Lady Parts and Otalia

As I mentioned in my last post, the video blog Lady Parts – created and hosted by Liron Cohen and her wife, former Soap Opera Weekly editor Mimi Torchin – has a new episode with former Guiding Light head writer Jill Lorie Hurst. You can see it below.

It’s a fantastic chat, well worth a watch, and I don’t want to comment or editorialize on it (it can speak for itself) but I will say this…..

I’m a big fan of Jill Lorie Hurst. When I made the trip to NYC in 2008, and “the bloggers” got to cover GL, we met a lot of people. A LOT of people.

And Jill stood out for me among the crowd, because of her authenticity. The optimism, the generosity, the attempt at fairness (and here, forgiveness) and looking at the glass half full that you see in this interview? That’s all real, and all Jill.

She may have been “co-head writer” but it’s not hard to understand that the humanity that increasingly surfaced in the show in its last year or so came from Jill’s pen, and from her view of the world as a person. Otalia may have been the most vivid representation of that, but you could see it, feel it and sense it in many other corners of Springfield (and Peapack).


  • In the vlog, Liron mentions an article about lesbian characters who have been killed on our TV screens; I found one link here. Astonishing (and devastating)  to see in its entirety.
  • Another great interview surfacing this week is Michael Logan’s chat with the legendary Jane Elliot. Check it out here.

One thought on “Lady Parts and Otalia

  1. what i great interview! i so wish that ‘world turns had hired hurst after gl closed up. what a difference her sensibility would have made for those final months.

    what i loved most about otalia was how organically it evolved; no big press release announcing a gay or lesbian storyline. also loved that viewers were able to see it first; i always hated when shows’ publicists included who an actor’s character would be paired with when the actor joined a show. much more fun for viewers to figure it out over time. of course, it didn’t help that many couplings began almost immediately after the new character arrived in town. viewers have (or had) far more patience than the suits gave them credit for.

    i know this was largely a lovefest, but i would love to have hear hurst’s take on the challenges of the transition, particularly in terms of story, or, the lack thereof. the first year of the new production model the show lacked cohesion and often looked and felt more like a series of disjointed music videos than a soap. it wasn’t until grant aleksander returned as phillip in february 2009 that the story finally came together.

    thanks also for the link to the jane elliot interview, who, once again, echoes what so many soap fans have been saying for so long:

    “Yes, there are limitations in daytime with budget and time but then we need to write material that accommodates those limitations. Don’t write shootouts on the pier. Don’t write explosions and fires. If you don’t have the time and the money, make the stories small and intimate and heartbreaking.”

    but, will the suits ever listen? yeah, i know.. rhetorical question.

    I agree, Lynn, re Jill Lorie Hurst and ATWT, and when I interviewed her, she demonstrated her knowledge of ATWT, a show she knew as well as GL. As she said in the interview, she was a P&G fan, so that would have been a wonderful transition. The end of GL and the end of ATWT were miles apart, sadly.

    Jane’s words are spot on, but there are so few people left to hear them……

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