OLTL: Kishing at midnight.

One Life to Live ushered in 2010 in a very special way today, when Kyle and Fish “rang in the new year together.” And by “rang in” I mean “hit the” and by “the new year” I mean “sheets.”

It’s such a fantastic moment for a couple whose love story viewers were introduced to in media res. For anybody else, I’d probably say it was a little too soon (hi, Gigi and Sky!) but considering just how long Kyle and Oliver took to “get it right,” spanning years we didn’t see on air, it was a perfect pay-off. But even more perfect than the story leading the characters to this place was the fact that it was soap opera business as usual. I really, really have to tip my hat to OLTL and to ABC for letting this pair just be like any other couple in love.

Complete with the slow love song, the clothing removal and the White Candles O’ Sex. In fact, I cracked up when Oliver asked Kyle about candles and he immediately pulled the ones from their interrupted date out of a drawer and lit them. (I have a sneaking suspicion Kyle is making his med school tuition money by moonlighting as daytime’s Candle Fairy. He flits from show to show setting up and lighting everyone’s sex candles.) We saw them making googly eyes at each other, we saw them actually fall to the bed, and we saw the afterglow. And much like many of the love scenes that air on soaps, I almost couldn’t watch. It just felt too intrusive, too intimate. I felt like I had accidentally stumbled into Kyle’s room. (Which begs the question: How the heck did Nick clear out of there so fast? And did he put down fresh sheets?) Scott Evans (Oliver) and Brett Claywell (Kyle) really deserve major kudos for bringing to life one of the most heartfelt, honest pairings of the year.

And I hate to put a Debby Downer-ish note on such a happy event, but if soaps are dying out, then this is how I want to see them go out: with beautiful, timely love stories that see no difference between gay and straight, no difference between black and white. That today’s episode not only had Kyle and Fish together, but also focused on Destiny putting her heart out there for Matthew to break or accept was really wonderful. I’ve said it before, but Shenell Edmonds has come a long way, and the scenes where Matthew tried to let her down easy were so bittersweet.

Love lost, love found, love tended to like the fires of a hearth… this is how every year on a soap should end, and also how one should begin. A good story provides all the celebratory fireworks you need.

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15 thoughts on “OLTL: Kishing at midnight.

  1. I agree with you Mala on the KISH moments.

    I also want to give a shout out to Nick Rodrigues’ performance as the clearly broken-hearted and damaged Nick Chavez. I truly feel that if he wasn’t gay-bashed, he wouldn’t have tried to come between Oliver and Kyle again, after he was rejected on national tv during the mass gay wedding. He really made me feel Nick’s desperation in wanting to try and get back something and/or someone that made him feel safe and normal since his attack and that resulted in him wanting Kyle.

    I, especially loved Shenell Edmonds’ Destiny. I know that many folks really don’t like her and find her acting “limited” to say the least, but I find her to be a breath of fresh air AND I really like that she’s not some 20+ actress pretending to be a teenager.

    I could even tolerate Rex and Todd today.

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    • I tolerated Rex. Tolerating Todd is beyond me at this point. LOL.

      I was really, really glad that they let Nick speak from a place of pain and fear and explain that whatever scheming he might have done, he did because he’s scared and lonely. It made the situation all the more human.

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  2. I heartily agree. If soaps can’t represent the diversity of the human condition then they aren’t worth saving. I’ll enjoy watching OLTL for whatever time it has left. I’ve been struck with how Claire Labine and Agnes Nixon have both talked in recent interviews about how diversity and social issues affecting a range of people inspired them creatively. The OLTL crew really seems to be working in that soap tradition.

    I felt the same way about the Destiny scenes: I think it was brave of her to express her feelings even though they aren’t reciprocated. I think it’s terrific to send out the message that expressing your feelings, regardless of whether you get a happy payoff, is valuable and beautiful.

    Difficult Diva, I was also really moved by the Kyle and Nick conversation: both Nick’s compelling description of his disappointment and fear and Kyle’s sympathetic reaction to him. Oliver and Kyle’s love scene was fantastic -a milestone for equal representation and a lovely cap to this story arc. Really great work by all actors involved.

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    • The thing people don’t get about diversity, or even the lack of it, is that if you tell a story well, then everyone will relate to it. I spent my whole childhood relating to the stories of people who weren’t like me in the least. And I learned to love soaps, romance novels, sci-fi, etc. So who’s to say that someone else can’t relate to a well told story about someone who isn’t like them?

      That’s what good fiction *should* be about.

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  3. Hi Mala,

    Thanks for sharing your eloquent thoughts once again re: OLTL and Ollie and Kyle. (I love that the show has actually started calling Scott’s character “Ollie!”)

    As a minority myself, I completely agree with your take on diversity. Many minority actors have said that just tell a good story, and as long as you have the talent, it will not make a difference what your nationality, ethnicity or, in this case, sexuality is because that actor or actress will, again, if talented, will make the role work so that EVERYONE can relate to that role and character. And I agree with this proposition, generally (although there are some roles that require and call for certain ethnicities but that’s a different topic altogether.)

    I’m just glad OLTL capped 2009 off so well, and that we finally got to see some parity between two different couples in today’s episode of OLTL. Juxtaposing Gigi and Schuyler against Ollie and Kyle was a brilliant move on Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini’s part. Celebratory fireworks indeed.

    Thanks again, and Happy New Year!

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    • Happy New Year, James!

      As much as I think “Ollie” is cute, I hope Kyle continues to call him “Oliver” for the most part, because I just adore that!

      And, yeah, we’ll have to wade into the topic of roles that require specific ethnicities another time. Believe me, I have a lot to say on that subject, too. LOL.

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  4. Mala:

    Thank you for such a wonderful article about One Life to Live. I haven’t watched soaps in years and only returned to OLTL because I found out about Kyle and Oliver’s love story three weeks ago during the brouhaha over ABC and Adam Lambert. As a gay man, Kyle and Oliver’s story has touched me very, very deeply, and I’m grateful that the-powers-that-be at ABC and ABC Daytime finally had the guts to do our boys justice. It is my sincerest hope that the story gives courage and strength to people everywhere and of all kinds to, simply, love one another.

    Warm regards,
    T

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  5. Hey, Mala:

    I thought today’s show was terrific. I do kind of agree that Kyle and Oliver’s scenes were almost too intimate because the guys sold the emotion and the elation of finally being together so well, especially in Scott Evans’ performance. It wasn’t about the bump and grind it was about the feelings that they shared. That came across more than anything else.

    And yeah, how did Nick get out of there so fast? I’m thinking Roxy put down the fresh sheets. Speaking of Nick, I was wowed by his Nicholas Rodriguez near breakdown when he told Kyle why he did what he did. Sure, he was coming between our couple, but he was so desperate and sad and scared. What a powerful moment. And Kyle, the guy he is, understood and still cared enough to be there for Nick. But I would expect no less from him.

    As for Gigi and Sky, I have no idea why they are sleeping together. It makes no sense. And Sky, who I really like, comes off as pathetic.

    I loved the Destiny/Matt scenes. And while I prefer Matt/Dani, I wouldn’t mind seeing Destiny and Matt take a whirl. BTW, how long will it be before Langston sleeps with Ford? I give it a month, tops.

    Dorian was great, I LOVED the Mayor’s Ball scenes. Clint and Kim, who I thought would be icky are turning out to be a gem. I didn’t even mind Todd/Tea/Blair/Eli, though I would like to see Eli shed a tear for his dead bother. The highlight was Kelley Missal’s fierce performance. She is a damn good little actress.

    But yeah, Kyle and Oliver sealed the deal. And soaps are better for it.

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    • I like Schuyler, and I really don’t like that he and Gigi are sleeping together while she’s “on a break” with Rex. It’s not romantic. It’s gross. Even if I think Rex is a giant doofus, Gigi should’ve just broken up with him before making such a choice. Sky definitely looks desperate in this scenario.

      Kelley Missal was the best part of the gun totin’ confrontation with Todd. She gave it her all, and I’m struck, once again, by how they cast someone who is the perfect blend of Trevor and Florencia.

      The mayor’s ball was fabulous. Clint and Kim are really growing on me. Jerry and Amanda play off each other wonderfully.

      When I saw Ford, complete with the tight white t-shirt, I cracked up. Especially when he basically struck a pose to knock back his drink and all the girls were swooning. What I’d like to see for him is a triangle with BOTH Langston and Markko!

      I don’t know if I want Des and Matthew to have a romance or not, but their friendship is just so earnest and believable. I really relate to that.

      Just like I hope many viewers related to Kyle and Oliver!

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  6. “I think it would be great if Ford was daytime’s first bisexual.”

    I thought Lena from AMC was daytime’s first bisexual. I’m pretty sure she said she liked men and women at one point althought they may have backtracked on that later on in her story.

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    • I think they rewrote that later as Lena only showing interest in men because of Michael Cambias’ evil plot, and she was really a lesbian all along. I could be remembering wrong, though.

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