Guiding Light discussion thread

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GL now joins some illustrious company in the cancelled soap thread.

Let's share memories and ask questions here.

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Thanks for starting this, Paul. I still find it hard to believe GL is gone! :-(

One character that always fascinated me from the time I started watching in 1977 or so until she left was Rita Stapleton-Bauer.

From her past with Roger, marriage to Ed and affair with Alan, I always loved the character.

I've always wondered why Lenore Kasdorf left the show (around 1981?) and why the role was never recast. And in my hopes for rejuvenating the Bauers, I always thought she could have been the way to do it. Perhaps when she left town, she was pregnant with Ed's twins (boys) and when they returned to town they would be young Bauers - the next generation of this most important family to GL.

What do y'all think?

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I think it was Lenore's choice to leave,to give Hollywood a try.She was also a new mother and her husband was an actor also.

Possibly,GL didn't pressure her too much to stay as Marland may have been more interested in his own characters at that point,and Rita had had a lot of story in her time on the show.

She showed up on DOOL in 83 as Veronica-a non contract role.It was hinted that it would become contract,but Veronica simply vanished.

Rita could have returned to Springfield at some point,but succeeding writers showed little interest in the past-a big mistake.

The fact that the Bauers didn't really have a next generation was a problem.

Mike,after 4 marriages only had Hope.It would have been smart to have Leslie give Mike a child.Ed only had Rick and later Michelle,despite numerous marriages also.

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Good points, Paul. I know alot of people fault some of the later writers because of the "missing" Bauers, but you're right - the next generation seeds were never sown in the 70s.

Of course Rita could have been used to develop some of the next generation off-screen. And I think that Long attempted a Bauer retcon with Johnny that wasn't entirely successful. Alot of people didn't consider him a "true" Bauer. And then there was the periphery Bauer godson in Kelly that Marland created.

It does seem strange that Mike (in particular) and Ed were not more prolific. I liked Ed, but Mike was always the "Hero" of the family - moreso than the alcoholic Ed. And it escapes my memory now which regime brought in Meta Bauer - was it Rauch? or Liabson?

Regardless, Rita always fascinated me and I've often wondered about her character's legacy on the show to others. And didn't LK also show up on Santa Barbara at one point? Hmmm.

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Meta came in just as Laibson and McTavish were ousted.Wasn't there some story that Meta recognised Zachary 'the angel' from years gone by or some such crap?It was quickly dropped.

I always thought Meta should have come to town at the time of Bert's death,to take over as matriach,rather than all those years later.

Keeping the Bauers alive and active on the show should have been a priority,not an afterthought.

i forgot about Kasdorf on SB.The Dobsons obviously liked her,although the character never amounted to much.

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Yes! Zachary "The Angel" and Meta. Yeah, that was a stinker. LOL!

Somehow it never occurred to me until just now discussing the rejuvenation of the Bauers that they could have done that with Meta. But probably not - I just googled the character's history and she only had one child that died in a "freak accident". Although she was married a few times.

After Charita Bauer died, it really bothered me that it took them a little while to address it on the show. I think your idea to bring Meta on at that time would have been a good one. The Bauers needed someone like that to fill the void that Bert's death left in the family.

Other than Meta, it appears that the last child of Mama and Papa Bauer - Trudy - was childless as well. Hmmm.

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I remember some people speculated that Rita was forgotten because the show was afraid people would confuse her with Reva. It's weird though that not only did she never return, she was NEVER mentioned, even though she was right there with Ed, Roger, and Holly in their big stories.

Rita just fascinates me. Talk about an antiheroine! She, along with Dorian Lord, wrote the book on that. And has there ever been a sexier woman in soap? My uncle, who mostly teases people about soaps and sees them as being about women who don't leave home, still talks sometimes about how hot she was.

You've probably already read this but I thought it was a good summation of her.

http://glmemories.blogspot.com/2007/06/satisfaction.html

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Wow, Carl! Thanks for posting this and no - I had not seen this before! :D It's good to know that others found "Rita Bauer" so compelling. My mother never liked the character and was glad when she left - I think for the reasons that AP says in the article. But I just .... ugh ... found her so fascinating. She was so flawed, interesting.

That was a time when some characters were truly written with shades of gray. So sad to see in today's shows, the writers have to hit us over the head with "She's a crazy girl! Look what she did!" stories.

Man, how I miss Rita.

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I don't want to generalize, but I do wonder if women have a very different reaction to Rita than men. I think Barbara Norris was supposed to represent a lot of the female viewer reaction to Rita -- expecting the worst of Rita, treating her with thinly veiled disgust.

Did you ever see Lenore's Moonlighting episode? She was in one of the very early episodes. Something about weapon systems or something. She fired a big laser gun and she had big hair and rolled around on the floor with Bruce Willis and it was a hot mess. I can see why she left daytime but I wish she'd stayed, she was perfect for soaps.

GL at that time seemed to have such complex female characters. I would love to sink my teeth into Amanda, Rita, Jackie, Holly.

With the exception of the Rauch years and some of the Conboy period, I think GL was consistently the soap that had complex, dynamic women. Even when GL was in the pits, I don't think they went quite as far into the woman-hating that most soaps did, with a few exceptions. Even at the end, Reva, Dinah, they were complex women. I think that's what I miss about GL the most, as strong, complex women are what got me hooked on soaps.

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Carl, I think you're onto something in regards to men and women's view of Rita. I don't know if you're generalizing, but I see your point. She was an adulterer. A "whore" as Potter said. I think that's what my mother saw in the character - someone doomed to never be faithful to her husband, no matter what. But I saw (and I hate to keep repeating myself) a person torn between what she wanted in life and what she actually had, and trying to reach the "want".

I never did see her on Moonlighting - and I loved that show! I'll have to see if (hopefully) YouTube has something.

And as much as I couldn't stand EW/DK's GL, they did keep their women strong until the end. Dinah Marler, Reva Shayne, Vanessa Chamberlin. Come to think of it, Rauch did tend to tear down the stronger women on GL, didn't he? To begin with, MK was sidelined. Reva was turned into someone whose life revolved around BUD. Annie....well. Need I say more. I loved CW though. Even back in her heyday, Burt Bauer was never pushed around either.

Can you imagine what these women would be doing if Sheffer ever got his hands on this show??

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I found Rauch's GL to be entertaining, at least more often than not (I didn't think the Lucky Gold stories were entertaining, aside from Lorelei, and minus the increased airtime for the wonderful Meta, the Labine year annoyed me more than anything else), but I do think he dumbed the women down. There was a lot of very insulting material for women, especially when B&E were there. The women existed just to fight over men or to have babies. I really hated what they did with Beth. The story which made me see red was when she chased after Matt and kept telling Vanessa she was old and unattractive. Rauch was obviously not hiding his Maeve Kinkead hate. What was done to Vanessa in those years was just sad. Then again, Laibson and McTavish also thoroughly weakened and marginalized Vanessa, and they had no bad blood with Maeve, so what can I say.

I will say that I thought Rauch did a better job of giving Wendy Moniz material than Laibson/McTavish did. Wendy was not a heroine, she wasn't even that believable as an antiheroine, so making her a crazy b!tch was the way to go. I still laugh at the memory of Dinah unknowingly hitting on her uncle or Dinah running around town wearing a napkin on her face to hide her scar. I don't accept that as being what Dinah should have been, but I preferred her in that role compared to the Dinah who was supposed to be our heroine even though she gave Roger electroshock therapy.

I also thought that the early Cassie, very tough and bitter but with a good heart, was much better than the one who gave her tiara to the poor.

I think the biggest failure with GL in terms of women, in their later years, was what they did to Marah. Not just the Lindsey McKeon recast, but the writing for her. The memory of her showing her "strength", or whatever Rauch and Taggart called it, by ripping off her clothes and demanding Tony go through with his rape attempt ::shudder::

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Fortunately, I did not see that scene with Marah. Sounds horrendous! :-(

The Rauch years for the most part were entertaining for me as well. Cynthia Watros alone made GL must-see TV, even if the story was out there. If any other actress would have been playing that role, it wouldn't have been considered so successful. And I think Rauch was actually able to get the ratings ticking upward at that time.

Wendy and Maeve had alot of chemistry as Mother/Daughter, IMO. The way Wendy would just seem to be seething hatred toward her was incredible. But the character of Dinah was dumbed down under B&E to be desperate for the love of a man (surprise) in Hart. I always thought that Dinah should be the one Hart was chasing after - NOT the other way around. Although it did create one of more interesting rivalries on the show between her and Cassie. I remember at the time literally hating Cassie's guts and rooting for Dinah all the way. By that time, B&E had turned Cassie into a goody-two shoes and that just bugged me. After Watros left, I do think that Rauch and B&E upped the crazy factor for Dinah.

After Wendy left, I didn't think they could ever recast that role, but kudos to EW for finding Gina.

Arguably, "Reva Shayne" is arguably the most widely known "DIVA" from GL, but there are any number of women that could have ended up in the same position, isn't there? Nola Reardon (who we discussed in the other thread), Vanessa Chamberlin, Dinah Marler, Blake Marler, Harley Cooper (damn close), Alexandra Spaulding, India von Halkein, Rita Bauer and even perhaps Carmen Santos (although I didn't care for the mob in Springfield).

Of those, it would have been so interesting to see what India's story could have become had they had tied down Mary Kay Adams. Why was she always so hesitant to stay on long-term?

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SNL: Thursday Night Update spoofed the show's cancellation. LOL...it was pretty hilarious

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2nd week of my life w/out GL and not watching CBS daytime - really miss GL - however I don't miss CBS at all and I will not miss CBS next week when I don't watch CBS, but will miss GL - CBS should never have taken off our GL and put on a stupid game show with clam people.

:mad:

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Of those, it would have been so interesting to see what India's story could have become had they had tied down Mary Kay Adams. Why was she always so hesitant to stay on long-term?

I never knew MKA wouldn't stay with the show long term. India was always one of my favorite characters. She was so complex and multidimensional. I would have loved for her daughter to come to Springfield and more of the von Halkein family explored. Does anyone know why she wouldn't stay on with a long term contract?

Edited by CSF

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