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Bob Guza interview


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http://tvguide.ca/Soaps/Features/Articles/100721_bob_guza_NB.htm

TVG: I can’t remember the last time a daytime head writer turned one A-story into another A-story into another A-story, as you have beginning with Claudia’s murder last November culminating in Michael’s imprisonment and Franco’s reappearance this summer. You still haven’t played all those beats left to drum up. Luckily, your actors are taking their cues appropriately and doing all the emotional artithmetic themselves. Your show is more show-not-tell these days, which makes the show so much more captivating and compelling to watch because I’m playing all the subtext out in my head.

RG: Well, that’s very perceptive of you to see that

TVG: Even David Chase and Alan Ball can be accused of slightly running off course on The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, if only for a for a moment or two, even though they wrote the two best drama series ever on TV. Why does it seem like a dramatic series can’t maintain a creative high for more than two years, with the exception of Sex and the City and Mad Men?

RG: Well, they sure did have some great run-ups up until those [brief plateaus]. But I see what you’re saying. Yes, inevitably these stories will ascend, climax, and then wane. For instance, take an umbrella storyline, , which will drive your entire show for a long time; inevitably, you’re going to hit that down point. The key though is to have something prepared on the upswing at that time. Didn’t we talk about the Claire Labine situation [at the Tech Emmys?]

TVG: Yeppers.

RG: She’s a classic example. Stone’s death was a great story — but that’s all she had. As a result, not only did the show dip in the numbers, there was nothing to pick the story up. It took her a while to get things back up, but [in her defence] it’s the nature of the beast.

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WOW TvGuide sucks up to him! To be fair (kinda) I'm not surprised he has a huge ego--look at the way ABC/Frons, not to mention people like this interviewer, treat him! Of course why should I be surprised, it's Nelson. I know he loves GH right now, but I think he's complained a lot about it in the past, hasn't he? And calling Vanessa M a secret weapon at this point, before she's returned, is premature at least.

The comments about Chase and Alan Ball are odd (and I'm not sure Sex and the City--a 30 minute series--had all that many great years in it, consistently with no drops, anyway--mad Men I think it's too soon to tell). And love thebackhanded Labine complement.

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The best part is that he trashes Labine for bringing in low ratings with her one story (never mind that Luke and Laura's separation, Brenda/Miguel, Lucy the psychic, were also running at this time), then when it's time to talk about the low ratings for HIS GH, it becomes, gee, this is out of our control, who knows?

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Sometimes, I have to question the school of thought that says ratings dipped for GH when Claire Labine chose to tell Stone's AIDS battle at the same time as Monica's battle with breast cancer. First of all, as CarlD2 points out, there were other stories running concurrently that, while certainly more lighthearted by comparison, were not exactly as enthralling. Second, did ABC do all that good of a job promoting these stories? I remember when the ad department promo'ed the [[email protected]#$%^&*] out of the AIDS Quilt/Homophobia story on OLTL. Did they make at least as much of an effort for Stone and for Monica?

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It is not even the end of 2010 yet and they have already chosen "daytime's most powerful and influential player in 2010."??

Nelson must be so drunk off Guza's arse right now, as all he did during this interview was kiss, lick, drink, & salivate off it it throughout the whole thing! LOL @ him saying that Guza's writing style has changed and that the show is more balanced....um no it hasn't, and no it's not. Please do tell me how GH is balanced when we see the same characters on our screens day in and day out, having the same conversations, interacting with the same people all the time. Some characters not being on the show for days, popping out of nowhere in the middle of episodes, etc. GH is not balanced at all. If balanced means Sonny, Carly, Jason, Lulu, Dante, and on a random week, Sam, on my screen everyday, then oh im sorry! GH is the most balanced soap of them all.

Everything is pretty much the same to me. GH (as usual with all of the soaps) has had it's great moments this past year, but it wasn't all that. Don't get me wrong, I love some parts of the show, but it is sad to know that those will most likely be overshadowed & thrown under come August when Brenda returns. I will try to savor the scraps that don't involve her. Am also excited for the conclusion of the Franco story, and whatever happens with the hospital ambush tomorrow and next week.

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I think you're right, ALLMYDAYS--though I only catch GH about once a week at best. I love how Nelson's interviewing technique is basically to answer his own questions and leave HGuza to reply "Well thanks for noticing how great my writing was!" Sigh.

Khan, you read the Claire Labine interview at We Love Soaps, right? She touches on, and gives a fairly fair defence IMHO about if the show got too dark during that time.

As people know I'm a huge Alan Ball fan, much less so David Chase, but even the way Nelson basically said that Guza was trying to copy Chase, and acted like that was a *good* thing? (And honestly I don't see much of Ball's writing--unless you mean some of the pulpier, more sensationalistic parts of True Blood, in Guza's GH--)

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I don't see any of Ball's writing either, but then I don't see much of Chase's. The first season maybe ,but after that Chase went out of his way to show his mobsters as being bad people. Guza does not do that. The only thing they have in common is that both men clearly ran out of ANY idea with what to do with most of their characters years before their runs on their shows ended.

Don't you love the part where he just casually insults soap fans, while of course trying to kiss up yet again to Franco? Believe me, there are a hell of a lot of primetime and movie fans who can't distinguish actor from character, or who invent some kind of a fictional character out of the actor.

Once again we see that few have as much contempt for soap fans as those actually running the soaps.

Ugh.

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TVG: Dante and Lucky have brought a new moral compass to the show.

RG: We’ve really tried so hard to do that too. When you have all these mob guys or anti-heroes on a show, what tends to happen is your authority figures all become clowns. We decided to reinforce the police department right away with the best people we could find, one would be Dante and the other was Lucky. We’re going to make them honourable, good guys but we’re also going to make them really good at what they do. Not the 10-millionth scene of Jason being arrested refusing to talk and having him being released!

I wish he would have replied with

"well if you think Jason being arrested 10 million times is boring, why the hell did you write it?

And if he did not want the police to be clowns, why did he make mob guys the heroes?

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Claire Labine's writing was amazing. I much preferred her GH to Gloria Monty's but I've always preferred social stories which is why I always loved AMC. I don't care if it was dark and depressing, what is it today? Her stories were wonderful and heartfelt. Depressing maybe but I always felt they balanced the show well. Ned and Lois were one of my favorite stories and that was certainly not depressing.

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