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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Birds of a feather

Whether or not it’s real or my imagination, I’m in love with the way daytime writers are finally living up to their promise to bring family dramas back to the forefront.  Those fabulous Dimera boys (DOOL) are giving me heart palpitations!  Tony and EJ’s conflict was reaching classic biblical proportions, until Stefano came home and laid down the law – as it should be.  Days writers should never let him leave!  Did anyone get chills when John (Hank) DiMera-Black walked by poor shaking and trembling Phillip Kiriakis and warned him that it was ‘game on’.  John declared  war on Phillip and Stefano.  What, big daddy?  No hugs for Uncle Stefano? 

Love that. How could anyone forget this exchange exemplifying DiMera on DiMera conflict from earlier this year:

Guiding Light took the high road and gave us an unconventional look at family.  Jeffrey and Reva’s non-wedding wedding brought together some of her family (with phone calls from and to those who couldn’t be there), the Cooper Clan, Remy, Lillian Raines – and thank you writers, for remembering our Lillian, and Mallet.  As much as I hate the outdoor scenes this show is all too fond of using, I loved the non-wedding wedding party coming together.  It was one of the few moments of sheer bliss this show has given us recently.

I’ll admit it (though I hate to) that for as much as I’ve enjoyed Reva and Jeffrey, part of me longed for the classic Jeva ending.  Reva would get the news that her cancer had NOT returned.  She’s at the altar, looking into Jeffrey’s eyes when his face morphs into Josh’s.  She calls him Joshua.  What happens next?   As long as the road leads to Jeva, I don’t care (yup, I’m back on board – I “get it”  that Josh is in pain realizing that the last time Reva fought cancer, he walked out on her and walked away with her sister.  Now he has to suffer knowing that she might be ill and as much as he wants to be there for her THIS time, he can’t).

Does Jeffrey realize he’s swimming upstream trying to keep Jeva apart and lets her go?

Does she go of her own accord, leaving Jeffrey at the altar?

I’ll take either, but I much prefer scenario 1.  Jeffrey has been too good to Reva for me to enjoy watching her break his heart.

Oddly enough, ATWT and AMC are the two soaps that seem to be less family focused than at any time in the past, and less family focused than any other soap on air.  AMC’s Fusion takeover?  Who freakin’ cares?  It’s an abomination that the writers have THE MAN, himself, Adam Chandler involved.  Babe is about 5 years past her ‘sell by’ date and any storyline that causes Adam to focus on Babe, Kendall, Greenlee, Annie, Amanda, and anything else to do with “Fusion” is a crime against viewers.

While ATWT and AMC are focusing more on individual characters and couples, rather than families, The Bold and The Beautiful has taken the family drama to the opposite direction.  BnB families are cannablizing one another and themselves.  The Logans have fallen apart as Brooke learns that her sister Katie has slept with her daughter’s recent husband shortly before they married and is now pregnant by him. 

Sister Donna Logan is sleeping with another man while her husband has remained comatose for just a few weeks.  For those unfamiliar with the show, her husband is her mother’s college sweetheart and twice her mother’s fiance.  He is also her older sister, Brooke’s, ex husband.  Whlie almost any other woman would feel shame that she’s betrayed her husband, Donna has spent more time reveling in the attention she’s received from her smokin’ hot new lover than thinking of how she’s betraying a man who was willing to give up everything for her.  Of course, that just opens the door for the Forrester family to get a little medieval on Donna once they catch her in the act.

The ‘Ballsy Move Award’ goes to the BnB writers.  I’m sure that most of you who are fans remember that Stephanie was out of her home mere WEEKS when Eric walked into their bedroom and found Donna naked in his bed.  Rather than throw her out, he went to bed with her that night, and woke up ‘in love’ with her the next morning.  Sure.  That’s real love there pal.  Guess where Donna and Owen are making out?  That’s RIGHT, in Stephanie and Eric’s marital bed.  I can’t explain how much I loved that moment.  Stephanie was at Eric’s side when he woke up from his coma, Donna was in his and Stephanie’s bed with another man. 

Will Donna’s actions spur on a new war between the Logans and the Forresters?  What happens to Bridget Logan Forrester – product of BOTH families?  She’s been betrayed by Katie (to some degree with Donna’s encouragement) though she still loves her mother and grandparents. 

For the first time in a long time, I’m actually looking forward to what comes next in the wacky lives of these two families.