CBS News noted the passing of Guiding Light yesterday in two separate shows.
CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes both included segments noting the show’s history and its passing.
How did they do?
Overall, they were both very nicely done pieces.
CBS Sunday Morning is one of my favorite shows, and usually approaches its subjects and interviews with a delightful low impact approach that allows you to really soak in all the details about a subject.
Sunday Morning got all the facts right, though I think the SM piece was far guiltier of focusing on unusual plot lines and outrageous stories, all of which seem ludicrous out of context.
60 Minutes, and legendary correspondent Morley Safer, did a much better job. They kept the out-of-context stuff to a minimum, and they interviewed a far wider cast of characters. (The Sunday Morning piece focused largely on Kim Zimmer and Robert Newman.)
You can see the clips here:
60 Minutes seemed to understand that soaps are far more than, as they cited, “sex, suicide and salvation.” A casual viewer could walk away from the 60 Minutes piece and understand that the real and enduring legacy of a show like this is the family connections and the relationships.
I thought both shows were missing two important pieces.
One, there was no mention of the woman who created Guiding Light: Irna Phillips. For Phillips to have this show – one of her first in a field she was then a relative novice in – outlive her by 35 years is an astonishing feat, especially in that era, when a working woman didn’t have the freedom or support she does now.
The other omission, of course, was any mention of Otalia, the most buzzworthy story GL has had in the last several years.
Irna and Otalia were bookends of the GL experience, and it’s a shame the shows forgot them.
But I was happy to see so many familiar faces, and get a glimpse into the last day of filming (I wish I’d been there). Tina Sloan looked luminous.
And, if I’m not mistaken, based on the footage I saw last night….the last scene filmed already aired. It was a quiet scene that aired last week with Tina Sloan, Jordan Clarke, and Justin Deas on the patio. It’s the one where Tina’s wearing scrubs, and she says, “We’re just all so lucky to have one another.” Indeed.
NOTE: Lynn Liccardo is, as usual, excellent in assessing these tributes and putting them in context. See her post here.