Last week, Roger Newcomb posted about the Save The Light Rally for Guiding Light slated for Friday, May 22nd in New York City. The focal point of the rally is for fans to be seen in the outdoor plaza of the CBS Early Show.
I’m curious how many readers of this blog are intending to go. If you are – particularly if you’re traveling a long distance to get there – please email me at t1000worlds “at” yahoo dot com and let me know. I’d like to talk to you!
Speaking of Guiding Light (and when am I not?) I got an email from a one of my readers.
He challenged me: Could I be critical of Guiding Light? Or had I lost my snarky mojo?
Yes, I’ve been a great fan of how far the show has come in the last six months, and for me, GL is again must-see TV. And though I can’t trace the exact DNA of these changes for the better, I believe much of the praise can be put at the feet of Jill Lorie Hurst. I think she’s had a great impact on the writing, and she and Ellen Wheeler seem to make a far better match of writer/producer than was previously in place.
But all of that happened after a long, looooong period of disillusionment for me. When I was a contributing writer for Marlena Delacroix at her site, I wrote several posts there (including this one) that were very critical of where GL was at that time. One of those was from last May, just a year ago. In that post, I was ready to walk away from the show in disgust.
Things are much better now, of course. And since GL is seeking a new home, I’m happy to focus on the positive!
But here’s a few things I’d still like to change:
ONE: No matter how hard GL tries, I absolutely cannot root for Jeffrey O’Neill. GL has done so much that makes sense, makes us cheer and has encouraged new story and new growth, but the character of Jeffrey is dead wood and it’s becoming more and more noticeable.
I’m not saying this as a Josh and Reva fan, because this isn’t about couples or about Reva. Jeffrey is a character with few family ties that, six years on, I don’t care about. He’s slept his way through Springfield and every subsequent conquest of his made him more and more of an ass. I didn’t buy a second of his insta-family with Olivia and Ava, and any small goodwill he’d ever accrued with me was torched by the whole Olivia/Jeffrey rape mess.
No offense to Bradley Cole, who I enjoyed immensely as Richard. I just don’t find anything viable in this character.
TWO: I’m a fan of the new production model, and the outdoor scenes have been so beautiful lately. I think that many of the indoor sets look good, too.
The set that’s not reading so well for me these days is Marina and Mallet’s place. It’s an odd mix of tan and blue that just doesn’t read well on camera at all. And note to the set design team: I know these characters are in rustic settings, so a little “country” is great. But it’s kind of like a Bedazzler – at some point, you have to walk away from it or you overdo it.
Mallet and Marina’s kitchen and living room (and Reva and Jeffrey’s kitchen) could use a little more shine, and a little less clash. (Hey, IKEA is cheap AND classic. Don’t be afraid of those Swedish product names!)
THREE: I loved the beginning of Edmund’s return, and the chance to see David Andrew McDonald again.
But this story started out strong and then…..zzzzzzzzz. Granted, the kidnapping of Colin was an interesting blip (and gave Kim Zimmer some great scenes to play). But there was no consistent buildup. We’d see Edmund a few days in a row, and then nothing more for weeks at a time. This Edmund go-round was, overall, a big miss.
FOUR: I’m OK with the Marina/Mallet/Dinah/Shayne story. Baby Henry is going to throw these four together, and ultimately it’s a clever way to mix these characters up. This story has managed to wake up the borefest that was Marina/Mallet, and give them something to do.
But as a viewer, we did have to swallow our disbelief and accept that this was the biggest coincidence in the History of Ever.
(Not to mention accepting the fact that there’s apparently a direct Concorde flight from Springfield to Bosnia.)
FIVE: This is perhaps the biggest, most important point, and I mention this at the peril of a riot from the Otalia fans.
But here goes: Olivia and Natalia desperately need a one-way ticket out of the storyline island they’ve been stuck on.
I completely understand that this was a slow build for them, that they needed time to become a family, to sort out their feelings, and to tell each other how they feel.
But despite a few interactions on Olivia’s part a few months ago (Jeffrey, Mel and Bill), almost no one else knows what’s happening.
The Coopers are still, for the most part, in the dark; Frank’s just learned (thanks to Doris) about Natalia’s feelings for Liv. But I’m surprised that a family full of cops couldn’t put two and two together. Blake is savvy and smart and should have totally been able to tell what was happening when she saw Olivia and Natalia today.
I completely get that Liv and Nat needed a quiet space to let those big purple dreams grow into reality. But the best part of any soap story is watching the ripple effects. The more we see how neighbors and friends in Springfield react to what’s happening, the more impact it will have on the audience.