This week, I’ve been mentioning Guiding Light and the fact that they’ve been filming in Orlando at Universal Studios. Aside from all of the video blogs, radio appearances and news articles that are recording the fun (and feeding the PR machine), I’m happy to mention it because I think there’s cause for optimism and celebration.
GL is by no means perfect, but the changes in the show over the last six months are astonishing. For me, Phillip’s return, Shayne’s return and, most of all, the Otalia story have made this a must-see show.
To celebrate GL’s final day in Orlando, I thought it would be fun to talk to a member of Orlando’s local media – who happens to be a soap fan and a GL fan.
Matt Palm is an editor at the Orlando Sentinel, and writes about Central Florida attractions at the Sentinel’s Theme Park Rangers blog.
1000WORLDS: How long have you been watching GL?
MATT PALM: I have been watching the show my whole life, literally as long as I can remember so we’re talking 30+ years.
1000WORLDS: You mentioned (in the Theme Park Rangers blog) that you were talking to Rob Decina about a story from 20 years back – what story was it?
MP: Rob and I talked about the classic story with Holly, Roger and Ed in the South American jungle — and then Roger went over a cliff. Come to think of it, that’s more than 20 years back.
1000WORLDS: What stories stand out as your favorites?
MP: As a child I loved Tony and Anabelle Reardon’s haunted house, the trip to Barbados, the visions, the voodoo, the magnificently creepy Miss Piper (Carrie Nye).As a grownup, I’m sure I would have found it ridiculous, but boy did it entertain me then.
As an adult, I loved the “is Josh’s wife Sonni or Solita story”. Michelle Forbes played the part great, and it was a good mystery with a satisfying ending. At the time it aired, I was living in an all-male college dorm and watched it in the common room. I had all the guys hooked. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Michelle was sashaying around in black leather.
1000WORLDS: What storylines were you were less than thrilled with?
MP: The only time I ever completely abandoned the show for months was at the height of the San Cristobel nonsense. Cassie as a princess was preposterous. Richard was the most boring prince ever. So much of the show seemed to be out of Springfield that I gave up. I’m currently pretty happy with the overall stories, though Remy and his instant-wife bore me to tears.
1000WORLDS: What do you think of the new way of filming and producing the show?
MP: Now that they have worked out most of the kinks, I like it for the most part. I love seeing the outdoor weather … rain, snowstorms. It does make it all seem more real. When I see “snow” on the other soaps now it looks ridiculously fake and makes me laugh. I do think the show is pushing a lot of stories too fast. The writers need to slow the pace down a bit and give viewers more emotional, meaty scenes along the way.
1000WORLDS: Are you getting a chance to meet any of the actors? If so, any you’re looking forward to?
MP: Unfortunately I have to work during the day so I won’t meet any of the actors in person. But I am hoping to get to Universal in time for the nightly parade. Maybe I can catch some beads from Mardi Gras Queen Kim Zimmer!
Matt Palm’s work for the Orlando Sentinel’s “Theme Park Rangers” blog can be found at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/tpr.