I met Alan Locher twelve (!!) years ago, in December 2008, when I was one of “THE” bloggers who were invited to the set of Guiding Light.
We caused a bit of a fuss – writers from non-traditional news outlets coming in to meet writers, actors and producers and see the studio in NYC as well as a day in Peapack.
Alan was our leader, and couldn’t have been kinder or more generous to us. I was unfortunately off my game as I’d just been laid off three days before (it was 2008, kids) but he kept things calm among the madness.
It’s why I am completely unsurprised by the generosity of spirit that led him to start The Locher Room YouTube channel, and organize several reunions of actors from various daytime shows – especially the P&G shows, of course.
For those of us who loved those shows, it’s been years – a decade for ATWT and GL, and, shockingly, twenty years for AW.
So what an absolute GIFT to be able to see the performers and hear them talking about our favorite characters again.
The world outside feels like it’s burning, to be honest. Between the pandemic and the unsteady political news of the day – and now, the necessary but painful reckoning with our country’s racist infrastructure – there’s been a LOT to process.
Visiting old friends feels like a moment of self-care, a blissful moment of calm.
I’ve loved so many of these reunions, but one of the more meaningful ones was seeing Don Hastings and Kathryn Hays.
Way back in the 00s, when this blog was first launched, I wrote about how Bob and Kim were sort of substitute parents for me at a time when the miles between my own parents and I felt insurmountable. So it was quite meaningful to see them again.
These are joyful reunions, focused on the positive. When there has been criticism, it’s been aired in a respectful way. (And it’s been refreshing to see some of the actors validate the frustrations that we, the audience, were feeling from the cheap seats.)
I’m very appreciative to Alan for this gift. I know he’s probably had a million comments about who he should feature on the channel next.
Alan, if you’re reading this, that FedEx package with the names LISA BROWN JOHN WESLEY SHIPP VICTORIA WYNDHAM written inside? That was totally NOT from me.
But seriously – it’s been a gift. Thanks, from all of us in the audience.
It’s lovely in and of itself, but I hope it’s a catalyst for something.
For someone to appreciate all these amazingly talented performers (and Alan, too!) and put them in roles where they’re a great match.
For networks to realize that, contrary to what a certain recent documentary might say, soaps are NOT dead, and that there’s still life in the format and in many of these characters.
In 2020, when “hit” nighttime shows are drawing a 1.1 rating, having an hour long soap five days a week is not sustainable. But we’d like to see stories rooted in reality, and made with a realistic scope and budget for today. Hoping someone, somewhere, realizes there’s still stories to be told (and money to be made!) from this format. (more on this in an upcoming post.)
PS: As someone who’s always been interested in backstage happenings, I’d love to see discussions with some of the writers/producers etc. I, personally, would love it, but I also see the risk of comments getting ugly opinions about X or Y ruining their show.
One thought on “Reunions and celebrations: the Locher Room”
i, too, have been enjoying these reunions, albeit with some reservations.
i’ll give them a pass on the ongoing technical issues. everyone’s figuring this out as we go along. a larger issue is too many guests. a big part of why the don hastings, kathy hays (with surprise guest, scott defritas) episode worked so well was that it was just the three of them. same for michael swan and maggie reed. when it’s four ot five guests, there’s often so much crosstalk that alan loses control of the episode. contrast the locher room with seth rudesky and james wesley on https://www.starsinthehouse.com/.
the other issue is that alan is a publicist. so when liz hubbard said several times, ‘back in the day,’ he was never going to say, ‘so liz, tell us about back in the day,’ much as many viewers would love to hear what she would have said. same with denice pence mentioning michael zaslow being fired. or scott holmes and ellen dolan’s unhappiness with the final years of ‘world turns. imagine michael logan doing these interviews. btw, what is he doing these days? does anyone have his contact info?
of course, what i (well, a lot of us:) would really love to see is a pgp soaps version of jeff giles ‘llanview in the afternoon’ (which i finally got around to reading. thanks for recommending it). not holding my breath though.
Lynn, thanks. I really agree with the idea of having two or three. It seems like in the sessions with five, at least one experiences technical problems. I don’t know if that’s a Zoom flaw, or that person’s own tech issues, but it does seem like simpler might go more smoothly!
And yes, I’d love to see an ethnography-style book of GL or ATWT (or AW too), similar to the Giles book. I put some considerable thought into trying to compile one for GL, but decided against it. I had no doubts I have the editing skills and the capability to organize it, but I come up short in the connections department, and don’t have the strong persona needed to really sell people on an idea. I hope someone does something similar soon, though!