At the time this was taped (November 18) everyone still thought ONE LIFE was going to live on the web, thanks to Prospect Park, so we were told to expect cliffhangers. [See the full Prospect Park timeline here.]
My gripe with the ALL MY CHILDREN finale, which actually felt more warm and fuzzy than this one (except for that little J.R. shooting ending), was that I strongly believe both shows could have wrapped up on TV without cliffhangers, satisfying fans who may have watched for decades. Then when the web versions debuted, a hot trailer could draw old, and possibly new, fans in, like movies do. It wasn't to be on either show.
This review is based solely on the final episode, one that many people will tune back into who haven't watched in years. As with ALL MY CHILDREN, the last few weeks have felt like one big finale and many things were done right.
We did see some nice touches on the final ONE LIFE which felt somewhat like a finale: Clint revealing to Jessica that she's his biological daughter; a return visit from Brody (which sort of felt out of place but was still enjoyable); the birth of baby Drew (the moment "Drew" was named was the biggest tearjerker of the day); and Starr reuniting with Cole. We also got a nice "Love you Red" Bo and Nora moment.
And, of course, we had another Clint and Viki marriage proposal ("Will you marry me?") with a piano version of the ONE LIFE theme song playing in the background.
But in many ways I was disappointed.
Characters kept mentioning moments from the past but there were no flashbacks. Why not?
Viki got her due at the end of the show's run (even a return trip to heaven) but I expected, and wanted, her to have the final word on Friday's episode, cliffhanger or not. In a way I felt FRATERNITY ROW got more of a fitting tribute than ONE LIFE TO LIVE in the final month. I enjoyed every spot-on minute of it.
And the final scenes on Friday? Todd and Blair have finally made love then John McBain rushes in and arrests Todd for the murder of Victor Lord Jr. followed by the big reveal of who Allison was talking to the entire episode: a bound and gagged Victor Lord Jr.
"Things are rarely what they appear," Allison said. She referred to "another chapter" during the episode which we now know isn't happening thanks to Prospect Park's failure to find funding to the web version. We will at least get to see some continuation as the characters of Todd, Blair, John and Starr will move on to GENERAL HOSPITAL for a while. But the rest?
Watching the show it was nice to see a diverse cast being used, more than any other daytime soap opera, and true to ONE LIFE TO LIVE's original vision, although these days most soap characters are mostly rich or upper middle class.
It felt special and like a good Friday episode, but with ONE LIFE TO LIVE, a show that has set the bar for daytime many times, I expected more. As with ALL MY CHILDREN, it would have been nice to see what might have been had Prospect Park not altered the finale.
The final moment of ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Allison throwing her script in a drooling Victor's face.
ONE LIFE TO LIVE has been guilty of several daytime cliches and blunders in recent years but has consistently been the best remaining drama on the air in the afternoon. It always found a way to entertain and it did again today. There's really no perfect way to end a serial that has been running for over 43 years. It didn't have that home run moment like Maeve singing "Danny Boy" on RYAN'S HOPE (23 years ago TODAY) or Stu and Jo on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW. But neither of those shows were in as good of creative shape in general at the time they left the air as ONE LIFE is now. It's very sad it won't be there Monday at 2 p.m.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of ONE LIFE TO LIVE both present and past for their dedication, hard work and commitment to entertaining soap fans since 1968.
That's my take. How did you feel? Weigh in below in our Comments section and take our survey below.
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