TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco has a new interview with Michael Malone storied career on soaps. Branco questions Malone about Ron Carlivati's decision to pair One Life to Live's Marty and Todd romantically.
TVG: As you know, Carlivati has taken on a death wish by pairing Marty and Todd romantically. Your gang-rape storyline is universally hailed as the gold standard because Todd was punished for his crime, and Marty and Todd never fell in love. [After explaining the story set-up] How do you feel about Ron heading in this bold direction with one of your signature storylines?
MM: It was a soap-opera collaborative. Of course, along with Linda, Josh, Susan Haskell [Marty], and Roger Howarth [then-Todd] were instrumental to the story's success. When Todd was created he was called Frat Boy No. 1 — and that was his only purpose at the time. Todd was just there to help us tell this story about college date rape. Howarth’s remarkable ability to play the monster, and the tragedy inside that monster, allowed us to connect him to the canvas in a larger way. We were all pleasantly surprised with how Roger took that character and made him real.
On one hand, it surprises me because Ron has been a far more conventional soap writer than I was. He’s also a great lover of the form, and has worked in the form for a long time. Ron loves the conventions and traditions of the form. So, my first reaction is, I’m surprised. The character having amnesia literally erases the real moral consequences and the real spiritual journey Marty has embarked on. It’s like telling Othello he’s white and Desdemona doesn’t really die. Presumably, Marty will gain her memory, and what will happen? She will be horrified…
Be sure to check out the interview and tell us what you think of this controversial storyline.