Marlena’s Summer Plans

sunflowerBy Marlena De Lacroix

Bonjour, everyone!  I’m sorry I haven’t posted in many weeks.  As you know, my mother passed away.  It happened amid the frenzy of the end of spring semester, at the end of a long academic year.  I need the summer to recharge, so I’m going on relaxed summer mode until the Daytime Emmys at the end of August.

However, there will be new material here.  I will post as often as I can, and there will be posts by other contributors.  I am thrilled to introduce a new regular, Matthew Weaver, who will debut soon. Matthew does something rarely done well:  soap satire.  His work is very sophisticated and entirely original, and it always makes me LOL.  You may have read his wonderful creative faux press releases and casting notices on Soap Zone, where [Read more...]

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 [Read more...]

One Life To Live’s Todd and Marty: Way Beyond Merely “Disgusting”

Todd and Marty 

Susan Haskell as Marty, Trevor St. John as Todd — ABC Photo by Heidi Gutman

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Thinking Fans Comment Update Nov. 9:  Miajere laments the misogyny in daytime … Christian in Boston is disgusted by Todd’s elevation to “redeemed and tortured anti-hero” status … Steve protests Todd-Marty story exists “for no other reason than shock value” … and more. See Comments below.

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By Marlena De Lacroix

It’s disgusting. Which is what I think all the columnists and most fan posters in the soap community are saying after seeing amnesiac Marty Saybrooke sleep with her one-time rapist Todd Manning on One Life to Live Thursday afternoon . But disgusting doesn’t begin to describe this descent into exploitation and audience insult.

If you care about soaps, this story is way, way beyond disgusting.  And if you are still trying to figure exactly out why they are dying, come with me and have a long look at this story in the context of soap history.   

Years ago soaps were about love, family and relationships.  They were ridiculed in the outside world because their storylines sometimes stretched reality.  To combat this, and show how smart and valuable soaps were, Agnes Nixon invented the idea

It’s a nasty punch in the face to women, still the majority audience for soaps … and to make it worse, TPTB don’t even see it!

of exploring educational social issue stories, which in the 60s she introduced on Guiding Light,  when a character, Bert Bauer, had uterine cancer.  Dozens of great issue stories later, a writer new to daytime, Michael Malone, brought the new character of Marty onto OLTL, and one night in 1993 Todd  (then only known as Frat Boy # 2) and two of his college buddies raped her.

At the time I disliked the story.  The characters had no ties to the OLTL canvas (Todd had not been made Viki’s half-brother yet), and the story lacked [Read more...]