The last word on Otalia

dress shop1Just one, quick, final comment on Guiding Light’s Otalia.

As mentioned before, it’s looking a lot like Olivia and Natalia will end up together…..but that we will not see them kiss on screen.

It’s incredibly disappointing that CBS appears to have vetoed an on-screen kiss. It’s disappointing from a historical perspective. It’s disappointing that the same network that hosts Luke and Noah would not give on this point. (By the way: have you noticed Luke and Noah haven’t kissed – really kissed – or been intimate in a long time?)

But I’m going to put all of that very important stuff aside for a second and say: GL also botched it from a storytelling perspective.

Why?

Well, the news that Olivia and Natalia were a couple would have been an ideal high-drama reveal – especially if it HAD been unveiled at the Bauer barbeque.

THIS kind of story is what soaps used to be all about. Tension, whether it was a simmering romance, a long-kept secret, or an evil plot, would simmer for months and then explode. And that explosion was best served at an event that everyone in town is attending.

The ripple effect was the best part of watching a soap. It was the part that was like watching your family at the holidays – how will people react? Who will support you, who will be angry, and will those choices surprise you?

GL characters have been finding out about Otalia in dribs and drabs, and it’s great that they’re expressing their comfort level and support for them. But it would have been far more engaging and dramatic had they been treated like any other couple.

And it’s not just GL’s fault – soaps seem to have forgotten how to tell these stories, or at least how to orchestrate the reveals. And I guess budget cuts play a huge role – when you can’t afford to have everyone in town there to hear a secret, then the impact is dulled.

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3 thoughts on “The last word on Otalia

  1. I agree, Patrick. I do think the budget cuts has a lot to do with the lack of a big reveal. The production model does not lend toward it either. The new model is great for intimately intense scenes but not large, crowded scenes. And the small sets do not help the cause. Though I liked seeing Olivia’s hopes dashed at the Bauer BBQ. Very good drama.

  2. Amen, again. I’ve been talking for months about how the Matt and Vanessa reveal was sucha great bit of soap opera. I know you’re not a Matt and Vanessa fan, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the sheer drama of the 5th street fire and the big relvelation was great soap. The reason I’ve been talking about it is that Otalia should have played out the same way. A courtroom scene with Natalia declaring her love for all of Springfield to hear. Or at a party that everyone is attending. Some public venue where everyone finds out, at once, and we get to see the big picture, instead of the little dribs and drabs. In way, Olivia and natalia have avoided the business of coming out, entirely. Natalia hasn’t ever actually told anyone. (Father Ray and Blake both guessed, and Rafe figured it out when he saw the highly charged face-touching) Olivia has only officially told Josh and now, Jonathan. Other than that, Josh is doing the outting for these two. Godo for him, but that’s not drama- it’s very civilized gossip.

    Sadly, with no more Country Club or sprawling Towers set….scenes such as this story line deserved are pretty impossible.

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