2009 was a shaky year for soap diversity, and with OLTL back-burnering the Evanses, and writing off Kyle, Fish and Rachel, 2010 is off to a rocky start. Sure, GH is about to start featuring Maya and Zoe, tenuous Quartermaines by way of the Wards, but I’m not necessarily holding out any hope for major story. Heck, despite my investing in OLTL last year, the only soap that really gave me hope in terms of reflecting the increasingly diverse makeup of the U.S. was General Hospital: Night Shift. And I still don’t understand why the parent show couldn’t have absorbed those characters after a third season was a no-go.
Kyle and Eric were a great gay love story…and bringing them back in the wake of no Bianca on AMC and a Kish-less Llanview would be a great step. And who’s to say Kyle couldn’t be involved with Lucas, a legacy character? Leo and his jealousy issues were compelling, no matter which Rains brother was playing him. And I couldn’t Robin use a pal like Saira Batra on her side while Lisa is making eyes at Patrick? Azita Ghanizada is beautiful, talented, and I’d even put up with Saira being paired with Sonny just to have someone of my ethnic background represented on my soap! And as for Leyla, Lainey and Kelly, who were part of the parent show…well, Leyla was killed off, and Lainey and Kelly are never on. Maybe they’re off in a supply closet somewhere with Matt Hunter?
I don’t get it.
There are dozens of ways to fit more people of color into soaps. I mean, I’ve said this before, but if you have to go the tokenizing and stereotypical route because it’s the easiest way to diversify, every soap has a hospital. Hospitals = Indian doctors. And Port Charles General Hospital in particular has diversity in its very roots: Steve and Audrey Hardy’s biracial grandson, Tommy. Wouldn’t he be a hot twenty-something by now and a great option for Maxie? And what if B&B’s Prince Omar of Morocco (Kabir Bedi), had a rebellious runaway daughter who fled to L.A. in search of his former wife, Taylor/Princess Leila? And she fell in love with Thomas? Or what if a new hot stranger in Genoa City just happened to be a dashing Latin-American or Indian business rival of Tucker’s? Remember when Y&R brought on Eric Steinberg‘s Ji Min? Alas, Ji Min, we hardly knew ye! He was daytime’s only contract Asian actor and he barely last a year!
Man, now I’m all nostalgic. I’m going to have to bust out my GH: NS season one DVD and scour YouTube for season two clips.