Guiding Twilight



One of the hardest tasks in all of television must be bringing a daytime drama to a close. In other realms of entertainment, plays and musicals can be resurrected through countless revivals. Primetime TV shows can come and go, yet have the potential to be re-imagined or rebooted for the small or big screen. The biggest box office disasters can live on via countless direct-to-DVD sequels. Radio hosts and their dubiously talented sidekicks can be fired for the most hateful commentary, yet live on with the same formats other stations to be spiteful for another day.

With the exception of Dark Shadows, once a soap opera is canceled it is gone forever. During my time I've watched some of my favorites disappear: The City, Port Charles, Generations, Texas, and — in my opinion — two of the genre's titans, Santa Barbara and The Edge of Night. Many of you are still missing your own beloved shows over the last three decades as well. Fans of Capitol, Love of Life, Sunset Beach, Passions, Search for Tomorrow, and the still mourned Another World among others express their loss as if there yet remains a certain kind of grief that has not yet abated after all these years. Soon we will lose another giant among soaps: in less than ten short weeks, Guiding Light will shine for the last time on CBS.

Before I go further, I highly recommend my soap opera heroine Mimi Torchin's weekly look at the final days of GL at Nelson Branco's Soapgeist column at TVGuide.ca for a more forensic and articulate review of the show than of which I am capable. With that said, I haven't commented much about the goings on in Springfield the last few weeks because the show has been in obvious transition as it lurches towards its finale. I usually take a wait-and-see position during regular head writing or producer transitions, but I sit back at a remove even more when a soap winds down its run.

Some fans often think that a soap (or any favorite series these days) ending is a personal affront; it is always all about their favorite memories and where things went wrong and how they are being slapped in the face by "the idiots in charge." They rarely speak of how difficult it must be for the cast members, staff and crews of these shows who have spent years and sometimes decades invested in these enterprises. Not enough consideration seems to be given to the logistical difficulty involved in simultaneously keeping a show running, storylines moving and maintaining the regular business of running a show while dismantling sets, resolving long running stories and complicated character relationships, in addition to the mix of emotions that comes with saying goodbye not just to us, but to each other.

In some ways, GL's slow fade to black is not unlike that of many soaps past. After several months of rock 'em, sock 'em storytelling, the show has switched gears to noticeable effect. The "Who Killed Edmund Winslow?" murder mystery clumsily transmorgified to "Mad Eddie is Really Alive!" The marriage of Bill (Daniel Cosgrove) and Lizzie (Marcy Rylan), while lovely for what it was, seemed rushed. James' (Zack Conroy) Ponzi scheme with its ripple effect on the Boudreaux family was hastily tied up; BethAnn Bonner's Natasha came and went in the blink of an eye. The rushed maybe-he-is-maybe-he-ain't death of Jeffrey (Bradley Cole) has had the effect of driving Kim Zimmer (Reva) into scenery chewing overkill. Meanwhile, Mandy Bruno (Marina) is almost single-handedly carrying the story involving the repercussions of baby Henry's paternity while Shayne (Jeff Branson) skulks and Robert Bogue (Mallet) pursues Edmund's "killer" with an unsettling single-mindedness as they stumble toward resolution. An increasing number of scenes obviously are filler material. There are times when several actors (who will go unnamed under the understandable circumstances) have started phoning in the last of their performances. It's all a little too sadly familiar.

Meanwhile GL's demise has produced a number of news reports that I don't quite remember seeing the likes of which in combination for cancelled soaps in similar circumstances before their final airdate. It's already been announced GL is donating its wardrobe to charity. There is rumored high stakes wrangling from rivals over several of GL's popular stars,along with the highly publicized signing of a few performers like Crystal Chappell (Olivia) before GL has run its course.  The filming style looks more cramped than ever in some scenes, including a noticeable increase in the use of location shooting as the few remaining studio sets are undoubtedly being dismantled. Topping everything off is what seems to be the abrupt departure of Gina Tognoni (Dinah) mid-story (in reality, she didn't further extend her contract) that has contributed to a general sense of serial discombobulation. (continued)


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Member since:
13 April 2009
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1 year 36 weeks

Great article. Right on about Otalia storyline. CC is giving an acting class right now. Phillip diagnosed with terminal illness, makes sense as he has a much time as the show. Hopefully, he won't die and Otalia will be together. Not much of a Reva fan, but Reva and Josh should be together.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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J. Bernard,

Nice work. I've been very concerned about the fate of the actors and crew. Where will these talented individuals go? It's doubtful that we'll see many of our favorite actors again. Since Passions ended, most of the shows cast have not been seen again on the air.

Having grown up watching this soap, it's shocking to think it will be leaving the air. We talk about the "end of an era," but it's more like a death of a part of our living and breathing culture.

Finally, I noticed that you repeated the assertion that Gina T. is leaving abruptly. That isn't true. In Soap Opera Digest, it was reported that she filmed all of her scenes early and those will air through the finale.

Member since:
10 April 2009
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2 years 3 days

Wonderful write-up about this great show! I love that you focused on the spiritual aspect of the Otalia story and the way it ties in with the history of the show. The spiritual journey both of these ladies have been on is what I find most intriguing about the story. It's a beautiful love story and I'm looking forward to watching Olivia & Natalia get their happy ending (and I fully expect that to happen). Crystal and Jessica both have amazed me as I've watched this story unfold and I will always be grateful to them for giving it their all!

J Bernard Jones's picture
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9 September 2008
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40 min 17 sec

Josstheguy

What I wrote is technically accurate regarding Tognoni's departure:

..."what seems to be the abrupt departure of Gina Tognoni (Dinah) mid-story (in reality, she didn't further extend her contract)"...

She didn't extend her contract. She pre-taped a number of scenes and moved on. There are RUMORS that the show is trying to get her back for the finale; I have not read anything that has confirmed her appearance in the final episode one way or the other. Not everyone has read the story you cite, although I read it, too.

So, the statement is accurately constructed in the broad terms to reflect what has been widely reported and the most salient part of what has been clarified. That point, taken in context with the others, is there is an appearance of "discombobulation" both in front of and behind the cameras.


Member since:
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J Bernard. I want this industry to survive, but the way it is going I don't think tptb want this industry to be around because of the higher ups want them gone to put on cheaper stuff and pocket the money. Great post, Bernard.

Member since:
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I also couldn't agree more on all your points. This has become a sad good-bye as someone who has watched soaps since the late 80's but is new to the Guiding Light. I have fallen in love with the town and it's characters and they will soon be gone.

As a newbie viewer even I find the scenes with Phillip driving home the sense of making the most of my time with the show and really echo my relationship to it as it goes away. Perhaps when viewers are able to distant themselves from the emotional impact they personally feel they will see the beauty in this sad good-bye being expressed by such a core character.

I also agree with your Otalia thoughts as well. Although I would footnote it by saying that although the Natalia pregnant and the character developments are spot on "soap" and therefore further solidify their super couple status - it's hard to come up with any soap couple in the last three decades who is as chaste as Otalia are.

Frank is the 'wrong person'. Olivia is Natalia's soulmate. In every super couple ever the kissing has, at the very least, happened as the pregnant woman struggles to do what is the right thing for her heart. Show me - don't tell me and I think GL missed a beat there by doing way to much telling.

There were at least three blindingly obvious moments before Jessica left where the kiss needed to happen to solidify for the entire GL viewership that Otalia was as monumental a couple as Reva & Josh or Blake & Ross. Instead it was an obvious steering around the point. It went from wonderful label-less, and a lovely call back to the way soap couplings used to be built (and in my opinion were epic because that was the way they were built) to screaming 'THIS COUPLE IS DIFFERENT FOR US!'

It is only in that beat that I find GL steered itself wrong.

As the last moments play out in Springfield I look forward to the ride and although my tears might not have 50 years of viewership behind it I will be sad to see this ensemble of creative folks in front of and behind the camera go. GL might not be perfect in it's transition but it always seemed to want to re-invent the wheel. I only wish CBS had given it a fair shake to ride out it's transition to more 'real film styles' and see these stories continue to thrive.

This show, compared to all the ABC shows I have dumped, is some of the finest daytime material being produced.

Thank you for echoing many of my thoughts
Michele

Member since:
8 May 2008
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P&G should just burn the lighthouse and just laugh in the face of the fans and be done with it. Barbara Bloom going to burn Reva's red dress and say, it is done. Now go away, LOL.

Member since:
25 June 2009
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I Hate to rain on anyones parade there is a strong posibility GL will be picked up by NBC they are fevoriously in talks with P&G and telenext to reinvent the show , new format maybe 30 minutes they are working on all that now once they come to an agreement and make certain decisions hopefully it will be announced shortly and ready to start airing by early October! Keep your fingers crossed all goes well..

Member since:
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Otalia is NOT being treated like any other super couple. They haven't even kissed much less had sex. We see straight couples getting their afterglow on but the lesbians stroke chins and blow kisses. Good grief! Beyond the fact that historically writers simply can't seem to write for lesbian characters without the old "one ends up pregnant/suicidal/muderer" - which is, frankly, more than tiresome - the whole "set-up" with not-knowing-you're-pregnant-until-four-months-after-a-one-night-stand was ridiculously contrived and shoddy work.

There were a hundred ways to get Natalia off screen for JL's maternity leave and the writers chose the most absurd one possible. Hell, I'd have taken a coma over this tripe.

Good Man Frank is a black hole of suck as a mentor . . . and as a character in general.

I'm a queer Catholic and I've never encountered a worse priest than Fr. Ray.

The PTB can't have it both ways - they can't say it is a label-less love story and then throw up nothing but heteronormatively based road blocks without even a few moments of big payoff (i.e. natural, healthy sexual moments.) They are cowards. And apparently hacks. They have squandered their time and ruined what would have been their greatest legacy.

J Bernard Jones's picture
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 Bradamant,

There are a few points I'll make about Olivia & Natalia and their treatment:

First, you bring up the issue of heteronormative paradigms without regard to the fact that neither Natalia nor Olivia fit homonormative paradigms. In other words, neither woman has been in a lesbian relationship ever nor even as much considered themselves gay at all their entire lives. 

As I noted, in very different ways this is new territory for both of them on deep, fundamental levels that require new ways of thinking and relating to not only each other, but to themselves and their families.

Your (understandable) dissatisfaction with their treatment carries with it the presumption that man-eater, emotionally defensive Olivia & deeply religious, emotionally cloistered Natalia — who have been those ways all of their lives and are just discovering in the relative now their love for each other — are somehow the equivalent of a Luke/Noah, Bianca/Reese, or almost any of daytime's other gay characters who have professed that they always knew they "were different" regardless of their past relationships or behaviors with members of the same or opposite sex.

To that end, I would love to see Natalia & Olivia "kiss" just like anyone else, but from the outset of their relationship the journeys of these characters — both internally as individuals and as a couple — has been unique to their situation. I have always been of the opinion that Natalia & Olivia wanted to make things right with their friends and their own families (specifically Rafe & Emma) before engaging in physical intimacy. This makes sense to me because my sense of Olivia & Natalia is that for both of them they are "it" for each other forever and sex, once engaged, will seal the deal. So heaven, as they say, can wait.

Finally, I stand by my position regarding Natalia's pregnancy plot turn without further elaboration, as in the minority it might be. However, your response to it (and by extension my post) brings up a related issue about the fan base's attachment (not saying yours specifically) to this particular couple and their love story:

More than any other soap couple in recent memory, the current attachment to the entity known as "Otalia" has always made me slightly uncomfortable. Sure I use it when I feel it is appropriate; hell, I even wrote one of my rather wordy blog post called Otalia: The Art of the Matter. However, there seems to be a number of the couples' more vocal supporters who regard "Otalia" as some sort of gelatinous blob of emotionally volcanic lesbianism.

"Otalia" in this context rarely — sometimes never — seems to take into account both Natalia's background (on-air and off) and Olivia's more extensively documented and often detailed on-air history, particularly among their newer supporters who just tuned in to the show after viewing Otalia YouTube clips and whatnot. Mind you, I am not criticizing their devotion, but what I am saying is that even within the confines of "Otalia," both Olivia and Natalia remain distinct characters with their own personalities and crosses to bear. Therefore, I have found the writing of their love story to be truthful to who they are as individuals, not solely as a couple or merely for my wishes as a fan. That has given their story far richer depth and meaning.

As far as "Otalia" being squandered as Guiding Light's "greatest" legacy, that is overtstating the point. They certainly could still be one of its greatest couples. I would even argue that no matter what happens from here on out, the love story of Natalia & Olivia already is one. But GL has had a number of towering triumphs in 72 years, of which Otalia is only one of many.


cloogle's picture
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What a perceptive thing to say about Olivia and Natalia and spirituality/the soul... It always felt like they were implying that the other characters saw Natalia's religion first, e.g. Frank saying 'I honestly respect your faith and who and what you are. It defines you. It's what makes you who you are.' and again later 'Natalia, your relationship with God is what defines you.' It sounded so patronising, but it's a very clever thing to do... to have Frank, who doesn't look further than Natalia's faith, and then Olivia who sees Natalia as a person first. I think Olivia has finally found the person she would die for and I don't think she's ever felt that way about someone who isn't blood related. It's lovely to see passionate souls on TV again.

Anyway...

Terrific article. Loved it. Bittersweet

I think what seems most evident is the sadness that permeates everyone's performances at the moment. I really feel for all the actors and wish them the best for the future.

OutOfFocus's picture
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15 April 2009
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Frank mentoring Rafe is not even close to being touching, it is downright offensive to every single mother who has managed to raise a son perfectly well even without *gasp* male influence. Request made by that judge for a male mentor is direct reflection of the fifties' mentality, and the fact that GL didn't use the opportunity to shut it down or show all the things that were wrong with that, but instead chose to use it as an opportunity to boast "good, good, GOOD" man Frank and show what a good decision that nice judge made, means they openly endorsed it. Which means - sorry ladies, but raising a kid alone? Big no, no. You better get yourself a man before even thinking about having a baby, or we'll make sure to straddle you with one, whether you like it or not. So no, I'm sorry but Frank/Rafe is anything but touching.

I also have to agree with what Bradamant has said - because no matter how you dress it up or try to justify it, Otalia is not being treated the same as any other couple. If they were, I wouldn't mind the turn (as stupid and contrived as it is) their story has taken nearly as much.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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J. Bernard, I have to disagree with you. You furthered a rumor that had been squashed and admit that you are dicing the truth based on a technicality.

So what if people believe a falsehood? Idiots still believe that Barack Obama was born overseas. Should legitimate reporters continue to bring up that misconception because some people accept the lie as gospel truth?

You're a journalist. What you write should be more than technically true. You should have framed your concerns about misconceptions about Togoni's departure as causing "discombobulation." Instead, you make it seem that Togoni has done something wrong. She didn't. Togoni had a contract that ended on a certain date. She completed her contractual obligation and moved on to other endeavors.

The article in Soap Opera Digest made it clear that her departure was planned. She had a going away party at work and had taped scenes to cover her character through the show's finale.

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19 April 2009
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Outoffocus, BIG FAT WORD to your entire post. The judge's comments were offensive to every single mother - as well as to many of us who are not even parents. His words went unchallenged by anyone on the show; there was no attempt at all to demonstrate that he was wrong. Not to mention the fact that Good Man Frank is a terrible mentor. Playing catch with Rafe does not equal a good mentor.

Member since:
12 June 2009
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brilliant job J! you always have a way of cutting through the "muck" as it were. I definitely can attest personally to the 'woe is me' parade of GL's pending demise. the loss feels so big to me sometimes, as someone who's been watching the show for 15 years (since I was 8 years old), that I lose sight of the fact that their are others who are far more invested than I and losing something bounds beyond a daily entertainment.

to see it ending at a time, when every story felt so strong and full of possibility is really a kick in the stomach. I've always been proud to be a Guiding Light fan, regardless of ratings or writers or eps, for the show that it is and has always been at its heart and in this last year the show really did find that heart again. and even though it's suffering the growing pains (probably not the best phrase choice) of winding down, it feels as respectful and graceful as these things can ever be.

as for the specific storylines of Phillip's illness and Otalia I complete agree with you. Phillip dying is the visual manifestation of what is happening to Guiding Light. it's a redemption and a tragedy. Phillip is such an enormous part of what GL is, to be "losing" him so soon after we've gotten him back seems like perfect symmetry and I feel the writers are very much aware of that. when I watched Phillip attend the Bauer barbacue for what he thought was the last I couldn't help but share the same dispair as I was too, in a way, attending for the last time. the story just adds a heartbreaking realism that I very much appreciate. in terms of Otalia I feel almost stuck between a rock and a hard place. I am a fan of the storyline but at times, from some, there is so much negativity masked as support that it, at least for me, takes away from the actual story. and it saddens me as a fan of the show that some have put Otalia over the show as a whole, a show with 72 years of history. Otalia is a special couple, there is no denying that, and they've rejuvenised GL in a lot of ways but... at the end of the day GL made Otalia, Otalia didn't make GL. I wish that there had been other seeds planted a bit earlier in this pregnancy story but it still has enough truth in it that I can enjoy it and not have it breed in me the anger it has in some. I do feel like they are being handled like other super couples of soaps past. for Olivia and Natalia this is serious, as you said J, they both very much feel this is 'it' for them... it's completely ok to take your time with forever. Christ, how long did it take them to even admit they had feelings for each other? it makes sense that they are sorting everything out before they dive completely in. the kissing will come (I want to see it too) but the fact that it hasn't doesn't take away from the beauty that the story is and if it does for others I'd say they'd miss the true meaning of Otalia. every beat has made total sense not just for who the characters are but also who they've been. and it might be a case of people just wanting what they want or maybe there is a disconnect in some from rapidly catching up on YouTube (that is not s slight at anyone) but it seems like some Otalia fans are throwing out the baby with the bath water and in the whole of it they're missing out. you have to be committed to and invested in the story and the characters to see the whole picture not just when they're going to have sex. Guiding Light has continuely handled this story with care I'm sure they will keep with that in telling Olivia's story during Natalia's absence and even more so when Natalia returns and the endgame story begins.

p.s. Frank's mentorship of Rafe was not meant as an indictment against Natalia or single mothers in general. it was a specific statement to Rafe needing a male influence in his life, as some fatherless boys (not all, but some) do, as some girls need a maternal presence. it was my thought that the judge put that stipulation into Rafe's release to aide him not criticize Natalia's parenting.

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29 April 2009
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4 years 39 weeks

{{{I Hate to rain on anyones parade there is a strong posibility GL will be picked up by NBC they are fevoriously in talks with P&G and telenext to reinvent the show , new format maybe 30 minutes they are working on all that now once they come to an agreement and make certain decisions hopefully it will be announced shortly and ready to start airing by early October! Keep your fingers crossed all goes well..
***}}}

=========================================
I'm not going to get my hopes up on this report, but is anyone else hearing anything about this???

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12 June 2009
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4 years 10 weeks

its been floating around quite a few places... not sure how much truth there is to it though.

troymcclure's picture
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J. Bernard, brilliant article as always and I especially enjoyed your comment #10.

Even when the rumors of Phillip dying and wasn't completely against it and seeing it play out is downright beautiful.

The Otalia storyline and the pregnancy makes sense as well. I was certainly against it when I read the rumors of Nat's pregnancy but seeing it play out has given the Otalia storyline even more depth. I have had many discussions on the boards about Otalia being treated like every other couple on daytime. Some look at it as some slight to towards homosexuality that during the BBQ the only person miserable was Olivia. There is always on tortured couple featured, last year it was Bizzie, the years before that Jammy and you name it.

At first I thought the judge wanting a male mentor was an insult but then I thought about how Natalia is as a mother and quite frankly, Rafe needs a strong influence in his life. She is a good mother but she babie him and lets him get away with murder. The Rafe we are seeing now, showing disrespect to Olivia is a direct result of that.

Kim Zimmer is totally bringing the scenery chewing, is she preparing for the return of Tom Pelphrey already?

They did a good thing rushing some storyline so that they can start focusing on others, however the baby Henry storyline and Edmunds murder/non murder has dragged on for way to long. In fact when the episodes are mainly focused on the Spauldings, the episodes are so much better.

blake3b's picture
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3 March 2009
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cat and ardent, it does seem to be true. Tina Sloan (Lillian) twittered that P&G is in talks with NBC about picking up GL. And Beth Chamberlain (Beth) twittered that she was going to Los Angeles to try for work but she said its not a soap.
All the news leading up to the finale has me scared that it's going to be a horrible way to go. There seem to be a lot of deaths (more than listed on DC, even one that is dusturbing to hear) and we have Natalia pregnant with Frank's baby when she should really be working on her feelings and her relationship with Olivia instead. I mean when are Otalia going to kiss again? And have sex??? How many months has it been, and all they do is touch each other's hair or fold tablecloths together. The real Olivia would have thrown Natalia on that table and got down to business!
And hopefully Josh and Reva will get back together by the time the show ends, and hopefully they can live on on ATWT. I'm tired of Jeffrey and the "is he alive or dead?" mess, and I agree with J Bernard, it has Kim Zimmer chewing scenery all over the place. It's gotten to the point where I have to turn it or fast foward when she is on.
Frank with Rafe doesn't bother me. Natalia did great raising him on her own, and he's a man now. Seems Frank is more of a friend to Rafe, Rafe just needs a buddy to hang out with, listen and give advice to (scary that Frank is giving him advice! Don't take any on women lol).
And I agree with JBJ that we have gotten great things like more Liz Keifer and Blake, Tina Sloan as the anchor and mentor of the show, a fun (and seeing more of) Alexandra, etc. Getting to see old favorites again like Ed, Danny, Jenna, Holly, Mindy, Hawk. I just hope we get to see more of them and more of our favorite veterans from the past before the show goes off.

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OutofFocus,

First, I think you also are missing the point about Rafe. Rafe had been in trouble with the law on several occasions and had served time in juvenile hall prior to his most recent conviction. Moreover, Since Rafe went to prison for almost killing Jeffrey in an attempt to protect the honor and memory of his father, having a male mentor to help him understand the world might make sense.

Second, maybe you're right about Frank but you're wrong about boy children not needing male mentors. Saying that a boy should have some male mentoring is an insult to single mothers skews the truth and makes the argument about a mother's parenting instead of the needs of a child.

Of course a woman can raise a male child on her own successfully. Just as a man could raise a female child. That doesn't meant that having a mentor of the same sex won't provide a child with a role model who can answer questions based on life experiences that come from being of a specific gender.

Given the repeated conversations on this site about the desire by people of color and/or queer folks to see themselves on daytime TV, why would you think that a girl or boy child would not want to have same gendered person as a role model? I'm not talking about someone who can teach him/her gender stereotypical activities, but someone with whom he/she can identify and ask questions about life as a man or a woman.

I know plenty of women who seek out female mentors to help them understand how to succeed in their careers. Why wouldn't a male child want something similar?

If gay people seek out others for mentoring, if people of color seek out each other for mentoring, why wouldn't men and women seek out others of their same gender for mentoring?

Member since:
16 July 2009
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4 years 37 weeks

This is regarding NBC picking up GL. I've seen this too circulating on GL Facebook and Soap Centrals postings. If there is no truth to this, then please, let me know and put me out of my misery! If it is true, and their is hope, then i will keep on showing my support anyway that i can!

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2 June 2009
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GL isn't treating Otalia like any other couple. Any other couple would have kissed by now. And since when has it been a GOOD thing for this WHITE MALE to keep a child from a LATINA MOTHER.

Frank hasn't asked Rafe to go home... In fact he tried to get Natalia to leave them alone and not shoot pool with her son. Also, Frank's idea if helping Rafe was to give an underaged child a sip of BEER.

You are right people of color and gay people want to see themselves on soaps. But not if they are told over and over again bend over and let the White Male handle everything or act like a White Male. Frank comming to the rescue over Olivia and Natiala kind of says that the women may be too stupid to take care of things themselves.

Why can't this woman raise her own child that she rasied until adult hood is it because she is Latina or a woman???

And why is it a GOOD thing that they use the SAME pregnancy stunt they have used for the last 80 years with 4 weeks to go in a soap opera. I am just thinking if they had used something different maybe... just maybe it would have appeal to someone under 65... maybe that 18 to 35 age group.

I do like the fact the artical talked about the spiritual part of Otalia... That part they got right...but NO they didn't get every beat of the Otalia right.

Saying that I am still watching Otalia until the end... but I will not Blindly agree with every part of the story like a clone.

OutOfFocus's picture
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I am sorry, but I believe you have missed the point of what I have said completely. Had Rafe himself sought out help from Frank, I wouldn't have had any issues with it. The point is that the judge ordered it as a direct correlation to Natalia's (in)ability to raise him properly - as a woman. If he needed a stronger role model, an upstanding citizen who wouldn't coddle him it didn't have to be a guy - there are plenty of women who would fit that role as well. The implication the judge made is crystal clear: this boy wouldn't have turned out this way if he had a male presence in his life, and the only way to set him straight is to give him one. And that is the position that the show supported, and still supports. And I am sorry, but that is bull. Is it a bad thing for a male child being raised by a single mom to have a male mentor of sorts? Of course not, I have never suggested that. But is it necessary in order for the kid to grow up normal and become a perfectly well formed individual? Not in the slightest.

troymcclure's picture
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25 December 2008
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They have squandered their time and ruined what would have been their greatest legacy (Otalia).
----------------

Bradamant, Otalia is a blip on the radar when it comes to Guiding Lights 72 years history!!! A very nice blip on the radar but a blip nonetheless.

troymcclure's picture
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doubleposted

sowwy

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11 April 2009
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Rockiesoul,

Come on, Rafe is not an underaged child. He's a young adult, who is 18/19 years old. Similarly, having an 18 year old having a sip of beer isn't horrible.

As for Frank being white, I don't think this is really a case of putting the white male up as the pinnacle of masculinity. This is playing off Rafe's real concerns about his mother being bisexual. He doesn't want to live with her.

Everyone wants Rafe to be warm and embracing to Otalia, but that's not the character. He's hurt and confused. Frank is the closest male figure in his life who isn't a borderline sociopath, like Alan.

As for Frank, give the guy a break. He got dumped at the altar but is still willing to be a friend to ex's wife. Not many guys would be that way. Frank isn't trying to turn Rafe against Natalia, he's just offering friendship.

If you want to talk race and gender, I'd be happy to point out that Rafe is the only Spaulding in recent years who has served time for his crimes. Lizze, Alan, James, and Phillip all got off with barely a scolding for their crimes.

Why should Frank send Rafe home? Rafe left home. He's offering Rafe a safe place to stay. Right?

(You're also missing the obvious point that this is dictated by Jessica Leccia's real life pregnancy.)

soaprookie's picture
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Last activity:
2 years 1 day

I read everyone's comments and I think everyone has so many valid points...especially when it comes to 'Otalia'...and this is from a long-time soap fan who remembers the love stories...even on Dark Shadows...when the audience was pulled into the love and passion between a couple, long before the first kiss. The audience knew the couple were in love...in spite of all the external obstacles...as much as the couple knew they were in love.

And I agree Olivia and Natalia both have this great history even before they met (although we do not know as much about Natalia's) and part of that history...from everything we know about them there was a lot of havoc in their lives...but they were not in denial of their sexuality.

And there are really so many layers to this storyline...such a multitude of layers that I do not feel like typing out everything about them here at the moment. lol Let's just say I think there is enough material in this storyline that they could do a whole Paley Center discussion just on the Olivia and Natalia storyline alone.

But...

as much as this couple is not like Noah and Luke...and Bianca and (Maggie, Lena, Reese)...the show has seemed to cross a line to start treating them like those other couples where there are awkward moment gaps when even a single kiss by itself seemed and felt appropriate from a viewer's perspective of cheering this couple on...yet, the kiss never happened. Let's not forget the kiss clock for Nuke and all the years of Bianca avoiding even showing affection to the women she was attracted to...it was only recently with Reese that natural affection between two people in love was allowed to happen.

And having Natalia pregnant...shades of Bianca all over the storyline. Bianca was raped and pregnant and instead of any physical intimacy with either of the women in her life who were madly in love with her at the time...we were treated to the Macarena instead. This last time that Bianca came home...pregnant yet again...by her frickin-frackin brother-in-law no less...who had more scene time with Bianca's significant other than Bianca did! So I cannot blame anyone who might be suspicious that a pregnant woman in a relationship with another woman means not even a suggestion of physical intimacy when Natalia comes back. Because that is how soaps have treated same sex female couples in the past.

So really as an observer to all of this...as far as how a gay person might view these things...I do see a pattern here...a pattern of how soaps typically treat a gay couple by finding obstacles to block even a hint of physical intimacy. So to me it smacks of Olivia and Natalia being treated like not any other soap (aka straight) couple but maybe more like any other gay couple on a soap...though at one point this storyline...and rightly so...was referred to as a storyline that transcends.

My ultimate hope is that...just as I have read people speculate that Bradley Cole interviews are a diversion...and Jeffrey will really come back alive at the end...I am hoping that the show is taking on how soaps have normally treated gay couples in the past and will turn those 'stereotypes' on their ear (and be a wink as well to the viewers who had tried so hard for months to ignore the fact that Jessica Leccia was very pregnant!) to show that Natalia is really not pregnant but ill (with something like diabetes, as I have seen some posters suggest on other sites based on symptoms)...and that 'a good man' is not needed to be part of their relationship and family for the rest of their lives in order for them to be together and okay all on their own...and in love.

Member since:
11 April 2009
Last activity:
3 weeks 35 min

Outoffocus,

Rafe was a trouble kid who was out of control! That's why he ended up in juvenile hall when the character first started on the show.

Unfortunately, Natalia couldn't handle him. Might Rafe have turned out differently had he had a strong, positive father figure in his life or he might have been the same way. What we do know is that Rafe has a juvenile and adult criminal record. Right?

Finally, you argued that boys could turn into fine men with no male influence. That's meaningless unless a male were raised as the only male in an otherwise female society. In the real world, a male child would receive direct and indirect male influence by watching and interacting with other males, peers, teachers, etc. They would all have an impact on his development.

Member since:
2 June 2009
Last activity:
2 years 20 weeks

Josstheguy...

You are right the Hispanic Male was the only Spaulding in recent years to serve time for his crimes... maybe that is just like real life.

Yes, Frank is embarrassed by being left at the alter because Natalia left him for a Woman. So with that embarrassment he is saying to Rafe you don't have to be with those Women... A real man would have told Rafe to man up and go home. Natalia has raise Rafe for all of his life. Olivia saved Rafe over and over again in prison. Doris got him the job... and all of the sudden White Male is praise for keeping him away from his Mother. Even Father Ray said Man up and be there for your Mom.

The writers of GL are trying to show the flaw that this man that Natalia doesn't want is helping to break apart her family while socitey calls him a GOOD MAN.

Yes, Ms. Leccia was pregnant and there were 100's of different ways to handle her leave that could have been 10 times more creative.

And keeping a child away from his mother... making his bigotry stronger... telling him Beer will solve your problems and throwing him a ball like a 7 year old doesn't raise a strong Latino Male.

J Bernard Jones's picture
Member since:
9 September 2008
Last activity:
40 min 18 sec

Josstheguy:

Re Gina Tognoni: If I had wrote "Gina Tognoni's hasty/abrupt/unplanned departure..." that would have constituted the furtherance of what you call call an unsubstantiated rumor. Instead within the context of a 1600 word limit, I went for brevity and properly stated that her departure — whether people believe it was some hissy fit or as it turned out to be a planned matter in regard to her contract — gives the appearance of "discombobulation" in the context of all the other stuff that has been involved in terms of the shutting down of GL. That is the point. It is not "a breach of journalistic ethics" in an opinion piece. I will not belabor the point any further and move on, just like Tognoni didn't extend her contract to keep shooting through August and moved on, n'cest-ce pas?

OutofFoucs:

As for the Rafe/Frank relationship, what does that have to do with judge's ruling?

Frank and Rafe enjoyed a good relationship and a strong bond that long pre-dated the judge's decision that a man must be a part of Rafe's life. That bond started in earnest around the time Frank started crushing on Natalia and became determined to help her and her son anyway he could. "Otalia" didn't even exist at that point in time. Furthermore, it was Rafe who was the first to actively encourage Frank to go after Natalia about a year ago during one of Frank's visits to him in prison.

That the judge made such his ruling about Rafe "needing" a male figure is a reflection of the judge's prejudices (and perhaps that of the legal system and our real society, where such sentiments are very prevalent and deeply ingrained) but it is not a reflection on Rafe & Frank's already long-standing, mutually respectful relationship.