Looking back on One Life to Live in 2004 led me to one sweeping conclusion: It's been a rough year for fans. Day after day, we were subjected to the awful storylines, poorly developed characters, and the destruction of other characters that made me want to cringe at times. Somehow, however, the writers managed to create some good things too, and those should not be overlooked. Here is what I thought was the worst and best respectively. I save the best for last, so that everyone looks at 2005 with optimism and happy thoughts. At least, I will try to get everyone to feel that way!
Here are, in no particular order, are the worst storylines and my categorizations of them from 2004:
The Ridiculous: I have written about this before, and I must do so again. Al becoming Michael in order to be with Marcie was a bad idea. Why? Michael is NOT Al. Fans were rooting for Al and Marcie, as they made a good couple that wasn't thrown together overnight the way so many others are. When Al was killed off, that should have been the end. I wasn't in favor of killing Al off. He was a good character and was part of a strong couple. However, what's done is done. Michael and are Marcie have never remotely been like Al and Marcie. In fact, they had been in the background for a long time until just recently, and viewers weren't given a reason to root for this couple. When Michael was going to propose to Marcie (which never ended up happening), I honestly didn't care if they got engaged or went their separate ways. Between a new character (Michael) being forced on us, and the way that Marcie has changed in the past few months, a great couple was turned into that lacked any real substance.
The Lame: The Music Box Killer storyline was unnecessary and ended up being a big letdown. For months, people speculated who the Music Box Killer would be. Thinking it would be somebody in Llanview that we already knew, people waited for the big reveal. However, the killer ended up being a new character that no one cared about or really even knew. There was no shock or intrigue. Many viewers figured out the killer was Dr. Haver long before it was revealed and stopped caring about the storyline as a result. We ended up losing Flash/Sarah. She lived but made a quick exit after being attacked. Sadly, we also lost Gabrielle in an awful way. A beloved character with history on the show should not be killed off and hardly acknowledged ever again. The scene were Bo was "grieving" when he saw her lifeless body was painful. More importantly, it seemed very forced and was hard to watch as a result. After that day, Gabrielle was hardly ever mentioned. It was a terrible exit for such a great actress and historic character. The entire storyline left a lot to be desired, but Gabrielle's exit was the lowest point of it all.
The Stupid: Blair and Todd trying to steal Asa's mansion was a waste of time and lacked purpose. Todd and Blair have money and could easily build their own mansion. Instead, they decided to go after Asa and trick him to get his mansion. It's true that Blair and Asa share an unpleasant history, but there was no need to bring it back just for this storyline. I read in a magazine that Trevor St. John was bored while this was going on, and I can wholeheartedly say I was bored too. Todd and Blair have a complicated history and two children. There were many other stories that could have been told about this couple rather than the silliness we were subjected to with their trying to take away Asa's mansion.
The Dull: I could fit almost the entire summer into this category, but I will focus on the Love Project. I kept thinking this storyline would go somewhere that would be interesting. Why else would several brand new characters be brought on without warning and be on our screens all summer? Apparently, the reason was to bore the viewers. Even throwing Roxy and her comedy into the mix didn't help matters. Don't misunderstand me; seeing Roxy is always a good thing. The storyline that she, Jen, Marcie, and Riley were all thrown into just never went anywhere and seemed to be nothing more than a time filler. The saving grace of it all was that the completion of the Love Center was accomplished off camera, and we weren't subjected to it after the summer!
The Awful: I have complained about the Santis numerous times, but I can't complain enough. They took over the show for almost the whole summer and stole precious air time away from the characters we wanted to see. On top of being subjected to Tico's cheesy version of a villain, we had to watch the destruction of the Vega family. After losing Cristian, it was revealed that Antonio was actually a Santi. The worst part of that is how Antonio shunned Carlotta after learning the truth. They had a close relationship before the Santis came to town, and he threw it away after discovering who his biological parents were. Just recently, Antonio accepted Carlotta as his mother again, but it took way too long. Now that the Santis are gone, it seems pointless to have messed with the Vega family at all. I won't belabor the point any further, but the Santis taking over the show was definitely a low point for One Life to Live!
Now, I move on to the better things that happened on One Life to Live...
Viki's heart transplant: This truly was a compelling storyline. The Buchanans came together to support her and each other, and even Clint and Joey returned to Llanview for it. We saw flashbacks, characters shared stories from their past, and strong bonds were formed. Natalie and Viki grew a little closer as a result of this storyline, and we got to see Clint interact with all of his children. Dorian also turned out to be a key player in this storyline. She did her best to help Viki through her health crisis, and we could see that Viki and Dorian are friends, even with their past and their constant battles. The couple of weeks surrounding Viki's heart transplant were a reminder of what One Life to Live used to be, with the Buchanans as a strong family unit, and history played an important role throughout the storyline.
Bo and Matthew's Relationship: Setting aside the bizarre things that happened to between Bo and Nora in 2004, it was really good to see Bo and Matthew grow closer and to hear Matthew call Bo "Dad." After a lot of misunderstandings and mistakes involving Matthew's paternity, Matthew finally has a father, and Bo finally has a son. Matthew had Sam but lost him, and Bo lost Drew a few years ago. While neither Sam nor Drew can be replaced, but Bo and Matthew have formed a relationship that helps them deal with their losses. I definitely consider Bo and Matthew's new bond as father and son to be a highlight for 2004. While so many families and couples were in the process of breaking up, Bo and Matthew formed a family, and it's been fun to watch.
Mrs. Bigelow: The addition of Mrs. Bigelow was a good move by the writers. She was involved in the miserable storyline of stealing Asa's mansion, but she has provided comic relief at moments that would have otherwise been completely dull. She says some truly odd things and has an element of myster to her. Also, she and Todd have an interesting chemistry. No, I don't mean they should become a couple, but they do share some interesting dialogue. I doubt she will ever be a main character, but she definitely adds something to Todd and Blair's storylines, which were lackluster in 2004. She makes a great recurring character, and I hope she stays in Llanview for a while.
John and Evangeline: These character becoming such a great couple was a surprise, to say the least. They have great chemistry, and it has been entertaining to watch them grow as a couple. I greatly dislike that Natalie is being thrown in the middle, but aside from that, John and Evangeline light up the screen. Many readers have commented that this relationship is more "mature" than most others on the show and how they really enjoy watching John and Evangeline work through their issues "with strings attached." Pending the writers don't mess things up, John and Evangeline could be an enduring couple that could even achieve super couple status. Unlike other pairings on the show (i.e. Michael and Marcie), John and Evangeline are a couple worth rooting for, and I hope they stay together. Dena Higley noted that she wants to bring romance to One Life to Live, and keeping John and Evangeline together is a good start to achieving that goal.
Jen and Riley: I almost more surprised about liking this couple than I am about liking John and Evangeline. Why? For a long time, Jen was unlikeable, and Riley was an unknown character in the background. However, Jen really turned herself around in 2004 and has become a good friend for Marcie and a good match for Riley. Once Riley and Flash/Sarah parted ways, we got to know Riley better. Jen and Riley have helped each other get beyond their problems and are focusing on the future. It's true that Jen went through a phase where she didn't think she was good enough for Riley, but now they seem to be thinking the same way about their relationship and can be a good couple. I have a feeling that Rex is going to get in the middle somehow, but I will withhold judgment on that until it actually happens. I just think it's amazing that Jen has become a likeable character, and Riley has become a more important character than before.
The Redemption of Kelly: She is not completely redeemed yet, but I didn't think Kelly would ever be a good character again after the baby switch fiasco. Her mission to find Ace's birth mother and do the right thing for Ace has definitely taken her on the road to redemption. I wish she would tell Kevin the truth about where Ace is, but at least she is starting to see the error of her ways. She knows that all of the lies she told Kevin were wrong, and she is trying to be a better person. She still isn't the Kelly we knew years ago, but at least she is making strides to rectify all of the mistakes she made.
The Removal of Tico from Our Screens: Finally, one of the best moments of 2004 was Tico's last day. He is finally gone. Enough said!
Happy new year!
Until next time, Dawn