Thinking Fans Comment Update: Cherry Ames declares, “OLTL is so good in some ways, but in other ways it’s just sick and sordid and as bad as reality (global recession, wars, mass killings in Darfur and Sudan, Octo-mom). I want something more uplifting and positive” … while Beth predicts, “Forcing Erika Slezak from OLTL, in my view, is something that the show would never be able to recover from. There is no heart in this show any more, and I do see the reason is becaue Viki Lord is missing in action” … and more. See Comments below.
By Marlena De Lacroix
Double jeopardy! This week One Life to Live makes history by doubling the plot stakes as the lives of two children are seriously imperiled. After a car crash, young Matthew Buchanan, the son of Bo and Nora, will be paralyzed from the waist down. And young Shane, the son of Rex and Gigi, will be diagnosed with cancer!
The message boards will undoubtedly be full of hosannas from viewers who love the intensity of the drama. There will be calls for Emmy nominations all around to honor powerful performances. Dipsy Farah Fath (who plays Shane’s devoted mom) will be declared the new Jodie Foster.
Historical note: In the old days of traditional soap operas, writers like Irna and Agnes and Bill in the 50s and 60s would never do one story like this involving tragedy to a
These days, the only thing that can balance out the strippers, and the blow jobs, and the show’s general lack of class, is the one character who epitomizes class — namely Viki, as played by Ms. Erika Slezak.
young child, let alone two at the same time. Why? In those days, it was understood that the majority of the audience was young mothers, and one story like this would so upset and nauseate them they’d flee their sets in droves. In the 70s, 80s and onward, there were childhood illnesses and tragedies, yet rarely was one attempted which was as grave as cancer, or paralysis. These are conditions we’ll have to watch a child suffer with day after day.
Yes, yes, darlings, I know what many of you are going to say: When Michael Corinthos was about to be shot in the head on General Hospital, I expressed similar dread. You wrote me in droves that soaps aren’t just focused on the female anymore and these kinds of uber tragic stories about kids are done on primetime and in movies. Well, I, Marlena, am still a woman, I still love kids, and the prospect of watching the stories of crippled Matthew and cancer-ridden Shane at the same time, possibly daily, actually makes me queasy.
To viewers, the new OLTL of the last year, which fearlessly ups the stakes in some plots and breaks the limits of old soap opera (the night of the accident Blair was stabbed in the shower, Marty remembered Cole was her son, and Star kissed Mr. J!) is fantastic drama. To others it is a great old soap whose quality and class are going down, down, down, and fast. Needless to say, count moi in the latter camp. I like the exciting plotting, yet it’s been a year in which my favorite old soap of 40 years has featured a blow job and a new lower-than-dirt stripper character named Stacy, who says things l like, “Rex, hit the floor and grab your ankles.”
Well, Mr. Frons, I’ll make you a bargain: I’ll put up with this show only if you spare Erika Slezak. It’s been whispered for the last few weeks she’s on her way out. In the past two months she’s hardly been seen. Dorian, on the other hand, is in every story and if Viki is seen at all she is in support, holding her daughter’s hand and screeching, “Jess-see-ca, Jess-see-ca!” Little or no airtime for the show’s central character of 40 years, an actress with six Emmys? This is a year when veteran actors all over soaps have been fired. Even Days of Our Lives’ central star of 35 years, Deidre Hall, was terminated this year by the likes of crazy Kenny (Corday.) Brian, do the right thing: save Erika!
And not just as a favor to moi. You really need her! Many OLTL fans like me feel that over the last 40 years the show’s overwhelming star attraction has been the story of one human woman overcoming every obstacle: Victoria Lord Riley Buchanan Davidson. You axe Viki, you axe all the old fans of the show. Maybe you know that and don’t care. But be warned: The ratings for the show are already so low, no amount of stripper fans or the hip, cool young viewers you are looking to attract are going to make up for the loss of Erika Slezak fans.
Look at it this way, Brian, OLTL has always been about balance. Viki has been the good heroine, Dorian mostly has been the wayward villainess. Together, the show is a moral whole. These days, the only thing that can balance out the strippers, and the blow jobs, and the show’s general lack of class, is the one character who epitomizes class — namely Viki, as played by Ms. Erika Slezak. Keep her, give Viki a central storyline. Mr. Frons, the show you save may be your own.