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Guiding Light discussion thread

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1 hour ago, Khan said:

 

Are you talking about the Coopers, or the retro-fitted Bauers?

 

In retrospect, it just seemed silly to introduce this branch of the Bauer family tree we had never heard of before, when simply bringing back Hope, Mike, or even back-from-the-dead Hillary would have sufficed.  If anything, having more Bauers on the canvas to interact with might have helped the audience accept Johnny, Lacey and their parents more.

 

Bauers.

 

I remember reading in a 1986 or 1987 SOD that were plans to bring Hope back. Too bad they didn't.

Edited by DRW50

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4 hours ago, vetsoapfan said:

 

They were all retcon, "fake" Bauers who never actually existed until modern writers with no interest in or knowledge of the show's true history decided to dream them up. None of those characters are canon.

 

 

Papa Bauer's name was Frederick, not Theo. Theo Goetz was the actor who played the role.

 

Thank you.

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Guiding Light. A 50th Anniversary Celebration. by Christopher Schemering. Ballantine Books: New York. "In memory of Charita Bauer 1922-1985" ©1986.


     Acknowledgments: For interviews, I would like to thank Michael Crawford, who provided wonderful photographs and anecdotes about his mother, Charita Bauer; Ellen Demming, whose warm reminisces reactivated my childhood memories of Meta and Bert; Bridget Dobson, who's just as sassy as the characters she creates; Gail Kobe and Joe Willmore, who love to talk shop just as much as I do; Douglas Marland, who is not only a great writer but one of the nicest men in the business; Agnes Nixon, whose infectious laughter got me over my nervousness interviewing one of television's true legends; Arthur Peterson, who made the radio days come alive again; and last but certainly not least , Lucy Rittenburg, a creative force whom I admire enormously. etc.
     "After the Soderburgs left GL to write ATWT, the show went through three other HWs---James Gentile, Robert Denedella and again James Lipton---that made ten different writing regimes in just as many years! What was obviously needed were writers who would bring continuity to GL and bring the show 'into the twentieth century.' In 1975, P&G found them in Bridget and Jerome Dobson, who successfully contemporized GL over the next five years."
     "When we were writing GH," Bridget recalled, it was a reflection of my parents. (Frank and Doris Hursley, show creators.) so GL was our first time out of the nest. It was a terribly exciting period for us." Also we got away from all the fluff, ... like a scene began, someone asked if they can take your coat and how you were, etc. We quickly cut that out and got directly into the dramatic conflict.
         "The Dobsons wrote beautifully constructed stories, centering on a series of intricate romantic triangles---Ed, Rita, Holly---and even quadrangles---Jackie and Justin Marler and Elizabeth and Alan Spaulding."
     The Dobsons zeroed in on Roger Thorpe (played by Michael Zaslow), who was to be the sexiest villain the soaps had ever known. Roger seduced both of Ed Bauer's wives and Ed's half sister as well.
     "Well, that does seem a bit perverse," Bridget laughingly admitted. "But there is a slight bit of perversity in us. That's me. That's my husband. We're ambivalent people. We always strive for purity and 'always' miss!" Roger was our ambivalent villain, our catalyst, and he motivated both story and character.

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     The Rita-Roger-Ed story we loved writing, and I'm very proud of the Holly-Roger-marital-rape storyline. We based that on the Rideout case and researched it at the Rape Crisis Center in Oregon where, Mrs. Rideout had gone.
     "Thinking back on it, it was one of the happiest times in our writing career. We got along very well with the producer Allen Potter."    

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When the Dobsons went to "Santa Barbara" Douglas Marland came in at GL and they told him he had three months to get rid of Roger Thorpe, who wanted to go on to other work. That's how the monumental death in the Dominican Republic came about.
     When the 1979-80 Emmys rolled around, GL submitted a tape with scenes from three different shows: Holly shooting Roger; Roger remembering his rapes of Holly and Rita; and Roger chasing a pregnant Rita through a carnival hall of mirrors to a recording of Barbra Streisand/Donna Summer duet "Enough Is Enough". GL won that Emmy and then two more Emmys after that.


     Television. It had everyone worried---except for Irna. Despite the fact that her first foray "These Are My Children" had been a huge flop in 1949 on NBC she was determined to make serials work in the new medium. Roy Winsor already had---with both "Search for Tomorrow" and "Love of Life" in 1951. Her dilemma was whether the faces and demeanor of her characters would transfer to the television audience. Executives kept asking her if women at home would really take the time to sit and watch! After they viewed the two pilots Irna produced with her own money they decided to go ahead with them. Lucy Rittenburg said, "We were in a sink-or-swim situation. Aggie and I (associate writer) were with Irna
step-by-step. Other women made the mistake of competing with Irna. We did not go there. It turned out we had one of the better working relationships!"
     To illustrate how contrary Irna could be: we set up to go into color production. Everyone was excited ---but Irna. The first day the set was a hospital room! All white! A disaster!


     "When we were casting Morgans," Douglas laughed, "Betty Rea---who is the best casting director in the business---sent me a tape of seven Morgans, and there was an extraordinary creature on the tape who was nowhere close to the concept of Morgan. She was Lisa Brown! Betty said, "I know she is wrong for Morgan, but some show is going to grab up this girl, Douglas, and I suggest you grab her first!"


     "The unravelling of the Carrie story when she came in exhausted and confessed everything to Ross; I thought Jane Elliot was terribly moving. Doug left the show after disagreements with the producer. Potter felt the ratings at the height of the Carrie story were not sufficient to carry on with future story for Carrie. So, actress Jane Eliot was dropped and Doug quit out of protest. Doug said he had a deep emotional commitment to the story and thought it was a cheat not to let the audience see it play all the way out.


     But trouble loomed ahead. In October 1984, the Bauer family was dealt a series of blows. Hillary was killed off. Mike was written out of the show. Ed was recast because Peter wanted to do other work. Hope had been written out already. Many other wonderful Marland characters were written off. But decimating the core family of the Bauers was the real unfortunate series of blows! Alan Michael, Amanda and Victoria were not in the cast.  "Bauer Power" was missing from the show!


     Roger allowed Rita to call the hospital for her test results: they were that Ed was the father of the baby. That infuriated Roger, who tied Rita to an iron bed. Roger heard police radio chatter that they were on the way to the cabin. In his haste to flee, he knocked over a lantern, setting the cabin on fire! Mike and Ed together rescued Rita. Waiting in the Dominican Republic was Roger, hoping to capture Christina. While Holly distracted Roger, Christina escaped. Roger dragged Holly miles through the jungle. While Ed tried to save Roger, he let out a blood-curdling scream & fell off the cliff of the Dominican Republic presumably a fall to his death.


     With all of Springfield reacting to Roger's death, Jackie suffered a concussion. While she was out, she mumbled phrases which made ex-husband Justin realize that he was Phillip's father. Jackie and Justin Marler concluded that they fit together and remarried, deciding though that Phillip should live with Jackie and Justin. Barbara moved to Switzerland to live with Holly and Christina.


     Eventually, Ed married Maureen Reardon. Carrie Todd helped Ross through rough times----introducing him to jogging, health foods and spiritual well-being---and Ross fell madly in love with this creature. Then, Springfield was rocked by two murders---Diane Ballard and Joe Bradley. Dianne and Carrie had been mortal enemies. Looking for the killer, Ross found it to be his girlfriend Carrie Todd! On the witness stand she told of her marriage to Todd McKenzie who had committed suicide. Carrie Todd and Ross Marler married. But, after they did she suffered a psychological problem: develping a multiple personality disorder. Her second personality, Carrie #2 emerged a slut and wreaked havoc all over town. She also had an affair with Josh Lewis. Dr. Sara McIntyyre correctly diagnosed her. Carrie and Ross divorced. (The divorce was Carrie's idea so that Ross would not be held back by her & her problems.)

Then, the introduction of Beverlee McKinsey (thanks to Gail Kobe) was 'hands down' the most sophisticated presence ever to grace the daytime screen, as Alexandra Spaulding.  Creative and commercial acclaim came GL's way. Pam was headwriter for three years and then left to have a child.
     "Bradley Raines was Pam's favorite character creation," Jay said, recalling Pam's three years with the show. "He exemplified evil and he forced good people to react in various ways. He was a great catalyst for drama. There was a dark side to him. "But, the character Pam created that (the actress Pam) would most like to play is Reva! Pam loves her warmth, her impulsiveness, that she was free-spirited, that she came from humble roots and her humanity. They're drawn to her humanity. It makes her special." (I love hearing the discussion of both Bradley---who I wanted to knock his block off often---and Reva who was very much a human!)

 

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Oregon v. Rideout was a trial held in Marion County Circuit Court in 1978 in Salem, Oregon. John Rideout was on trial for an accusation of raping his wife, Greta Rideout. John Rideout was acquitted in the jury trial, but was the first man in the United States to be charged with raping his wife while he was still living with her.

Contents

    1 Background
    2 Trial
    3 Aftermath
    4 References

Background

The charges and case were possible because of a 1977 state law that permitted a wife to charge her husband with rape in Oregon. The alleged assault according to Greta Rideout occurred October 10, 1978, at their apartment in North Salem. Having been arguing recently and facing threats of violence from John, she had refused to have sex with him and at

Edited by Donna B
Draw lines.

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Bette Davis was a daily watcher of all 3 PGP soaps - AW, ATWT & GL.

 

Watched GL: Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Aretha Franklin

 

Isiah Thomas, formerly of the Detroit Postons, currently Vice-President of the Toronto Raptors, watches AMC, OLTL, and GL. In college he would not take courses that were scheduled in the afternoon. He appeared on the 1993 Daytime Emmys in a segment highlighting celebrity soap fans!

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Melissa Scardaville speaks out about GUIDING LIGHT once more

Melissa Scardaville published a note.
April 19, 2009
Another GL Note

I wrote this on 4/2, right after GL was canceled. Thought I would post it. Enjoy.

 

In 1941, in the midst of World World II, the Citizen Kane premiere and Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak, Guiding Light was canceled for the first time. Around 75,000 angry letters convinced Procter & Gamble, the show's sponsor, to return the serial to the airways. Decades later, GL became broadcast history's longest running drama, enjoying a 72-year run that produced over 15,000 episodes and launched the careers of acting luminaries such as Cicely Tyson, Kevin Bacon and Allison Janney. On April 1, 2009, Guiding Light endured its second and final cancellation, one that cannot be overturned by viewer outrage. When the show airs its final episode in September, a vital and integral part of American history will cease.

 

It's easy to dismiss that claim as grandiose. After all, it's only a television show, or worse it's only a soap opera. Yet it is its very identity as a soap opera that makes its loss so acute. America can embrace very few inventions as her own. While baseball and jazz are sources of pride, soap operas, a genre created in the 1930s by former school teacher Irna Phillips, are stigmatized in the United States. Given this ostracism, many people miss what soaps actually are: a treasure trove of our culture's shifting attitudes and ideas, desires and ambitions. Soap operas offer an ongoing record of our collective memory where no single person or group can claim authorship.

 

On the rare occasion that a U.S. daytime soap leaves the airways, talk focuses on the missteps made by the show themselves. Guiding Light is not simply a casualty of its own mistakes but is emblematic of a moribund television industry. Television thrived in eras when daytime earned windfall profits for networks and production companies; primetime banked on the occasional blockbuster and syndication deals. That model has been dead for years yet networks operate as if that paradigm can be revived. They convince themselves that the Internet, cable channels and fickle viewers are simply blocking their pathways to success. The thing is, networks don't really know who watches television, how they watch and incorporate the programming (or not) into their daily lives and why people watch in the first place. Answers to these questions would not matter as much if big decisions and big money didn't ride on them. The ratings are broken and Guiding Light is one victim.

 

At this stage people talk about the inevitable. Of course, Guiding Light would be canceled. Soaps are dying, after all. What is not said is that soaps are dying, not out of disinterest, but neglect. A genre that has nurtured countless innovations can only survive so long when our culture treats them as back alley laboratories. It was not inevitable that Guiding Light stay on the air for 72 years, just as it was not inevitable that the show leave now. Since it will depart, let us take a moment to acknowledge that these decades of narratives have stretched over and connected generations. Let us acknowledge that anyone who sits down to enjoy any television show owes a debt to Guiding Light.

-Melissa Scardaville

 

(Melissa was a prior GL Editor at Soap Opera Digest.)

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Carrie Todd arrived in Springfield in March 1981. A new employee at Spaulding Enterprises, Carrie was a bright vivacious woman who immediately caught the eye of ambitious District Attorney Ross Marler. Carrie introduced Ross to jogging, health foods and spiritual well-being and after a whirlwind romance that humanized Ross, the pair became engaged. Unfortunately after the death of Diane Ballard, Ross would learn that Carrie was a lot more complicated than he thought.
During the course of 1981, Diane Ballard made a name for herself as a devious blackmailer. She ordered Ross to see to it that Phillip (the baby swapped for Elizabeth's stillborn son,

who was actually the biological son of Ross' brother and sister-in-law, Justin and Jackie Marler) was cut out of Alan's will, or she would tell Carrie that Ross had manipulated Amanda Spaulding. Diane also had documents proving that Henry Chamberlain had an illegitimate son with a woman named Stephanie Ryan, named Sean. Diane used this information to blackmail Henry into cementing a business deal with his old pal, H.B. Lewis that was favorable to Spaulding Enterprise. Also, Diane learned that Joe Bradley was working for the Chamberlains, without Alan's knowledge, and she was about to use that information against him. When Diane was fired by Alan, she was so stung by Alan's disloyalty and rejection that she icily threatened to reveal his collusion with Roger Thorpe, Paul La Crosse, Ramon de Vilar and Gonzalo Moreno. Then she started threatening Jackie and Justin with the knowledge that they were the biological parents of Phillip, which no one had yet told Phillip about. Finally, in September, Diane was found dead! A few weeks later, Joe was also found dead in his hotel room on his stomach with a huge gunshot wound with the bullet ripped right threw his heart! The Clayton police department called Mike Bauer and Lt. Wyatt since Joe was one of the suspects in Diane's murder. A few weeks later, the gun used to kill Joe would be found in the Springfield River. Apparently this gun was registered to Joe and had been wiped clean of fingerprints. Finally, in November, several people involved in the case started to suspect that something was not right with Carrie, especially after Ross discovered the information regarding Sean Ryan (Quint Chamberlain) in her apartment--information that he knew came from Diane.
In the meantime, Carrie was covering up evidence that she murdered Joe and Diane! First, she burned her blood stained beige overcoat, then threw Joe's gun into the Springfield River, and finally hid Diane's briefcase under her bed. Not long after, and finally hid Diane's briefcase under her bed. Not long after, Ross found a suicide note written by Carrie, in their apartment. At the same time, Carrie went missing. Meanwhile, Vanessa Chamberlain, Henry Chamberlain, Jackie Marler, Justin Marler, and Ed Bauer converged on Ross and Carrie's apartment when they all got duplicate suicide notes from Carrie. Ross was getting anxious and started rummaging all through their apartment, and discovered Diane's briefcase under their bed. As Lt. Wyatt came to arrest Carrie, Carrie finally showed up with a knife pointed at her right wrist! Instead of committing suicide, Carrie confessed to murdering Joe and Diane but didn't tell them why. Because of her suicide attempt, Carrie was placed in Cedar's psychiatric ward while Ross left the D.A.S office so he could handle her case. After some digging, Carrie's past would be revealed. Years earlier, Carrie and Diane had worked at the Milwaukee firm of Laird & Sogard. While working there she'd fallen in love with a junior accountant named, Todd MacKenzie. They eloped and were happy until Carrie overheard pieces of a conversation between Todd and Diane, which led Carrie to believe that they were having an affair. In truth, Diane had pressured Todd to cook the company books, and string-armed his mother into mortgaging her home to make up for the shortfall. Just as Carrie learned she was pregnant, Todd was driven to suicide over Diane's duplicitous scheme, and as a result, his mother had a stroke. Emotionally devastated, Carrie spent time in a mental institution, where she gave birth to a baby boy. Because of her unstable condition, she felt unfit to raise the child and unwillingly gave him up for adoption to a couple child and unwillingly gave him up for adoption to a couple named Howard and Betty Long. Carrie related that she went to Diane's apartment that fateful night because her blackmailing of Ross, which triggered the memory of what happened in Milwaukee. Carrie and Diane argued and during a struggle, Carrie pushed Diane into the fireplace.
After finding evidence to corroborate Carrie's story, namely the briefcase full of blackmail material which was found under Ross's bed, everyone was shocked when Carrie suddenly disappeared! Finally, Ross found her in Milwaukee after she had stopped by Jackie's father, Emmet Scott's house and hitting him up for $5000. Ross found her partying at a nightclub in Milwaukee and brought her back to Springfield for her trial. At the trial, Carried revealed what happened the day of Joe Bradley's shooting. After she saw Joe leave Diane's cordoned off apartment, Carrie followed Joe to his hotel room in Clayton. Carrie was very afraid that Joe might still use the

in Clayton. Carrie was very afraid that Joe might still use the information he had in Diane's briefcase to blackmail not only Ross, but many of Carrie's friends. When Carrie entered Joe’s room to talk to him, He started to reach for his gun, after threatening Carrie, and Carrie saw it and went after the gun herself. Carrie got the gun and then pointed it at Joe, telling him that she wanted him to go to the Springfield police department, now. When Joe, refused he tried to sweet talk his way to get Carrie to let him go and Carrie yelled, "No!" Joe lunged for the briefcase and tried and get out of the hotel room, but Carrie beat him to the briefcase. Then Joe lunged at her and during the struggle for the gun, Carrie fired point blank at his chest and shot and killed him! After relating all of these events, at her trial, in January 1982, Carrie was acquitted by the jury who concluded that both Diane Ballard's and Joe Bradley's murders were accidents.

Soon after, Carrie and Ross would marry in a beautiful ceremony. After the wedding, they honeymooned in Seattle, WA, which was where Carrie's son, Todd, was living with his adoptive parents. In Seattle, Ross was able to find out that the Longs would be dining at the Seattle space needle restaurant and took Carrie there at the same time so she could get a glimpse of her son. After seeing Todd Jr. Carrie broke down and cried to Ross and then told him she was just happy to see Todd and didn't need to actually meet him. Later, Carrie suddenly disappeared; she showed up a couple of days later, very confused and couldn't tell Ross where she'd been or what she had done. As they were getting ready to leave for Springfield, Carrie expressed her fear to Ross that she was being followed. Unbeknownst to everyone, there would soon be an explanation for Carrie's erratic behavior: she was suffering from split personality disorder. Carrie 1 was normal Carrie, Carrie 2 was Ross's worst nightmare-- a lying contemptuous slut, while Carrie 3 was a scared naive girl. Mere months after her wedding, Carrie 2 would have a one-night stand with not only Josh Lewis but also a teenage boy named Ron Kennedy who lived next door. These incidents would leave Carrie 1 totally shocked and Kennedy totally confused when a horrified Carrie rushed him out of the house. Later, Carrie 3 would make an appearance when both Ron and Ross got mad at her for unrelated reasons. Then one day, Justin saw Carrie putting her arms around Josh at Wired For Sound. Towers asking for Josh's room and repeated it to Ross. Ross went to Josh's and ultimately found Carrie sitting in bed, clutching the sheet around her. She seemed to be frightened and guilty and acted as if she didn't know where she is or what's happening. Hurt and angry, Ross shouted that he didn’t buy it anymore. Though Josh backed Carrie up, saying she had one of her blackout spells, an angry Ross refused to listen and knocked Josh out as Carrie cried out for them to stop fighting. Ross yelled that he didn't think Carrie knew what the truth is anymore, but HE knew what's been going on since she got to Josh's suite.

Josh's suite.

The following morning, Ross returned to the carriage house to see Carrie 2 shredding her wedding dress! Enraged, she attacked him with the scissors! During the struggle, Carrie 2 got the upper hand and was about to kill Ross when suddenly Carrie 1 emerged and stopped, thus saving his life. While she laid sobbing in Ross's arms, he promised that he'd get her help. In therapy with Dr. Sara McIntyre, it finally became apparent that Carrie was suffering from multiple personality disorder.

During therapy, Carrie 1 continued to have blackouts, with Carrie 2 continue to threaten Ross's life and Carrie 3 saddened by the havoc that Carrie 2 had wrought to that nice man, Ross Marler.

Finally Sara was able to convince Carrie 3 to give her strength to Carrie 1, which enabled Carrie to start to get better and agree to extensive therapy in England. Before leaving for England, Carrie called Jackie to explain her behavior and admit that there was no affair.

Tragically, Jackie, finally flying back home, would lose her life in a plane crash.

Months later, Carrie would write Ross asking him to divorce her so he could go on with his life.

Executive Producer at the time, Allen Potter, fired Jane, doing away with the role entirely. Headwriter at the time, Douglas Marland, quit in protest. He went to "Loving" after "Guiding Light".

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On 9/16/2019 at 6:51 PM, Donna B said:

Anyone know who wrote "Jammy"? I loved that story. Only the death was terrible. Ellen & Jilly & Swajeski wrote "Otalia" which was very fine storytelling.

 

So, I found out a bit more about this. For starters, Claire Labine created Jonathan, the character. That's divine! Then, Kreizman did the storytelling of Tammy & Jonathan together, aka "Jammy" but at the time he was also working very closely with Wheeler on it. And, the whole team just gets involved as it unfolds, which is really great. That's the way Writing Teams *should* function. What a comparison that is at the up front position: Ellen Weston with Sandy & the Sock puppet & Claire Labine with Jonathan finding his way to Springfield. One so awful & one so great.

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Claire did not create Jonathan or write his arrival. Jonathan was created as a child by Brown & Esensten.

 

Claire had been fired long before Pelphrey was hired or a plan was put in place to SORAS the character and remove Sandy. Years before, IIRC.

 

As for the Wheeler regime, she was lovely as an actress decades ago but that's not relevant, and I continue to find about 80% of what she did to the show, especially its final years, to be absolute dogshit.

Edited by Vee

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Anything Nancy Curlee ever did in Springfield!), I have to admit that one soap rose above all the others for me. - Tommy Casiello

 


 

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2 hours ago, Vee said:

Claire did not create Jonathan or write his arrival. Jonathan was created as a child by Brown & Esensten.

 

Claire had been fired long before Pelphrey was hired or a plan was put in place to SORAS the character and remove Sandy. Years before, IIRC.

 

As for the Wheeler regime, she was lovely as an actress decades ago but that's not relevant, and I continue to find about 80% of what she did to the show, especially its final years, to be absolute dogshit.

 

I'm a huge fan of Ellen Wheeler's & her regime at GL. You're not. That's just one of those things where people don't agree. It's true that Ellen was a talented actress but she was also a talented Director & Exec Producer.  Frankly, it looks like we disagree about everything here. That's life. Jonathan's early life including horrendous stepfather was one big retcon. I was just speaking of Jonathan from the time he showed up in town - not when he was a little boy on the distant island. Love back, D.

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Being a fan of Ellen Wheeler as Marley is not the same as being a fan of what she did at GL. AFAIC, she turned the show into a bootleg nil-budget show where they had people changing in the backs of cars and bringing stuff from home for wardrobe. Her office doubled as a set. I can go on. It was unconscionable. It feigned at naturalism when really, they did not have the production or post skills to even begin to carry off what they were attempting to do. As a former editor it was hard to watch; as a professional writer, worse. The show became aimless, poorly-edited and audio-mixed vignettes going nowhere. It was a sad end. I know that period has its fans, I am not one of them.

 

Her heart was in the right place and I truly believe she loved the show, but that is not enough. IMO she was not capable or competent for the task she was given. Nothing could've saved GL, but it didn't have to go out like that. And as a gay fan I always found her hands-off, neutered treatment of "Otalia" - through a heavily Mormon (and therefore fundamentally anti-gay) lens, in which the primary function of all women on the show, gay or not, was to procreate and multiply, preferably with the disheveled Frank Dicopoulos - offensive.

 

YMMV, but that's me.

 

Quote

Jonathan's early life including horrendous stepfather was one big retcon. I was just speaking of Jonathan from the time he showed up in town - not when he was a little boy on the distant island.

 

So am I. Claire Labine did not write, create or cast the adult Jonathan or any of his story. The timeline is very clear on who did and she was not a part of it. She was long gone before Ellen, Kreizman or Pelphrey, let alone Conboy (who introduced Sandy/Jonathan #1).

Edited by Vee

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Patrick Mulcahey has been posting a lot on Twitter about his two stints on GL. Some new stories about Marland and how much he loved worked Nancy Curlee and Stephen Demorest.

 

Perhaps of interest to some like @Khan.

 

 

 

 

Edited by BetterForgotten

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8 hours ago, Vee said:

Being a fan of Ellen Wheeler as Marley is not the same as being a fan of what she did at GL. AFAIC, she turned the show into a bootleg nil-budget show where they had people changing in the backs of cars and bringing stuff from home for wardrobe. Her office doubled as a set. I can go on. It was unconscionable. It feigned at naturalism when really, they did not have the production or post skills to even begin to carry off what they were attempting to do. As a former editor it was hard to watch; as a professional writer, worse. The show became aimless, poorly-edited and audio-mixed vignettes going nowhere. It was a sad end. I know that period has its fans, I am not one of them.

 

Her heart was in the right place and I truly believe she loved the show, but that is not enough. IMO she was not capable or competent for the task she was given. Nothing could've saved GL, but it didn't have to go out like that. And as a gay fan I always found her hands-off, neutered treatment of "Otalia" - through a heavily Mormon (and therefore fundamentally anti-gay) lens, in which the primary function of all women on the show, gay or not, was to procreate and multiply, preferably with the disheveled Frank Dicopoulos - offensive.

 

YMMV, but that's me.

 

 

So am I. Claire Labine did not write, create or cast the adult Jonathan or any of his story. The timeline is very clear on who did and she was not a part of it. She was long gone before Ellen, Kreizman or Pelphrey, let alone Conboy (who introduced Sandy/Jonathan #1).

 

Yes, Vee, my mileage does vary. My fandom & appreciation of Ellen Wheeler is not something that just covers her at AW/ATWT, AMC, B&B as actresses. It includes her as a Director & an EP, as well. As a lesbian who adored "Otalia" I don't hold it against EW that she is a Mormon. I think they set out to tell the story of two women of a certain age who fell in love with each other & not per se a gay tale. The show had to deal with Jess's pregnancy somehow & I did not find anything about their handling of it offensive. However, I understand completely that people have different views on this issue and I totally respect that.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From an interview with Jane Elliot ...

 

WLS: What, in your mind, is your finest moment?

 

Jane Elliot: No question about it. "Guiding Light." The story [head writer] Doug Marland created for me was just so good and so rare. Thanks to Doug, I learned who I was as an actor. He stretched me. He pulled me. And I rose to the occasion. He made me look good and I made him look good. ... But, to play Carrie Todd, I had to go very, very deep. And it wasn’t just because of her madness. She was a fully fleshed out, fully realized character living a really rich life. It was a very complete role. And I loved playing opposite Jerry verDorn [Ross], the most generous actor I’ve ever worked with. It was a once in a lifetime thing and I knew it at the time. No 20/20 hindsight necessary."

 

______________________________________________________________

From a Crystal Chappell Exit Interview ...

 

USTH:  The Otalia story on Guiding Light was very popular, but they didn’t show much physical affection between the two.  What were you told behind the scenes regarding what would and what would not be shown?  Also, where along the production line did this decision come from?  Ellen Wheeler?  P&G?  CBS?

CC:  I was told there would be a physical relationship and I asked and was told yes.  This was in January 08, and I don’t know where the decision came from.

 

Edited by Donna B
Draw a line.

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Sara Bibel's Farewell to Springfield ...

 

http://www.fancast.com/blogs/deep-soap/deep-soap-farewell-springfield/

 

Well, I Called That One Wrong

So, after my exhaustive denial of the Guiding Light cancellation hype (and calling my sources on the show who assured me that things were touch and go but they hadn’t heard anything), the show was cancelled today. So, TVWeek one million, fans of Guiding Light, zero. Maybe I was just in denial. Having spent time with the hardworking, optimistic cast and crew just a couple weeks ago, it seems surreal. The longest running soap in daytime is dead, just as started to regain new life creatively. It was, in the end, surely a business decision. I have always suspected that GL was secretly Barbara Bloom’s favorite CBS soap. I heard her excitement when she spoke of the show back in my days at Y&R. If Y&R was the class president, GL was the interesting underachiever who was struggling to turn her life around. Though it wasn’t always reflected on screen, in terms of promotion or budget, she kept the show on the air way longer than its ratings justified. She allowed Ellen Wheeler to experiment with a new production model so the show could stay on the air. Though fans, including me, grasped at straws, the show’s numbers in key demos were significantly lower than the other soaps. The recent improvements, and passionate Otalia fans, haven’t been reflected in the ratings. Unfortunately, it would probably have taken another year of improvement for viewers to notice. Affiliates didn’t help by airing the show in the morning in numerous markets. But most viewers gave up on the show during its first round of budget cuts when the cast was decimated and all the scenes took place in a Beacon Hotel room. They never came back.

My history with GL goes back to the 90s when a college roommate introduced me to what I had always thought of as an old people’s soap. (Ah, that was part of the problem.) It was a great time for the show. The famous blackout week got me hooked. The writing was sophisticated. The acting was superb. It was, also, in retrospect, the beginning of the end. Soon after, Maureen Bauer, a character whose significance I didn’t yet understand, was killed. Most fans would pinpoint that moment as where the show went wrong. Cut out Springfield’s heart and its body will die. The show was still good for several years before it went through its disastrous attempt to mimic James Reilly’s DOOL with Clone Reva and time travel.

I had high hopes for Dave Krezman’s reign as headwriter. Fans forget, but he started out strong with the potentially interesting revelation that Roger had a long lost son Sebastian and the introduction of Jonathan. U was thrilled that a young writer was given the chance to headwrite. I hoped it would revitalize the genre. Then the budget cuts happened. Perhaps a more experienced writer would have been able to handle them better. Numerous mistakes were made (cutting Ross and keeping Jeffrey?). The cuts don’t excuse the sloppy storytelling. But there were still reasons to keep watching. In fact, I’ll say that Jammy and Otalia were the only truly classic soap love stories of the past five years. The new production model was jarring. The show looked more like a freshman student film for the first six months of 2008. I found it impossible to sit through the jerky camera work and numerous scenes of people wandering through fields to the soundtrack of generic pop music. The audience was quite justified in giving up. If only they had known that it was finally safe to come back to Springfield. When I think of GL, I will remember the good times. The brilliant Patrick Mulcahey episodes that inspired me to pursue a career in daytime. The who-shot-Roger-Thorpe storyline that kept me guessing, and delivered a payoff. The unbridled joy of Frank and Eleni’s wedding. The tears I shed at the deaths of Maureen and Tammy. Beth Ehlers ability to sparkle opposite numerous leading men. Kim Zimmer’s one of a kind Reva Shayne baptizing herself the slut of Springfield. The sexiness of Rick Hearst’s Alan-Michael Spaulding, Paul Anthony Stewart’s Danny Santos and Tom Pelphrey’s Jonathan Randall. I will always treasure my more personal memories of interviewing Kim Zimmer twice, watching the show tape, and witnessing Ellen Wheeler’s passion for her job.

The week began with the further collapse of the automobile industry. Now another American institution is dead. No other show has gone from radio to television to the internet, from fifteen minute black and white episodes to handheld digicams. The show transcended eras and trends. It was never the cool soap. It was the soap you watched with your family, arguing about what Reva was wearing and whether Roger Thorpe was worthy of sympathy. Even reading the show’s official press release, I’m still grasping at straws, hoping CBS decided to play a cruel April Fool’s Day prank. But the cold hard truth is, come September the light will turn out for good. And, a little piece of all its fans hearts will die with it.

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