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The state of GL by Patrick Erwin

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Every time I watch GL, I am of two minds.

On one hand, I am struck by the absolutely miniscule budget, stripped to the bone cast, and host of irrelevant, ill-conceived storylines. Rafe and Natalia? Beth's latest baby? Jeffrey? Father Josh? Wild, desperate improvisation with Harley, Marina, Cyrus, Mallet, and others?

OTOH, I am also always struck by what I think are often extremely talented, naturalistic dialogue writers, to the point where I begin to wonder if the actors are rewriting themselves. Many of the actors, like Bob Bogue, Beth Ehlers, Robert Newman, even Zimmer, are also great. But they're all stuck in bad, bad stories, or stuck writing bad or pointless stories. If you can divorce yourself from the contexts of the scenes, bits like Mallet and Marina being tempted by their long-standing affection for each other on the job is almost compelling if you forget about Dinah or the fact that Mallet was once her uncle! I thought the beginning of the Dinah brain damage story was great, and that her and Matt turning to each other as Matt's midlife crisis made some sense. Even the Reva/Jeffrey or Josh and family scenes are sometimes very real, if you forget that Jeffrey is totally pointless and Fr. Josh is a horrible idea.

They seem to me to have a lot of the right tools available to them. The nonsense with Will and Edmund is endlessly entertaining, and I don't understand why they haven't properly explored the post-Tammy Cassie, who seemed for a long time to be damaged, on the edge, and capable of almost anything - like cheating on Josh and succumbing to her inner 'whatever' by f_____g Edmund. Nicole Forester may not be right as Cassie but she is infinitely more interesting when she is playing 'dark' Cassie or in scenes with DAM.

GL just needs to beef up their wrecked families, get new storylines and concepts, and for God's sake, get some more [!@#$%^&*] money.

Incidentally, the first things I'd do would be dump some of the no-hopers, like Rafe and Natalia, figure out a way to restore the Bauers, and then find any way possible to bring back the elderly and unwilling Beverlee McKinsey back as Alex on any basis, along with Catherine Hickland in the role of Hope Bauer to throw Alan for a loop.

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Great article. And Vee, very good post. I agree with a lot of the things you have said.

The thing that aggravates me the most about my beloved GL is the way the stories are told. You're right Vee, the dialogue (for the most part) comes across to me as very genuine. It seems to me, as you have said, effortless. That's really the highlight of the story. At times, the writers seem to have some very good ideas for stories that fall completely flat on-screen. For example:

- Josh going to prison to "save" Cassie. How ironic would it have been that while he was in prison, Josh was the victim of prison rape? The savior would then need saving. That would have been compelling drama for not only Josh, but Reva and Cassie as well. KZ would have knocked that out of the park. And it would have given NF/Cassie ever more reasons to slip from reality. NF/Cassie was VERY watchable and interesting to me as "Crazy Cassie".

- Edmund's return to Springfield should have been played out with his ultimate coupling with Alex. DAM and Marj Dusay would be spectacular as the "King and Queen" of Springfield. In my opinion, their scenes together oozed chemistry.

EW/DK have annointed the Coopers the Kennedys of Springfield, ignoring other families that are severly disjointed. Shayne and Marah should return to town ASAP. The Bauers could be easily re-constituted by bringing an aged Rita back to town with her grown TWIN children (guy/girl) that she was pregnant with when she left town. Ed's children. Meta's side of the family could be explored a little further with news of her death (I don't remember them killing her character off on-screen), they return to town. It wouldn't be that difficult with a little imagination. I love the idea of Hope Bauer being re-introduced with either Catherine Hickland or Robin Mattson.

Of course, the "Inside the Light" episodes have to go. Like NOW. They disrupt the continuity of the story and much too much happens in that hour time frame.

Lastly, EW/DK's proclivity for letting major events happen off-screen (Beth/Rick's affair, Vanessa/Matt's reconciliation, Beth's "present" from Philip) have to stop NOW. In order for viewers to actually CARE about the story being told, we have to SEE IT! Not hear about it weeks or days after it's happened. While I like the character of Rafe and his portrayer (yum), IA that him and his mother's presence in Springfield is not necessary. Get rid of them, AVA, Remy, nuDylan and Daisy. They are all dead wood.

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