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"Is my daughter Megan or Sarah?" Viki and all of Llanview wondered for what seemed an Eterna-ty. What was the big deal? Viki knew that the baby was born on Christmas Day twenty-five years ago. All she had to do was ask. This is but one example of ONE LIFE TO LIVE's fatal flaw: it doesn't know how to tell a story.

They set it up, i.e. Gabrielle switches the babies, and from then until three months later, everything related to the story line is just filler. There is no gradual building to a climax; the climax is not the final result of a logical progression, but rather is delivered when the writers feel enough time has passed. A long-term story is not a complicated set of situations building on each other, but an interminable period of red herrings, false leads and dead ends; watching Sarah be tormented while everyone sat around suggesting she get professional help was painful. With ONE LIFE TO LIVE, waiting for the characters to discover what we already know is the hardest part. But astute viewers have realized that they can turn off the show for months and turn it back on only when the end is near, and not have missed a thing. Not only this, but the main stories that were plugged into this formula were abysmal: Eterna, The Crown Jewels of Mendorra, The Llanna Flagg Story, Viki's search for the daughter she didn't remember having. Though characters may be well-defined by talented actors, theya re not used effectively. In short, the show has become juvenile, as predictable and as superficial as a cartoon.

Let's not forget the production values. The sets are old, the lighting murky and the makeup atrocious. Why must everyone look orange? What other soap would make pretty women such as Fiona Hutchison and Erika Slezak look like rags? This show can do, and has done, better.
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SOD Best & Worst -- 1989 · Soap Opera History & Discussion