Monday, July 2, 2007

Asa Buchanan, We'll Miss You

A couple of weeks ago in TV Guide I read that Asa Buchanan, the long-running "One Life To Live" character, is scheduled to die offscreen next month. Philip Carey, the actor who played Asa for nearly 30 years, turned down an offer to be reduced from "contract" to "recurring" status on the show. As a result, his OLTL days are over. They say that "business is business", but this seems to me like another case of a veteran soap performer being tossed to the scrap heap. My 1st thought about this development is that it's something a matador might step in... come to think of it, that was my 2nd thought as well. Philip Carey, Asa Buchanan, and the fans of OLTL deserve better.

Before I continue, let me say that yes... I am a longtime soap watcher. Beginning the day after high school graduation, I started checking out the ABC afternoon lineup. Although I occasionally watched "General Hospital", "Ryan's Hope", and "Loving", my two main shows were "All My Children" and "One Life To Live". For the next 10 years or so, I watched them faithfully. In a classic case of role reversal, I even got my college girlfriend into them as well.

During the height of the O.J. trial, the soaps were often pre-empted. This, coupled with that complicated thing known as "life", caused my viewing to fall off big time. Since my cable company added SoapNet (where AMC and OLTL air in primetime and on weekend marathons) a few years ago, I've been able to periodically check in to see what's happening with the citizens of Pine Valley and Llanview.

Out of all the characters on OLTL, Asa Buchanan is definitely one of my favorites. A bigger than life cowboy millionaire who never saw a bush that was worth beating around... he spoke his mind no matter what, providing some of OLTL's funniest and most memorable moments. Although he could be an ornery S.O.B., you always knew that Asa loved his family. If you were fool enough to mess with a Buchanan, Asa would make you sorrier than Brenda Lee! Along with loving his family, he also loved the ladies... walking down the aisle 14 times with 10 different women (don't ask)!

As I mentioned earlier, Asa Buchanan is scheduled to die offscreen next month. His death apparently will coincide with the soap's 10,000th episode. According to reports, several OLTL characters from the past will return for the funeral. Some of the performers reported to be on board for the special episode are James DePaiva (Max Holden), Dan Gauthier (Kevin Buchanan), and Tonja Walker (Alex Olanov).

I just can't help thinking that Asa's style wouldn't be to go quietly offscreen. I can picture him sitting in his mansion with a pistol in one hand and a glass of bourbon in the other as he growls at the Grim Reaper, "Hellfire death... you just try to take me!" Llanview and "One Life To Live" will never be the same.

Check out these Asa clips:

Asa confronts Todd Manning

Asa and Todd team up against Blair

Asa, Todd, and Blair outside the courtroom

7 comments:

Taj said...

It won't be the same without Asa. I don't watch soaps now, But I did way back when. I was obsessed with Roger Howarth (Todd Manning).

Your description of the way Asa should go out made me laugh! That is exactly how it would have been. The Grim Reaper would have never taken Asa so easily and as always Asa would get in the last, funny line.

I read that the same thing happened to Kristina Wagner (Felicia). She refused contract status and they said bye bye. More and more soap veterans are going out this way.

There was no one like Asa on any other soap as far as I can recall. Phil Carey deserves better than to go out like this.

BookMama said...

I read about this recently and felt the same way you do. It stinks. I haven't watched OLTL (or AMC, my all-time fave) regularly in 10 years (work, kids etc) but it just won't be the same without him.

It would be like AMC without Palmer Cortlandt and Adam Chandler. (They ARE still on the show, aren't they??)

Malcolm said...

Roger Howarth was astounding as Todd Manning! Even when he was doing something rotten, Roger had the ability to make you sympathize with him. I don't know if you have seen the new Todd (Trevor St. John), but he has made the role his own.

I had forgotten about the Kristina Wagner situation. For an actress that was as popular as she was, you'd think that GH would want to keep her on contract.

Hopefully, SoapNet does a weekend marathon as a tribute to Asa Buchanan.

Malcolm said...

Hey BookMama,

You are absolutely right, AMC wouldn't be the same without Palmer and Adam. Yes, Palmer and Adam are still with AMC. Although Palmer is rarely seen, he is still featured in the opening credits.

The faceoffs between Adam and Palmer were classic. It used to crack me up when Adam would call Palmer an "old coot/goat" or refer to him by his real name (Pete Cooney).

pjazzypar said...

Asa will definitely be missed. I remember when the Buchanan men came on the scene (Vickie needed a love interested). Clint and Beau were good guys, but Asa was there to shake things up and that he did with his multiple marriages and underhanded business tactics.

It seems a shame that after making such a contribution to a show you can be put out to pasture without any regard whatsoever. At least Phoebe Tyler was allowed to stay on AMC until she passed on. So did Mona Kane.
pjazzypar

Amy said...

Sorrier than Brenda Lee??

Anonymous said...

Brenda Lee had a hit song called "I'm Sorry."

 
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