Soap Opera Weekly: Blogging With Mala

I have a dent in my head from where I just smacked it into my desk…thanks to this article at TV Guide Magazine discussing the OLTL Kish-off.

The major source of my head-desking? This: ABC Daytime PR chief Jori Petersen now says “The Kish story did not have the appeal we hoped it would. We are going to spend our time on stories that have a more favorable reaction from our audience.”

I know that ABC Daytime faced a lot of opposition to Kish…much of which the average viewer isn’t even aware of. But is the show really going to elicit a “favorable reaction” for the stories they’re focusing on right now? One only has to step back and look at the massive changes in Llanview these days. It’s not the same show it was a few months ago. Is this the network’s idea of appealing to their target demographic?

Rewriting Rex’s back story yet again and stripping Roxy of all her blood ties (not to mention her best friend)? Turning the “Cramer women” storyline into one where Kelly’s just on a solo mission and Dorian, Adriana and Cassie aren’t involved? Is teen Jessica earning some massive raves that I’m not aware of? Is Langston cheating on her sweet, loyal boyfriend with some skeezy dirtbag playing well in Peoria? Are folks really cheering for a potential Todd and Kelly hookup?

I’ve gotta say…if you’re using the rationale of spending time on stories that have more “appeal” and said stories involve a mentally impaired woman throwing herself at her high school boyfriend, smutty barely legal sexcapades, and the town rapist getting yet another love interest…something just ain’t right. At least not for me. I’ve been watching the show for over 20 years and fall into the coveted 18-49 demographic, but I definitely haven’t enjoyed watching a strong woman like Rachel disappear or seeing a perfectly serviceable character like Schuyler hop aboard the crazy train to Cuckootown.

In contrast, for me, some of the sweetest recent scenes on the show were those that aired today between Kyle, Fish, Cristian and Layla, as Kish brought Sierra Mist er, Sierra Rose home. It was four friends having a genuinely human scene about having this new little person in their lives. The kind of scene that, on paper, isn’t remarkable, because any four characters could spout the lines…but, onscreen, is resonant because it involved two gay men, a Latino man and a black woman.

And I’m going to indulge in a bit of English major-style hyperbole here, but if you can’t continue to focus on vibrant, diverse 20-somethings looking toward their futures…what does say about the future of soaps? Ironic much, folks? And once the Kish/Cayla foursome is disbanded for good, the only bright spot for me is Blair and Elijah…who don’t even have a storyline! They just show up, look gorgeous, and then vanish!

I hate to say it, but when it comes to watching OLTL these next few months… well, it just doesn’t have the appeal that I thought it would!

originally posted on soapoperaweekly.com

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