Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The rainbow just hit the fan.

Warning: This blog entry contains major spoilers regarding a major story on One Life to Live. While Dayplayer Dish is not the first to break the story, it is advised you stop reading here if you don't want to be spoiled.

Here's what you do when you don't find the rainbow's end: write off the most groundbreaking and realistically written couple on the show. In what has got to be the most ridiculous and pathetic move made by the executives at ABC Daytime in a good long while, One Life to Live has announced that at the conclusion of the Sierra Rose saga, Oliver Fish and Kyle Lewis will be written off the show.

Devastated? Wait until you hear the reasoning: the ratings were down in November, when Dorian orchestrated a mass gay wedding. Because of the low ratings, Frank Valentini believes that Kyle and Fish never really caught on with the "mainstream audience" and need to be written off.

According to Valentini, "Kish" will get a happy ending as Fish claims Sierra Rose as his own and starts a family with Kyle. Part of me is glad that the show isn't backpedaling and making Rex the true father of the little girl, but this development reminds me of last year's baby switch resolution in which Marcie and Michael left the show after returning baby Hope to Starr and Cole. Marcie, a beautiful but overweight woman, could be considered a "minority" in the world of soaps, and once her story wrapped up she and her husband left town with little fanfare. Now in Ron Carlivati's THIRD baby saga (first with Tommy/Sam, then Chloe/Hope and now Sierra Rose), the minority couple will actually get the baby but also fade in the background so more "important" characters like self-involved Rex and Gigi can once again claim the front burner.

And let's face it - Fish and Kyle were never actually front burner characters. At the height of their story we got maybe three episodes of them a week. Clearly they couldn't have been the ONLY reason the ratings were so low in November. Are we forgetting Mitch Lawrence's umpteenth return? Jared dying a horrible and cruel death? Endless episodes of Nigel and Neville on the phone with one another? Nope, it must have been the offensive and immoral reconciliation of two college lovers who just happened to both be guys.

I'm not being unrealistic here; I know that middle America is still behind the times when it comes to gay visibility, or any visibility for that matter. But in the past, soaps were used to educate audiences on topics that were otherwise taboo or considered untouchable; let's not forget Carla Gray turning out to be the black Clara, Wanda Wolek leading a second life as a prostitute, Marty overcoming a brutal and cruel gang rape at the hands of three fraternity brothers, or even Reverend Andrew forcing Llanview to face their own homophobia by helping Billy Douglas come out of the closet and bringing the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to town.

With Kyle and Fish off the show, the producers are not only letting two talented young men go (both Brett Claywell and Scott Evans have Emmy pre-nominations) but are taking away a piece of Llanview's colorful and diverse community. Last year, we were introduced to several new minority characters, including the return of Nora Buchanan's biracial daughter Rachel. With recent confirmation of Rachel's exit, along with Kyle and Fish fading into the background, the show is sadly closing off the Llanview community to anyone whose name isn't Buchanan, Lord or Morasco.

What are your thoughts on Kyle and Fish exiting the show? Let us know in the comments section, and please keep it respectful and calm.

Since when do we really only have One Life to Live?


1 comment:

  1. Killing KISH is, plain and simple, an example ABC or whoever makes decisions about OLTL, chickening out. I've made a concious decision to just stop watching OLTL (and I've already stopped.) I'm tired of defending a medium that is making a habit out of sweeping homosexuality under the rug and/or scapegoating gays. Soaps are not unlike the military: I'd love to see how far our military could get in a day if every closeted queer soldier decided to sleep in, and I'd love to see where soaps would be if every gay viewer, writer, journalist and blogger decided to just ignore them.