives in his place, BUT, at least TPTB have come as close as they possibly could to Nash, without trying to replace him with a ‘Nash Clone’.  Brody has ‘Nash like’ qualities (hot as sin, a beautiful body, thoughtful, kind, and loving), but have given him a unique personality and core.

So… setting aside that things I actually like, I have to say that the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline has the potential to keep me tuning out OLTL (or at least FFing most of whatever episodes I bother recording.

I think the teen pregnancy storyline was the biggest mistake the writers have made so far.  I’m not against the idea of a teen pregnancy storyline.  I’m simply against the teen pregnancy storyline for the chosen characters.  Why?:

  • I hate the back door approach to keeping Todd and Marty connected given their history.  It’s bad enough that he’s violated her twice in a lifetime, but now they’re connected because their children are ‘in love’ and are now parents together.  BULLOX!
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  This is NOT a storyline that plays to Kristen Alderson’s strengths.  She has become the weak link in this storyline. I find KA’s emotional responses to be stilted and unbelievable.
  • Adding the teen pregnancy storyline on top of the drug addiction storyline was a bit much.  The writers have seemingly decided that the juiciest storylines should go to the youngest actors and that the veterans should be stuck with trivial, pointless, boring storylines.  It’s another storyline for which Kristen Alderson seemed completely unprepared and didn’t connect as an actress, in my opinion.  She uttered the dialogue  well enough, but her performances felt like a ‘script reading’ rather than watching someone who was emotionally impacted by a loved one’s drug abuse.
  • Oddly enough, Brandon Buddy has done as well as any actor with significantly more experience.  He’s been a marvel.  The only problem with having handed him this storyline is that he seems far too mature an actor for the role he now plays.  It’s time to SORAS Cole to 18 and find him a cougar (no older than 25, please, not someone too much older).  “Starr and Cole” now feel like little Starr and her much older brother – ICK!!!!!!!!!  By the way, Brandon should be nominated, next year, for the addiction storyline.

KA fans I’m not completely ‘Anti-Starr’.  I think there are a  number of storylines that would be great for the character and would showcase the actress’ abilities well.  The Baby Chloe-Hope storyline just isn’t one of them.

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The future of daytime…

According to ATWT Executive Producer, Chris Goutman, daytime fans have lost their appetite for daily serials and may prefer, instead, serials airing 3 days a week.  I don’t know about you, soap fans, but every time I hear a writer, executive producer, or some drone from the top floor of the executive offices speak, their solutions sound more like ‘bottomline’ solutions (what can THEY do to save money).  Rarely do I hear them talk about what fans want.  Even rarer is it that anyone talks about what difference is between daytime even a decade ago and daytime now.  Sure, the storylines are the same, but it’s in the execution of those storylines that daytime writers and producers let us down.

Daytime is no longer written as a long running drama with a rich history writers could continue to mine in order to create coherent cohesive future storylines.  Daytime serials are treated as variety shows.  Each storyline seems to be self contained and unrelated to the past, present, or future.  YnR’s Victor’s vasectomy and GL’s Reva going into early menopause years ago are prime examples!  The writers/EPs have hit ‘reset’ and offered storylines with both characters becoming parents again – leaving the writers to scramble find ways of explaining the huge gaffes in history once fans complained.

Clearly, strong storytelling, impeachable dialogue, well crafted sets, impeccable costuming, and skilled actors are all off the table.  What are we offered instead?  Three days a week of weak storytelling, incoherent dialogue, poorly designed sets, sorrowful costuming, and unskilled actors in the role of long loved favorites.  Sure, I’ll take three days a week of that, instead of five… but then, I’d take ZERO days, instead of five, as well.

Shortcuts are shorter, not better.  Exhibit A… (Thanks, Noel, from the GuidingLightTV board for the link)…

THIS (a clash of titans, powerful women who aren’t afraid of going toe-to-toe – fierce enough competitiors to make you fear them with a single look): 

Has become THIS (capable actresses reduced to scream queens fighting over petty jealousies – using sex rather than their minds and other considerable resources to compete for a man who was using them both): 

THIS (a vengeful, petulant child – who seduces her mother’s fiance in order to ‘make her pay’ and winds up sorry for her betraying her mother even if it’s with a man she loves)

becomes THIS: A mother who falls in-lust-calling-it-love with her daughter’s husbands.  Mom slept with both husbands and had a child with each… you read that right, it didn’t happen ONCE… it happened TWICE:

THIS (a dialogue between a man and the woman he raped, his wife when he raped her – ex wife after the rape) shows that he lives daily with regret for the pain he caused her. It’s a complex story with Roger and Holly remembering the great love they once had a great love that at times draws them together, physically, leaving Holly revulsed after the act.  At other times, the rape and post-rape keeps them apart all together:

Ultimately, Roger and Holly realized that they could never get past the rape.  In the end they separated, permanently.  All of which has been replaced by THIS:

Todd Manning, a man who is taking advantage of his rape victim’s memory loss to get her on his side regarding his daughter’s teen pregnancy (refusing to tell her that her son is the child’s father).  His assault of her was brutal and part of a gang rape HE initiated. Theirs was a VERY brief sexual relationship before she dumped him.  They barely knew one another.  Now he wants his chance to force her to forgive him and see what kind of man he is now… sweet irony:

Sure, chief… taking soaps down to three days a week will make all of the pain go away… that’s right… and I’ve got a bridge to nowhere to sell you, only, it ain’t gonna be cheap!

The Era of the Smart Woman is Over

Right about now, you’re probably asking when the era of the smart woman began in daytime.  I don’t blame you.  Daytime writers seem to have an aversion to consistently smart women!

DOOL:  Marlena doesn’t get it?  Has John left her so damaged that ANY man who shows her some attention is a man she’s willing to spend time with, these days?  Let it go, Marlena, let it go.  I’d rather see her return to Roman than spend one more minute with Max’s father.

OLTL:  Blair.  What IS it about women and John McBain?  He does that thing, the thing that says, “I’ll sleep with you, but don’t count on me being around when you wake up…”  Somehow, that translates into some bizarre desire to sing a ballad to the man.  Blair, remember Evangeline?  Sure you do… she’s the last woman who sang to John.  He made her so miserable she had to run from him.  You’re on borrowed time, kid.  You might want to consider focusing more on your daughter’s pregnancy than John’s ego.  Something good will come from Starr’s pregnancy. Nothing good will come from waiting for John to lighten up and give a damn about anything.  The more morose man in daytime is the man every woman who’s crossed his past inexplicably falls in love with, and I just don’t get it.

Tina Lord was born a schemer.  Who in the world believes that she would willing walk into a room with a lock on the OUTSIDE of the door (yeah, big HUGE freakin’ lock) and allow herself to be trapped inside?  Poor David Vickers, the dog… he’s locked inside with Tina and unless that place is stocked with puppy pads, things are going to get ugly.

BnB – Brooke Logan.  WHY, writers, WHY?  Why not just have Katie and Brooke battle it out about which of them betrayed Bridget most?  Why didn’t Katie ask how Brooke could be so disgusted by the fact that she slept with Nick when Brooke did it too, after knowing that Bridget was in love with the man, still, and after having slept with Bridget’s first husband too!

Katie could have gotten her zinger in and Brooke would have been able to offer her own comeback… Clearly, she is guilty of having slept with daughter’s first AND second husbands – having children with each.  The problem is that given her past, her disgust with Katie, without explanation, just makes her look crazy.

Brooke’s retort to Katie could have included a confession of her own past, and that she’s still trying to deal with the guilt of being with men she didn’t love and trading her daugther’s heart in, in the process.  She could have told Katie that she’s disgusted with her actions because she’s been there, and when the dust settles, that one careless moment was never worth what it cost Bridget.  She could have shared with Katie that she knows what pain she’s caused Bridget in the past, she’s atoned for it.  Brooke promised Bridget that she would never hurt her again, never thinking she’d have to protect her daughter against her own sister. 

Give Brooke SOMETHING to say that makes it clear that she’s a woman who’s grown and learned from her past actions, not just treat her as a woman who could hate her own actions, when they’re committed by other people.  That would make her the same sort of hypocrite she’s fought against all these years – most especially when she’s fought back agains Stephanie, Taylor, and even dear departed Macy.

Guiding Light – Harley.  <sigh>  Do the writers hate the viewers that much?  Maybe, in some wild backstage fantasy, the writers are thinking that they can stick it to Beth Ehlers one last time by destroying what’s left of the character she originated, who knows?  In what universe would Harley leave her family, uproot her youngest children, and abandon her oldest child, one she gave up once before?  It was bad enough when she ran off with her daughter’s boyfriend to protect him from being prosecuted of a crime he actually committed.  Now she’s leaving her vulnerable (and incredibly stupid) daughter in the hands of a unrepentant criminal who’d already lead Daisy down the primrose path before, involving her in drug use and being an unwitting accomplice in her own cousin’s death.  IF the writers think they’re sticking it to BE, newsflash, you’re sticking it to the fans even more.  We’re the ones still left to tune out the show.  Please keep that in mind.

What’s next?  We’ll find out that Gus had six wives in addition to Natalia?

Phillip Spaulding is a pimp?

Vanessa Lewis sews fur coats from puppy fur?

C’mon writers.  Trying to kill off the last loving menory of one of GL’s strongest women in the history of the show is petty, and beneath the dignity of this show.  We deserve better.  Your time would be better spent trying to figure out how many times Reva’s undergone menopause and how it’s possible for her to be pregnant, again.

You can’t come back from this one, unlike the weak and laughable recovery of YnR writers who’d forgotten that Victor had a vasectomy when they wrote the pregnancy storyline for his child bride.  No ‘secret reversal’ explanation will help you this time.  Her meds kicking her period on for a month, after menopause?  That’s your explanation?  After the hefty drugs, radiation, and every other treatment Reva received prior to and after her near death?  Wow. 

Is it any wonder that so many GL fans have begun a campaign to save the show?  CLICK HERE to find threads linked to the ‘Cry for Change’ campaign, among others.