Deep Soap: ‘One Life To Live’ Wins GLAAD Award

by | March 15, 2010 at 2:07 PM | Deep Soap

Brett Claywell, Ron Carlivati and Scott Evans (Andrew H. Walker /Getty Images)

Brett Claywell, Ron Carlivati and Scott Evans. (Andrew H. Walker /Getty Images)

And the Award for the Most Uncomfortable Moment Goes To…

Fans of awkward awards show moments like Santa Barbara’s Bridget Dobson rushing to the Daytime Emmy stage to accept the award after being fired, and the producer interrupting the director of the Best Documentary Short at last week’s Oscars would surely have gotten a kick out of ‘One Life To Live‘ winning the GLAAD award for Outstanding Daytime Drama series the same week that the show announced it was writing off gay characters Kyle and Oliver.  Earlier in the week, the president of GLAAD actually implored ABC daytime to reconsider its decision.  Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, GLAAD did not consider daytime important enough to make the category a part of the actual awards ceremony.  Instead it was one of the more obscure categories that was announced before the main show.  So headwriter Ron Carlivati and executive producer Frank Valentini were spared having to make a very uncomfortable acceptance speech.  It is an unfortunate reminder that this big  daytime scandal, like daytime in general, is not generating much attention outside of  the soap fan bubble.

Cabin Fever

The truth is finally out there on ‘The Young & The Restless.’  In an episode that seemed more like a play or the set up for an Agatha Christie mystery, many of the people whom Adam wronged gathered in a cabin to confront him.  In the space of an hour, Phyllis reconsidered her decision to destroy Dr. Taylor’s confession note revealing Ashley’s hysterical pregnancy, showing it to Ashley, who inexplicably gave it to Victor to read out loud, and Sharon realized that baby Faith was actually her child.  It was an hour of cheesy fun even if everyone other than Ashley and Sharon came across as incredibly sanctimonious when they declared Adam the worst person in the world.  Victor, let he who did not give a psychotic woman plastic surgery so she could wreak havoc on his enemy cast the first stone.

I am cynical enough that when I realized 90% of the episode was taking place at the cabin my first thought was that this was saving a lot of money on set moves.   Some of the dialogue was overwrought, but I don’t think that anyone learning that a man dressed up in drag to gaslight a woman, arranged for a doctor with a history of sexual assault to convince her that she hadn’t had a miscarriage, then stole another baby and falsified its death to complete the ruse, would have an understated reaction.  But I was amused that this carefully planned set-up was undone by Adam running outside and wedging a chair against the cabin door.   Apparently when Victor and Jack set aside their differences and work together they work stupid.

Not the Answer

Friday’s ‘General Hospital‘ ended with teenage Kristina getting knocked out by her abusive boyfriend Keifer.  It’s clear from the set up that Ethan is going to end up getting blamed for this horrific crime.  She embarked on a cringe-inducing attempt to seduce the older Aussie which resulted in a cringe-inducing public rejection.  Ethan’s over-the-top reaction culminated in his grabbing her by the arm so hard that it bruised.  I am no fan of the retconned mushmouth, but manhandling a teenage girl who looks to weigh all of 85 pounds seemed out of character.  It screamed plot driven set up.

It did lead to a sweet sisterly chat between Kristina and Sam, in which Sam dropped these words of wisdom:

Kristina: I was totally humiliated, and this bruise on my arm just proves how stupid I am.

Sam: No, no, no, don’t even think that. Listen to me, I can’t say this enough. But you deserve to be treated with respect always, okay?

Kristina: [Sighs] I sent an email to Ethan’s date Jennifer pretending to be him, so she thought Ethan was blowing her off.

Sam: Okay, well, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter what you do. Under no circumstances should a man ever put his hands on you, ever. Do you hear me?

It is no wonder that, despite having a kick ass mother, Kristina is unclear on this concept.  Between her father who called his then-wife Claudia every name in the book in front of her, her brother who killed Claudia by hitting her with an axe handle — or as GH terms it “protected his family” — Kristina has been getting a lot of signals about the way men treat women they supposedly care about.  As Nancy Lee Grahn pointed out, despite Alexis’s feminist rhetoric, she married Ric who, depending on the writer’s whims, veered between magnificent bastard and imprisoning pregnant women. She has little interest in Mac, who is kind, moral and handsome.

I would love to see the GH writers delve into Kristina’s emotional life, and truly explore the ramifications of growing up in the show’s often amoral and sexist universe.   Instead, I predict we are going to get Sonny attempting to make up for years of lousy parenting by beating the crap out of Ethan, then being remorseful when he realizes he went after the wrong guy.  I hope GH surprises me by actually not sending the message that the best way to combat teen dating violence is with more violence.