Why One Life to Live Has Us Mad as Hell
Outraged fans across the web are springing up to do whatever they can to prevent One Life to Live executive producer Frank Valentini from scrapping what many (including myself) feel has been the most authentic and successful gay love story daytime has ever told, that of Oliver Fish (Scott Evans) and Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell). The best effort I've spied so far is the "Don't Put Kish In The Closet" Post Card Campaign.
I haven't said much about all of this up until now, because my old J-School prof used to advise me to wait for 24 to 36 hours to write about something that really gets me fired up. Now if you read me here on this site, or follow me on Twitter, you know I rarely follow that advice, but for something this sensitive, this imperative, this game-changing for OLTL and, in my opinion, the entire industry, I decided to take a breather for a couple of days.
One Life to Live has been heavily-praised by Daytime Confidential.com and many others outlets because it was the one soap opera on the air that seemed committed to telling stories about a diverse, multigenerational canvas that actually somewhat reflected life in America. The fact that this seems to be changing makes me mad as hell.
If TPTB are so shortsighted as to blame the one couple who managed to garner this soap opera any legitimate buzz and goodwill during the past year (Sorry, Snoop) in some desperate attempt to push lackluster pairings from the not-so-distant past (John/Natalie, Cristian/Jessica) because they feel the show went "too gay" then I seriously don't know how long we will stay committed to supporting this soap opera. Oh and by the by, "gay overkill" is such an outrageously offensive statement to make. If OLTL decides to scrap the Evans storyline and someone alleges "black overkill" as the reasoning there will be anarchy, and rightly so.
How about "sicko overkill?" Instead of rushing to assume the gays drove viewers away, I don't know, maybe ask yourselves if it was Mitch Laurence (Roscoe Born) cartoonishly terrorizing the town, culminating in a disgusting plan to rape his own daughter; or Stacy Morasco (Crystal Hunt), the living, breathing, blonde, blow up, stripper doll, who strutted around in her panties stealing bags of blood and lying about her pregnancy for a year, all while generally SLEEPWALKING through her scenes, and causing many of her costars to do the same?
I have to say I am so glad I am not a part of this coveted "mainstream" soap opera audience who is apparently A-okay with incest, rape, murder, grave robbing, etc., yet finds a committed gay couple, featured in a (B) storyline, too offensive to watch in between their Masengil commercials. As if losing Kish wasn't bad enough, OLTL has also fired the striking and talented Daphnee Duplaix (Rachel), popular star Scott Clifton (Schuyler), and managed to lose the girl who could have been their Generation Next Tina Lord, Amanda Setton (Kim). I'm sorry, but the Perils of Teen Messica (Bree Williamson) and a surprise pregnancy for the coma-inducing Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell) won't be enough to make up for any of this. Not. Even.Close.
With OLTL's ratings in the toilet, the critical acclaim the series managed to garner— due largely to Ron Carlivati's powerful writing for Kish, coupled with the stellar acting and chemistry displayed by Evans and Claywell— has more than helped OLTL secure itself the distinction of being "The Best Soap You're Not Watching", but with Kish K.O'd, and diversity once again taking a backseat in Llanview, I am seriously not sure how much longer I will be telling people to "watch One Life to Live", and as my grandmother used to say, that ain't a threat— it's a promise.