Trevor St. John
"You have changed me."
Those desperately uttered words have perfectly and succinctly summed up the sick, twisted and ultimately riveting story line of Todd and Marty on One Life to Live.
I use the word "riveting" in its purest sense: not to imply something that is entertaining or enjoyable for entertainment's sake alone, but rather as a thing that keeps our attention for better or worse, against whatever other instincts that might ask us to look away. In other words, this story line of compounded lies and grand delusion has kept many of us as glued to the screen as a car accident might induce a chronic case of rubbernecking or a nasty lover's quarrel in a supermarket might cause us to turn and watch. Yes, this is the story we thought "they" would never tell, but there is a question lurking just beneath the surface reactions for those fans titillated by the prospect of the loathsomely nicknamed "Tarty" and those other fans filled with disgust and anger:
Exactly whose story has been told? READ MORE
I would like to take a moment to recognize Susan Haskell and Trevor St. John's amazing performance today. For the first time since her arrival, I now understand why Susan Haskell's return was looked forward to by so many. Her portrayal of an emotionally betrayed, unstable Marty holding a gun on Todd was gripping. At the same time, Trevor St. John did an outstanding job conveying the rationalization of Todd trying to make the right decision after realizing he had done wrong.
It should be noted that my applause of these individual performances do not negate my overall disdain for this truly awful rapemance storyline. At this point, it is what it is. Hopefully, One Life to Live can salvage something out of this hurricane-like disaster.
My suggestion, don't give Marty her memory back all at once. Let Marty continue to have the occasional flash of memory, but require her to question everything and everyone. Haskell's performance today as an innocent who has had the wool pulled away from her eyes, yet not knowing what or who to believe proves there is merit in dragging out Marty's total recall.
At the risk of indulging an age-old cliché or perhaps inventing a new one, real life is the soap opera that interrupts our daytime dramas.
I've been away for the last couple of weeks caring for my partner who was seriously ill for a little while (all is better now); dealing with the challenges of running a business and maintaining my livelihood in a faltering economy; consoling friends over unexpected loss in their lives and reveling in the result of a Presidential election which has left me elated and joyous in an event that I, as a Black man, never thought I would see in my lifetime. This time has been filled with hospital vigils and prayers (all answered in the affirmative), nail biting suspense, and a dash of personal intrigue. In short, the last two weeks have been a period of belief and disbelief. READ MORE
I'm sorry, I don't care how "breathless" next week's One Life to Live is supposed to leave us, but the Todd (Trevor St. John) and Marty (Susan Haskell) scenes are just disturbing. I'll be fast forwarding through them. With any luck they'll have Marty create "the mood" by playing "Did I Shave My Legs For This?" in the background.
TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco has a new interview with Michael Malone storied career on soaps. Branco questions Malone about Ron Carlivati's decision to pair One Life to Live's Marty and Todd romantically.
TVG: As you know, Carlivati has taken on a death wish by pairing Marty and Todd romantically. Your gang-rape storyline is universally hailed as the gold standard because Todd was punished for his crime, and Marty and Todd never fell in love. [After explaining the story set-up] How do you feel about Ron heading in this bold direction with one of your signature storylines?
MM: It was a soap-opera collaborative. Of course, along with Linda, Josh, Susan Haskell [Marty], and Roger Howarth [then-Todd] were instrumental to the story's success. When Todd was created he was called Frat Boy No. 1 — and that was his only purpose at the time. Todd was just there to help us tell this story about college date rape. Howarth’s remarkable ability to play the monster, and the tragedy inside that monster, allowed us to connect him to the canvas in a larger way. We were all pleasantly surprised with how Roger took that character and made him real.
On one hand, it surprises me because Ron has been a far more conventional soap writer than I was. He’s also a great lover of the form, and has worked in the form for a long time. Ron loves the conventions and traditions of the form. So, my first reaction is, I’m surprised. The character having amnesia literally erases the real moral consequences and the real spiritual journey Marty has embarked on. It’s like telling Othello he’s white and Desdemona doesn’t really die. Presumably, Marty will gain her memory, and what will happen? She will be horrified…
Be sure to check out the interview and tell us what you think of this controversial storyline.