Grading The Guiding Light

Today’s GL is giving fans EXACTLY what they’ve deserved all along, intergenerational story telling that makes you want to tune in for more:

  • The matriarchs of the Lewis/Spaulding-Raines clans getting together to pull off the ‘wedding of the century’.  Bill Lewis and Elizabeth “Raines” Spaulding are getting married in 21 days… We know, because almost everyone on screen repeats that there were only 21 days left.  The gathering of the matriarchs would have been PERFECT, if the following hadn’t happened:  Vanessa, Alexandra, Beth, and Lillian plan the wedding of the century in Peapack/Springfield’s equivalent of a 7/11.  I was distracted by the display of batteries  and other point of sale merchandise on the checkout counter behind the cafeteria seats they were sitting in.    What lousy product placement!  It only made me think of making sure I had enough fresh batteries to FF through most of what’s airing on daytime right now.  I also kept thinking about the beloved but bratty Vanessa Chamberlain and  the stuffy and sophisticated  Alex Spaulding who wouldn’t have been caught dead in a convenience store cafeteria.  Even still, I was so grateful to see the four women on screen again that I decided I didn’t care too much about the product placement.  A-
  • Loved the glee-some foursome barging  into Bill and Lizzie’s budget priced hotel room/suite  and interrupting the happy couple who had to push back the covers to see who’d invaded their love nest.  For the love of cheese, wouldn’t you just die if your grandmother and mother walked in while you were naked with your significant other?  It would be even worse if they treated you as if you were simply having a play date with your little  friend and told you to get dressed so they could get started on getting your wedding planned.  A-
  • Phillip/Alan/No-longer-adorable-James.  Oh Alan!  How could he have missed out on even the most BASIC tenet found in parenting books?   Love your children and praise them when they do well.  Ignore the misbehavior as much as you can.   Alan simply LOVES Phillip now that Phillip has engaged in the felonious act of bribing a judge.  He loves James even more, since James was indicted for running a Ponzi scheme.  Nothing like encouraging your children and grandchildren to be the best they can be!  B+
  • Billy threatening to make James ‘sleep with the fishes’if he does anything else to hurt Bill or Lizzie, and then having James run to Alan to tell him about the threat because he thinks it’s ‘funny’.   Those two scenes made me hope that there was enough time left for the writers to do one of two things:  Split Spaulding-Lewis, making them TWO companies as they should have been all along, and let the corporate wars begin.  I’ve missed the  corporate infighting and would love to see things end, if they must, with the Spauldings and Lewises continuing their friendly war.  If not?  My second option is to have Lizzie join the Spaulding Clan, along with Phillip, and have them make Alan and James powerless and miserable… for now at least.  B+
  • Billy… Billy… Billy… how lovely that he alone saw the overwhelmed look on Lizzie’s face and tried to have the glee-some foursome let Lizzie decide on how to plan her own wedding.  Billy has always been a bear (sometimes cuddly, sometimes grizzly).  It was so sweet.  The problem is that he should have known!  They shot him down so fast poor Billy’s head started spinning.  A (hell, it’s Billy!)
  • Did anyone know that Alex has always had the fantasy of running off to Vegas and getting married by an Elvis impersonator?  WOW!   Cyrus was a close to a Vegas wedding as Alex was going to get.  More importantly?  Forget point one… I can easily see Vegas Alex hanging out in a convenience store planning a wedding. B-
  • Billy and Vanessa?   ’nuff said!  If the writers give us the ‘beach wedding’  for the couple that Vanessa mentioned, along with Reva and Josh, Olivia and Natalia, Beth and Phillip, Buzz and Lillian, Blake and Frankie,  Mel and Rick… well, I promise to not refer to them as the writing team that sent GL to its early death… OR I’ll at least I’ll promise to TRY to not refer to them that way.  A
  • Alan shooting basketball with James?  Uh, SURE!  It’s as conceivable as my vegetarian sister downing a double cheeseburger.  So contrived… but i enjoyed it anyway.  B.
  • Phillip turning to Ed for medical help?  I’m actually shocked that the writers chose such an organic storyline to bring Ed back to town.  I don’t know how the rest of the storyline will play out.  B+
  • Reva and Marina growing closer.  I’m enjoying the developing friendship between Marina and Reva.  They’re mothers of young infants and have long respected one another – Marina as Shayne’s ex-girlfriend and now Marina is the mother of Shayne’s child.  I’ve been trying to figure out if the writers are setting Marina up to be the target of Reva’s ire when she finds out that her son and Marina have hidden the fact that Marina unknowningly adopted Shayne’s believed dead child.  I’ve gotta admit, I want to know more!  B+

By and large, there are still so many things wrong with GL that there’s not enough room to list them all.  The individual pieces work, but as a continuous thread there’s something faulty about the show. I’m torn between thinking that I won’t even miss this show when it’s gone, to still being angry that it’s over.   What about you?

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Love Triangles – When Grandma/Grandpa goes wild!

Remember this:

Bad Day?  Your mother sleeps with the man you love.

Worse Day?  Your GRANDMOTHER sleeps with the man you love (Chelsea Brady, Days of Our Lives).  It sucks to have a hot grandmother, doesn’t it:?  Kate Roberts has never been the type to sit home and bake cookies.

Just be glad that… he didn’t sleep with your great-grandmother.  Dude, you just can’t live something like THAT down.

In the never ending quest to shock daytime viewers, daytime writers are riding the rails, folks!  It began with The Bold and The Beautiful.  The writers had originally planned for Eric Forrester to fall for Caitlin Ramirez,  the young woman his 16 year old had a crush on (btw, the grandson gained two years FAST, in the time the writers started planning the storyline).  We saw the lead in, Caitlin fawning over Eric’s talent as a designer – Eric, being flattered by the young girl.

Fans cried foul, and to the writers credit, they dropped the storyline.  It’s more likely the case that the actor cried foul and had more influence than the fans.  Either way, it died a quick death and daytime was all the better for it.

Days of Our Lives picked up the grandchild-grandparent relationship and ran with it.  Chelsea lost her hot Doc Daniel, to Grandma Kate.  It was a stunning reversal of daytime fortune in which mature women are typically dumped for younger vixens.  Still, it was a little creepy that a grandmother and granddaughter were competing for the same lover.

As The World Turns is taking the storyline one step further.  They’ve thrown a marriage into the mix – and this time, Grandma is ill, having lost the will to live because of the return of the breast cancer she thought she’d beaten the first time around!

At this time, it appears that Brian will share a kiss with a drunk and vulnerable Luke on the same night that he (Brian) marries Lucinda to give her the will to live.  Pssst… writers… seriously… WHAT?  What’s the point of that?  Throwing in Lucy’s cancer only adds fuel to the fire of a child/grandchild betraying a parent/grandparent.  That’s just one step too far.   Without Lucy’s illness, it would be one more storyline in a chain of storylines in which a child has betrayed a parent, intentionally or not.

There’s some precedent for a betrayal by a child (in this case grandchild) being forgiven – with the relationship moving forward successfully.  I’m not aware of any that have survived the betrayal of a ill loved one. There was GL’s Holly (mom)/Blake (daughter)/Ross (shared lover). Blake ended up married to Ross and they eventually had a family. Blake and Ross became one of the show’s supercouples. Holly wasn’t ill, of course.  Just angry.

Why couldn’t the writers simply create a love triangle that focuses on Luke and Noah, without the drama of an ill loved one?   I wrote this earlier, as well:

This kid is as rich as creases. He could fund his own gay film series and end up throwing enough cash around to have the university administration kissing his toes trying to get a small portion of his fortune.  Gimme more, writers, gimme more.

What would happen if Luke suddenly started behaving like the mogul he is?  What if his Lucinda gene (yeah, yeah, no biological tie) kicked in?  How would Noah react to the ‘new’ Luke?  What would happen if another young man from a powerful family came along and tried to woo Luke away from Noah? Noah, the kind and loving, up against an rich and devious snot how has images of merged fortunes dancing in his head?  Ruh roh!

Instead, we get a relationship that’s almost doomed to fail, and writers who’ll have an audience to ‘blame’ instead of a lack of foresight into how an audience would react to Brian and Luke’s kiss.  My hope is that Luke  (or Noah) destroys Brian for betraying Lucinda, the one person who’s loved him unconditionally.

IF Luke becomes so disgusted by this guy that he can’t stand the sight of him, and if Brian harassing Luke leads to Noah and Luke growing stronger, I could easily understand the value of the storyline. Maybe this is the thing that helps Nuke realize how much they really love one another and to move them to the next stage of their relationship.  Otherwise, I don’t know what will happen with the Luke and Brian.

There’s a tiny part of me that sees it as an act of cowardice, that it’s almost as if the writers want it to fail and would love to have the audience to blame for it, if ‘Lion’  (the name given to a possible Brian-Luke relationship) is rejected. I just don’t know what would make the writers believe this storyline would work.  If you have any idea, let me know.

The thing I’m MOST afraid of?  That this will become the new hot trend in daytime.  What’s next?  GL’s Daisy decides to kill two birds with one stone and go after Josh to pay back her mother AND grandmother (both of them having been involved with Josh before).  Oh, it could happen, soap fans, it could happen.