A breathtaking week

Guiding Light’s been on a creative roll for months now. The news that CBS dropped GL hasn’t broken its stride at all. Many of us in the blogosphere, including Sara Bibel and Roger Newcomb, have raved about last week – a cross-section of all of GL’s strengths, topped off with a heartbreaking, give-her-the-damn-Emmy-now performance by Crystal Chappell.

I found myself screaming “Tell her! Tell her!” at the television, something a soap hasn’t made me do in ages. This is classic soap, and I want to follow every day of it. How, then, can this be cancelled?

I’d intended to post a full column on this topic, but I don’t know that I could add anything to the phenomenal essay by J Bernard Jones that’s been posted on the Daytime Confidential site. If you haven’t already, go and check it out.

DC is also giving us a glimpse of what’s happening with the efforts to find GL a new home.

And speaking of the efforts to keep the show alive…..All of the fans who have written an e-mail, made a phone call or registered their opinions are owed a debt of thanks. But I’d especially like to shine the spotlight on the Otalia fans and the Big Purple Dreams community.

“Fanbase” can often be a nasty word, and those fanbases can often be a nest of negativity. (Many of us who visited message boards like The Buzz still have unpleasant memories of how divisive groups like the “Manny” fans could be.)

But I have been in awe of these fans.

They’ve been unfailingly positive. Their comments are on message and simple: We love this couple; give us more.

More importantly, they’re enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the entire show, and not just “their” storyline – which is unusual for a fanbase.

They’re a mobilized, informed, determined group of people who number in the thousands. Most of those people have been doing some heavy lifting writing letters, commenting on articles and making calls. Their enthusiasm is very, very much appreciated.

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54 thoughts on “A breathtaking week

  1. Damn, Patrick, you just made me hug my screen. Thank you for the BPD love. Thank you for your eloquence. Thank you for your exceptionally insightful Otalia coverage. Thank you for contributing to the effort to save this wonderful show.

    Thank you.

  2. patrick-

    thank you for the continued coverage of GL and especially the week that was for Otalia. as a member of the Big Purple Dreams fan forum, i also appreciate the kind words you said about our community. we are a bunch of positive people who feel blessed to have found the otalia storyline, Guiding Light and each other. but without the foundation of our board- especially Destini, Mel, and Christi- we would not be who we are and we would not be capable of what we have done in the last several months. our success is their success and, on a personal note, there are very few things in my life that i have been prouder to be a part of. we will continue to fight for Guiding Light as a whole and our girls in particular. and we look forward to more insightful posts from you on the future happenings in springfield

  3. Patrick, thanks so much for the nice words about BPD fanbase! We are a family there, united in the fight of our lives to save this soap opera gem.

    This week Guiding Light reached another level, above and beyond any show currently on, daytime or nighttime. What a week! The Otalia storyline is pure soap opera brilliance. Ellen Wheeler, Jill Lorie Hurst, Crystal Chappell, Jessica Leccia, Frank Dicopolous and everyone involved with this storyline, thank you from the bottom of my totally ripped out heart. Olivia’s graveyard scene…my God how could you not be moved by that. Absolutely heartwrenching. And as I sit here, recovering from this past week, on this Sunday Afternoon, I say I am ready for part 2 of the Otalia love story…bring on the angst…again.

  4. This show simply must continue. I count myself as a diehard Otalia fan. I am among the legions of fans who have literally seen their world (read: personal, professional life) turned on its head because of this pairing. And while I came to GL because of them, I am thrilled to have discovered other characters and storylines to which I am also deeply committed. The whole show is really rocking right now and any television network should be chomping at the bit to pick it up. Viva Guiding Light.

  5. Patrick, thank you so much for the BPD shout out! We do love our Otalia, but more importantly we love Guiding Light! The whole week was just amazingly brilliant! Crystal knocked it way out of the park. Then Jessica and Frank starting swinging, and the home runs kept flying! An epic week of television.

  6. Too right Patrick….give Crystal Chappell that ‘damn emmy now’. It’s Sunday afternoon here in good aul Ireland and I’m still not over last weeks events of Otalia. I cried, I screamed, I laughed, I cheered…and then I had some beer and chocolate to calm my nerves. We knew from the spoilers what was going to happen, but we could have never forseen the dramatic way in which the story was told…from Olivia’s graveyard scene with Natalia, when she can no longer hold back on how she feels, to the heartbreaking scene of Natalia attempting to say her vows with Olivia doing her best to control her emotions in the background, to the beautiful scene of Olivia walking in the snow (a scene which could have come straight from Dr. Zhivago), to the scene where Natalia finally admits that she loves Olivia…and it was a bit of tv gold to watch Olivia take Emma’s hand as they walked out of the church. It was mesmerising, it was brilliant, it was stunning. The acting was amazing and the writing was superb. I too cannot fathom why a soap this good could have been given it’s marching orders.

    Although I only became a fan through the Otalia storyline, I have indeed educated myself as to who is who in the cast. I think Orlagh Cassidy was brilliant as Doris Wolfe over the last couple of weeks and she deserves to be given more air time. I think it was a stroke of genius to have her come out (hat and all!) as Olivia needed a strong character to play opposite her, and even at times with Doris had nothing to say, you could read so much from her body language. In the scene where Buzz is telling Frank that Natalia will come back, you can clearly see Doris saying to herself ‘that ain’t ever going to happen’. I really hope we’ll see more scenes with Doris and Olivia.

    I also believe that Frank D. should be given a special mention for his brilliant performance in the scene with Buzz where he mentions being the ‘third wheel’, ….he really put his heart into that scene, and I found msyelf moved by his words. It was the first time that I really felt sorry for Frank. I think Frank’s role in the story hasn’t been given enough credit, but it wouldn’t have worked without him.

    At a time, when there is so much doom and gloom in the world, GL definitely the entertainment and the distraction that we all need. So thank you to all at GL, especially to Ellen Wheeler who ensured that the Otalia storyline delivered at the pace that it has.

  7. Thanks for the positive comments about BPD – we’re almost at 3,000 members and growing strong!

    What GL did this week with all of their storylines was absolutely the best I have seen in a long time. They are firing on all cylinders – the confrontation between Reva and Edmund, the return of the Spauldings, and of course, Otalia. If GL needs an emmy reel, they can do the whole week. The writing, the directing, the production model, and the acting have been sublime. Ellen Wheeler has this show cooking right now!

    I can’t believe that CC and JL are able to do their scenes in only 1 take. All I can say to that is WOW!!!

    Keep up with the great work GL!

  8. Thank you for your great thoughts on GL this past week. This past week left me overjoyed and broken at the same time. No soap or TV show has left me with that feeling ever. Crystal and Jessica were simply amazing in their confessions. Olivia trying to give up Natalia because she has finally learned what true love meant was so true to real life. And I want to say that Jessica was just as brilliant. Her trying to get Olivia to realize that she could handle what was to come was heartbreaking. “I have handled trouble before,” said by Natalia, had me crying. Thank you for your admiration of the BPD family. I am blessed to be included in that group. We want our show, it deserves to continue.

  9. What a week! I swear CC and JL (and my hero JLH!) are out to get me and I know they are going to be the death of me. But hey, I can think of worse ways to go than death by Otalia!

    As someone who is not only invested in Otalia, but GL as a whole, the continued coverage for our little show that could is very much appreciated by all of us. Thank you for the kind words about our little BPD community and I just have to say that it’s been heartwarming for me to see all of the fan bases, not just ours, banding together to save the show.

  10. Thanks for this article. And as I recall you’ve been doing a bit of work to save “Guiding Light” as well so thanks to YOU for your efforts. I think everyone just wants to see the show continue in whatever fashion possible that maintains its core integrity. And that integrity was never more evident than last week as the biggest Otalia week ever unfolded in awe-inspiring glory. Every actor gave their all to these scenes, and Jessica Leccia must’ve been particularly delighted to finally be able to SAY what she’s feeling in words instead of having to radiate subtext through her big brown eyes and “trying to be nice” smiles. But Crystal Chappell was just magnificent. This is a performance that should, and I believe will, be discussed for years to come because it was so unflinchingly raw and honest. Who could possibly compete with her?

  11. Patrick, thank you for your coverage of GL and specifically Otalia. I am definitely a proud and vocal member of Team “GIVE CRYSTAL CHAPPELL THE DAMN EMMY NOW”!!!! Like you, this is also a show that I want to follow every day and I too am puzzled that THIS show of all shows may be removed from my television screen forever. It’s wonderful that you referenced J Bernard Jones article at Daytime Confidential. I think he has captured what makes GL unique, relevant and he what he quite accurately describes to be “art” not just television.

    I also would like to thank you for your kind words about Otalia fans and the Big Purple Dreams community. As a member of that community that is adding several hunderd members each week I am constantly moved, amazed, touched and dismayed by the wit, intellect, and compassion of it’s members. BPD is most definitely the home of faith, hope and love for all things GL and Otalia.

    For me personally I am inspired by the obvious commitment that Ellen Wheeler, Jill Lorie Hurst, Jessica Leccia and Crystal Chappell have made to the Otalia storyline. As tribute to that devotion I want to do all I can do to support GL, is cast and crew as they move through this difficult time while we are anxiously awaiting announcement of GL’s new home. Hopefully this announcement will come soon. Crystal Chappell doesn’t need to be concerned about anything right now other than where she is going to put her Emmy!

  12. Thank you so much for continuing to write about GL, and for mentioning all of us over at BPD. We appreciate it so much.

    We are positive and we are a family from all over the world, which shows how far reaching Guiding Light and Otalia has become. I will admit that I came to Guiding Light because of Otalia, but I have fallen for all of the characters and story lines, and have never become invested in a programme so quickly. I don’t watch anything else regularly, but I HAVE to see Guiding Light every day, no matter what story line is front and centre.. I love them all! That is a testament to the actors and writers alike. This past week was by far the best week I think I have ever seen on television, period. The writing was inspired and the performances by Crystal Chappell, Jessica Leccia and Frank Dicopolous (Shut Up, Frank!!) were outstanding. I was with them through every single emotion. I cried, laughed and cringed out loud. Pure Soap perfection. I have no idea what CBS were thinking, but I still firmly believe that their loss will be another networks’ HUGE gain. We Purple Peeps WILL KEEP THE LIGHT SHINING!

  13. Thanks for the kind words Patrick! No show has ever inspired me to support, and then ultimately try and save it with so much determination as Guiding Light has! Thanks to our fearless leaders at BPD (Destini, Mel, Christi), who give us the guidance, support, details, hints, tips, and general strength of spirit to continue on with our campaign, we have maintained a very positive attitude throughout. We could not do it without them! I for one am grateful beyond belief to be part of such a community of wonderful people!

    And what we are fighting for is important, not only for the significance of fighting for a 72 year young historical show, but because the actors, writers and producers are deserving of our support after providing years of brilliant entertainment. And this year, the show has brought it up to a completely new level of excellence with the blossoming Otalia romance! Crystal and Jessica are beyond compare in their roles and the writing is spot on in showing the reality of falling for someone unexpected. I wouldn’t miss this ride for anything, and will write and call anyone I can to try and find it a new home!

  14. Thanks so much for the shout out Patrick. We are so determined to have GL find a new home at Big Purple Dreams so Otalia, Doris, Bizzie and Phillip/Beth, Shayne/Dinah and all the other wonderful characters can continue to entertain us for years to come. I came back for Otalia but love the entire show especially the production model which gives us such realistic and fantastic outdoor scenes. This week was truly breathtaking and I applaud CC, JL, OC, JT, JD, FD, EW, JLH for a job well done on the Otalia story.

  15. Thank-you Patrick for your support of this wonderful show we all love, Guiding Light! Yes, I am an Otalian; however, I have been a long time viewer of Guiding Light. The current story lines remind me of the golden days of soap opera land, especially the well written Otalia story line. It’s written as a beautiful love story without labels and then allowing the story to be told slowly so we as viewers are invested in this couple’s happiness. May there being many more days ahead for the light!

  16. THANK YOU

    Not only for the beautiful and encouraging words about the show but also the mention of BPD and the fans and that our efforts are not going unnoticed.

  17. Patrick, your steady coverage of GL and your kind words about those of us over on BPD are much appreciated. Though many people on BPD are new to GL because of Otalia or like me, are returning because of Otalia, what we have discovered is a love for the entire show. That does make us different. We really do feel like a family and we feel positive about our approach and our efforts.

    Thank you for everything and I can’t wait to see what you write next.

  18. This past week has been the best I have ever seen on television. Crystal Chappell had me in tears the entire week and I have never cried watching a TV show. I have never watched a soap opera before Guiding LIght and I have never been as invested in a storyline on any show as I am in Otalia. Jessica Leccia and Crystal Chappell and the writers are so unwaveringly dedicated to this story and the audience appreciates it. The entire show is the best on the air in my humble opinion. Even when Otalia aren’t on, I’m completely enthralled with the other characters and storylines. I find myself wanting the weekend to be over with so we can get back to the story.

  19. Thank you Patrick! Guiding Light is on fire right now and I can’t begin to fathom why CBS would cancel such a wonderful show. Best on TV…period! Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia upped the ante this week and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

    I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to be a part of the BPD board. I’ve been saying what you said all along, I’ve never been a part of such a positive group of people ever. We are committed to saving Guiding Light and Otalia.

  20. Thank you. Otalia brings out the best in us. How could we not be grateful for a storyline that has been built so well, with nary a wrong step, and with Crystal and Jessica’s incredible performances? Thanks for all your support and coverage.

  21. Otalia redeems the bad rep Soap Opera’s have been getting and deservedly so.

    Best writing for a universal (love)story that I’ve seen in a long long time.

    Thanks Patrick!

  22. I think you captured it all in a nutshell. A soap that does exactly what it’s supposed to and draws people into the storyline! This is so rare these days. Being on the other side of the world hasn’t prevented me from enjoying this slice of a soap opera legend and I too felt the ax fell too deftly for my liking. I absolutely love the show as a whole and wait up every night to see it online and I heartily agree that the BPD is unfailingly positive and actually so unique in its admiration and appreciation not just for the actresses but for the bigger picture. I feel ‘safe’ there and regularly pop in to see what’s going on in the knowledge that it won’t be a negative experience. GL is on fire at the moment and I am privileged to be along for the ride. Thank you for this article.

  23. That why I joined BPD, because they were not negative. Always liked CC and thought she was a great actress since DOOL. I have had so much fun following the BPD (podcasts). This was one hell of a week. Like most of the stories. Let’s find GL a new home. Thanks for the article.

  24. Oh, Patrick! You are so nice and thanks so much for your heartwarming article on Guiding Light and our board, Big Purple Dreams. We are a family and I have never been on a fan forum that even came close to this one.

    So many fans are reaching out to save their beloved Guiding Light! All the storylines right now are wonderful–they draw you in with angst and humor–such clever one liners and little moments that just make Guiding Light so special.

    Our favorite storyline, Otalia, is brilliant, articulate, angsty art!! This love story, which is anything but cliche, and has touched so many hearts and minds and it has only just begun! Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia are heart-wrenching in their stellar portrayals of Olivia Spencer and Natalia Rivera, but I also love their humorous scenes together which we will be seeing more of in the future. I’ve watched soaps for over 30 years and I have NEVER seen a storyline so carefully woven, so brilliant and achingly tender as this one. Guiding Light is setting the standard, all over again, for what a modern, intelligently written, and three-dimensional soap opera should and can be, and yet, how ironic that it was canceled by CBS.

    We are all writing, hoping, and waiting impatiently for word that our beloved shinning gem, Guiding Light, has found a new home that will give it the respect that it deserves and it will give back so much more to that home and its fans.

  25. Patrick,
    Thank-you ever so much for your comments. This past week was literally astounding. I think I cried every single day! I was yelling, I had my head in my hands, I cried, I laughed and became a fan of crazy Edmund! ‘Otalia’ and the rest of the week just re-inforced BPD’s will to get this show saved! We will do whatever it takes in the most positive way possible…

    Thank-you again for your wonderful coverage. Every little bit helps to keep the light shining!

  26. This past week was the week we had all been waiting for! And what a week it was for Otalia and her fans! Crystal Chappell has always been an incredible actress, but this week she was phenomenal! She gave the performance of a lifetime! Jessica Leccia was outstanding as were the writers! I am looking forward to the what lies ahead for this great super couple!

  27. Thanks for the kind words, Patrick. The BPD has become so much more than a fansite; it’s a community and a family, and we are keeping each other going through the angst and the cancellation fears. That takes heaping helpings of positive energy and there is plenty of that…and then some!

    Thank you so much for being another positive voice! BPD loves you too!

    *HUGS*

  28. Patrick: Thank you so much for the shout out to BPD. We are a diverse, dedicated, and determined bunch of fans. Guiding Light brought us together. The Otalia storyline has in turns had us laughing, cursing, crying and cheering, and none of us can imagine our lives now without Springfield and its families being part of the future.

    We are determined to keep the light shining and anxiously awaiting the next chapter in the lives of Olivia, Natalia and their family. Is it Monday yet?

  29. Patrick,
    Thanks for mentioning our BPD family. We do love the Otalia storyline, but for many of us Otalia has brought us to other parts of the show we now love. Doris has been a great character who at first i loved to hate, and now I just love. Dinah/Shayne, Bizzie and Remy/Christina have become faves and of course give me evil Alan feuding with crazy Phillip.

    Crystal and Jessica as well as the amazing wiritng team have brought back “old soap” in all its angst-filled, hair-pulling, teeth-grinding, gut-wrentching glory.

    As you say, we love the show, we want more.

  30. Patrick, thank you for your continued coverage and kind words. Agreed, give us more!!! If this week tells us anything it’s that this SUPERCOUPLE is one of the best daytime has seen in years if not decades!!!

    This week was very emotional as I’m sure many will agree, but many of the other storylines greatly helped to break up some of the angst. The show as a whole was amazing this week!

    CC is well deserving of all the praise she is receiving… she’s been selling this storyline from day one!

  31. Thanks Patrick, we totally *heart* you at BPD, and all you’ve done to help keep this show around. I’m just as glad to have discovered such a wonderful community in BPD, as I am to having the found the BEST.LOVE.STORY.EVER in Otalia. I don’t think I could have survived last week with out all the other purple peeps and our fearless leaders.

    I came to Guiding Light for Otalia, but have become invested in the whole town. The production model allows us such a greater peak at the characters and their place in Springfield. It has such an organic feel, that you get the sense you are also a part of Springfield and witnessing first hand all the humor, pain, love, suspense, and angsty drama of the city. I’ve laughed, cried, pulled my hair out, screamed at the tv (scared my dog a little), had my guts and heart just ripped out…and I want more.

    EW, JLH, CC, and JL totally own me. And I think I want Doris to be my new BFF.

  32. I think its a testament to the power of the Otalia storyline to draw across and bring together so many different communities, regions, countries, unified on a common love. I think many of us have never ‘shipped a couple or a particular storyline, or fought to save a television show, and yet we’ve been drawn as if by an irresistable force to Otalia. But yes, the BPD is a special community and I think many of us have taken its message of positivity, passion and intelligence to heart, knowing that we’re representing a much larger group of fans who may not yet have found a voice. Its an amazingly diverse fandom filled with humor, and often incredibly deep dialogue on any number of subjects, and we all adore Otalia and Guiding Light. For myself, I think this show has been a seismic shift in how love between women has been portrayed, and by itself, is just an incredible exploration of love, period, regardless of gender. And I’ve never been this sucked in, or passionate about seeing this continue. I want this story like I’ve wanted no other, and I think it has the power to change hearts and minds along with it. A cultural moment that can reach across many divides and create understanding in ways that countless other political dialogues do not. For many of us, its no longer just a show, but its about supporting change and understanding in ways that will shift us all for the better. We could not be better blessed by the extraordinary talents of all involved with Otalia/GL, nor indeed, a more wonderful community than the BPD.

  33. Patrick, thank you for all the positive acollades for BPD. We want out OTALIA and we want Guiding Light to find a new home. It’s not difficult to remain positive and knowledgeable when you’re discussing a show with such quality acting and writing. I’ve been a fan of the show for the last 24 years and I don’t want to say goodbye – it’s that simple.

  34. Patrick thank you for the coverage of the amazing week GL has had as well as the BPD fan forum. I have never been part of one before but the storyline whipped up so many emotions in me that I had to find ‘others’ who felt the same way. What I found was more than a board, I found a group of warm, funny and intelligent group of people from all over the world. I go there to cry, bounce of ideas or just for a good laugh. Kudos to the cast and crew of GL and all its current storylines. The entire show is brilliant.

  35. This is the best storyline ever in the history of daytime tv! The writers are brilliant and what a role for Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia. They are great together and you can see the chemistry. And the Big Purple Dreams community Rocks! I’ve never been involved in such a great community of people before. Thx for the article and We Want Otalia!

  36. I have just two words to describe what this storyline, this show as a whole, and the Big, Purple Dreams family leaves me in: breathless awe. Thank you.

  37. Thanks for this article. You are so correct in all you say. Last week was phenominal for the whole show. Best soap right now on TV. Big mistake for CBS to drop it right now. Thanks also to the shout out to Otalia fans. We love great soap drama! We’re just lucky this time its about 2 women. Crystal and Jessica are beying amazing and so are the writers. Thanks GL, EH and JLH.

  38. Patrick, as always it was a pleasure to read what you have to say. You are very good at what you do so that helps quite a bit 😀 Better still, you actually recognize good, solid work when it appears on your television/computer screen. More importantly, you understand what the Big Purple Dreams community is all about. Thank you for the kind words and continued support. Sincerely.

  39. Thanks for the coverage of Guiding Light, the Otalia storyline, the amazing Big Purple Dreams community and the “give-her-the-damn-Emmy-now performance by Crystal Chappell.” Can’t agree more with everything you said. I love this story, I love this show and I will follow it anywhere.

  40. Patrick –

    Unlike some other members of BPD, I was already a fan of GL, but wanted to find out more about Otalia when I came across this “family” (the BPD)…The story has been so well written, performed (especially by CC & JL), that I cant seem to stop watching for any reason…I havent been able to say that for a VERY LONG TIME…Guiding Light is hitting on ALL cylinders right now (and they have been for a while)…but this last week was breath-taking…The performances by CC & JL left me speechless…I thought back to the “good ole days” of this fine soap & wondered why CBS thought that they had no alternative but to let this GEM go…Crystal’s performance this week will definitely go down in history (much like Kim Zimmer’s famous fountain scene) & I just have to wonder if CBS isnt thinking…did we make a mistake in cancelling this show??? Obviously all of the fans KNOW they did…now we just have to wait to find out where GL ends up…I cant imagine the show not continuing with the amazing way it is going right now!!!

  41. I am new the whole soap fan genre and the people in Big Purple Dream are just a fantastic, smart, and loving bunch. I have learn so much about Soaps through their posts. I happened upon the storyline by complete accident on YouTube. I literally took my TV out of the closet. I had stopped watching it a few years back when all the reality tv started happening. I could not understand why watching people eat icky stuff or putting themselves at risk could be entertainment. This storyline has been such a breath of fresh air for TV in general. They have not hurried it, so it has not been the typical wrist-slashing-hurry-up-and-sleep-together-so-we-can-break-up same sex love story that has been plaguing the media for years. I am in Awwww of the writers, the actors and actresses, and the fans. With all that is happening in the world today, it is such a pleasure to escape for an hour and be consumed with such a well acted and well written story. I love a great story.

  42. I came for Otalia, but I’ve fallen in love with all of Guiding Light. I’ve never loved a soap the way I’ve been loving GL these last few weeks. The writing is great, the acting superb. It’s been so long since a soap opera has taken the time and the effort to really tell a story. And it’s been just as long since a soap trusted its audience enough to watch, pay attention and invest. Lines matter, scenes matter, looks matter. And more importantly the audience matters.

    If there’s any justice in the world, Guiding Light will find a new home, and keep right on taking us for the ride of our lives.

  43. I have never followed soaps or “fan sites” in the past and am not an active poster on the BPD message board but somehow I have become completeley addicted to Guiding Light and the BPD site. The folks behind BPD are amazing in thier positive determination and I am thrilled to see your support of such an incredible group of people who continue to not only provide un-ending support for thier cause, but to consistently deliver an entertaining an enlightening venue of discussion on GL storylines and it’s stellar group of writers, actors and producers.

  44. This response is something completely different from anyone else’s, hope I don’t upset anyone.

    I’m going to stand up for the Manny fans for a moment. During the first couple of years of the Michelle/Danny relationship (when Joie Lenz was playing the role), they were the kind of fan base you are describing–happy, optimistic and many loving GL as a whole (video clips were a new phenom back then). I can say that on good authority as their board was open for everyone to read without a password and I would go there daily for the PBP and to read comments on the entire show.

    Once the honeymoon period was over, that’s when things changed. I’m not defending the bad behavior or the lengths certain people went to in that group, just that the Mannyacs were not always a negative force in the Guiding Light on-line fan community.

    In the 90s, most of the fans of specific couples were exactly how you described the Otalia fans as being like (sometimes people crossed the line but it was rarely and again most of that happened years after the honeymoon phase). We loved our favorites whomever they may be, but loved the show too. It actually was entertaining in the fan community when people who were optimistic and those who were not clashed as people on both sides of the equation were able to remain friends.

    Over the years, most of the people I knew in those days have been driven away from Guiding Light for various reasons. The negativity came into play primarily due to hurt and not maliciousness. It bothers me when anyone criticizes people for just expressing their pain. I’d love to not be a downer, but the show broke my heart in more ways than one and I will never be able to view GL (or any other soap for that matter) with fresh eyes ever again due to bad experiences. I hope the Otalia fan group never has to go through the anguish that others have dealt with in the larger soap opera viewing community.

    That said I like the Olivia/Natalia story, and I can give credit where it is due as I feel TPTB actually have done in a good job in that regard. It is one of the very few things that has been done right (at least so far). The scenes this week were great on my weekend marathon. If anything watching them together made it more enjoyable like a mini-movie. I avoided reading a lot of things online this week purposefully as to not “ruin” it.

    I do appreciate the fact that the BPD founders and members have helped increase awareness of GL. Seeing people be happy about GL is refreshing, especially if it is written about in an intelligent manner at least from the comments I have seen on public boards on the subject.

    BL, you know I always welcome and respect your opinion. I think most of my online time came later on, so I missed the Manny “honeymoon” period. I don’t mean to paint ALL dedicated fans with the same brush. (NOTE: BL has, for many years, been a fan of the Ross/Blake pairing on GL.)

    I don’t mean to criticize anyone for expressing their pain. God knows I’ve used those groups, as well as the blogsphere, to register the loss I felt (as well as how miraculous it is that things are going so well now).

    But there are fanbases with every show – and Manny was, for a time, one of them at GL – where narcissism and negativity rule the day. There were some Manny fans who were really focused on their couple, and wanted increasingly outlandish stories for that couple – and que sera, sera as far as the rest of the show went. I think we saw a bit of this with Gus/Harley fans as well.

    You make a very valid point: many of the sour notes within groups like the Mannyacs came after that group fans were disappointed in one way or another by the story.

  45. Wow Patrick. I don’t know what to say. Thank you for not only being you but for supporting Otalia, GL and most importantly Big Purple Dreams.

    Thank YOU, Destini!

  46. Not sure how I missed this article last week! Thank you so much for your support of this story. The hope that Olivia and Natalia, Bizzie, Shayne and Dinah, Phillip, Josh and even that nut job Alan live to see another network!!! I can’t bare to say goodbye to these friends I’ve ust gotten to know!!

  47. Thanks Patrick for your article. Positive publicity is great in our attempts to save Guiding Light on CBS. I think maybe a change in time slot would do this since we are opposite Ellen. I have watched soaps with mother and grandmother over the years but never really felt invested in any. If I had known Guiding Light was subjected to extinction, I would not have started but now…there’s something for everyone. I have to see Bill and Lizzie’s wedding, Frank finally getting the girl, Beth and Phillip together, Shayne and Dinah somewhere besides bed, Natalia and Olivia doing ‘the deed’, the adoption segment with Marina, and poor Reva has to have our help raising Colin. Isn’t there something for everyone? Thanks for your article and supporting our effort to SAVE THE LIGHT!

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