Note: this entry may contain language readers may find unsuitable.
It’s one more week and five more episodes of Guiding Light. And then this story – all 15,762 chapters of it – disappears from our cultural landscape.
Of course, it’s not as simple as watching these episodes. The grand old lady couldn’t just go quietly into the night, of course. There’s been numerous articles about how the show was “murdered,” and a long list of people to blame. There’s a lot of fans (me included) who are angry that Olivia and Natalia will apparently never share an onscreen kiss (a decision that appears to have been made not by P&G, Ellen Wheeler or Jill Lorie Hurst, but by CBS).
The conversation about GL is going to go into overdrive in the next week; millions of people outside of the soap world bubble will learn about its demise on 6o Minutes this weekend, and already, bits and pieces of explosive comments from actresses are going to press.
I think all the people who are writing about GL, assigning blame and being angry all have a valid opinion, and it’s great that they’re getting a chance to share it. And I’m disappointed at what CBS did re: Otalia, but not surprised. CBS honestly hasn’t given a shit about GL for over a decade, they didn’t give a shit about its recent renaissance or any of the new fans it was bringing to daytime, and they certainly don’t want to leave the show in any sort of position of strength as it goes out the door, lest it somehow get new life and live on. Dismantling the show was the intention, and they did it successfully.
But you know what? I am in a very Zen place with it all. I don’t care about the details anymore. I addressed them in my elegy for Springfield in a very detailed way. And I let it go.
It may be socially inappropriate to drink at 9 in the morning (which is when GL is broadcast here in Chicago), but this week, I’ll be celebrating and saying goodbye to my friends with a mimosa or two. This is my guilty pleasure, a constant in my life. It is the leatherbound first edition book I cherish, the one that sits on my shelf.
I can’t wait to see each of those scenes, each of those last days.
And for all of the thousands of words in this blog (and Marlena’s) that I used to talk about GL, for all of my criticism as I looked inside and out at every aspect of the show from every angle, poked and prodded the stories and the acting and questioned so many decisions…..at the end, it’s been a long, glorious ride. I don’t regret being on board for a second.
72 years, 57 years on television, 15,762 episodes.
We will, most certainly, never pass this way again.
And with no offense whatsoever to Michael Fairman, who put together a great tribute for GL (both the four minute version, as well as what was aired), here’s a MAGNIFICENT ten minute tribute to the show.
Dreams, so they say, are for the fools and they let ’em drift away.
Peace, like the silent dove, should be flyin’ but it’s only just begun.
Like Columbus in the olden days, we must gather all our courage.
Sail our ships out on the open sea. Cast away our fears
And all the years will come and go, and take us up, always up.
We may never pass this way again…..