Thursday, June 09, 2011


Okay, someone out there who watches One Life To Live - is Jean Passanante really recycling the tragic-death-leads-to-heart-transplant storyline on that soap as well?

That's the rumor I've been hearing, and if it's true, I'm absolutely disgusted.

It was bad enough that she was responsible for the ridiculous, anvil-laden, offensive killing off of one of the most popular new characters on daytime at the end of As The World Turns. She and her team took a promising storyline - the Luke and Reid romance - and shoved it on the backburner, destroyed its momentum, dialed down the heat and sexual tension until it almost disappeared (it's a testament to the talent of the actors that they were able to maintain any romantic spark through months of "I want you and I will show you how much by brushing lint off your shoulder" bs), and shifted the focus to Reid the brain surgeon trying to save the life of a self-centered jerk who refuses proper medical care and exacerbates his own health issues. Followed by a meaningless death and the character assassination of almost everyone involved in the storyline.

And now she's doing it again? On another show?

And I hear this is actually the THIRD time she's done the same storyline?

I have a hint, OLTL team - GET SOME NEW IDEAS.

And if your writing team is incapable of doing that on their own, it might be a good idea to GET SOME NEW WRITERS AS WELL.

*wanders off, grumbling under my breath*


Laurie Ryan said...

It sounds like this is a good platform to brainstorm some new ideas. I don't watch many soaps, but I'll kick it off. Am I right that this soap is going off the air next year? If so, then maybe a slow escalation to the end would be approriate. Hmmm. You know, I can't think of a single suggestion. Every time I do, I realize it's happened in real life. So I guess I'm no help after all. Good luck with getting them to do some re-writes! :)

Hayley said...

Will it involve Terri's character again? That poor woman deserves better storylines!

Kate Davies said...

Oh, Gods, I hope Teri's not stuck in that storyline again. No, as far as I know, it's Clint needing a new heart, and his estranged brother Bo's son Matthew who's going to kick the proverbial bucket. Pretty sure Teri's storyline isn't connected to that one. I could be wrong, though.


ris0310 said...
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rissa said...

I've been home with a broken foot so I've been watching alittle of OLTL and yes it looks like they are recycling the heart transplant story. That it's a young boy that is dying is bad enough but it does bring back awful memories of Reid and his horrific death on ATWT. Right now Terri is not directly involved so that's a good thing.

Maia Strong said...

Hrm. I would say that this story line is the *second* laziest choice that any writer of serial fiction can make. And to make it repeatedly is just pathetic, sloppy, and thoughtless. The writer in question obviously has no creativity left to give.

Kate Davies said...

Rissa - Not only does it bring back bad memories of Reid's death (wait, he didn't die! Train, what train?), it shamefully borrows from the first (and best) storyline to go there, the heart transplant on GH years ago. Then, if memory serves, it was the young son of one of the key couples on the show, and his heart went to his equally young cousin. Devastating, but still referred to as well done.

And Maia, you've piqued my curiosity. What's the FIRST laziest choice? Because I can almost guarantee it's been done by JP and her ilk.

traci said...

Bravo! Thank God Terri's character is not involved!

Maia Strong said...

Since you asked, IMO, the *first* laziest choice that can be made by any writer of serial fiction is an unintended pregnancy. It was undoubtedly "fresh and new" 50+ years ago; now, however, it's just a way to make the people involved look careless.

Maia Strong said...

I should have said "characters" rather than "people", but you get what I mean.

Kate Davies said...

Aha! So the other plot development that's recently filled me with rage on my new show is on your list as well! That's why we get on so well, Maia. :)

lovelure said...

In fairness, I don't think this is quite the same situation. I normally agree with you, Kate, but I have to step back on this one.

First of all, JP isn't the headwriter at OLTL. Ron Carlivati is. I don't watch OLTL, but by all soap press accounts, OLTL is on fire, and their ratings would back that up. Most of that improvement has come after JP joined the writing staff as Associate HW. Unless you're willing to give her credit for that success (haha - I bet I could die of old age looking for an ATWT fan willing to do that), I don't think she deserves the blame for this storyline.

Second, I think you should read Jerry verDorn's interview with Michael Fairman - which I conveniently read and blogged about just yesterday.

Although the baseline story ("heart transplant") has bee n overdone (GL did it with Michelle Bauer, Y&R with Victor, on top of JP's prior two), they are playing it out in a very different way. Clint is a core character on the show and they are playing this out for all it's worth. There are many entanglements in the selection of likely donor (Clint's young nephew who he considers like a son). So this is not a matter of let's just pick someone expendable (or gay).

As for laziest storyline, there are so many candidates for that award, that I don't think it's fair to single out heart transplants. For starters, how about faked pregnancies (drugging the guy and pretending to sleep with him and then getting knocked up)? The long-lost child you didn't know about? Kidnapping and being locked away for months without a bathroom and not being, um, gross. Forbidden teen love. Dopplegangers. Switched babies. Switched paternity tests. Being stranded on a desert islands. Faked paralysis. Amnesia.

The challenge is to come up with 250 hours of ideas (go ahead - try it, I dare you!) for 40+ years that don't repeat any of the above and aren't lame (aliens, clones, etc).

Jerry vD said in his interview that Clint would rather die than take Matthew's heart. Given OLTL's demise, I actually think this would be an interesting way of playing it out. Clint (from what I read about him yesterday) sounds like GL's Alan Spaulding.

I've said many times that I think that if you need a birth, a marriage, and a death (and GL had all 3), the way GL did it was the right way. Alan was so corrupt and his death brought him redemption. Clint sounds like he's in the same boat - and if he suffers some in his illness for his evils, and then dies a noble death then that will make it such a better storyline.

And as your readers know - the way ATWT was wrong on so many fronts. The fact that Chris completely brought the situation on himself through his selfishness. That they broke all sorts of rules to get him his heart (gay donation, jumping the queue - which Jerry vD specifically says he doesn't think "even a soap" would do), the slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am treatment of Reid after his accident, the lack of redemption for Chris after he got the heart (not gratitude, no effort to show he made the sacrifice worthwhile), the ludicrous speed in which two hearts within driving radius were found, etc, etc, etc.

Interestingly, Jerry vD spoke about what killed soaps, and I think he views his as a strong storyline. I have a ton of respect for him, so (obviously) my view is coloured by this interview.

Just my two cents.

lovelure said...

Oops - that should say "GL with Maureen Bauer" not Michelle - though the recipient (Jessie Blue) would later turn up and fall in love with Michelle.

Kate Davies said...

Lovelure -

Fair enough! :) I don't watch OLTL, as is probably fairly evident in my post, so I don't have as close a perspective on the storyline. It's just (obviously) a hot button issue for me. And after the travesty of Reid's death, I don't know if I could stomach another heart transplant storyline no matter how well its done.