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'One Life to Live' Dumps the Gay Love Story

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 13th 2010 9:43AM
one_life_to_live_abc_oliver_and_kyleIn January, things weren't looking good for ABC's 'One Life to Live.' It wasn't just that 'All My Children' was getting the move to Los Angeles, leaving 'OLTL' the lone ABC soap in New York. It wasn't just the delay in going to HD, nor the flagging ratings.

It was the stagnant story telling. The emphasis on gay marriage in Dorian's mayoral campaign was over the top, as was the romance of closeted cop Oliver Fish and ex-lab tech Kyle. The Kyle-Fish relationship developed a fan base. The proponents of 'Kish' were all for the twosome become like Cam and Mitchell on 'Modern Family,' a gay married couple with broad-based appeal.

That's not to be. This past week, 'One Life to Live' dumped the duo. Actors Brett Claywell and Scott Evans were let go because their characters are being written off the show, according to the New York Post.

Despite the fact that the pair had an on screen attempt at a wedding, which was the culmination of a well-developed romance, the show has continued to sink in the ratings. That's not all the fault of Kish, but they haven't helped.

The executive producer, Frank Valentini, told TV Guide that the story was over because Kyle and Fish are married. That was the story. Sorry, that's bull. The lingering question of the paternity of Stacy's baby -- Fish might be the daddy -- and Kyle's interest in raising the baby, makes them still very viable characters.

This is all about what's working and what's not. Kish hasn't worked. Neither has Schuyler, which is why Scott Clifton was axed this past week, too. That's three characters in front burner stories removed.

'One Life to Live' is in survival mode. The writers and producers are searching for a way to turn it around. It's time to return to the roots and put forth a good Viki-Dorian-Clint-Bo story. That would be my prescription for 'OLTL.'

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BRING KISH BACK!! The actors and the characters BOTH!! I don't understand WHY they were FIRED?? It make NO SENSE to me!! If anything, they brought the show BACK TO LIFE!! I started watching OLTL because of the KISH story!! As a gay man, it hurts me a lot to see this happen! This iisn't the early eightes, it's 2010, WAKE UP PEOPLE AND FACE REALITY!! PLEASE writers, producers and whomever is listening, PLEASE BRING KISH BACK--THE ACTORS TOO!!

May 03 2010 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Betty Foster

We have enjoyed OLTL for years and are so happy to hear the gay marriage story line is being dropped. Also how many times can Mitch be resurrected?We just don't need such evil. Bo,Noah, Vicki,Clint,Dorian and family,Todd,are the heart of the show. Love Rex and Gigi. Hated Stacy but it was a great part of the show. Lots of luck in remaking plot lines.

April 05 2010 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Betty Foster's comment

Listen Bety Foster, it's narrow minded homophobic people like you that don't like storylines like KISH! You should be ashamed of yourselve! Every one ddiserves to be heard-even gay people!!

May 03 2010 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kish rocked. It wasn't just a gay story line. It was a love story. I'm not gay and I don't care that it happened to be two guys. It was a really sweet and caring story. TPTB really screwed the pooch in dropping this one.

March 14 2010 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

they should hire Kim Zimmer to play her old role of Echo DiSavoy

March 14 2010 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's ridiculous to blame the gay story for OLTL tanking in the ratings. First of all, they are on maybe two days a week, if that. The story has given OLTL more positive press and attention than ANYTHING Rex, Gigi, Todd, Blair, John, etc have done for the show in the last year.

What are some of the other "highlights" OLTL has offered this year?

The stripper invasion that took over the show five days a week for a year?

The snoozefest and bad acting known as Rex and Gigi?

Strong female characters being degraded to fighting for "our hero" Todd Manning, the rapist?

The addition of Ford, who contributes nothing to the show other than his abs and borderline pedophilia with his seduction of underage Langston?

Jessica reverting to a 17 year old, going back to high school and acting like a complete idiot?

The return of cartoon villain Mitch Laurence, noted for putting the corpse of a beloved character on display and later popping out of his coffin?

Do I even have to mention the part where Mitch tried to RAPE AND IMPREGNATE HIS OWN DAUGHTER?

Yeah, two guys that love each other is really the problem this show has...

March 13 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Keri Silvia

First of all, get your facts straight. Kyle and Oliver are not married nor did they attempt to get married. The gay wedding was symbolic because there is no legal gay marriage in Pennsylvania, and Kyle was there to "symbolically" marry a different guy. This event made him realize that he wanted to be with Oliver.

Secondly, I have been a casual viewer of OLTL since the early 80s. When I turned on OLTL at Christmas time to catch up, I was blown away by the KISH storyline. It was one of the best love stories I'd seen on a soap in a really long time. I became a loyal, every day watcher...because of KISH.

Thirdly, over the top? Do you actually watch the soaps or just write about them? Of course they are over the top, that's what makes them so good. GH - Ice Princess; OLTL - Eterna; AMC - Dixie comes back as a ghost; DOOL - Marlena's possession. That's just a very few that came to me off the cuff. And for the record, the Kyle and Oliver portion of the gay wedding was very realistic. The OTT portion was Dorian pretending to be a lesbian. Seriously, no one was going to buy Dorian as a lesbian anymore than they would Erica Kane.

The decision to axe the Kyle/Oliver storyline is a really bad decision. This is the only couple garnering any publicity for OLTL. Publicity that is desperately needed for a soap going down the tubes.

March 13 2010 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a BAD decision on the part of ABC. KISH has nothing to do with the low ratings. They were already low, not to mention KISH isn't exactly a daily feature. In this day and age caving to homophobes is not the answer. Losing KISH will lose viewers and a lot of the positive publicity they were bringing to the show. Improve the writing throughout the show and the ratings will reflect that. Strengthen the core families' stories and viewers will come back.

But leave KISH where they are. This is the 21st century and gay couples are part of life. Please don't cave to the hypocrits -- yes, I said hypocrits -- with their noses in the air claiming the moral high ground. Sure, lets get rid of the loving and faithful gay couple so we can have even more of rapist Todd, non-stop deception, sham marriages, sleeping around, people with practically a dozen marriages and divorces under their belts, kidnappings and murders. But, hey, as long as we don't have two men in love on the screen, our morals remain blessedly intact!

By the way, I started watching the show in 1968. I've been a loyal viewer. How about returning a little of that loyalty and KEEP two great characters who have brought praise and new viewers to the show.

March 13 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bravo for OLTLS decision, I am very sorry they backed Scott Clifton's character in a corner, but I agree the writing,the writing the writing. As we all know you do not gimmicks nor sensationalism to tell a good story, and with the great array of talent on the show, IF they get good writers this show will come back.

March 13 2010 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

It was an attempt at a gay wedding -- which has been noted.

March 13 2010 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First off, Kish are NOT married, and that is NOT what Frank Valentini said!

Secondly, Kish was the only storyline that did, in fact, "resonate" with this mainstream viewer & I think it's ridiculous the way that OLTL/TPTB went about this whole thing with the way the actor's found out.

Third, I really implore OLTL to take a good look at its current storylines (and sweeps storylines) and ask themselves if this was really all Kish's doing or if they're just scapegoating the lone gay couple for other, more logical reasons, like Mitch's batshit craziness (wanting to claim every child in Llanview as his own and raise them as his "followers", trying to rape/impregnate his own daughter, digging up corpses to torment said daughter with, etc), Jessica's current foray into Amnesiaville & ruining Cris/Layla and Brody/Jessica, having a known rapist like Todd, who's irredemable, as a focal point of the show, etc.

March 13 2010 at 1:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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