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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, ironlion said:

I grew up in a primarily CBS soap house, and my memories were of 2000s GL. I never gave the show much respect until I saw what it had been in the late 70s (with all the Roger & Holly drama)and the 90s on YouTube. I think things were pretty good up until the Reeva clone and new face Annie mess.

 

What would you all consider the definitively best period of GL, and when did it go off the rails?

 

In my opinion, the best period for the show was 1937-1943, 1947-1968.

That's a VERY long, consistent run of good material (except for 1944-1946). Although there were certainly some good spots in the 70s and early 80s, I think it went off the rails in 1983 and never quite recovered except for some good years there in the early 90s. 

Edited by Bill Bauer
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6 minutes ago, Bill Bauer said:

 

In my opinion, the best periods for the show was 1937-1943 and 1947-1968. Although there were certainly some good spots in the 70s and early 80s, I think it went off the rails in 1983 and never quite recovered except for some years there in the early 90s. 

 

I was just about to post the same basic analysis. 

 

If I were able to "relive" the show again, I'd want to listen to and watch 1937 to 1982 for sure (even though some of those years were not as stellar as others). I'd force myself to stick with the series through 1983 and 1984 only because some of the legacy characters still remained. I'd probably rewatch the few years following the return of Roger and Holly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but I'd skip the dreadful Gail Kobe period as much as humanly possible. Nothing after Nancy Curlee's departure could be classified as quality, IMHO.

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21 minutes ago, Bill Bauer said:

 

In my opinion, the best period for the show was 1937-1943, 1947-1968.

That's a VERY long, consistent run of good material (except for 1944-1946). Although there were certainly some good spots in the 70s and early 80s, I think it went off the rails in 1983 and never quite recovered except for some good years there in the early 90s. 

What happened in 1968 to end that run?


Edit: was it the expansion to 30 minutes?

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2 hours ago, Soapsuds said:

So what is the scoop on all this? Where did the rumors come from? I loved her as Hillary.

Isn't it sad...well for me it is...that they were great on GL and ATWT but were dreadful on their own soap Santa Barbara....

Oh God..they were terrible for ATWT...they could write three stories....James and Babs and John...Tom and Margo and Betsy and Steve..everyobdy else just kind of sat around and they almost decimated the Hughes family.  Tho I did love John faking his death and Dee on trial for his murder...that was as close to an umbrella story as they could muster. I wonder why they could write for the Bauers but disregarded the Hughes?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ironlion said:

I grew up in a primarily CBS soap house, and my memories were of 2000s GL. I never gave the show much respect until I saw what it had been in the late 70s (with all the Roger & Holly drama)and the 90s on YouTube. I think things were pretty good up until the Reeva clone and new face Annie mess.

 

What would you all consider the definitively best period of GL, and when did it go off the rails?

 

Honestly, for my personal best period, I have to go with the time frame between 1977 and 1980. By 1977, the Dobson era was more or less solidified, and there were a good mixture of established characters and new ones. The addition of The Spauldings when the show expanded to an hour in late 1977 only served to strengthen the show. The biggest "dud" during the Dobson's time frame (IMHO) was the botched return of Bill Bauer. It had so much potential, but it unfortunately failed to "stick the landing", as the saying now goes. The ending of my favorite era would be when Roger Thorpe fell to his "death" on April 1, 1980.

 

As far as going off the rails...for me, that was during the end of 1984, when there was nothing left of the legacy of TGL. Any legacy characters from the previous decade or two were either fired or written off. Charita Bauer was the only exception, and she would unfortunately pass away at the end of that year. Katie and Floyd Parker would eventually be written out in 1985, and only Ross Marler survived.

Edited by zanereed
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Faulkner said:

What happened in 1968 to end that run?


Edit: was it the expansion to 30 minutes?

 

I don't think that had so much to do with it as much as it was about Agnes Nixon's departure (even though that happened in 1966). So, I probably should have said 1966. I think that's when the writing started to slip but, to be generous and fair, I'd probably extend the glory years to 1973. I just don't think the writing was consistently great after Nixon left. I think that, except for a few bad years in the mid 40s, the writing was never as good as it was under Irna Phillips and Agnes Nixon. Such a difficult question. The only thing I can say for sure is that the show went off the rail in 1983/1984 and, if I could only watch/listen to five years of TGL, it would be the first five. 

Edited by Bill Bauer
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Posted (edited)

Great feed back and wow, the mid 80s is very early compared to other soaps! From what I've read across SON, a lot of users post somewhere between the mid 90s and early 00s as the quality decline mark on other soaps. Overall the 2000s were not kind to Guiding Light (and All My Children) especially. Once the new production model came, that was it! I didn't like that Guiding Light was cancelled, but I can't say the show wasn't asking for it in the latter years. 

Edited by ironlion
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I think it depends on when one first started watching GL.

 

For me, my earliest memories was 1984/5... and thinking it was a cool show.  But I would say 1989 to 1993 was the period I most enjoyed.  My college room mate thought fall 1998 to 1999 was pretty good (he was intrigued with Blake and was surprised that Sherry Stringfield previously played the part).

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43 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

I think it depends on when one first started watching GL.

For me, my earliest memories was 1984/5... and thinking it was a cool show.  But I would say 1989 to 1993 was the period I most enjoyed.  My college room mate thought fall 1998 to 1999 was pretty good (he was intrigued with Blake and was surprised that Sherry Stringfield previously played the part).


Exactly right. For me too the late 80s/early 90s, broadly tracking with SS's tenure although not necessarily just for that reason, was a good time period. I am a big fan of Bev McKinlee and the show had lots going for it overall. Maybe it wasn't quite up to the level of the Golden Age, which I haven't seen, but it was good soap so it'd be wrong to dismiss it. But by the time the second third of the 90s rolled around there was an evident and sharp decline in the quality of the show that it never recovered.
It of course still had moments and pockets of goodness - the entire Annie vs Reva saga will stay as a highlight of the history of the show IMO - but it was way too uneven and flawed to be called good.

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49 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

I think it depends on when one first started watching GL.

 

For me, my earliest memories was 1984/5... and thinking it was a cool show.  But I would say 1989 to 1993 was the period I most enjoyed.  My college room mate thought fall 1998 to 1999 was pretty good (he was intrigued with Blake and was surprised that Sherry Stringfield previously played the part).

To me 1989-93 is my favorite period. I found 1998/99 to just be ok. 

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2 hours ago, ironlion said:

Great feed back and wow, the mid 80s is very early compared to other soaps! From what I've read across SON, a lot of users post somewhere between the mid 90s and early 00s as the quality decline mark on other soaps. Overall the 2000s were not kind to Guiding Light (and All My Children) especially. Once the new production model came, that was it! I didn't like that Guiding Light was cancelled, but I can't say the show wasn't asking for it in the latter years. 

 

For my five favourite soaps, I can pinpoint the quality decline mark for each (give or take a year or two):

 

GL: 1983

ATWT: 1994

DOOL: 1983

AW: 1975

Y&R: 1986

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24 minutes ago, Bill Bauer said:

 

For my five favourite soaps, I can pinpoint the quality decline mark for each (give or take a year or two):

 

GL: 1983

ATWT: 1994

DOOL: 1983

AW: 1975

Y&R: 1986

I think I can guess why some of those years were selected.

 

GL: 1983 - Reva arrives.

ATWT: 1994 - Douglas Marland passed the year before so all his story outlines are over by then.

DOOL: 1983 - Supercouple era starts.

Y&R: 1986 - Cricket becomes a full-time character and proceeds to eat the show for the remainder of the decade.

 

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15 hours ago, vetsoapfan said:

 

I thought Martin Bruhner arrived in the summer, but if he showed up in March, then the Cullitons and Tomlin must have been writing. And here I was trying to give Long a compliment on her first stint as TGL's headwriter; the first time THAT has happened in almost four decades, LOL! 

 

Thanks for the clarification.

Bruhner was around when Phil MacGregor was playing Rick. It was a weird period when Rick and Phillip started hanging around with Morgan. Long arrived in May just as Morgan left town and Michael O’Leary arrived as the new Rick. Was just watching the Thanksgiving 1983 episode and couldn’t stand O’Leary’s antics. 

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I loved the Potter-Dobson-Marland and the Calhoun-Long-Curlee eras

What is left? The Reva years. This character and the arrival of the Lewises ruined GL for me. The show became cheap, one-dimensional, tacky and stupid. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, kalbir said:

I think I can guess why some of those years were selected.

To me, Guiding Light declined after 1997. Y&R 2001- The production quality went down afterwards. GH - 2000 when Wendy Riche got the boot & Sonny really began to eat the show. OLTL-1996 after Michael Malone left and the Viki DID plot wrapped up. AMC-1997 after Lorraine Broderick left. 

 

I suppose the dates everyone listed were when shows began to decline rather than become utterly "unwatchable". 

 

I've come to understand that Reeva is Sonny Corithos of GL, in that she eats the show at the disdain of older fans. This in stark contrast to Erica Kane or Viki Lord whom fans seemed to like at the center of their shows.

Edited by ironlion
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