Jump to content
Paul Raven

Guiding Light discussion thread

Recommended Posts

I was watching some really compelling episodes around Labor Day 1992 where Alan-Michael is trying to outrun the truth about setting up Frank with another woman, in order to get Eleni for himself, A.C. Mallet suffering the fallout and little Billy Lewis having run away to try to bring his parents back together.

 

There was a scene with little Billy at Cross Creek blaring Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" and I just couldn't help but think about the fact that earlier that day I'd seen the big budget video version of "Old Town Road" that had over a million views in its first day.  I wondered whether the guy who sang that song could've imagine that he'd be collaborating with rappers on remixed versions of country trap songs, LOL.  It was kind of cool to think of it though.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's still deeply sad to think that a GL episode from the early 90's (during a Republican presidency no less) is still a hell of a lot more contemporary than any daytime soap on the air right now.

 

Though the ABC soaps got all the credit for being "young, hip, and contemporary" - I think Nancy Curlee and company wrote a very contemporary soap during their era, within a very traditional structure and foundation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I've noticed is that during a zenith of various P&G soaps, Kenneth L. Fitts and Edward Trach were supervisor and/or executive in charge of production.  I'm not sure how many fans of these shows appreciate that fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Something I've noticed is that during a zenith of various P&G soaps, Kenneth L. Fitts and Edward Trach were supervisor and/or executive in charge of production.  I'm not sure how many fans of these shows appreciate that fact.

 

Once Edward Trach retired and Kenneth Fitts became the Executive in Charge of Production for P&G is when the trouble started for the P&G soaps in 1995 with the great EP swap in the Spring of 1995.  JFP at Another World, John Valente at As the World Turns, and Michael Laibson at Guiding Light.   While this might have looked like a good idea on paper, it would hurt all three P&G shows in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, watson71 said:

 

Once Edward Trach retired and Kenneth Fitts became the Executive in Charge of Production for P&G is when the trouble started for the P&G soaps in 1995 with the great EP swap in the Spring of 1995.  JFP at Another World, John Valente at As the World Turns, and Michael Laibson at Guiding Light.   While this might have looked like a good idea on paper, it would hurt all three P&G shows in the long run.

 

Yeah, I definitely noticed that when they worked in tandem, is when I noticed that these P&G shows were high quality production, which is why I said "and".  The and/or referred to their titles because honestly, I couldn't remember the exact titles, lol.

Having worked in the production of a T.V. show myself, I'm well aware that one element being changed from a winning setup can cause things to go awry, especially when you're dealing with something of a machine like television production.  It's not like theater that allows for a measure of chaos while producing top-drawer results in the end.

 

 

One other point about that episode.  In four short years after his GL appearance, Jesse L. Martin would be onstage for the musical phenomenon Rent.  I was doing a summer internship for an independent theater producer the year that Rent debuted on Broadway and I will never forget the very long queues for ticket purchases. 

The producer I worked for was one of the investors for Rent.  She didn't care for the musical itself but was loving those profits.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/20/2019 at 7:16 PM, BetterForgotten said:

It's still deeply sad to think that a GL episode from the early 90's (during a Republican presidency no less) is still a hell of a lot more contemporary than any daytime soap on the air right now.

 

Though the ABC soaps got all the credit for being "young, hip, and contemporary" - I think Nancy Curlee and company wrote a very contemporary soap during their era, within a very traditional structure and foundation. 

 

Early 90's GL (the Reva free years) was probably the best soap on the air.  Or at least I thought it had the most sophisticated and character driven stories out of the soaps on the air.   Granted I loved the show during that era.  Because most of the characters didn't fall into typical soap opera categories. Every character seemed to be able to make mistakes and get to be the hero at times.   Even the "good" girls and guys, were flawed and made mistakes.  No character was completely good or bad.   Unfortunately, I think by the mid-to-late 90's that type of character development and storytelling was gone for good.   But, early 90's GL?  Was amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Emma1420 said:

Early 90's GL (the Reva free years) was probably the best soap on the air.  Or at least I thought it had the most sophisticated and character driven stories out of the soaps on the air.   Granted I loved the show during that era.  Because most of the characters didn't fall into typical soap opera categories. Every character seemed to be able to make mistakes and get to be the hero at times.   Even the "good" girls and guys, were flawed and made mistakes.  No character was completely good or bad.  Unfortunately, I think by the mid-to-late 90's that type of character development and storytelling was gone for good.   But, early 90's GL?  Was amazing.

 

The dialogue during this period was particularly standout.  Some of the philosophical discussions that occurred between characters--I appreciate the fact that during this period, the writers didn't "dumb down" topics for the audience, the writers put it out there and trusted that the viewers would 'get it'.  

 

Watching the whole Ross running for Senate storyline, I'm amazed when I see a PSA urging viewers to "Get Out and Vote" or Ross basically embracing what is universal healthcare.  I could not imagine any characters discussing politics on today's soaps.  I have had many debates (pun intended) with soap fans who claim that soaps should not engage in real world challenges or breach the politic but I disagree--I think, if written well, engaging in real world concerns keeps soaps relevant.  I think the problem with most soaps over the past 15 years or so is that many are no longer relevant for most viewers, which is why the ratings continue to dip, year over year.

 

During this period, GL managed to mix the deeply intimate with the global, even metaphysical and dealing with cosmology (I remember one stunning bit of dialogue between Nadine and another character about whether there was intelligent life outside of Earth in the universe).  The use of characters across all age groups was pretty good and even-handed (it wasn't perfect but it towers over what soaps do now).

 

I would say Alexandra's and BM's absence from the canvas is still deeply felt in the storylines that I am currently watching.  The scandal afflicting Spaulding mainly due to Alan-Michael's schemes, Nick McHenry still reeling from his broken engagement/non-wedding to Mindy.  Fletcher reeling after being 'stood up' at the altar by Vanessa, even Ross' election scandal and the reaction from Springfield's elite--it just seems like there are empty pockets where Alexandra's presence should be.

But yeah, this is a great period for the show in terms of the writing talent, the acting talent, the production quality and unlike her work on Y&R, JFP and her use of exterior shots were actually done well on GL.

The killing off of Maureen though...well done in the short term, definitely came back to bite in the long term.  Turned out Peter Simon wasn't the easiest to find chemistry with, so there goes your tentpole matriarchal and patriarchal figures-- wiped away in a car crash.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very little from that era feels dated upon rewatching it too. I know strong dialogue was very important to Nancy Curlee and Stephen Demorest - Nancy once said she looked for scriptwriters who avoided cliches and that definitely was apparent for much of that time.

 

In some ways, Nancy Curlee has become the Harper Lee of daytime soaps - only one HWing stint, but one was very memorable where viewers who follow writers are often left to wonder what else she could have done in the medium had she stayed or went on to write for other shows. She’s arguably the last great “storyteller” American daytime soaps produced. Also the only HW I think that came close to the late Doug Marland’s storytelling sensibilities.

Edited by BetterForgotten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Emma1420 said:

 

Early 90's GL (the Reva free years) was probably the best soap on the air.  Or at least I thought it had the most sophisticated and character driven stories out of the soaps on the air.   Granted I loved the show during that era.  Because most of the characters didn't fall into typical soap opera categories. Every character seemed to be able to make mistakes and get to be the hero at times.   Even the "good" girls and guys, were flawed and made mistakes.  No character was completely good or bad.   Unfortunately, I think by the mid-to-late 90's that type of character development and storytelling was gone for good.   But, early 90's GL?  Was amazing.

 

I agree up to late 1992. After that, I don't. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, throughout 1993 a lot of JFP’s worst tendencies were starting to overtake the show. By mid-1994, GL had become totally unwatchable IMO. It was so sad to see and sit through and also tough as CBS soap viewer since ATWT was also starting to plummet during that time.

Edited by BetterForgotten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

Very little from that era feels dated upon rewatching it too. I know strong dialogue was very important to Nancy Curlee and Stephen Demorest - Nancy once said she looked for scriptwriters who avoided cliches and that definitely was apparent for much of that time.

 

In some ways, Nancy Curlee has become the Harper Lee of daytime soaps - only one HWing stint, but one was very memorable where viewers who follow writers are often left to wonder what else she could have done in the medium had she stayed or went on to write for other shows. She’s arguably the last great “storyteller” American daytime soaps produced. Also the only HW I think that came close to the late Doug Marland’s storytelling sensibilities.

 

I agree that very little seems dated.  That period of the show holds up very well.   While i suspect objectively 1991-1992 were the better years, I enjoyed almost the entire show until Reva showed back up in 1995. Although I tend to think that 1994 onwards the show wasn't as fresh and seemed to fall victim to more of stereotypical soap tropes the things I'd expect to see on the ABC soaps.

 

The writing was just great back then.  I understood the characters motivations, and even the weaker actors on the show (for example, the guy who played Dylan) never seemed that bad, because I understood why they were doing what they were doing.

 

The only major misstep was killing off Maureen.  And I think that was more to do with the fact that I didn''t think Peter Simon was a particularly good actor, and so I spent the majority of that storyline wanting him to just go away.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been watching clips of Annie Dutton as I was curious about Cynthia Watros’ acting after learning she would be new Nina on GH. Annie reminds me of another soap Annie-Annie Novak/Lavery/Chandler on AMC. She also went crazy after her husband dumped her like trash when the so called love of his life returned.

Edited by SamandWillowFan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/23/2019 at 4:04 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

The dialogue during this period was particularly standout.  Some of the philosophical discussions that occurred between characters--I appreciate the fact that during this period, the writers didn't "dumb down" topics for the audience, the writers put it out there and trusted that the viewers would 'get it'.  

 

During this period, GL managed to mix the deeply intimate with the global, even metaphysical and dealing with cosmology (I remember one stunning bit of dialogue between Nadine and another character about whether there was intelligent life outside of Earth in the universe).  The use of characters across all age groups was pretty good and even-handed (it wasn't perfect but it towers over what soaps do now).

 

This was a great example of the type of dialogue that I was talking about.  I guess the show often used Nadine as a talking point to show that she was open to concepts that might be considered "out there" to other characters.

I don't see characters on any of today's daytime soaps even broaching concepts of these sorts.  Actually, even back then, this type of discussion was pretty rare on most soaps of the day.  IMO, it was presented in a way that was not meant to mock but explore those topics and go beyond the usual soap chatter. The scene starts at 6:16.

 

https://youtu.be/bqCOIvCHv0g?t=376

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...