They say that timing is everything - so I hope someone at GL knows that March comes in like a lion on Tuesday and it's ok to wrap up some of these sweeps stories!!
Normally, I watch GL either in the evenings after work or all in one sitting on the weekends, Tivoing past the commercials. I never realized what all of the fuss was about, but I sure understand now!
I was home sick all week with bronchitis, and watched GL in real time. Maybe it was the change in viewing habits, or maybe it was all the medicine in my system, but boy did the stories drag on forever this week. I kept thinking to myself "get on with it already." Who killed Phillip? Will Cassie find out about Edmund's time in the hayloft with Jeffrey O'Neil and a shovel?
Part of me knows that the show wants to build up to this great finish for sweeps. As a communications major in college, I know that sweeps is where a network can justify their advertising rates for the coming period. But moving at a snails pace can also really hurt the show - and lose you viewers.
Non-soap fan friends of mine (and we all have them) say that you can walk away from a show for a week (or a month or a year) and pick up where you left off. And I guess that can be true for the most part. But what really kills me is that the pace of the stories and the lack of airtime for some of the cast makes for some pretty uneven story telling.
A case in point in Sebastian Hulce - he held Holly and Michelle (and Tony for a time) prisoner in that horrible little set of a jail cell for more time than it takes for a car to rust. The story never really seemed to go anywhere. What I thought would be this great adventure was just a cheezy set of bars going up and down a bunch of times and Sebastian yelling all the time. (Note to GL: get that shot out of the credits - all it does is show how lousy that whole set up was).
Sebastian fell out of the plane weeks ago - on January 11th. And how long did it take GL to show he was alive? Nearly two weeks (January 24th) and then the show seemed to make us forget about him until POOF! there he was at Towers one day. I had almost forgotten about the whole storyline (except for that hokey jail cell in the opening credits). I realize that it is impossible to show every character every week, but some characters seem to disappear for weeks on end. How can a fan get used to the whole show when they see only parts of it?
I understand the whole contract player vs. recurring status thing. You have to pay a recurring player each time they air. But if you don't use your recurring players every once in awhile, fans forget about them. GL even tends to let contract players go for weeks without showing them at all.
This sort of out of balance approach to the show is something I've never liked. Unlike a typical weekly show, GL has a pretty large cast. But if a fan was hooked on watching for a player who hasn't seen air time all year - how can you keep them interested? Father Ray just appeared recently, but before that hadn't been seen in ages. After a long absence, you almost have to explain to the audience the relationship again. How many newer viewers didn't know that he was Tony's big brother and Danny's cousin? I realize that a priest can't exactly give you a love story to write for, but surely you could have found more uses for him recently. And how about Mel - she and Rick have been vacationing in Siberia, I guess. You never see ANY Boudreaux family member. And Rick, a contract character, gets very little airtime. How can you justify so little airtime for someone with the show (off and on) for 20 years whose sister was recently returned home from being kidnapped and his best friend's murder trial is nearly complete - with his son's mother as the perp?
Like I said, I've been sick all week, so maybe it's the medicine talking. But GL needs to get the car out of neutral and move forward with these stories so we can get on with other ones. I don't expect Daytona 500-like action, but I would like to see that the stories have moved forward each and every week. Your fans (especially this one) would really appreciate the change of pace.
Speaking of a change of pace, I will be gone starting this Friday on vacation to the Bahamas for 6 days. Unless I find the time to write a column before my plane on Friday (which I doubt) the next Two Scoops will be on March 13th (just in time for my birthday - which is the 15th). I believe that someone will be covering the spoilers until I get back all relaxed (but not tan - I try to avoid too much sun) from my tropical vacation. I hope that you all enjoy the show while I'm gone and hopefully some warmer weather than we've been having - I'm ready for spring!! Until the 13th....
Keep the Light Shining and I'll Talk to You When I Return!
P.S. A big Happy Birthday to Soap Central site Administrator Dan J Kroll, whose birthday is March 6th!!!