‘One Life to Live’ Fans Wasting Time (and Lives)

For the past few days, my inbox has been flooded with impassioned pleas to “save” the gay couple on the daytime soap “One Life to Live,” played by Brett Claywell and Scott Evans.

Oltl “Please give us fans the chance to continue on this journey with Kyle and Oliver,” one said, speaking for many. “Like many other viewers, I am horrified,” wrote another.

While I appreciate their pain, I can’t help but ask, A) “Why bother?” B) “Do you really think enlisting reporters to take up your cause will prompt ABC to reverse the decision?” and C) “Could you please direct these missives to someone else?”

Daytime soaps represent a dying genre. And while they still have a dwindling cadre of fans, their prestige and influence has never been lower since the formula was invented. Ratings have fallen, prompting CBS to cancel the long-running soaps “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light.”

Soap fans have always been a pretty unique group, and I suppose you either have that gene or you don’t. Personally, I have a hard time getting excited about programs where you can watch once every three years and still piece together pretty much everything you’ve missed in between by the end of the episode.

Getting all fired up about a daytime serial at this point, in other words, is tantamount to bitching about the color of buggy whips just as cars began rolling off the assembly line.

Die-hard fans have a way of losing perspective on such matters. Still, with everything else that’s going on — and indeed, other battles, both in the media and the real world, that gay rights activists still have to wage — forgive me if I can’t in good conscience throw my support behind your efforts. Not that it would make any difference if I did.

By all means, knock yourselves out writing ABC execs, reporters, whoever. Inasmuch as I only have one life to live myself, though, I’d rather not waste it on this.

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