Supporters of Robin Strasser’s character Dorian Lord have organized a fan campaign calling for the executives, writers and producers of One Life to Live to honor their opinions concerning Robin Strasser’s romantic co-stars on the show.
For several months, polls and viewer comments have indicated that fans were sorry to see Ray Montez, played by fan favorite A Martinez, leave Llanview. “He was let go before viewers were able to weigh in on the Dorian and Ray pairing,” says an organizer of the campaign. “Viewers felt stripped of their voices and discounted as participants in what was valued on their soap opera. Same was the case when many were vocal about wanting Stephen Markle to return as Mel and we got ‘Ghost Mel’ as a female recast.”
After A Martinez spoke enthusiastically about Strasser, One Life to Live, and his character on the show in December (“A Martinez would love to return to Llanview”) fans were further bolstered by the soap media’s end-of-the-year praise for the work of Robin Strasser and A Martinez.
“A Martinez and Robin Strasser had some smokin’ hot chemistry as Ray and Dorian, but they never had the time to cook up a real romance,” said Soap Opera Weekly.
Nelson Branco, of TV Guide-CA listed Robin Strasser and A Martinez as “Most Wasted Chemistry” in 2009. In addition, he listed them as a “Best New Couple” and A Martinez as one of the “Worst Firings.”
Soap Central also had a “Best and Worst of 2009” list that included Ray’s departure as a “worst.”
“While I am glad Vanessa and Lola are both gone, I think it was a mistake to write out Ray Montez. He and Dorian had an amazing spark together, and their relationship should have been explored. Since it looks like the writers can’t commit to David and Dorian in any meaningful way (which may be out of their control), taking Ray Montez out of the equation was a huge mistake. Dorian and Ray had a lot of untapped potential, and it was nonsensically wasted,” commented Dawn.
In Serial Drama‘s end-of-year review of One Life to Live, they asked, “Oh, and can we all have a moment of silence for the Montez family? Okay, I’m kidding, but back then they were still front and center. I highly doubt anyone misses Lola and Vanessa, but I sure miss the Ray/Dorian heat. That was a highlight of the year for me. As we’ve seen, Dorian can still be on fire and certainly doesn’t need a man, but this one clearly appreciated her and made her happy. Plus, chemistry galore.”
They also listed “Ray Montez and his smoking’ hot chemistry with Dorian” as one of the year’s “Losses (or Mistakes).”
In his “Llanview Craze” column at Soaptown USA, Jeremy listed A Martinez as a runner-up for “Biggest Waste of Talent” and named Dorian and Ray “Best Couple.”
“Despite my hesitation in accepting A Martinez (his introduction storyline with Vanessa was terrible), once the Ray/Dorian chemistry began to sizzle, he was poised to be an amazing asset to the show. Then he was promptly fired. I will never forget the scene in which Ray played guitar for Dorian. It was enormously refreshing to see her wooed by a real man, someone very different from herself, whom she connected with despite everything. … I don’t know why TPTB switched gears, but they made a really big mistake. You can’t buy the type of chemistry Strasser and Martinez had.”
Dorian and Ray also got a dishonorable mention as “Worst Break Up” and were listed as one of the “Biggest Wasted Opportunities.” Ray playing guitar for Dorian was one of the “Best Stand-Alone Moments of the Year.”
Shortly thereafter, on January 7th and 8th, Stephen Markle made an appearance on One Life to Live, reprising his role as Dorian’s deceased husband, Mel, who occasionally appears to her in spirit.
Fans of One Life to Live, Robin Strasser, A Martinez and Stephen Markle cite these opinions as they are calling for “a real romance” for Dorian and a storyline for Strasser that involves “conflict” and the return of Martinez as Ray. In addition, they are encouraging the show to periodically bring back Markle as Mel, continuing the tradition of his appearances to Dorian.
“Ray represents the here and now and a future with story potential for Dorian,” states the goal of the fan campaign, which they have dubbed the “Here and Now Campaign.” “Mel’s spirit should be a part of the storytelling for Dorian, particularly if it is used to bring together Dorian and Ray.”
Fans are being encouraged to write to ABC executives Brian Frons and Anne Sweeney during the first week of the month. The second week, efforts will be focused toward Headwriter Ron Carlivati. During the third week, fan letters and postcards will be directed at Executive Producer Frank Valentini, Robin Strasser, Stephen Markle and A Martinez. Finally, at the end of the month, soap opera magazines and websites can expect an influx of opinions and encouragement for a “real romance, here and now” for Dorian and her leading men.
Viewers who are interested in participating in this campaign can visit the “DIVA” fan boards for more information. (Click here.)