By Michele Dargan

Friday’s One Life To Live episode showed me exactly why it’s finishing last in the ratings.

Now I know there are some viewers out there who AB-sol-U-tely LOVE the OLTL musicals.

I, however, am not one.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t turn on a soap opera hoping to see a musical theater extravaganza.

I watch a soap opera to become immersed in the drama, the characters, the relationships, the families…and to see them tackle some real-life issues.

Instead, we have Starr X’d Lovers: a bunch of songs put together telling the saga of Starr and Cole interpersed with Prom Night.

Starr X'd Lovers on OLTL (ABC/Heidi Gutman)

This stuff really makes me yearn for the EARLY days of OLTL, when there were REAL stories being told…..stories in which you CARED about the characters….and characters interwoven in compelling storylines.

Now, don’t get me wrong….the actors/actresses voices sounded great and the musical numbers were cute….at least the parts that I didn’t fast forward through…..But, again, this is not why I watch a soap opera.

The cast of Starr X'd Lovers on OLTL (ABC/Heidi Gutman)

The whole idea is gimicky and the writers are just making a play for ratings….good luck with that!

It just seems like the OLTL writers don’t have an original thought in their heads these days….they just like to recycle old storylines.

Here’s a hint: why don’t they try looking back to the storylines of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s, when they actually had core families and the whole cast didn’t revolve around teenagers…..

And, let me say, that in the late 60’s I was a teenager and, at that time, I enjoyed watching the adult relationships, because that’s all basically that was on back then.

So, here I’m an adult, and now I get stuck watching teen-age drama….which I wouldn’t mind so much if there was actually some GOOD Adult drama as well. But there’s not!

I mean, seriously, the Jessica reverting back to a teenager storyline is nauseating and has gone on WAAAAAY too long!

Again, no offense at all to the actors.

It’s the storyline and the writing that is just plain bad!!!

I mean, where are the types of storylines that kept you riveted to the television and doesn’t involve violence like Cole pounding Todd to a pulp….

Has anyone out there been watching since near the beginning of the show??

Does anyone remember the Carla Benari storyline?

Now THAT, my friends, was POWERFUL soap opera drama: a well-written storyline combined with great acting and a timely social issue….

I remember being captivated by that storyline.

In a nutshell: Carla Benari, played by Ellen Holly, came to Llanview saying she was an Italian/American; when in reality she was a black woman pretending to be white.

Remember – it was the 60’s and there weren’t equal opportunities for African-Americans on T.V. and in general.

I just remember being totally fascinated with the entire storyline, particularly when the truth came out that her mother was really Sadie Grey, who worked in housekeeping at Llanview Hospital.

I also remember the Cathy Craig drug treatment storyline, where the character sought treatment in a real-life drug rehab in New York City called Odyssey House, run by Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber.
Cathy participated in group therapy sessions with real-life patients and the sessions were led by Dr. Densen-Gerber.

Another groundbreaking, incredibly riveting storyline!

It seems the only thing the OLTL writers do these days is either bring on musical guests (which is boring) or write very dark, depressing and violent storylines.

The other thing they do is dredge up and rewrite OLTL history….but not in a good way.

Case in point: how many times are they going to bring Allison Perkins back to steal babies?

‘Nuff Said!

7 Responses to “Ditch the Musicals on OLTL”

  1. I totally agree! Come on OLTL I have been watching since I was 5, but my loyalty is beginning to wear thin. As a teenager I skipped school to watch some good adult drama, not teen musicals or people going back to high school and acting like complete psychos (If they were gonna “send” her back, maybe they should have looked at some footage of her real HS years and seen that she wasn’t a crazy ridiculous b*%$h..ugh) Let’s put the vets back on 4-5 days and week and the high schoolers 1-2 get and get some real story lines then I will race home to watch it. Stop with the random shots at ratings and just do what works. If I want to watch a musical or teen drama I will turn on Glee or 90210 or something where is is done WAY better.

  2. Sharon Robb
    19:01, 17.05.2010

    Totally agree with the One Life To Live critique,
    Everyone is jumping on the Glee bandwagon, the No. 1 show on Fox right now. For them it works, for OLTL it does not. And frankly, as American Idol’s Randy Jackson would say, ‘dog, the voices are a little pitchy.’
    I too want drama, pathos, happy, sad, I want to lose myself in my soaps. While I am a huge Glee fan, this is not working at all on OLTL, which was really headed down a great path before the musical momentary lapse of sanity. What a waste of some great actors. If the writers are trying to reach out to the younger audiences which seems to be the same direction newspapers and magazines are going these days keep the young characters more active.
    Lose the musicals, leave that to Glee and Broadway.

  3. I think you are spot on! I love good singing…dancing. The actors are talented for sure. HOWEVER, I tuned in to watch drama with depth not the prom that reminded me of a bad version of Flashdance. We had half naked TEENS, a jail break and complete predictability!
    Here’s my biggest problem. NO DEPTH! They can show a 25 year old with an older man. An older woman with a younger man, but when it comes to the VETS that have rich deep stories and passion…they fail. I want to see families that actually work through reall life. Relationships that grow rich and deep rather than bump and grind to the next partner. Story lines that make us wish that the hour wouldn’t end and leave us wanting more. BRING IT!
    I’ve got high hopes for the wedding that has been decades in the making. TPTB better take note….GET it right for a change! Just because they don’t flaunt themsleves in spandex on a dance floor doesn’t mean they are not smoking hot with rich story!

  4. Hi Michele!

    I’m not a regular OLTL viewer. I know a little about the characters and the storylines, but not much. I did happen to see a few minutes of their musical special on Monday and it was definitely not something that would make me want to tune in to the show on a regular basis. I agree it is gimmicky. When are these soaps going to learn that nothing pulls in the viewers like great stories? This is a storytelling genre for crying out loud, people want to see stories.

    Paula

  5. Hi Nora, Sharon and Kera!

    Thanks for adding your astute insights and valued opinions to the page.

    Nora – You are so right when you say, “Let’s put the vets back on 4-5 days and week and the high schoolers 1-2 get and get some real story lines then I will race home to watch it.”

    And Sharon:” I too want drama, pathos, happy, sad, I want to lose myself in my soaps.”
    How TRUE!!!

    And Kera: “I want to see families that actually work through reall life. Relationships that grow rich and deep rather than bump and grind to the next partner. Story lines that make us wish that the hour wouldn’t end and leave us wanting more. BRING IT!”

    I couldn’t agree more with everything that you three said!!! AMEN!!

    Unfortunately, the s/l’s just keep getting worse and it’s very upsetting that a soap that was SO GREAT for so many years has sunk this low.

    Thanks for posting and stop back again!

    Michele

  6. Hi Paula!

    I really appreciate your comments. Seeing that you’re not a regular OLTL watcher, you can be really objective.

    It’s so sad, to me, that we were subjected to three entire days of this crap! It’s really pathetic – and insulting to thinking, educated people.

    I love your quote:
    “When are these soaps going to learn that nothing pulls in the viewers like great stories? This is a storytelling genre for crying out loud, people want to see stories.”

    You are SO RIGHT!!

    Thanks for posting!

    Michele

  7. Hi Michele!

    Thanks! I sometimes hesitate to comment on soaps I don’t know a great deal about but all of them seem to be lacking in good storytelling these days. I think that is at least partially to blame for the sagging ratings. I still look up clips from older soap episodes on youtube and wonder why the writing seems to have gotten so much worse over the years.

    Paula