Deep Soap: Teen Mama Who Bore Me – ‘One Life’s Musical

Eddie Alderson and Kelley Missal in One Life to Live (ABC)

Eddie Alderson and Kelley Missal in One Life to Live (ABC)

‘One Life’ More,  With Feeling

‘One Life To Live’ is embarking on another musical extravaganza.   I am a huge fan of their Emmy winning 2002 “Babes Behind Bars” episode.   For those of you who were not watching at the time, most of the women in Llanview ended up in jail on the fourth of July. The cast of Broadway veterans belted out character appropriate songs; Roxie (Ilene Kristen) did “Bad Reputation,” while a young Starr (Kristen Alderson) belted out,”The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.”  The exceptionally well produced, the witty episode ranks with the best of ‘Glee.’

In 2007, with ‘High School Musical’ holding tweens in its thrall, OLTL devoted two episodes to its own teen musical, Prom Night.  It was staggeringly ambitious for a low-budgeted daytime show to create numerous original songs and major production numbers.  Unfortunately, despite the cast’s best efforts, the results were cheesy.  None of the songs were particularly memorable. I ended up laughing at Marcie (Kathy Brier) singing while throwing three pointers on the basketball court.  The idea of a musical centered around the prom was juvenile and unsophisticated for a show geared toward adults.

This year, with ‘Glee’ taking over the world, Llanview High is at it again. I am not sure whether to be excited or horrified. I find it hard to believe that the school administration is willing to support a theatrical production about two of its current students, much less one about teenage pregnancy and fathers who accidentally push their daughters down the stairs.  It seems like a recipe for bad publicity and upset parents.  But it has the potential to be so bad it’s good. Maybe it will even actually be good.  I am imagining songs like,”If We’d Only Had A Condom,” “Falling Down… The Stairs,” and “Baby, I’m Hope-ing You’ve Come Back From The Dead.”  I hope that daytime’s kings of camp headwriter Ron Carlivati and Executive Producer Frank Valentini aim for Glee.   I want to see this get funny and weird, satirizing the current media obsession with pregnancies. In fact, I will forgive them for letting the teens take up an inordinate amount of airtime — especially since the most entertaining plot, the Destiny (Shenell Edmonds) /Matthew (Eddie Alderson)/Dani (Kelley Missal) triangle is shown the least — if the musical’s apparent antagonist Todd (Trevor St. John) turns up in a Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) track suit.

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It Takes One To Know One?

Let me get this straight.  On ‘The Young & The Restless’ Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) has been married to Patty-pretending-to-be-Emily for months.  Though he was engaged to Patty (Stacy Haiduk) when they were younger, dated and slept with Patty-pretending-to-be-Mary Jane, and dated and slept with Emily, he has not figured out the difference.  This, despite the fact that he has noticed “Emily” is a defensive bitch and is aware that “Patty,” currently locked up in the psych ward, claimed she was really Emily.

In contrast to Sarah Smythe, Sheila’s never before mentioned sister, who had plastic surgery to make her look just like Lauren (Tracey Bregman), immediately realized that Emily was really Patty. The highly improbable explanation, which I am spoiling since it has already aired in Canada, is that Sarah was the nurse at the clinic where Victor (Eric Braeden) sent Patty to get her new face. I guess the doctors generously gave her a Lauren the same way ordinary plastic surgeons offer their nurses discounted botox.  That explains how Sarah was aware of the Patty/Emily’s backstory.  It does not explain how she instantly knew which one she was talking to, given that she has never met the real Emily.  Unless I missed something, which given how convoluted the storyline has become, is quite possible. When Adam (Michael Muhney) figured out Patty was impersonating Emily, it made sense. He spent a lot of time with her and Patty could not repress her glee at having power over him when she encountered him in the hospital.   Maybe he, after forging DNA tests to convince everyone he died at the masquerade ball, visited the Genoa City Psychos League, which meets two cages over from where Jana and Lauren are imprisoned, to tip off Sarah, Daisy(Yvonne Zima), and Ryder (Wilson Bethel).

I suppose that the writers were going for the doppelganger version of gaydar, suggesting that psychos always can spot each other in a crowd. The scenes were definitely played for laughs with Sarah/Lauren searching Patty’s hair like she was checking to see if she had lice, and a tacit agreement that they would work together.  The actresses seem to be enjoying this storyline a lot more than I am.   It is just too wacky and campy for Genoa City.   While I think that on-line comparisons to Passions are exaggerated, it is starting to remind me of early 1990s ‘Days of Our Lives’ or the campier side of ‘One Life To Live,’ without the wink to the audience that makes well executed outlandish storylines fun.  Since Sarah’s goal seems to be to destroy Lauren’s life by ruining her reputation and marriage, rather than taking it over, presumably her story will be wrapped up by the end of May sweeps.  Then I hope the psycho league will move to another town.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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