As we enter the final month of shows (which always makes me sad to think about) it seems that the show really hits on some common themes in so many of the stories they are telling. This week, as I watched, it really struck me the level of trust - and mis-trust, that many characters are facing.
I have to admit that I've always seen GL as a reflection of things in my own life - and this is no exception. Trust is a major thing for me - something I have given too freely - then been burned. Like Olivia, once burned, I am usually to slow to trust again. And this week, with the return of Natalia, she'll be forced to face her fears of being left by someone she thought loved her.
Certainly a catalyst in this story was the external factor of Jessica Leccia's real-life pregnancy. Her shortened maternity leave let Natalia off canvas , giving 'Liv a chance to stew. While I haven't always agreed with her choices, Olivia has always intrigued me. She is so flawed, yet unafraid to take chances (again and again) on love and life. This week Natalia and Olivia fans will see the pair trying to overcome another obstacle - Natalia's pregnancy. After her time of reflection, Natalia knows what she wants. But how will Olivia react to her return - and her news? Fans will get plenty of air time this week to see how it starts to resolve itself.
This past week had some definite hits and misses. Long time readers of this column know that I ADORE Fiona Hutchinson and was so pleased to see her again. Buzz and Jenna were one of those couples that just made you smile. Sure, their life together was far from perfect - but their love for each other continues - long after her tragic death.
While I want to see how the whole NYC mystery goes with Cyrus and Buzz, the shameless CBS self promotion (airing the outside of their studios) had me throwing things at the television. Does CBS think that GL fans are going to NOT notice this? Who cancelled GL? CBS. So we are supposed to sit there and watch you plug your network - the soap you haven't cancelled (yet)? So many of you reacted the same way I did after watching this episode - CBS is the reason GL is leaving, so leave us alone for the last month - let us have our show, and our memories. Right now so many GL fans are quick to anger at the "Eye" network, and are refusing to watch CBS shows. So you want to rub our noses in it? Like the ex- that flaunts his new love, I am not loving this tacky, tasteless move.
Phillip's illness story continues to make me pause. It's one of those age-old questions about what you would do with the knowledge that you are dying. His frantic behavior - arriving at dawn to work on Lizzie and Bill's place, his wanting to make things "right", all make sense in some way. But not telling his family that he has months to live? I have to admit that I would want the chance to say goodbye, if I had the chance. I didn't have the chance to say goodbye to my father, and it's something I'll always regret. I appreciate his wanting to protect his family from the pain, but I think his lack of sharing will taint the days that they have left - once they learn the truth.
And Alan's reaction? Sure, you want to deny such horrible news - but to lash out at Phillip for keeping the news to himself was painful to watch. Then this week he rails at the Phillip's headstone - how creepy. At least he's got a place to go when the time comes, I guess ; ) But to see Alan share his true feelings with a slab of cold marble instead of his flesh and blood son mad me so sad. Time is short, Alan KNOWS this. He can help make what time Phillip has a positive experience. If only he would trust himself to reveal his true feelings before it's too late. And help James see that his father really loves him and wants only the best for him.
Speaking of Master Spaulding, I have to admit that James has become less of a trial to watch. That chip on his narrow shoulders was too big to carry for long. He and Daisy have so many issues that bring them together (and given their family history, can tear them apart). It is refreshing to see James drop the façade and trust Daisy with his true feelings - a rarity for a young man of his age. Of course, the barriers were back up when he talked with Rafe this week - but hopefully they can get past this. Once James learns the truth about Phillip's illness, Rafe could be a valuable resource and sounding board as he loses his dad. Rafe's own recent experiences in that area - and the pressures of the Spaulding family, give them many common points to build on.
And off on some remote location, a very-much alive Jeffrey O'Neill and Jonathan Randall plot to take down Uncle Eddie, the Prince of Darkness. Trouble is, Reva still thinks her husband is dead. Yes, Jeffrey is protecting his wife, but if he makes it back this month, what will Reva say about the deception? You know that Reva is rarely shy about her opinions (sounds like me!) and she hates being 1) protected and 2) lied to. Ahhh - I see a big explosion of Reva fireworks coming.....
Being the person with the self-described "freakishly good memory" I was glad to see GL remember the life of baby Max and how it ties Bill and Remy forever. The scenes were a long time coming, and should set up the next faze of their fractured relationship - and a Bill and Lizzie baby? ; ) But it also reminds GL fans that Sarah's Mom misses her and wants to reconnect with her little girl. But will Edmund's grand plans of bringing Reva more pain keep her away from Springfield? And if she returns, how will Alan react? I would love Phillip to see his granddaughter (can't get used to that idea - makes us both seem so old) before the end. It would be a nice addition to the Bizzie house story - and a great start to their life together in their new home.
This week also brings a lot more on the rekindling of the Billy/Vanessa romance. It reminds me of the great stories of the 1980's - when they first got together. The Oklahoma country boy and the refined city girl who never forgot one another - I am such a sucker for romance. You can see the affection that Maeve and Jordan have for one another. And while this week might not turn out the way Bill and Vanessa fans would like, I have it on good authority that you'll like the way things wrap on this love story....
In the next few weeks, before the show ends, I really want to take some time to reach out to them and let them know how much their characters, and the show, have meant to me. I certainly encourage all GL fans to drop the cast (either as a group or individually) a line to share your thoughts and memories with them.
To write to the cast members:
Attention: Cast member's name
51 W. 52 St.
New York, NY 10019
In addition, fans in the NY area can see some of the cast at a panel at the Paley Center for Media on August 19th (unfortunately during the week or I would gladly attend): http://www.paleycenter.org/summer-2009-guiding-light If anyone attends, please let me know and I will gladly share your experiences here.
Even after the show ends, I will try to post any info I have on the stars on my Facebook page. You can track me down at http://www.facebook.com/gl.scoop
Now that we know how the show, if not the story ends, it is important for all of us to stay focused on working to promote the show in a positive light for as long as we can...
Together We Can...Keep the Light Shining!