Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Analyzing badness of ONE LIFE TO LIVE in its Prospect Park-produced version.

A lot of soap fans--glad to have their shows back in any form--seem to be superwilling to take without complaint what's handed to them online by the company Prospect Park (which, worried about profit, recently cut the episodes-per-week of ONE LIFE TO LIVE and ALL MY CHILDREN from four to two).

Here's a list of reasons (based on the episodes I've seen) that ONE LIFE TO LIVE is suffering artistically (and, yes, I'm aware that a head writer has been jettisoned since the episodes began prediction) in comparison to its long-running-on-ABC predecessor:
1. Not knocking the Snoop Lion-produced theme song, but the opening-credits sequence is an unfortunate nod to the dancing-cast openers of THE COSBY SHOW.
2. OLTL tends to think that, in its new basic-cable-friendly form (meaning more sexual innuendo, young cast members in underwear, occasional deployment of PG-to-PG-13 language), the younger cast (plus the bedrock Bo-and-Nora older couple) are interested in few other things than what Erica Jong once called the "zipless f---."  And, when in need of variation, there's a few scenes in a nightclub playing tame electronica and with other cast members (including Shenaz Treasury--who left THE MINDY PROJECT, where she played a human being--for this, plus J-Woww from JERSEY SHORE) playing tight-outfitted bar staff.
3. A hallmark of the late-period ABC OLTL was a willingness to cast plus-sized female actors (most notably Kathy Brier, who played Marcie) as viable characters/love interests.  Not happening on Prospect Park's version of the show.  In fact, one character named Destiny (who had a baby with the Matthew Buchanan character) was recast from plus-sized to slim-and-conventionally-gorgeous.
4. One more knock on the young characters: they seem to be little more than selfish louts--particularly the Matthew character (also recast from the ABC series), who doesn't give much of a damn that he's had a child out of wedlock and has little interest in helping in the child's raising.

The new OLTL isn't a complete shambles.  When the storylines center on reliable scene-stealing actors such as Tuc Watkins (David), Robin Strasser (Dorian), Roger Howarth (Todd) and Trevor St. John (Victor), the show most resembles its previous incarnation, albeit in a diminished way.

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