By Michele Dargan

I don’t know about you, but I did a whole lot of fast forwarding during last week’s One Life To Live and General Hospital.

Quite frankly, I’m not even going to get into GH too much, because, really, what’s there to say?

It’s the Sonny and Brenda show!

Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) Photo: ABC

The eppys go like this….Brenda with Sonny, Brenda with Jason, Brenda with Sonny, Brenda with Dante, Brenda with Sonny, Brenda with Carly, Brenda with Sam, Brenda with Spinelli, Sonny with Claire, Sonny with Alexis, Sonny with Jason, Sonny with Michael…yada, yada, yada….

And the previous Brenda/Dante connection with a possible baby involved just feeds into this whole Brenda-centric show….Ugh!

Bringing back Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo for these storylines is SUCH a waste!

The only other thing going on is Crazy Dr. Niles (Brianna Brown) and her insane revenge against Robin, which really has gone on too long. It was interesting in the beginning, but the writers should have ended it when they shipped Lisa off to Shadybrook….That situation is getting boring too.

Dr. Lisa Niles (Brianna Brown) Photo: ABC

Oh, and I almost forgot the repetitive theme of Liz getting jealous when Lucky tries to move on…..Seen this before. She doesn’t want him, but doesn’t want anyone else to have him (yawwwn).

Ooooo-KAY. So much for GH!

Now on to OLTL…

What’s wrong is basically this: there’s a revolving door as far as characters in/characters out and just when you’re getting invested in a character or characters….Poof! They’re gone!

Case in point….Matt Walton as Eli was a HUGE missed opportunity.

Turning Eli from a well-respected attorney and good person into a crazy, psycho-killer was a serious error in judgement.

Matt Walton (Eli Clark). Photo: ABC/Steve Fenn

Walton and Kassie DePaiva as Blair had some really great chemistry going on.

And do you realize how long it’s been since Blair has had a serious love interest? There was so much potential for Eli and Blair.

But noooooo.

They had to kill Eli…not only KILL Eli….But they had Cole (Brandon Buddy) kill him. Thereby, writing off both Walton and Buddy in one fell swoop, which I’m not at all happy about.

Although I have to say, Buddy absolutely nailed it in his goodbye scenes with Kristin Alderson (Starr). (See my previous post on that).

Cole (Brandon Buddy) and Starr (Kristen Alderson)

Also, we had the triple whammy of having Eli blackmail Dr. Greg Evans (Terrell Tilford) into becoming part of his diabolical plot to kill Tea (Florencia Lozano).

Thus, Tilford was written off the show as Greg goes to jail for his part in the plot.

And I am REALLY NOT HAPPY about that!!

Terrell Tilford (Dr. Greg Evans) Photo: ABC

Dr. Greg is a character who has grown near and dear to my heart and Tilford really brought everything he had to each scene.

How stupid is that to write off Dr. Greg, just when Destiny (Shenell Edmonds) finds out that Greg is really her father and not her brother….That would have been a great opportunity to watch the growing pains of the new dynamics in the entire Evans family.

Let me say that I’m grateful that Tea is alive and that they didn’t kill her off.

And another character who I have become invested in….whom I really enjoyed watching because he was one of the truly good guys – was Jason Tam as Markko Rivera.

Jason Tam as Markko Rivera. Photo: ABC

And, yes, they’ve written him off the show….Not happy, not happy, not happy about that either!

As far as the remaining characters and the directions the writers are taking them….

Let’s see.

We have mean, cruel, evil Clint (Jerry Ver Dorn) and evil-in-training Matthew (Eddie Alderson).

The character of Clint, as far as I can remember, has never shown any of these dark traits that are coming out now.

You mean to tell me that Clint threw his nephew, David Vickers, into a Moroccan prison and now is going to any lengths to deny his new found son, Rex??

I don’t buy it. And I think a lot of longtime OLTL fans don’t either.

It’s not consistent with the Clint that has been on our screen for years.

As far as turning Matthew to the dark side….appalling!!! Hate it!

Marty Saybrook (Susan Haskell) exacting revenge by stealing medical records and threatening Natalie and Brody….Really???

Talk about uncharacteristic…..They pretty much ruined Marty’s character with this storyline.

And the “Who’s the Baby Daddy?” storylines with Natalie and Jessica’s babies and Rex’s paternity is so ho-hum…. having been done and overdone so much.

Quite frankly, Rex has been looking for his father for so long….that storyline jumped the shark a long time ago.

Having said all that, is there really ANY compelling storylines on OLTL at this point?

Not so much!

I am officially depressed.
And extremely agitated and upset.
Things have to be pretty dire because I’m writing my second rant blog in the same week about One Life To Live – my fave soap!
The show has gone downhill even further since the beginning of the week (which I didn’t think was possible) and it was so bad after Wednesday’s show that I don’t feel like watching.
And that is serious!
Click here to read my earlier rant.
Here’s my big thing….I watch soaps as an E-S-C-A-P-E from reality.
I like soapy, fun-type drama. That’s why I watch soaps….
I do not, however, tune in to watch violence, torture, pain and suffering and get depressed afterward.
And that’s what’s happening.
Wednesday’s episode was so dark and so depressing that I couldn’t wait until it ended.
Let’s recap.
First you have poor Natalie (Melissa Archer) being held captive in Llanfair’s basement by her sister’s demented alter personality, Tess (Bree Williamson).
The two actresses are really hitting it out of the ball park with their scenes. Absolutely.
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That’s probably why I’m so distressed by it all.
Their scenes are so believable that it’s all too scary for me.
Williamson is doing such a great job of playing the malevolent, Tess, that it’s so uncomfortable to watch Natalie come to the horrific realization that there’s no way out.
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First of all, this storyline is a rewrite from eons ago when one of Viki’s alters held Dorian captive in the basement.
Just when I thought we were done with all those regurgitated past storylines from the 40th anniversary episodes.
Enough already!
Then there was Tina (Andrea Evans) sniveling and sniffling to Viki’s picture in the living room because she is being blackmailed into silence about Tess holding Natalie captive.
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The wonderfully, talented Andrea Evans and this is the only thing the writers can come up for her to do?
Then there’s Christian (David Fumero) being held on a ship by Carlo (Thom Christopher) – been there, done that too.
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The last time Carlo held Christian captive on a ship, Carlo wiped away Christian’s memory and brainwashed him into killing Tico Santi.
Personally, I thought that was one of the worst and darkest storylines in OLTL history.
So on Thursday’s episode, that s/l went from bad to worse by throwing Christian into a Columbian prison.
Why is it that OLTL writers just love, love, love torturing the Vega family?
I just don’t get it.
Both Vega boys have had more than their share of pain and suffering.
Then there was Jared (John Brotherton) off in the aforementioned Columbian prison (talk about dark and depressing) trying to strike a deal with Langston’s long-lost Uncle Ray Montez (A. Martinez) and break him out to wreak havoc with Langston’s life, per orders of Clint.
I really like Langston and dread the heartache that she’s about to experience.
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Those scenes in the Columbian prison gave me the creeps.
Once again, not something I’m looking for in my soap opera fare.
In between all of this dark drama, you have a few light scenes between Cole (Brandon Buddy) and Matthew (Eddie Alderson) talking about Matthew’s fears about getting beat up in high school. I do like the dynamic between these two young actors and it did offer some light moments in an otherwise dreary hour.
There also were some nice moments with Starr (Kristen Alderson) and Langston (Brittany Underwood).
But, honestly, how uplifting is a seven-month pregnant 16-year-old ready to go back to high school while pregnant?
I like the real friendship that shows through in scenes with Alderson and Underwood. Alderson has done a wonderful job with a tough s/l.
But it’s not exactly a feel-good, happy s/l.
For me, the highlight of Wednesday’s show was when Natalie (I just love how she is so spunky, even in distress) struck out verbally at Tess.
“You’re just an angry bitch with an axe to grind.”
She practically spat those words through the thick, soundproof glass.
Pretty gutsy, eh?