Wednesday, March 10, 2010

OLTL: The End of Kish

One Life to Live is writing out its gay couple. I could never really get much into the Kyle and Oliver storyline, but I know there are plenty of people who did, and I feel bad for the fans. There were a number of them. What an awful thing to do. And even not as a Kish fan, there are things about this decision that still manage to disgust me. The fact that they seemed to wait to make this announcement until after the GLAAD nominations were announced. And the fact that, according to a tweet from Scott Evans (who plays Officer Fish), this was apparently announced without even having the decency to notify the actors first. How classy.

I think that it's really worth pointing out that not just gays that are offended by awful decisions like this. There are plenty of straight people who enjoy seeing storylines involving gay characters. Many of some of the greatest Luke and Noah, Brian and Justin, and probably Kyle and Oliver, as well, and many other canon and slash gay fan fiction stories are written by straight women as well as gay people. Many people from all walks of life appreciate these stories and they all deserve to be respected.

It just makes me think of the double-edged sword that is As The World Turns. It's nice to see that Luke and Noah have stayed on the show for the past near 3 years, but a number of the decisions in how to tell their story have been far from perfect, and a few points have been pretty infuriating (see the kissing ban).

It also makes me continue to think that decisions like these are one of the many things that have people tuning out in the end when it comes to current daytime dramas. Higher ups can cry "ratings," they can claim people aren't home at 1:00 or 2:00 pm. Yeah, whatever. There are reasons why these ratings go down. According to the fans’ responses, other creative decisions with other characters haven’t boded well over the past few months, leading to people’s disinterest (for instance, one of the male leads on the show is a rapist(!?!)). And I’ve seen pretty much nothing but negative response to these firings so far. Overall in daytime, it's the lack of diversity, lack of strong character driven stories, and lack of plain just not caring about the fans is what drive people away. It’s just that simple. Practically no attention paid towards the fans; and in anger and frustration, they tune out. This is just one of many examples of that. In the end, when the ratings go down and a show is canceled, the people in charge have no one to blame but themselves.

Congratulations, One Life to Live, add yourself to pretty much the rest of daytime soaps. Looks like you just shot yourself in the foot.

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