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What are some missed opportunities on OLTL?

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  • What are some missed opportunities on OLTL?

    During my time watching OLTL, they went through multiple Executive Producers and Head Writers with each attempting to put their own stamp on the show

    Multiple characters came and went with story lines being dropped or significantly altered in each change.

    For example,
    • RJ was finally given a love interest named Jacara Principal, a cool night club and even a transgendered bartender named Wendi who preferred the title "mixologist". Then with a head writing change, RJ's entire storyline disappeared.
    • Clarie Labine created Mel Hayes for Dorian and I loved their relationship. Then after a change behind the scenes and the Labines leaving the show, Mel was killed off.
    • Mari Lynn Dennison was Viki's niece and cousin to Kevin, Joey, Jessica and CJ. She was married and lived in the Carriage House with her day job working alongside Viki's daughter Megan at the soap Fraternity Row. But with a change behind the scenes, Mari Lynn pretty much vanished and the show acts like she never existed.
    During your time in watching OLTL, were there opportunities that were missed - things that could have been done that never were and characters with potential that ended up getting killed off or written out?

  • #2
    One thing that always bugged me was when Lee Halpern was suddenly killed off. She had become somewhat of a major character during her time on the show so her sudden death seemed to come out of nowhere. And then years later when Janet Zarish returned as nurse Janet the plan was not to have her be Lee but once the powers that be realized that she had been on the show 20+ years earlier they altered her story to make her Lee again....and then promptly killed her off again! That was really infuriating. And no one ever bothered to let poor Mari Lynn know that she was not responsible for her mother's death!

    Comment


    • #3
      I feel like the character of Rachel Gannon was a big missed opportunity. The writers never seemed to agree on what to do with the character and she went through so many different actresses playing her. I recall her first being romantically linked with Kevin but that seemed to be dropped quickly. Then she had the drug addiction, then was sentenced to jail for manslaughter. I really liked the last actress to play her and thought she had good chemistry with the Evans brothers and with Schuyler (played by Scott Clifton) but she didn't last more than a year in the role.

      I agree with all the ones mentioned above, especially Mel Hayes. He was such a great character and had enormous chemistry with Dorian, and it was a shame that the writers chose to kill him off.

      Likewise Viki prematurely lost husbands Sloan and Ben. While the death of Sloan helped set the stage for one of the most brilliant stories with Viki's full-blown DID, Ben's long-term coma and subsequent death seemed to serve little purpose (except giving Viki a new heart as I recall).

      Also, even though I thought it was one of the lamest returns from the dead ever, the resurrection of Victor Lord was a huge missed opportunity. If he really was supposed to be Victor, his return should have generated years of story as his children, former wives and lovers, etc. dealt with the ramifications of him faking his death all those years ago. He could have tried to regain ownership of the Banner and Llanfair and really wreaked havoc all over town. As it was written, he popped up and then quickly died again. So dumb.

      Comment


      • #4
        It always amazed me that no writer ever digged deep into Blair's childhood. It was sooo many stories to be told there.

        i agree with the above about Racheal Gannon

        Also destiny and shaun family as well i loved them and hoped we could have saw more but it could have been jusr bad timing.

        Comment


        • llanviewlover
          llanviewlover commented
          Editing a comment
          Great point about Blair! They never explored who her father was. I recall that when the character was first introduced as Asian, it was said that Addie had been assaulted and that’s how she got pregnant. But it would have been interesting for Blair to research that further and finally learn his identify. So many possibilities with that.

      • #5
        So here's another "missed opportunity" that I always thought the show could have explored. Back when Kevin was first born, he was kidnapped by crazy Cathy Craig and it took a long time for Viki and Joe to get him back. I always thought a storyline down the road could have revealed that the baby had been switched somehow and that Kevin was not actually Viki and Joe's son. It would have opened up multiple storylines, with Kevin searching for his real parents and Viki searching for her actual first-born son (who may or may not have survived).

        Comment


        • #6
          Some couples I wish we would have gotten -
          Al and Natalie
          Cassie and Kevin (longer than we did)

          never meeting adult CJ
          dropping Billy Douglas

          never getting a scene between Marty and RH Todd when he came back.

          Comment


          • JaySherman
            JaySherman commented
            Editing a comment
            PANTISHA1, Cassie with Kevin Stapleton's Kevin was much more entertaining than with Tim Gibbs' Kevin. Stapleton's Kevin was fun but Gibbs' Kevin was too dark for my tastes. The darkness was by design as I recall - JFP felt that Kevin and Joey were too much alike.I think had Kevin Stapleton been given something different to play, he could have made it work but they didn't give him the chance.

            In regards to Billy Douglas, had he been introduced in later years, he would have probably been more accepted by viewers (like Fish on OLTL or Bianca on AMC). These days, viewers are more accepting of homosexual characters whereas back when Billy Douglas was introduced, it was more controversial.

        • #7
          Nobody seems to remember Mari Lynn leaving the show. I've been searching forever for how Mari Lynn and Wade left the show. I don't remember how Mari Lynn's father, Tom Dennison, left the show either.

          Come to think of it, there was a lot of the Rauch era that was forgotten by 1990. Rafe, Delilah, Mari Lynn, Wade, the O'Neils, the Woleks, the Sanders, the Gordons, Wanda, Maria Roberts, Ursula Blackwell, and so much more. A return to Eterna would've been fun. With all that gold down there, someone would've wanted it. Considering how much head writer Ron Carlivati seemed to love the Rauch era, I'm kinda surprised it never happened. He had a return to 1888 Old West storyline, a lot of Mendorra stuff,

          RJ Gannon was just a missed opportunity as a whole. They could've done so much more with him.

          Todd not having at least ONE scene with Marty when he came back was a huge bummer

          Comment


          • JaySherman
            JaySherman commented
            Editing a comment
            lcarus, in regards to Tom Dennison I was able to find a scene on the site with the videos where, after being fired by Garth (who worked for Lord Henry), he decided to take a job away from Llanview.

            He and Viki had a decent good bye scene in the Lord Library and he then left town.

            While I liked a lot of what Ron did, there was a significant misfire on Marty's departure which I suspect left a lot of bad blood. Roger Howarth didn't return until later and I suspect there was no way to bring her back into the picture because of it.

          • llanviewlover
            llanviewlover commented
            Editing a comment
            I found a recap of the show from soap opera magazine dated Aug. 22, 1989, that mentioned Mari Lynn visiting Atlantic City with Audrey, where they spied Jon kissing Spring Skye as part of some scheme to get info on Spring's boyfriend Russell Price, who owned the casino. It seems like it was all part of some elaborate story about the crown jewels of Mendorra that Jamie Sanders was looking for. I wasn't watching then so I don't recall the storyline. But it's got to be one of of the last mentions of Mari Lynn as I don't think she was on the show much longer.

          • llanviewlover
            llanviewlover commented
            Editing a comment
            I also found a writeup of the show from 1989 that mentioned that Wade left town with Christine (the woman who was once believed to be Viki's long-lost daughter) after his marriage to Mari Lynn ended following all the fallout from Eterna (where Christine's father Leo died after falling off a cliff). Mari Lynn was victim of a stalker during this time while working on Fraternity Row and there was a big investigation to find out who was behind it; it ended up being a stagehand named Neil.

        • #8
          A lot of great points brought up that I hadn't even given thought to. The inconsistency with Rachel being one.

          One PANTISHA1 mentioned was CJ and how they brought back every member of his immediate family and constantly would make references to him. But never actually brought him back. It was odd and head-scratching. Not to bring in another soap or character. But it's kind of like how Lucky on GH is treated in the sense that so many guys in their age ranges had/have been introduced. But not one time could the PTB stopped and said "Maybe this guy would be a great adult CJ" or "Maybe he would do well as a Lucky recast".

          For me, the way Mel and Dorian ended was heartbreaking. Everyone probably has their favorite Dorian pairings. I liked her with Joey and David. But I thought she and Mel were magical together. He was such a good guy. But definitely was not a pushover and had no problem butting heads with Dorian when it was warranted.

          Comment


          • JaySherman
            JaySherman commented
            Editing a comment
            Luke I agree that Dorian and Mel were a great pairing. I recall reading somewhere Mel's death was supposed to be significant enough to reignite the Dorian/Viki feud but I am sure the writers could have come up with other ways to do that. And as Ron showed in later years, Dorian and Viki could still be entertaining even as frenemies.

            I agree about CJ, especially considering as a baby he was a significant plot in the 80s. Tina passed Al off as CJ as I believe she thought CJ was dead and Gabrielle thought Al would have a better life with her.

            When the truth came out about Al, it was revealed CJ was actually alive and the family spent a lot of time getting him back.

            In later years, he and Sarah Roberts would develop a close bond with Uncle Todd - something that was dropped in later years when Sarah came back twice.

        • #9
          I always thought this show missed a huge opportunity w/ Jason Webb, Wanda's "bad boy" nephew. He and Marty had fire chemistry during the rape trial but the writers were intent on pairing her w/ that goofy a$$ Suede Pruitt. I don't even remember him being "written out", its like he just went up to the attic for skis and never was seen or heard from again. 🤨

          Anyone remember why the character left? I can't even find a character history on him. Personally, I felt like they should have paired him and Marty and then given him Suede's death at Todd's hands if the actor wanted to leave. I practically wanted to give Todd a medal for killing Suede, though.

          Mel Hayes was a HUGE missed opportunity. Loved him and Dorian and he was the love of her life.

          Also agree w/ other posters about Rachel Gannon. Between her addiction issues and her prison time, I used to think it would have been hella dramatic if they would have had Todd and Rachel become frienemies after she got out of prison for killing Georgie Philips. That hostage s/l at the cabin is one of my favorite storylines ever on OLTL and I always felt that in a way, Todd actually did Rachel a favor by forcing her (and torturing and threatening her and about a dozen other folks) to confess. Her guilt combined with her addiction issues would have killed her, literally.

          Comment


          • JaySherman
            JaySherman commented
            Editing a comment
            O_Snap! I may be wrong but I think Jason left town with Lee Ann. Lee Ann took Duke with her and Kevin was ok with it at the time.

            Jason and Kevin never liked each other and initially had a lot of conflict.. Kevin then left and returned played by Kirk Geiger as part of the Marty rape storyline. Jason and Kevin didn't really interact as I recall in that storyline.

            I remember he and Elaine Princi's Dorian had a fling similar to Robin Strasser's fling with Joe Buchanan. He did have scenes with Robin Strasser's Dorian after she announced she bought Marty's family home from her Aunt Kiki. It would later become La Boulae after some renovations.

            I completely agree about Mel Hayes and Rachel.

            Mel was a better match for Dorian than David. Part of me wonders if it was an attempt to push Robin out as Robin and JFP reportedly didn't get along, resulting in her departure in 2000.

            Rachel had been through so much and was a viable character but TPTB weren't interested in bringing her back after JFP had her written off.

          • O_Snap!
            O_Snap! commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Jay. I'm wracking my brain re: Jason because I know Leann left canvas before the whole spring fling s/l and Jason was around for that whole story. Dorian always liked them young. LOL I still remember when she slapped him in the middle of Rodi's and he slapped her right back. I was SHOCKED! SHOCKED I tell you. Dorian was out of pocket but even in the early 90s I couldn't believe they had him return fire and slap her back and nothing ever came from it.

          • JaySherman
            JaySherman commented
            Editing a comment
            O_Snap! so I did some checking and here's what I found

            Jason did help Lee Ann with Duke but Lee Ann and Duke left town without him.

            He was briefly involved with Marty and his last storyline involved Beth Garvey, the biological mother of River. Cassie and Andrew adopted River from her and Dorian helped arrange the adoption.

            Beth was written off as dying from a variant of the flu that hit Llanview. It was traced back to an admin at Llanview Hospital who was reusing needles as I recall. I don't remember if Beth died before or after the adoption.

            Jason had pretty much no story after that and kind of just disappeared. He may have had an exit scene but it was obviously not a memorable one.

        • #10
          Dang, sooooo many memories of my beloved soap....y'all rock...Thank's y'all I miss OLTL every single day....BEST SOAP EVER!!!!!

          Comment


          • #11
            CJ was mentioned I loved the friendship between Cord and Max it would have been great to see the next generation with Al and CJ

            Comment


            • JaySherman
              JaySherman commented
              Editing a comment
              True. It was really strange after the big search for CJ in the 80s that he would just disappear. I think he was last seen after Viki recovered from the molestation split.

              Tina moved south with CJ and Sarah to take a new job around 1996 or so. Only Sarah returned

          • #12
            Originally posted by OLTL'69 View Post
            CJ was mentioned I loved the friendship between Cord and Max it would have been great to see the next generation with Al and CJ
            It really would've been nice to see the next generation......Al, CJ, Liam, Ryder, Bree, Drew etc. Unfortunately, that will never happen now....I miss OLTL

            Comment


            • #13
              The biggest missed opportunity was not giving Todd a DID story and diving further into the abuse he suffered at the hands of his adoptive father, Peter. It could have been on the level of Viki’s DID story and revolutionary because I don’t think there’s been a male sexual abuse story written the way they were going. It would have explained so much about Todd without excusing the things he did.

              Comment


              • O_Snap!
                O_Snap! commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm mid-way thru a re-watch of Todd's story from the beginning and the thing that keeps jumping out at me is that very early on various characters who Todd had victimized, menaced, threatened, or bullied, all remark repeatedly that "he changed", "his eyes changed", "his voice changed", etc., etc. Part of me wonders if they were going to go this route but they decided to have him knowingly fake DID instead.

                For me, I think giving this character DID might have given him too much of a pass so I'm actually glad they didn't go there and they just had the character own the fact he was a POS who every once in a while could be capable of doing a half-way decent thing.

                I agree that they should have delved into the sexual abuse by Peter they alluded to since around 30% of male child sexual abuse victims become offenders so his behavior as a young man would have tracked. Interesting stuff.

              • Troy43
                Troy43 commented
                Editing a comment
                Todd said Peter Manning and Victor Lord were alike many times. He also was hesitant about the extent of the abuse he suffered… like he wanted to say something but couldn’t. I believe he also told Sam he sees himself doing things and he can’t stop it. I read somewhere that even though a person has DID they are still responsible for what an alter does since they are a part of the main person, and in Todd’s case, he most likely was aware of others since he mentioned voices in his head a couple of times. Alters are part of the main person so I don’t think it would be as much of a pass as an explanation as to why he did what he did. I agree that with or without the DID angle, they definitely should have done the sexual abuse story. They should have just dropped it and not made it fake.

            • #14

              The one I think they didn't delve into was Todd learning that Jack bullied Shane, and then caused Stacy to die (he locked her in a basement). It would be interesting to see things come "full circle" with Todd, and help him to explain to Jack how life altering his actions were for him (Jack), the immense guilt that comes along with it, not to mention all the trauma it has on the victims. I think the writers if they had more time before OLTL cancelled, they could have fleshed this s/l out very deep.

              Comment


              • O_Snap!
                O_Snap! commented
                Editing a comment
                Agreed. With more time it would have been a good s/l. Jack just moved on and although he felt some guilt when he thought it was Gigi, its like once they found out it was Stacy no one was pressed.

                Jack's parents should have been more disturbed by his behavior. In the moment they were bothered but Victor was too busy trying to keep his life from unraveling and Blair was busy sniffing around Tomas. At least when Todd finally got home he had the presence of mind to really look at Jack and see that he was becoming a POS just like him and was kinda bothered by it.

            • #15
              Jacara. How I loved that character. She was RJ's best match until Lindsey, and I hated how that storyline just ended. She and RJ were fantastic. Gotta agree with Rachel and Mel. Mel and Dorian were so great together, and Rachel was a character that never truly got her just due. She spent more time in prison that Todd did for raping Marty.

              Comment


              • JaySherman
                JaySherman commented
                Editing a comment
                You raise a valid point regarding Rachel. If I recall correctly, the official story was that she spent 6 months in jail and just chose not to come back to Llanview. But since that was never clearly explained and may not even be correct storywise, it does seem like Rachel got a harsher punishment.

                In an interview, Jill Farren Phelps (who loves to kill off characters for sport) claimed that the relationship between Viki and Dorian needed a jolt and Dorian blaming her for Mel's death was the only way to do it. That shows a complete lack of imagination and negates Dorian's big story in which Viki learns Dorian suffered horrific physical and mental abuse as a child.

                Viki and Dorian both dealing with serious abuse as children created an understanding between them and Mel's death threw that storyline out the window.

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