It has been just over two weeks since the announcement of the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live has been made, and I am still just as upset about it, if not more. The last two weeks have proven that soaps have loyal fans who won't accept the bad news quietly. It has been great to see fans around the globe band together to form campaigns, protests, and boycotts. I just hope the momentum continues. As I said before, I am sure that ABC was counting on some backlash, but we need to give them way more than they anticipated.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to write in response to my last column. I got a record number of e-mails, and they were mainly from upset, angry viewers who couldn't believe that their cherished shows were being taken away. Many people shared personal stories of how these shows have affected their lives in profound ways, and many also asked what they could do to fight for them. Soap Central now has a central location for information and news about supporting our soaps. You can access this page by going to soapcentral.com/sos. Letting ABC and its sponsors know what you think is the best thing you can do right now, and I hope everyone does this continuously, straight through January.
As for the show itself, it was great to see One Life to Live tie for second place in the ratings with The Bold and the Beautiful. I realize that is partially because of the cancellations; I am sure people who stopped watching have returned because this is their last chance. However, I think the bump in ratings also has to do with the show's recent upswing. There are some good things happening on the show right now, and I hope the ratings continue to rise so ABC will see what a big mistake it made.
Last week was good for a few reasons. First, we saw a great episode dedicated to the wonderful Erika Slezak, who has played Viki Banks for 40 years. I loved seeing Niki Smith and Jean Randolph emerge, as Viki watched Ryder's custody trial transpire. Erika Slezak's talent was showcased, as her wide acting range was utilized, and we got an interesting visual of what Viki's subconscious mind looks like. It was fun to watch Niki mock Viki's fashion sense, and it was very profound when we saw that Jean doesn't understand the concept of love. The only thing I felt the episode needed was a montage of Viki (and her alters). It would have been great to see flashbacks from the early days, but I am still glad that Erika Slezak was honored for a day. She and Viki have been the heart of One Life to Live for a long time and deserve nothing less!
I was also happy to see Joey finally use his brain. I was amazed that he figured out that Niki was pretending to play Viki. He has been the dumbest person in Llanview since he returned, but it looks like that is changing. It's about time! It is great to see him serve a purpose on the show, other than falling for Aubrey and Cutter's act. Maybe now that he has shown some intelligence, he will realize Aubrey isn't who she claims to be either. There might be hope for Joey after all!
There might also be hope for judges in Llanview, as the judge presiding over Ryder's custody hearing saw through Tess and Robert's act. Judges are usually oblivious on this show for the sake of furthering plots, so I am glad this judge figured things out. I knew she wouldn't award custody to Viki after her alters emerged in the courtroom, but I didn't know what she would do about Tess, so I was relieved when she denied Tess and Robert custody. I realize that Aubrey is hardly an upstanding citizen, but the judge had no way of knowing that, especially since Tess kept the truth to herself.
I thought Rex and Gigi's story was interesting last week, as they continued to grapple with what to do for Shane. Gigi did the wrong thing by taking Shane's tape (or what she thought was his tape), but she did it because she was afraid, which is understandable. Meanwhile, we learned that Rex hired thugs to scare Jack, which was surprising. Apparently Rex takes after his father in some ways after all! Neither Rex nor Gigi is making good decisions, but I can see why they aren't thinking clearly. They haven't faced a crisis like this before, and they are afraid that Shane will try to kill himself again. I would much rather see them take action, even if it's the wrong one, then move on with life as if nothing had happened. I give the writers credit for including the aftermath of Shane's suicide attempt in the story. It makes it feel real, instead of just an event to shock viewers.
The scenes with Brody, Rex, and Shane were good too. It's easy to forget that Brody used to be a big part of Shane's life, so I am glad that Brody was included in Shane's story. Rex knows Shane can use all of the help he can get, so I am glad he is willing to bring Brody into the circle of people Shane can count on to be there for him. I like that Rex and Brody have been able to put their past issues behind them. It hasn't felt forced or fake; they really have moved forward. It's nice to see, especially when people in Llanview tend to carry grudges for decades!
I have to admit that it's fun to watch crazy Marty. My favorite moment was when she laughed heartily after Natalie tore up Liam's paternity test results. That's what Natalie gets for not reading the paper as she waved it around. I was sure she would at least glance at it and see something was off, but it just didn't happen. I guess her negligence will keep this story going for a while longer. As for Marty, it will be interesting to see if John can get her to tell him the truth about Liam. If she doesn't, I suspect John will figure it out on his own. Marty's doctor gave him enough hints to make it fairly easy to figure out, and when he does, Marty will be headed back to St. Ann's or worse!
I hope Blair doesn't completely trust Tomas after their heart-to-heart on Friday. I liked that Blair was honest about her past of being a gold digger. However, Tomas is still keeping secrets from her, and she was a little too quick to admit that she wanted to agree that they should move forward. I don't want to see Blair be duped by yet another man, so I hope she doesn't forget all of her concerns about him. I think the story surrounding Tomas could be interesting, as long as he doesn't turn into Spencer or Eli while Blair looks the other way!
Todd has finally woken up from his coma, and I am curious to see what happens with his story. I hope we find out who has been calling him and what his connection to Tomas is. It's been an intriguing story since it started (except for Todd's life hanging in the balance), and it should get even more interesting with Roger Howarth returning in the near future. I hope this story doesn't disappoint because it definitely has me paying attention!
We didn't see that much of the teens last week, which is good, and their scenes weren't bad. While I don't particularly care about Deanna, it was refreshing to hear her admit that she wanted James back. I am glad she didn't deny it and then try to be friends with Starr. I don't care if Deanna breaks Starr and James up; they have been boring since they got together, but Deanna's honesty is a nice change of pace. She was even honest enough to admit that she fell for Eddie's trick about helping her find her mother. I wouldn't have believed anything that a creep like Eddie would have told me! I guess we can chalk that up to being desperate and na´ve. As for Nate and Dani, they were on minimally last week, which is all I can ask for when it comes to them!
Finally, I hope we get to see Bo, Nora, and Matthew next week. They've been missing in action last, and I can't wait to see what happens, now that we know Matthew killed Eddie Ford. I don't know why this story has been "shelved" for the last week, but I have been thinking about it ever since Matthew confessed, so it needs to continue soon. It left me wanting more, which is more than I can say for any talk show I have ever seen.
Until next time,