Blog: One Life To Live Sorely Missed, Part 2
(originally written 4/8/12. Click here for Part 1.)
Any weekday afternoon I happen to be home, I expect to turn on Channel 7 and hear that familiar theme song, a song that manages to convey excitement, drama, togetherness and most of all, hope, all in one. It really was a brilliant song.
I expect to see those familiar (and in some cases, botoxed) faces that have graced my screen daily for 18 years, but they're gone. Trust me—I know they're just actors playing roles, but for an hour a day I was in their homes, witness to their triumphs and milestones, privy to all their problems and challenges.
I was there when Viki's heart gave out on her, chilled to my very core as her eyes rolled back in her head and she collapsed to the cold, hard floor. I was there when young teen mother Starr made the anguished decision to give her baby away to a sterile friend. I saw every time the divorced Hank and Nora kissed each others' lips goodbye with equal parts fondness and sadness—both still caring deeply for one another even if they just could not make their marriage work. I was there when Jessica walked out of an adoption hearing for her would-be stepdaughter Jamie because of feelings for another man.
I was there when "Todd" fell in love with his victim, Marty, and because she had amnesia, actually had that love returned (he turned out to not be Todd, but that's another story.) I was there for Marty's chilling court testimony upon finding out who Todd "really was". I was there when playboy Rex, so used to getting whatever he wanted, could not will his dead friend Jen back to life on the floor of a parking garage.
And every moment in between.
Now there's a hole in me where OLTL used to be. This may be hard for others to understand; after all it's "just a TV show".
To those I politely ask: is your pet "just a dog" to you? No. He/she is a reliable companion that is always there for you, in good times and bad. OLTL was my dog.
It helps that a few characters have been transferred over to General Hospital, but it isn't the same as having the entire Llanview canvas in action. It never will be.
OLTL was one of a kind—it was educational, tackling social issues the way Ndamukong Suh tackles quarterbacks. It was groundbreaking; the first show to feature an interracial couple as more than a gimmick. It brought homosexuality as well as homophobia to the limelight and for every scene featuring horny upper-classers rolling in the hay, there was one showing the ugly side of AIDS, lupus, hepatitis, or cancer.
One Life To Live reminded us that stereotypes are just that, and for whatever social class we may come from, whatever God we pray to, whatever our physical appearance, we are a lot more alike than we may realize—and only idiots judge people based on how they look or sound.
Those of you who know me best know that I never fully accept bad news. Thanks largely to a lifetime of soap exposure, I'm still not 100% convinced my uncle William is now dead, even though I was at the funeral and looked right into his open casket. And I'm still not convinced 100% that OLTL is gone forever. Hawaii Five-0 came back. Charlie's Angels came back. 90210 and Melrose Place came back. Dallas is about to come back.
And one glorious day, One Life To Live will return to the airwaves, contradicting its own title.
I'll be waiting.