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Erika Slezak
Here's to the next forty years!
by Dawn
For the Week of July 21, 2008
One Life to Live has gone the distance, and while it isn't even close to being the oldest soap, it has entertained many people over the past four decades.
Before I say anything else, I want to congratulate everyone at One Life to Live for reaching the 40 year milestone! I am glad this achievement has been recognized as Robert S. Woods and Erika Slezak appeared on The View, and Erika also got to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange! One Life to Live has gone the distance, and while it isn't even close to being the oldest soap, it has entertained many people over the past 4 decades. I remember watching One Life to Live when I stayed with my grandmother when I was a child (without my parents' knowledge), and it became a part of my regular television viewing habits. There were times when I couldn't wait to watch the next episode, and then there were times when I couldn't watch at all! Even when a story makes me want to run away (such as Starr and Cole's story), I always come back for more, and I can't imagine it not being on the air! This is why I am glad that Ron Carlivati and his team are taking the time to mark this milestone with special anniversary shows and new stories that will get the next 40 years off to an exciting start!

An anniversary show would be incomplete without Viki and Dorian! The ride they took in Natalie's car to go the vineyard summed up their relationship well. They don't like each other, they are always there for each other, and their rivalry often takes them off track. Dorian needed Viki's help since she was stranded on the side of the road, yet she couldn't stop herself from making up a tall tale about her and Charlie. She wanted to make Viki as uncomfortable as possible, and she succeeded. Viki tried to discount Dorian's lies and even tried to tune her out with the radio. However, their discussion ended abruptly as they drove off of the road and crashed. We all know that Viki isn't going to remain "dead," but Dorian's reaction was proof that she cares about Viki deep down. Dorian and Viki might fight resent each other, but they do care about each other! We've seen evidence of this before, such as when Viki told Dorian that she had cancer or when Viki went to help Dorian clean her home after Jessica vandalized it. Viki and Dorian's rivalry is one of the best female rivalries on television because it isn't one dimensional. They aren't put in situations together for the sole purpose of fighting and tossing insults back and forth. Their lives have been inextricably linked for decades, and the amount of history that they share is obvious in every single scene they share! Watching Blair and Skye play tricks on each other and get into cat fights was entertaining, but it couldn't compare to Viki and Dorian. Lindsay and Nora could be the next Viki and Dorian if their relationship were given more layers. I can't wait to see what happens with Viki and Dorian once Viki "returns" from heaven! They have been fighting for a long time. Could Viki's brush with death be the inspiration for a truce? It would be nice to see them get along, even if it is for a short time. I think it would be a great way to begin the next 40 years of their relationship if they took a moment to realize that they really do care about each other!

I am also looking forward to the new story involving Rex and Bo. I have always liked their relationship, and their adventure sounds like it will be life changing experience, even though their story takes place in the past. If anyone needs a change, it's Bo. I don't know what has happened to this character over the last decade, but he has become one of the lamest characters on the show. He makes major life decisions based off of dime store inspiration and then throws a temper tantrum when it doesn't work out. Did he really expect his marriage to Lindsay to work out? He knew she has led a life of lies and manipulation, but he decided it was okay and proposed anyway. When he realized that Lindsay played him for a fool again, he shot the messenger (Nora) and ran away. I had sympathy for Bo last summer when Asa passed away. He had unfinished business with his father, and he had mixed feelings about Asa. However, Bo chose to wear rose-colored glasses when it came to Lindsay, and I don't feel sorry for him this time. Bo has been acting like a self-righteous fool for years, and it is time for him to change! I loved that Bo "talked" to Asa and felt like he had to prove himself. Asa always affected Bo in a deep way, and it was genius to include him in the new chapter of Bo's life. Rex is the perfect person to go on this adventure with Bo because Rex feels lost too, and he sees Bo as a father. Rex understands what Bo is going through and knew how to try to stop Bo from jumping over the fence. Now that Bo and Rex have been struck by the cheesiest lightning ever, they are going to go back in time to a time of war. Let's hope that Bo finds his former self while he's in the past and that his Rex is able to forgive the people who lied to him. While this story is being done to celebrate One Life to Live's anniversary, I think it has the potential to change both characters for the better!

The other main story that will be featured in the anniversary shows is one I am having trouble getting interested in watching. I wasn't watching this show when Mendorra was featured before, so I am at a disadvantage when it comes to appreciating this story. Perhaps the people who watched Tina the first time think this story is great. However, it just seems silly to me. I don't think it fits with the rest of the show, and I don't see the point of it. When this story is featured in an episode, I feel like we are being asked to watch some type of fantasy world because it is so different than the rest of the show. I like Tina as a character so far, and I always like when Carlo Hesser returns, but this story borders on the ridiculous. If these characters were involved in a story in Llanview that involved other characters, I might be more inclined to watch it. However, it felt surreal when Carlo announced that Talia would be the new princess of Mendorra. It didn't feel like the show I've been watching for 15 years! I think making Talia the daughter of Carlo Hesser is an interesting idea that has the potential to create an interesting story, since Talia is a police officer who wants to do the right thing, while her father is the exact opposite. It also gives us the opportunity to learn more about Talia as a character. We haven't learned much about her since she appeared, so I have been hoping that the writers would tell us about her history. However, I just think there is a better way to show us Talia and Carlo's relationship than introducing it in a storyline that belongs in the "Land of Make Believe!" I also wish the writers had introduced Tina to new viewers in a better way. She was wandering around Llanview for days but didn't see anyone except Cristian and Sarah. We didn't get to see how other people in Llanview felt about her or how they would have reacted to her presence in Llanview. Since the anniversary episodes are special ones that are meant to stand out, I am going to optimistically believe that this Mendorra story will stop being silly once the anniversary episodes have aired. I want to see Tina and Carlo more, but I am not sure how much more of this fluff I can handle!

Finally, as One Life to Live commemorates this anniversary, I want to look ahead to the next 40 years. I hope that this show continues to improve as it has over the past year. It is more balanced, and the episodes have themes and titles that make them more cohesive. While those are good improvements, I still want to see some changes. For example, I hope that characters who have been without a story for too many years will finally get one. Nora and Roxy both need a story that involves more than just random appearances. I also want to see certain relationships get more attention than they have. Dorian and Langston's relationship as foster mother/daughter needs to be developed and defined. We've seen brief vignettes of them, but it is far too easy to forget that they are supposed to be connected! The secrets that have been kept for months need to be revealed. Rex needs to learn that Shane is his son, and Roxy needs to tell him who his father is. Along the same lines, the Buchanans need to tell David that he is the missing Buchanan heir. Generally, I want to see stories that include several members of the cast. One Life to Live has always had an impressive group of actors, and I want to see all of them utilized to their fullest potential. I also want to see stories that keep the show moving a fast pace and that are character-driven instead of plot-driven. One Life to Live has been an upswing since Ron Carlivati took over headwriting duties, and I hope that continues for many years to come!

Until next time,
Dawn


Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.



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