On Soaps, Suicide Is Rarely Painless (Even for One Life To Live’s Todd)

Todd

Thinking Fans on the roof with Marty and Todd:  John isn’t convinced Todd jumped out of remorse … Steve cringes at soaps’ attempted suicide for pity stunt … while Damon L. Jacobs (our Soap Shrink), on the serious side of the subject, points out the greater risk of suicide among gay teens … and more. See Comments below. 

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By Marlena De Lacroix

I was truly shocked and remain so by last Monday’s episode of One Life to Live in which Todd attempted suicide by voluntarily jumping into the Llantano River from the roof of the Palace Hotel.  His enraged two time rape victim/love object Marty had lured him there and dared him to jump. He was spared an icy demise, however, when John rescued him.

Suicide for Todd? Pretty radical!  In his decade and a half in Llanview, sociopath Todd has never shown any remorse over any of the awful things he’s done, including his crimes against Marty. What really puzzles me is that for such a major story point, ABC gave Todd’s close encounter with suicide little advance publicity.  Even more suspicious is that almost nothing has been made of this bizarre incident and major personality change on the soap since it happened.

I’ve always been fascinated by the topic of suicide on soap operas.  Suicides by major characters are very, very rare, and even attempted suicides don’t happen all 

I hope the writers take some social responsibility and remember that suicide is all too frequent in America, a plague that especially affects soaps’ target demo — young people.

that often.  I  theorize that the reason suicide is done so rarely on soaps is because the whole subject might be a little too close to home for an audience that characteristically spends hours and hours a day in their houses watching soaps.

As a college student, I used to shut myself away in my room during vacations and watched soaps to escape growing pains and the heartbreak of adolescent romances.  Soaps are a depressed person’s best friend, especially since self-isolation is so common. When depression is a serious disease, it is one of the factors that could lead to suicide.

Interestingly, the only suicides by major soap characters I can remember in my many years of watching soaps all happened on OLTL. In the 70s  bubbly  ex-hooker Lana (played by Jackie Zeman before she left to play Bobbie on General Hospital) committed suicide because her lover, snobby Brad, wouldn’t take her seriously.  In 2003. Kerri Reynolds (Sherry Saum) committed suicide, Sherri Saumleaving a young baby to the care of her father Antonio. Oh yes, in a very strange story last year, The Bold and the Beautiful‘s ratty Storm committed suicide to give his sick sister Katie a heart.

In researching this column, several ex soap journalist friends have kindly offered up names of characters in suicide stories.  Such major characters as Beth on Guiding Light and Kendall on All My Children  made attempts. But most on soaps who actually succeeded in killing themselves turned out to be background or minor (usually villainous) characters.   I invite you to send me your memories of soap suicide victims.

Whether it be major or minor characters, suicide is not a topic that should be taken lightly on soaps.  Especially now, when soap writers are desperate for ratings, and the only thing they think guarantees a bump in the ratings is a stunt that shocks the audience.  Hey, I certainly noticed and was heavily affected by Todd’s rather nonchalant dive into the drink this week!   But I hope the writers take some social responsibility and remember that suicide is all too frequent in America, a plague Susan Haskellthat especially affects soaps’ target demo — young people. According to the American Psychiatric Association, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people 15 to 24. Young women (target demo for soaps) attempt suicide three times more frequently than men. And the World Health Organization says someone attempts suicide somewhere in the world every 39 seconds.

But, do soap writers give a damn about social responsibility anymore? If the misogyny shown in OLTL‘s Todd and Marty second rape story is any indication, the answer is no.

Whatever the politics are, I have a feeling that Todd’s suicide attempt might not be the last we see of death in his storyline on OLTL.  Sweeps are coming,  Todd still “wuvs’ Marty and we’re asked to believe that entirely new feelings of guilt and remorse have entered his life.  Who knows where all this is going to lead?  Because if Todd can evade the hypothermia that would likely result from a real life leap into a Pennsylvania river early January, he probably can walk on water, too. 

Comments

  1. chris says:

    How about Dr. Joplin violently shooting herself in the head on the same soap? That (I guess pun intended) blew me away.

    Marlena says: Just as I said in the column, the characters who commit suicde on soaps are usually minor characters and/or villanous characters. Dr. Joplin certainly was both! Oh, and BTW, I just heard that the episode in which Todd jumped into the river was titled “It’s Raining Men” by OLTL’s writers. They’re a real serious bunch, huh?

  2. Marlena,
    I’m so thrilled you are doing this column! If I may be clinical/political for a moment, I would like to add that it is estimated that gay/lesbian teenagers are 30% more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. This number is probably a conservative estimate given that most adolescents and their families won’t admit that this was a factor. The fact that many young gay men enjoy daytime soaps also would (ideally) encourage TPTB to demonstrate some social responsiblity in this area.

    Now, as for the soaps — I believe Laura on GH made an attempt in 1999 after Lucky’s “death.” If my memory serves, Stefan saved her from jumping in front of a train.

    I believe Josh on GL was suicidal after the Sonni disaster, (there’s a clip on YouTube showing this), and Sonni herself was sucidal prompting the famous “Reva-saves-Sonni-from-a-bridge” scene. Holly was suicidal after the Camp Holly fiasco of 1999, again prompting Reva to save her from jumping off a bridge.

    Andre on DAYS appeared to be suicidal when he faked his death and framed John for murder in 1995, only to re-appear as Tony in 2002.

    And of course, our darling Delia on RH made threats constantly in the early days.

    Marlena says: Damon, this column just kind of evolved, as I was writing it for deadline. You as a therapist are the expert here and I hope you will write a column about your view and insights on soap suicide soon. And thank you so much for your info on the suicide rate of gay teens. It is SO relevant to this genre.

  3. Chris says:

    Great column Marlena.

    Y&R has been the only soap I have faithfully followed. The one moment that stands out for me was when Nina threatened to shoot herself many years ago in front of Ryan. It was a very dramatic moment for me as a viewer as I had watched Nina since she was introduced. Although the character had evolved she still retained her dangerous and impulsive reactions to circumstances she couldn’t control (i.e., shooting her husband 5 times).

    Another moment that stands out was when the character of “Veronica”, ex-wife to Nikki’s then husband Joshua Landers, jumped in front of a speeding vehicle. In the end she survived, but not before killing Josh and shooting Nikki in what would be Bill Bells last hurrah as head writer.

    I personally would like to see a soap handle this taboo social issue. About ten years ago, I finally got around to watching the Oscar winning film, Ordinary People and was so deeply moved by it. I think with the right support behind it, it could be a very powerful, fleshed out story.

    As far as Todd on OLTL goes, a female co-worker told me about it on Tuesday. Today as I was cleaning house, I saw Todd having a conversation with Blair. I guess he’s “ok” now?!?!?!

    Marlena says: Thanks for your compliment on the column and I’m glad you want to see a soap do a story on this issue. And I remember Nina too — Tricia Cast was so intense! Wouldn’t it be cool if Victor Newman tried suicide? He is the last character anyone would expect — but he seemed depressed enough to when Sabrina died. Would Eric Braden play it? What do you think?

    I got such a laugh when you said you were watching OLTL while cleaning today — and Todd seemed OK. Todd will outlive all of us way way into the 22nd century — like a cockroach!

  4. Hi Marlena, I had to weigh in on this one.

    Damon mentioned a few GL examples, but the main GL character I recall attempting suicide was GL’s Reva Shayne. Reva was devastated after Kyle Sampson chose Maeve, and jumped from a bridge.

    I recall this scene as if it was yesterday – Reva dropping her fur coat in the snow, and jumping into the water, with Barbra Streisand’s version of “Somewhere” playing in the background. I’d recently dealt with a friend/family member attempting suicide, so it resonated with me.

    GL did a great job with the story, and used an interesting device to play out and stretch out Reva’s feelings over several months – by having Fletcher write a story about Reva’s attempt (using the pseudonym of “Laura”).

    I think soaps often fumble when it comes to things like suicide. They either turn it into a big Guza-style spectacle, or they handle it with kid gloves and make it go away after a day or so.

    The kind of “realism” I always advocate for is the kind that would actually play a story on suicide. All of the things that happen – how the people in the life of the person who’s committed suicide feel afterwards…the repercussions that play out months and even years later…..how people come to terms with it, etc.

    I’ve heard more about suicide lately, too – with the financial crash and people losing their jobs and homes it’s happening more often.

    Marlena says: Great letter, my friend. First of all, Reva was born to commit suicide….again and again and again….anyone who knows Ms. Zimmer knows her Reva would never give up on anything ever…unless she wanted to! And you are certainly right, soaps either overdo or underdo suicide.

  5. Chris says:

    Thanks for you comment Marlena.

    In response to your question, I don’t think I would like to see Eric Braden’s, Victor attempt suicide (although an interesting prospect). Yes he was deeply depressed after the death of his trophy wife Sabrina, but I think the show pushed his grief far enough. That story arc felt very rushed so to see Victor go to that extreme over someone he barely knew would have been more than the audience could handle.

    For a long time I thought it would make a good story for the younger set, but soaps don’t tend to write teenages very well so I don’t know. But for the sake of throwing someone out there, maybe the character of Abby? She was recently SORASed and since the audience has little knowledge of who she is, she could be a good contender. One thing about watching Y&R over the years is how little parenting really goes on with these folks. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see how the lack of parent involvement in Abby’s life affected her? I’ve seen little evidence that Brad, Ashley or even Victor for that matter have had a healthy effect on her (Speaking of Victor, he can throw all the stones at Adam he wants to, but he’s been a horrible father figure to all his children. But that’s another column!) Plus, with the rumors that Brad is about to be killed, it could be a fantastic way to start showing how isolated Abby feels as a young adult. Just a thought!

    By the way, I’m glad I was able to bring a little humor to your day with my Todd comment. He is a cockroach! You could cut his head off and he’s still be climbing the walls!

  6. Carl says:

    As part of GL’s dismantling of its history and legacy (which has been going on for a long time), Ben Reade killed himself in ’03. I didn’t see it, but I remember being disappointed at the whole storyline–the ruination of the character and then the suicide. What a waste. Suicide, of course, is always a waste, but I doubt the social ramifications of the act were explored by GL at the time.

  7. Blake says:

    How can you forget about Reva from Guiding Light, she tried it twice!
    The first time was after she saw that Kyle Sampson was marrying Maeve. She took off her fur coat and jumped into the freezing river. Of course she was saved by a stranger, and I believe she heard a small childs voice say “mommy?” (because we, the audience did).
    And a couple years later they showed Sonni thinking back to when she walked in and saw her twin Solita had hung herself.
    I was a kid in those days so imagine how those scenes freaked me out.

  8. BrianFronsHatesMe says:

    Not that you asked, but there are lots of instances involving assisted suicide or ethics regarding a patient’s right to die.

    There was dayplayer Claire on PC(back before it became a crappy vampire novel), who hired Scott Baldwin to fight to have her released so she could die of cancer on her property. Eve refused to release her from the hospital and refused to have her released.

    Then, there’s also Reva yanking Richard off life support on GL.

    I don’t think there has ever been a full on Kevorkian story on a soap. That would be interesting.

  9. Steve says:

    Are you sure Lana (Jackie Zeman) meant to kill herself? I thought she’d accidentally put too many sleeping pills in her drink, or something.

    http://abc.go.com/daytime/onelifetolive/episodes/1977-78/19773.html

    “Lana sank into a state of deep depression, numbing her pain with liquor and pills. Terrified that she would spoil his wedding, Brad went to see Lana, who was very drunk. Prior to Brad’s arrival, Lana made herself some hot milk into which she had dissolved two sleeping pills. When Lana became agitated, he gave her the milk, unaware it contained a deadly dose of drugs. Just as he was about to leave, Brad noticed that Lana had passed out. When he tried to rouse her, he dis-covered to his horror that she was dead! ”

    I often cringe at attempted suicides on soaps, because they send the message that attempted suicide is a great way to get what you want.

    Remember on GL, when Olivia tried to kill herself, set to sweeping opera music? The whole thing was treated as beautiful. Then Josh saved her, and she got what she wanted — his love.

    And now on OLTL, Todd tries to kill himself, and although he still doesn’t have Marty, Viki is now moving closer to him again, as is Blair. Todd hurts people and OLTL rewards him for it over and over.

    The one time I remember a soap really showing the folly of this attempted suicide for pity stunt was OLTL, not long before Lana died. Brad Vernon’s mother decided to overdose to make her family pity her. She assumed he would Brad would be back home in time to save her. Instead, he was out screwing around, and she di

    Marlena says: I remember Lana committing suicide quite clearly. Hey, it’s a memory that has stayed in my mind for over 30 years. When I read ABC’s official history, it sounds like official network double talk. She did commit suicide! (BTW, as a freelance researcher Marlena wrote some of the ABC network history — but I wrote the 80s and early 90s of OLTL, ironically.)

    Just before I put up this column, an old Marlena friend, Chip Capelli, sent me the info about Brad and Samantha’s mother committed suicide … by accident. Several of you did too! I failed to add it to the finished column. But I also remember who played Naomi — it was Terri Keane, who we all also knew as the sublime Martha Marceau on Edge of Night.

    Thanks so much for your words on attempted suicide on soaps. Not soaps’ finest hours for sure!

    • Jeff says:

      http://youtu.be/0P3vqSzedA4
      No dear Marlena Lana did not kill herself, She drank very much, and put some 2 sleeping pills in her drink to go to sleep, Brad did not know this and he put some sleeping pills in her milk too which is why he wiped the Pill bottle because his prints were on it. But Lana did not kill herself, Later when Cathy mentions how Lana said she was going to take 2 sleeping pills and go to bed and Cathy can’t believe she could have overdosed on 2 pills Brad realized Lana had already put pills in her milk and his adding an unknown amount was the overdose he was horrified.

  10. BrianFronsHatesMe -

    Margo pulled the plug on father-in-law Casey on ATWT in 1989. That’s as close to a “Kevorkian” as daytime has done.

    Reva pulling the plug on Richard was very similar.

  11. n69 says:

    The scenes of DR JOPLIN committing suicide were harrowing…& cruel.
    Cruel to viewers *&* the character.

    …but it also didnt make sense….i am sure a Dr could think of (& have access to) a million more effective ways to end their life than a self-inflicted gun shot.

    Marlena says: Norn I agree totally. Obviously OLTL wanted to get Dr. Joplin out of he way quickly … so that her son Schylar could come to town as a teacher and meet his student Star. It was Star’s baby that Dr. Joplin felt guily about almost stealing that led her to shoot herself … in other words, the quick suicide was just a quick piece of expeditious — and extremely uncaring writing. Suicide — what me worry?

  12. Robb says:

    And then there was Naomi Vernon on One Life to Life back in the 1970s. Didn’t she OD on drugs? I think it was a ploy to get her husband Will’s attention but she actually died.

  13. tess says:

    I think Naomi Vernon, Brad’s mother on ONE LIFE TO LIVE committed suicide.

  14. esther says:

    Dr. Joplin killed herself with a gun? How could that be? The 20-year-veteran SWAT guy on “Private Practice” said women never shoot themselves (sorry, that line peeved me so much, I stopped watching–since I’ve known two women to do it).

    As much as OLTL irritates me, I was doing a happy dance that they made Janet into Lee Halpern!!! I *loved* Lee! I thought they brought Janet Zarish back just as some low level new character. But she’s Lee again! Yay! My only issue is I don’t think they told JZ, because she was playing Janet as soooo wimpy. And Lee kicked a$$ and took no prisoners. I couldn’t see her being so subservient to Todd. Puleez.

    I did think GL did a good job with the Reva story. And don’t forget, when Reva drove off the bridge yelling, “I’m coming, Bud,” that was sort of taken as a suicide at the time. Sort of. But the first one was the one done well.

    And I thought that Victor WAS suicidal on Y&R? Isn’t that why his kids tried to have him committed? He wasn’t eating, drinking, etc. and they said he was a danger to himself. And I agree — story was totally rushed. Never bought his insta-love with Sabrina. And amazing how over her he is after sex with Ashley. (rolling my eyes) He’s cured!

    Marlena says: I loved Janet Zarish as Lee Halpern too. I think I have written here before questioning why they brought her and her character back so many years later. It was never explained! And as you say, Esther, the personality change was very noticable too!

  15. Tom says:

    With the comments about Reva I’m surprised no one has mentioned her intentionally driving off the bridge during a bout with postpartum depression.

    I also remember a character on Y&R about 25 years ago. She didn’t like the woman her son was seeing (possibly one of the Brookses). The mother was terminally ill and intentionally went over the side of a balcony while making it look like her son’s girlfriend pushed her.

  16. Gianni says:

    Marlena,

    Great column as usual. I think Todd’s suicide is symptomatic of unrelenting darkness that has taken over OLTL in recent years. I think the problem with soapy suicides is that they rarely ever seem to happen in character. As you pointed out, Todd has never expressed much remorse and frankly, I’m just not feeling the character’s pain (perhaps it’s the actor?). On Guiding Light I remember being infuriated when Ben terrorized Marina and killed himself at the hands of suicide/nausea-inducing headwriter Ellen Weston. It seemed cruel to those of us who knew Ben. So there you have it. Suicides on soaps: uncharacteristic and cruel.

  17. Leona says:

    I forgot all about Jeff Webber’s suicide attempt on General Hospital. He shot himself after he realized Monica loved Rick (she was married to Jeff at the time).

  18. John says:

    Since I’ve started watching OLTL again in November, after tuning out sometime late in the summer, I have actually approved of the handling of most every aspect of the fallout of this story. (I don’t attempt to excuse or even explain the reasoning for everything that led up to it, except to try to convince myself that the people behind the scenes at OLTL whom I would still like to see as positive influences on the show did not come up with this.) That said, I think this was a major misstep and negates much of what OLTL has done in the past couple of months to try to redeem itself. I know you don’t agree that there has been any change, but I really thought we were seeing Todd depicted as a monster and every character who ever stood by him calling him on it (except Tea, who is supposed to be amoral and crazy in her own way).

    The thing is, I think Marty luring Todd up to the roof under the pretense of wanting him back, only to reject him and convince him to end it all, could have come pretty close to being the payoff for everything Marty and the audience have had to endure, with just one change: a different motivation on Todd’s part. Instead of goading him to jump for her, Marty should have convinced him that he had nothing to live for and that he should just spare himself having to go on living with everyone who used to love him now hating him, plus the possibility of going to jail. Maybe she could have even told him that if he did it, Starr, Blair, Viki, et al might feel badly for how they cast him off and love him more than they ever would have if he were alive. Imagine if she had said to him, “It’s ironic, huh? You’ve left me with almost nothing to live for, except for some people who are counting on me who I don’t even remember. But you remember all of the people who loved you, and now you’ll have to watch them hate you for the rest of your life. I think that would be even worse for me.” That scene could have been pretty compelling. (OK, they also should have also had Tea or Blair or Viki or someone interrupt and talk him out of it, instead of John McBain to the rescue – and yeah, they couldn’t have picked a worse season to have someone survive a fall into a river.)

    I’m no psychologist, but I do think it is possible that someone who is so psychopathic that they feel no remorse, which I fully concede Todd is, might kill themselves if they thought it would be easier for them than living with the consequences of what they have done. That would have rung true. But I have to agree with you, Marlena, I don’t buy that Todd would do this for any kind of selfless reasons. And the fact that Marty planned this whole thing around her assumption that he would is very disturbing, and undermines everything we have been shown these past couple of months of a woman who has been completely devastated by this sociopath’s rapes (plural) of her.

    Now, Dr. Joplin’s suicide on the other hand really did effect me. That actress did a really good job, and Todd really did have her between a rock and a hard place when all she originally wanted to do was protect her son. I don’t know that I would have done the right thing about Starr’s baby in her position either, and we don’t actually know that she would have ultimately done the wrong thing. I didn’t want to see her kill herself, and I sure hope it did not hit close to home for anyone who may have been home too depressed to get out of bed or do much else than turn on the TV.

  19. Bob says:

    Hey Tom,

    I loved the story you referrenced from Y&R in the early 1980s. Vanessa was Lance’s and Lucas’ mother. She had been an eerie character for years (she wore a veil to covered her scarred face and bathed her sons in guilt) — but that suicide story took the cake. She knew she had a terminal disease (no one else knew) and set Lorie Brooks up but good.

    Vanessa lured Lorie out to the balcony, having made sure that neighbors were within earshot. She then started yelling as if they were arguing and screamed something to the effect of, “No Lorie, don’t push me” and then leapt to her death.

    She had also typed some letters that somehow pertained to the death. In the end, little Brooks cleared Lorie when he testified that he had seen his grandmother using Lorie’s typewriter.

    To me (a youngster at the time) the most horrific scene of this story was at Vanessa’s funeral. No one expected Lorie to show up (as they all thought she had pushed Vanessa over the balcony)… when Lorie walked into the church Lucas flipped. He ran to the casket (which was closed) and opened it, screaming for Lorie to ‘look at what she’d done’ I had a few nightmares featuring the beatific looking Vanessa in that coffin with her arms crossed over her chest.

    In the late 1980s Y&R also did another attempted suicide story with a distraught Traci putting her head in the oven (what a cliche!)

    GL, a few years before Reva’s attempted suicide did a story with Vanessa. She did it for attention, taking too many pills. She had it lined up for someone (Ross, I believe, but it may’ve been Ed or Tony) to find her and rescue her. However, the love interest didn’t show up and she nearly did die.

    Supposedly, on GL, Mike’s wife Julie (Hope’s mother) killed herself while institutionalized. However, I’ve read some accounts that say she definitely killed herself and others that say it was purposely left vague.

  20. Purple Haze says:

    My favorite soap of all time (albeit, of the prime time variety), “Knot’s Landing”, had two instances of suicide that were absolutely cataclysmic.

    One occurred just as Valene was on the brink of discovering what happened to the twins she gave birth to that she had been told had died at birth. Val had traced down the attending physician, Dr. Ackerman, at a conference. When he saw her coming to his parked car he took a gun out and shot himself, destroying the hope that Val had that she could be reunited with her children.

    The second instance was when Jill, realizing that her hopes for a future with Gary were dashed and all her schemes would come to naught, launched her final scheme by very elaborately framing Gary for her death which was in reality a suicide.

    Having experienced suicide in my own family, I have come to understand it as an act of anger towards others as much as it is an act of despair.

    I don’t have sufficient faith in any of the writers on any of the soaps to be able to explore someone’s despair with sensitivity or to capture the manipulation and/or anger that cause others to end their lives so consider me happy that Todd’s “suicide” was an unsuccessful attempt.

    Marlena says: Purp, thanks for this wonderful letter and sharing your personal experience with us. I too was a huge Knots Landing fan, and remember well when Dr. Ackerman shot himself, taking away the link Val needed to find her babies. Shattering! Do you think that a writer at One Life to Live may remember it to? Dr. Ackerman and Dr. Joplin both shot themselves when their parts in a kidnapping (Val’s babies; Star’s baby) were exposed. Very curious….

  21. renee says:

    It’s been a while Marlena,
    I just found myself compelled to comment on this subject.

    In my younger days before therapy, I tried to commit suicide twice. Yes, it has a stigma attached. People think you’re crazy. People who know me post therapy are surprised. I have no shame regarding it. I’m quite comfortable with who I am and where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through. It’s made me the person I am today and she’s an amazing wonderful being.
    Suicide is not black and white.

    Yes, there is anger at others, but not always at the time the suicide occurs. At that point, you may have resolution.
    Despair, yes.

    My problem with soaps, having gone through the experience, talked to many and gotten them to reconsider, some who have not, and therapists is unlike with some other societal subjects, this one is not treated with much reality. As some of the readers have noted, the effect on loved ones is glossed over. Even the recovery of the attempted suicide individual happens so quickly with few after affects, which is not surprising. I’ve never seen the despair portrayed realistically. The actual despair one feels to even attempt suicide is such a black hole with no light from which you feel there will never be a way out. Howling, throwing some bottles, is rarely it. Most people fall into two categories – they either check out and become very very quiet OR like me, they look very very normal and only those who have been around someone who is cracked can discern the crack and hopefully push them into help.

    So reading the responses reminded me of many of these storylines and almost all of them I turned off. Not from pain but because of the unrealism. I do that on any storyline unless it’s meant to be stupid.

    But this was a good topic for discussion.
    Thanks for bringing it up.
    Maybe some writer will read what I’ve said and write a very very powerful storyline of realism.

    Marlena says:Thank you SO MUCH for your candor here, and for bravely describing what the reality of suicide is and isn’t. A writer should listen to you and your experience, yet I’m not sure any daytime writer has the courage that you do. Marlena loves you, Renee.

  22. David says:

    Back in the ’60′s, on The Doctors, a character committed suicide in order to frame his arch enemy for his “murder”

  23. antmunoz says:

    Olivia’s attempted suicide with background music always disturbed me, and I was never sure if she meant to kill herself or if it was a ploy to lure Josh to save her. I can’t remember her calling him beforehand, so she may have been serious. But it didn’t seem in character for her, at the time, even though Olivia was still new on the show. In hindsight, knowing much more of Olivia’s backstory, the suicide attempt takes on much greater depth.

    Learning that Jill Bennett had actually killed herself just to get back at Gary was chilling. It went beyond suicide, even though it wasn’t the first “suicide looks like murder” on soaps. But Teri Austin played Jill as SO deranged, it leaves a mark after all these years.

    I’m glad that Josh The Unabortion is finally leaving AMC, but the plot is just a tad too similar to B&B’s Storm/Katie story. I would have preferred Josh to be exposed as a very clever con artist, with the original abortion story restored. (Hey, if he’s a match for Kendall, she could still get the heart!)

  24. Lisa says:

    The problem for me was that what was shown came off as a stunt and in no way an actual “suicide attempt”. He was like one of those guys on MTV’s “Jackass” doing something that probably should have killed him (but the audience wouldn’t be that lucky). Oh, and yeah, they’ve now used the stunt as a way to once again drum up a pity party for Todd to get him off for crimes he actually committed. Funny how that sort of thing always eventually works to Todd’s favor.

  25. Dora says:

    What soap was it that had this girl seduce her married love interest, who was a co-worker, while she was blackout drunk? He rejected her, and she woke up not knowing what happened. He told his wife, so she was fired. She wanted her job back, so she claimed she was drugged. She took pills so she would get back a positive drug test, so she could undo what she did because she loved the guy and they had a beautiful friendship. She took too many pills and on the way to the drug test, blacked out at the wheel and got into a serious car accident, but survived. Not really an attempted suicide, but her death at her own hand. I think this was on either GL or ATWT or SFT. Does anyone remember it?

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