One Life to Love

August 2 - 6 1999

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One Life to Love is a weekly (schedule permitting) look at the ups and downs, highs and lows, and ins and outs of life in Llanview.

There's a lot of talk these days about the fading era of daytime drama, how soaps aren't what they used to be, blah, blah, blah. Well, I'm here to say that this week's OLTL -- especially Monday's episode -- belongs right up there in the pantheon of classic daytime moments.

Oh, the awesome dramatic synchronicity when Dorian entered the courtroom ready to confess just as Lindsay was about to spill her own set of beans to Bo, Sam, and Nora. I loved the expressionistic lighting and haunting Middle Eastern mood music, and I wept at Dorian's wrenching yet dignified confession. Then came Hank Gannon as the voice of judgment itself and Bo led away a handcuffed Dorian -- a chilling, slow motion perp walk past the accusing eyes of Lindsay, Jessica, and Viki. If you missed Monday's episode, I suggest you move heaven and earth to obtain a tape.

I am so grateful the show allowed Dorian to confess, to be mistress of her own fate rather than having Jessica turn her in or Bo discover the truth. Oh, the look on Viki's face chilled me to the bone! Perhaps Viki and Jessica will never be able to forgive, and perhaps they shouldn't, but I already have. When Will let Dorian have it, my emotional investment was with her, not him. Let's get something straight: this was an accident.

Soaps sometimes have a tendency to skimp on the fallout after a big secret is revealed and, in many ways, the aftershocks can be just as compelling as the ultimate revelation. Luckily, OLTL didn't disappoint in this regard as news of Dorian's guilt quickly hit the streets.

Dorian's confession kicked Cramer Women Sturm und Drang back into high gear as Kelly and Blair forged yet another uneasy alliance in support of their aunt. The roots of their enmity (Kelly's own culpability in the death of Blair's baby), provided a pungent context for their very different reactions to the news of Dorian's guilt. Blair was angry and judgmental, while Kelly was all heart and soul. And then there's Sophia -- an honorary (dishonorary?) Cramer woman. (Maybe not a full-fledged one, just a Cramerette.) Kelly connected the dots pretty fast and sent Sophia packing, but I hope she remains on the canvas -- this little gal is just too much fun! Sophia provided welcome comic relief as she tried to sneak out of Dorian's mansion with some of Blair and Kelly's designer duds, and her sob sister note to Joey seasoned with a few Perrier tears was hilarious!

I love how Nora is standing by Dorian. This is Nora at her best: the compassionate, dedicated defense attorney.

And how about R.J.? Watching him put the fear of god into Sophia gave me goosebumps. If only the show would truly commit to the potential of R.J. Gannon, Tim Stickney could give us daytime's first African American character with the complexity, depth, and emotional shadings of an Adam Chandler or Dorian Lord. It's an opportunity that's been wasted far too long. And I've come to respect R.J.'s friendship with Dorian. Even though the writers manufactured the relationship out of thin air (based on their off-screen time together on the lam), Strasser and Stickney have made it work.

Once off the hook, Lindsay fell right back in character. Like a rubber stretched to the breaking point, but released just in time, she snapped back to the insecure vengeful woman, I've grown to know and love. Did you catch the look Nora flashed Bo when Lindsay lashed out at her, as if to say, "Is this what you love?". Just a few days ago, Lindsay spoke the truth when she said she was being punished for other crimes -- how quickly they forget.

When Bo demanded the truth about the night of the accident, Lindsay took a deep breath... and lied (well, technically a half truth), refusing to admit that Bo could still be Matthew's father. And Bo seemed to believe her. Hello!!!?! But even with the lie, this couple is on very shaky ground. Over and over again, Lindsay has been her own worst enemy. Instead of giving Bo just a little bit of space -- a few days to himself, she pressed him for an answer about their future, practically forcing him to say it's over.

I'll confess that I've never been the world's greatest Sam and Nora booster, but Sammy earned some brownie points with me by quickly getting over the fact that Nora held out on him and defending her to Will. He's also been a real prince in terms of Lindsay -- especially when you consider the stunts she's pulled on him in the past.

And then there's Viki. My oh my, the designer pump is on the other foot -- with a vengeance. It's amazing to watch Viki willfully misunderstand Dorian the way Dorian has so willfully misunderstand Viki in the past. Frankly, I've always found Viki a helluva lot scarier than Dorian could ever dream of being. As she confronted Dorian in jail with a face as stern and stony as Mount Rushmore, I thought I detected Jean Randolph with just a hint of Torie as Viki blasted Dorian and accused her of running Jessica down on purpose.

All in all, I think it was a wise move to wrap up Dorian's hearing so quickly. Though in what courtroom is a witness (Viki) allowed to offer her opinion of the defendant's motivations? Was this the fabled "Court of Public Opinion"? I literally gasped at the verdict: 10 years in Statesville Prison, the gasped again when the judge said that all jail time was suspended. And yet 10 years in Statesville might be a cakewalk compared to the reception Dorian's gonna receive on the mean streets of Llanview.

Of course, there were other things cooking in Llanview this week besides Dorian. Even a longer time coming than Dorian's confession was the confrontation between Tea and Roseanne. Did anyone else expect Roseanne to slap Tea across the face? A definite missed opportunity. Does Tea really expect Roseanne to understand her point of view? (Though I wish Roseanne had stuck to the issue at hand [Tea's adulterous involvement with Roseanne's father] and stopped harping about losing Cristian). Can Miguel's return be too far off? I know the writers want the audience to root for Tea and John, but I find Tea and R.J. to be soooo much more interesting.

Max and Skye? Yes, there's some chemistry there. Just wait till Blair gets a whiff of it.

Unfortunately, not everything this week was worthy of praise. You know, I very much like Linda Dano and I want to like Rae Cummings, but I guess I don't. I don't think she fits into Llanview very well at all -- there's no real story and this character's constant busybody routine is growing tiresome.

And finally, does anyone give two hoots about Grace and Kevin? This relationship is both boring and dysfunctional. She's either pathetic and needy or coolly aloof, while he seems to think oafish browbeating is the way to a woman's heart.

Till next week!



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