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October 8, 2015

TV Squad Soap Report: One Life is soaring

by Allison Waldman, posted May 13th 2008 4:41PM
One Life logoSometimes you have to call it like you see it. Last week, One Life to Live staged a bachelorette party for Adriana with a surprise appearance (not to viewers, but to the characters) by Snoop Dogg. I was skeptical. This sounded like just another shoe-horned, topical musical guest starring role to throw a spotlight on the show. Well, it was to a point. It was a publicity stunt. However, the way One Life put the show together, this intervention was something to shout about. It was a superb hour of music, comedy, drama and soap entertainment. If you're going to be cast in a bright spotlight, you better shine, and that's just was One Life to Live did.

For starters, there was much more to the episode than the party and SDogg's music. But let me start by saying that Snoop was terrific. I've never listened to his music and have only seen him occasionally on other TV shows (he was on a Monk last season), so I had no expectations other than a prejudice going in to that kind of hip-hop stuff. I know I sound like Grampy Simpson when I say that, but it's true. "I don't get that gol-durn new music that they play on the phonograph!" Well, dagnabbit, I was wrong. Snoop's music was wonderful. He sang "Sensual Seduction," something with sort of a Barry White vibe to it, and I really liked it. They also had him re-do the One Life to Live theme song. I was disappointed to discover that they haven't made it a permanent switch. They should; it works really well.

Instead of Snoop just singing, they had him play a couple of scenes. He had a funny exchange with Robert S. Woods, in which Bo -- the former Llanview police chief -- questioned Snoop, wondering how he could dare show his face in town again! It was a bit, but they played it well and when Snoop expressed his condolences to Bo about Asa's death, the scene rang true. Later in the episodes, Snoop and Roxie discussed his colorful use of the English language. It was clever and capitalized on Ilene Kristen's way with comedy.

As I said, there was a lot more to this show than Snoop and the party. Four other major storylines were going on. Four -- including a location shoot and a fantasy flashback! You had Dorian was confronting Langston about getting her unwanted teen pregnancy terminated a.s.a.p. Then Blair and John were chasing down Starr and Cole at Virginia Beach. That was the location shoot, and for a time, the young couple escaped their worries (she's the teen pregnancy) by riding the rides and playing in the arcade. It was great use of local color.

In the same episode, OLTL filled in David Vicker's backstory and brought actor Tuc Watkins back to town. In a sort of Masterpiece Theater set up, David explained how he wound up washing dishes (complete with dish-washing gloves and a hairnet) at the Bonjour Cafe in Paris, Texas. Loved this injection of scoundrel-inspired humor, which involved story number four, Natalie and Jared finally swapping spits and getting off on their mutual adoration.

This was an all-star episode. It was also an example of just how right things are going at One Life to Live. Don't be shocked if it wins the Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Daytime Drama. They're riding high and have been for a while. Last Friday, they were soaring.

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I fully agree, the show has been really great lately!

May 13 2008 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely agree with what you said about Snoop Dogg. I didn't really know has music but also assumed it wouldn't be anything I would like so when he came on to sing I had my remote ready to FF (I always record OLTL to watch later). I was so surprised how much I enjoyed the song and really enjoyed him on the show.

I am also thrilled that Tuc Watkins is back as David Vickers. I love the comedy he injects into the show. He was never given much of a chance to do that on Desperate Housewives. That show really wasted all of their OLTL men last year.

May 13 2008 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One Life has indeed been stellar as of late. Soaps have undeniable ebb and flow in their quality...but One Life has found the magic: Go back to the core families and characters and let them loose. Daytime truly has some of the great actors out there, who get little respect because of the genre they are in. Erica Slezak, Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, Hillary B Smith...and many others are absolutely amazing actors. When shows put the stories in their hands there can be no wrong.

If only General Hospital (my other fave) would learn this lesson instead of killing off and running off the core characters.

May 13 2008 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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