Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Biting the hand...

An Open Letter To TPTB at One Life To Live

Dear decision-makers,

Word on the street is that you've decided to throw Kyle and Fish to the wolves and, in one fell swoop do away with the only interesting, promising same-sex couple on daytime television. Way to go, idiots.

For years, people have complained that soap operas were rife with cliches, that there was nothing new under the daytime sun, and that the days of soaps pushing boundaries and taking chances were long over. Last year, you guys stepped up to the plate and gave us KISH - the last, best hope daytime television had for portraying two people of the same gender falling in love and making a go of it. Kyle and Fish are attractive, likable, sympathetic, and they share chemistry. And they're accessible: these are guys people can relate to. They're like men we know - our friends, our brothers. With KISH, you didn't give us boa-clad camp, or tragic faggots just waiting to meet the right women. These were normal guys, guys with friends and connections to the community. Guys the public could and did root for. Guys the public still roots for.

Early this year, you put your money where your collective mouth was, and actually allowed Kyle and Fish not only to kiss, but to have a full-on love scene. No Otaliaesque head-butting for these two; Kyle and Fish actually had a full-scale sex scene, complete with candles, corny music, soft lighting...the whole nine yards. What's more, with Stacey recently giving birth to a baby whose father is none other than Oliver Fish, there was the tantalizin prospect of - dare I say it? - a gay couple actively parenting a child.

In short, KISH was and is a ground-breaking story line. Where Otalia chickened out, KISH had the goods.

So, what do you do, oh powers-that-be? You stomp on the very thing that, at this moment in time, is the one truly unique aspect of your show. You kill KISH.

You. Fucking. Idiots.

Who do you think watches soaps, writes about soaps, interviews soap actors, promotes soaps, and keeps soaps alive? If you think it's young housewives, who watch between cleaning the oven and making brownies, you're even dumber than I thought. There are no more housewives in America. There are busy home-makers who juggle housework, parenting, yoga, volunteerism, school, and social lives....but the housewife of 1955, who could stop everything at 2 to watch soaps? She's gone the way of the dinosaur. Today's fans DVR their soaps, watch them, and discuss them online with other fans...and do you know who many, if not most, of these fans are? Gay people. To be specific, gay MEN. Shocking, huh? Shouldn't be, because everyone knows it's a bunch of queers writing the damned programs. Newsflash: soap operas are gay entertainment. DUH.

Gay men have a long history of watching and supporting their "stories." I only started watching OLTL, again, after quitting for good, when a gay man I know started singing the show's praises, and convinced me to give it a go one more time. Almost all of the online promotion I've seen for OLTL has been instigated by gay males. And, no, they haven't talked only about KISH, but about the show, as a whole. Gay men - both those with official press credentials, and those who just love their soaps - have lobbied hard for OLTL. How do you choose to repay this loyalty? What do gay men get in return for their support? More invisibility.

Thanks for making this sad moment a little easier by being such assholes. I quit. I'm finished with you. OLTL is officially off my DVR schedule. Soapnet can suck it. You, my friends, are dead to me. This gay woman has drawn a line in the sand. I'm too good to waste any more time on a show produced by gutless bigots. And, anyhow, you'll probably be cancelled soon enough. It's not like you've got anything original to offer.

It's been real.

- Snapper
© 2010 Lana M. Nieves

Limited Licensing: I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the Creative Commons Attribution license, granting distribution of my copyrighted work without making changes, with mandatory attribution to Lana M. Nieves and for non-commercial purposes only. - Lana M. Nieves


Robert said...

Sadly, I do think decisions like this will mean OLTL's ratings will continue to flounder, if not outright decline. In the bigger picture, with fewer soaps, this means there is no reason for the remaining shows to pursue higher quality. When the daytime hours were filled with 15 plus shows, the soaps really had to rise above the pack with compelling stories and excellent actors. Now shows will continue to dumb down their product and get by with the lowest quality possible, and the losers are the viewers. It's the twilight of soaps, and the end of what once made daytime special.

Anonymous said...

Lana it's your fault! You and Melodie Aikels at Daytime Confidential convinced me to watch OLTL and now my heart is broken. I heard about Kish being fired and my first thought was, "I bet you this will be the subject of the next Superhero Lunchbox column. Why is soap criticism so much more interesting than the soaps themselves? I agree with you. I can no longer invest my heart in this dying genre. I wish I could get into my mom's novelas but they're just stupid.