Bernard's "World" View: In Defense of Christopher Goutman



Several days ago, I posted an entry about the fallout from the death of Dr. Reid Oliver (Eric Sheffer Stevens) on As The World Turns. There were three central ideas in that piece. First, despite the very legitimate complaints that any given fan might have, ATWT is providing great human drama here at the end of its run. Second, Reid’s tragic passing and donation of his heart to Chris (Daniel Cosgrove) encapsulated that goal mainly by thrusting the Hughes’— the show’s core family since its very debut— front and center toward its conclusion. Third, given the soap opera wrapped production months ago, the idea of kicking a dead horse with unrelenting criticism isn’t going to make it win the Kentucky Derby.

I have not budged one iota from any of those positions and I am about to incur the wrath of a whole lot more of you by making what I know will be a very controversial statement to many: I believe that in these final days, executive producer Christopher Goutman has made mostly the right decisions.

Before I go on, let’s wrestle with  my aforementioned post briefly. A number of readers agreed with my take on matters; just as many, if not more, took great issue against it. Some of those latter responses were the same old, predictable hoo-hash of rote complaints and used the occasion to voice an almost now-cliche litany of grievances against Goutman, CBS and the rest of the usual suspects. On the other hand, some of the dissents were very eloquent, one of the most notable from DC reader chip88.

As I read through them, I was struck by two emotional threads that connected the pros and the cons— passion and sadness. By the time Guiding Light went off the air in 2009, the dominant emotion that carried the day among fans was raw, visceral anger. Many fans railed against what then-executive producer Ellen Wheeler had “done” to GL; the shabby state of that show’s “new production model”; some of the ridiculous aspects of the final weeks and so on. Nonetheless, at the end of the day one came away with the sense that even diehard GL fans knew the show had reached the end of its viability. Many even felt that the “Light” had burned out long ago.

By contrast, even the angriest of ATWT’s detractors, at their core, seem more upset by the fact that there are/were so many vibrant stories still left to be told about the citizens of Oakdale, Illinois. With or without Goutman, the majority sentiment appears to be that the World doesn't have to stop spinning at all.

A prime example of the vibrancy evident on screen came in the form of last week’s brilliantly acted, incendiary scenes in which John Dixon (Larry Bryggman) confronted ex-wife Lucinda Walsh (Elizabeth Hubbard) over her self-destructive behavior and got a little insight into his own. Their confrontations were infused with a kind of instantly-recognizable emotional shorthand, as it related to the characters’ present circumstances. The scenesproved so electric and rich that viewers of any generation or length of time as fans could grasp their history.

What was most important was not a nod or flashback to something like the fabled John and Lucinda hot tub scene from way back when, but rather Lucinda calling John out for not having been there for her during her battle with cancer; or when John asked Lucinda why she fights everyone and everything in her life. Lucinda's answer revealed the true nature of her character: “[I fight] because it is the only thing I do well.” That exchange provided definitive insight into all 26 years of Lucinda’s battlles, neuroses, self-destructive tendencies, machinations and checkbook gangsterism, not the least of which was her most recent desire to destroy Craig (Jon Lindstrom) at any cost including the potential loss of her adopted daughter Lily (Noelle Beck).

So how did we get to such a brilliantly revealing question from John concerning Lucinda’s inner motivations and demons? By having Lucinda act in perfect, historical character during her  final ATWT story arc, launching an all-consuming vendetta against an enemy, forming highly-questionable alliances (Anthony Blackthorn, Ralph Manzo) and having it all blow up in her face at great personal cost.In the end, Lucinda once again fell backon the only perceived constant in life, Worldwide


Comments

J Bernard Jones's picture
Member since:
9 September 2008
Last activity:
4 hours 32 min

Now I said I wasn't going to respond to this anymore, but, as usual, I can't resist. I will address just a few points:

I was waiting for your punchline that never came. I would be fine with the DESERVING Hugheses getting happy endings but not at the expense of other characters. And especially NOT Chris Hughes.

Certainly NOT a Hughes! I mean, really, ANY Hughes but THAT Hughes, despite any of his transgressions (which pale in comparison to those of other characters on the show, including his own father!) and the fact that he is the son of Bob & Kim, the patriarch & matriarch of the show.

Bernie darling I really do not know where to begin. I've read your pretentious reviews & commentaries in the past...Your latest, applauding the talent & brilliant executive producer leadership of Christopher Goutman, was just a tad overstated. No, not a tad. Let's be honest, shall we? Grossly overstated!

Being condescendingly called "Bernie" (which is not my name), "darling" and "pretentious" in the same paragraph has been the highlight of my evening! LOL However, in writing, editing and re-reading my editorial, I don't see where I applauded "the talent & brilliant executive producer leadership" of  Herr Goutman." I said — and you can read it for yourself right in black and white — (in my opinion) he "has made mostly the right decisions" in the context of bringing the show to a close and "in my opinion, Goutman has done a fine job at the end of the day. Do I agree with every last one of those decisions? Of course not."

Now, I don't know in what universe where "mostly" and my saying I disgree with him in areas equate with elevating Goutman's leadership to "brilliant" status, but if you can tell which one I'd like to visit that as a vacation spot.

Unfortunately ATWT's lack of returns just reinforces how bad many of Goutman's favorites are.

I have a feeling you're not going to be pleased when I get into this whole misguided notion of "fan favorite" returns and where it really started in Part Three.

Bernard, can you tell me how they have been building up to Gabriel calling Craig daddy? Allison going to medical school, or reconciling with Cassey? What about Holden and Lilly's reunion, did that start happening before or after Holden's wedding to Molly was called off, and then Holden and Lilly vanished from the canvas? How long have they been building up to Craig getting back together with Roseanna? How long have the been building up to John getting back together with Lucinda?

I'm not going to go into any long detail here, but — if you've ever watched any final two weeks of any daytime soap opera — every last one of them are littered with last-minute deathbed conversions (career changes, moving out of town, declaring ones true love to be really true out of the blue, blah blah blah) of one sort of the other.
In the case of ATWT, many of these have been building up (and very obviously), for at least in the last couple of months.

For example, I specifically and at some length illustrated how John & Lucinda's reconciliation came to be (technically, it began with Lucinda's final vendetta against Craig but Manzo's return was the catalyst) in this very editorial. So, yes, the buildup was there for quite some time.

On the other hand, I found Gabriel calling Craig "Dad" (not "daddy") to be jarring, too, but it was pretty obvious Gabriel was being a little sarcastic after Craig called him "son." If you recall (it was only two days ago and is available online at CBS.com), Craig and Gabriel shared only a tentative hug, with Gabriel mostly pulling away. They weren't suddenly lovey-dovey with hearts & flowers, although for the last month or so Gabriel had been softening toward Craig, to the point where he told Craig the truth about Lucinda. So some stuff was definitely out of the blue (Craig/Rosanna, as you pointed out) and others have been building for weeks on end.

Many of the fans of the show, have been watching it for a long time, generations through this show, to say we focusing on the day-to-day scene and not the long run is rather insulting to the majority.

Since I didn't insult "the majority" and said that there are many fans (of all soaps) who are judging actors, characters, and stories in the immediacy of the moment, I'll just chalk that mischaracterization of my statements to a bit of .... overstatement on your part.

Member since:
27 June 2009
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

We went through this last year with GL. Simply wrapping a show up with a lot of vets pulling out last minute emotional scenes and 2-minute egg timer storylines they had not been afforded in aeons does not a comeback make, IMO. And what was done with the entire gay storyline on ATWT in the last several years smacks of the worst kind of puritanical, institutionalized homophobia on the part of television executives. The message of the ending of the Luke/Noah/Reid storyline is beyond schizophrenic, no matter what couple any of us was a fan of. The dismissal of Martha Byrne and Goutman's steadfast refusal to allow her to see the show off was disgraceful.

That's just to name a few things. But most everything Chris Goutman has done since his partnership with Hogan Sheffer died has been disgraceful. He is a burnout case, and he passed his lazy, callous ways onto protege Wheeler. Neither is currently fit to work in the industry again in this kind of position of power. Unfortunately all daytime currently seems to have are hacks and burnouts.

If people's complaints against the CBS soaps seem well-worn, overused, rote, maybe it's because the same complaints are not going away because the same revolving lazy susan of execs continue to fritter away precious time, energy and money by making the same well-worn, rote mistakes year after year, show after show. This is not a joke; these soaps will be gone, period, unless some drastic new infusion of lifeblood somehow magically descends from the celestial host. These shows don't have time to wait around for people like Chris Goutman to examine his bleak prospects in other areas of the industry, come back wanting, and then decide he can stand the sight of a soap opera soundstage again and is ready to give a shit about his work once more. I don't have time to wait for Ellen Wheeler to find a medication that works for her.

Make no mistake - if CBS wanted to save their soaps, Goutman and Wheeler would've been out YEARS ago. Goutman's been past it since at least 555-5555. But they don't give a shit, we know that, and THAT is why these people keep their positions, because there is no one looking for the job and because they have nowhere else to go, and CBS doesn't want to expend energy developing new network executives who might care about creaky old soaps. "The devil you know" is no longer an option, because Goutman and co. have killed all the P&G soaps on the network.

As The World Turns is a proud soap with a proud history. But like GL it is dying like a dog on a hot slab of pavement, and it's been doing that for a couple years despite the embarrassing array of General Hospital guest stars. I can't imagine who gives a shit about Julie Pinson's character. So yeah, all this makes me angry. There's just no excuse for managers like Goutman anymore. These soaps don't have the time for the kind of institutionalized contempt for his work that he slowly killed this show with, by burying his own golden age.

Member since:
27 June 2009
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

That should have read "Goutman's been past it since at least 2005 or 2006." Hmmmm.

Member since:
16 September 2010
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

Okay, so you've either been drinking the "Chris Goutman kool-aid" or you're pulling our leg and wanting people to continue to wail on Chris Goutman some more, which okay...I'll bite. I've watched this show since I was a kid (okay probably not the best parental decision, but nonetheless). Up until this egomaniac took over, I loved this show. Even as an adult, it was the last thing I did after coming home from work and ending my day. It was a guilty pleasure, comic relief, and a bit of over the top drama that lightened my life a bit.

Ever since CG entered, it has felt disjointed, confusing, misguided, and frankly a waste of time. It's interesting that he insisted on killing Reid Oliver in a train crash, because it seems like projection to me, oh... except Reid Oliver was actually valuable.

This brings me to the issue that has me boiling. I had continued to TIVO this show even after he took charge, but barely watched any of it. I would fast forward in less than 10 minutes. My husband would ask why I even bothered. One night, through the blur of triple fast forward, Eric Sheffer Stevens caught my eye, and I actually started watching again. That storyline was such a breath of fresh air, until they insisted on hunting the guy down and killing him, not to mention, they insisted on shoving in our faces every unfortunate detail, painful insult, and gory description of his death possible. It was mean and cruel. If they had to kill him off, have some sensitivity and don't make insulting references to his body parts and the fact that he had barely lived any of his life connected to anyone up until Luke, only to meet a terrible death. This is a soap (silly, dramatic in a sappy way), not Hannibal Lecter. The only gain I can see is that I've become sensitized to the horrific way in which the media treats gay characters. If they wanted Reid to give Chris Hughes his heart, then lead up to it, and make me want Chris to have his heart. Give me one reason to believe that Chris Hughes deserves anything other than a kick in the a***. Am I to believe that it was just a coincidence that the gay couple is severed by death? They wanted to hurt people, and guess what... they did. So, you can think that Chris Goutman did some great job if you want, but I haven't watched a single episode since Reid Oliver was killed. What does it say after all these years of watching ATWT, when I didn't even bother to TIVO it?

Member since:
22 June 2010
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

Personally, I enjoyed the final months of GL much more than ATWT. Don't get me wrong. I love World Turns and I'm sad to see it go, but as bad as GL was last summer, World Turns has IMO been worse. GL made some pretty bad decisions (i.e. not letting Otalia kiss, the endless Jeffrey/Edmund saga, etc...) but like others have said, at least Otalia had a happy ending!

I still think the no kiss is homophobic and I'm still angry about that but I'd rather have kissless Otalia than whatever ATWT is giving us with LuRe and Nuke. Having Luke choose Reid over Noah and then have Reid getting hit by a train is cruel to both Nuke and LuRe fans. Neither fan base wins. GL did something similar with Josh/Reva/Jeffrey but again, Jeffrey was alive! Killing Reid leaves no hope for LuRe fans and sends a bad message that the gay guy has to die for the straight couple to have their happy ending.

Also, I take watching Jeffrey chase Edmund around the world over Barbara stuck in a storage room with a clown any day. Not saying I wasn't angry with GL last year. I was. Still am a little bit, but the final week IMO was amazing. GL was great at the time of the cancellation notice and then they screwed up during the summer but made up for it in the end. ATWT has been better than it has been but it's nowhere near what I expected. Basically, I'm more let down than anything.

Member since:
16 September 2010
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

I am shocked and horrified by your defense of Chris Goutman. The only thing that I agreed with in your article was that Texas ended well.
How you could enjoy that ending as well as the travesty that has become ATWT is beyond me.
When you mentioned that it was appropriate to put Reid's heart in Chris's chest because Chris is a Hughes and that family deserves to be front and center. I would argue that this choice might put Chris front and center but it also managed to ruin, yes ruin the characters of Bob and Tom Hughes. Bob's reaction to Reid's death and his subsequent treatment of Luke was unconscionable. The fact that he didn't even attend Reid's funeral was appalling. Tom acted like a vulture desperate to feed on Reid's corpse. It was truly disgusting. I had to watch those scenes multiple times because I could not believe how disrespectful they were to the characters, to the actors, to the show and to the audience.
I feel that Luke was more deserving of a happy ending if your basis for putting Chris front and center is that he is a Hughes. Luke is a legacy character and he has much more resonance with the audience because he has been on the show for the last 5 years played by the same actor. Fans have loved and rooted for Luke Snyder through all of his trials and triblulations to see him devastated and alone serves no purpose that I can see. It just seems homophobic and mean spirited.
I have been watching ATWT since 1983 as well. I may not have watched it as intensly as you have, but I have been watching it daily for years. I havel loved many of these characters and I find that Chris Goutman has ruined the show for me. I have always enjoyed CarJack, but since the death of Reid I no longer care what happens to these characters, and that more than anything saddens me.
I am almost afraid of what you have in store for part 3 but I will be reading it.

Member since:
30 October 2009
Last activity:
10 weeks 6 days

At this point I don't care why the show was cancelled or what Goutman did or did not do to it. I just know I'm very sad to see it go. I started watching in the summer of 1987. There were plenty of stories and years that I hated but I remained loyal because soaps have their good years and their bad years, that's just the nature of 5 hours a week storytelling. I would have loved to see Martha come back as Lily as it was the Lily/Holden/Dusty (oh, those blue eyes!) story that attracted me in the first place. And John Dixon was my all time favorite character. Not all kids need to watch other kids, a lesson the youth-obsessed writers need to learn so that the rest of the shows can continue. Of course I could be wrong. What do I know, I'm just a 23 year soap vet.

Member since:
26 February 2009
Last activity:
1 year 35 weeks

"I have a feeling you're not going to be pleased when I get into this whole misguided notion of "fan favorite" returns and where it really started in Part Three."

I don't see why wanting to see characters I am invested in is "misguided." Was Doug Marland "misguided" for bringing back past characters?

The argument against nostalgia is usually well the show has to stay in the present. The present which got the show canned? The present like the worthless Ciccione family, who helped cause a big ratings drop in 2008?

If the show had stronger characters now then I might not want to see the past. But if wanting to see Ellen or Penny or Andy or Lyla over overexposed, overrated characters like Katie, Janet, and boring nothings like Gabriel, Liberty, JL's version of Craig and NB's Lily, Parker, et al is "misguided," then I'm happy to be misguided.

Mrs. Forrester's picture
Member since:
22 June 2010
Last activity:
3 years 26 weeks

WOW....I never watched ATWT so I can't comment on it. I just want to say to all of it's fans that I am sorry for your loss. It is horrible that such an iconic show is gone. PS J. Bernard I still love your writing.

Member since:
16 September 2010
Last activity:
2 years 38 weeks

Being condescendingly called "Bernie" (which is not my name...

But Bernie, it's you darling who is being so condescending to everyone out here somehow placing yourself on a pedestal above & beyond out here.....And as I said, if laughing at other peoples opinions isn't condescending, I don't know what is. And darling, in your case, Bernie DOES fit! "LOL"

harlee490's picture
Member since:
6 December 2009
Last activity:
8 hours 8 min

I agree with you 100% JBJ, you are SO right. I am a very long time viewer and I said it once, twice after the Feb. sweeps this past year and wrap up of Mick Dante, ATWT stories were at the core of what made ATWT, As The World Turns. JP and DK have done a good job of bringing their heart back to the show. Like most EP CG has had high and lows with his direction over the last 11 years. To the posts that blame CG for the whole industry woes, to be fair CG only had 6 months on AW and it was Jan. '99 when AW got the termination notice for June '99, and he put AW back on track compare to CS which did nothing but purposely destroyed AW. I might not always like CG decisions about the direction and yes it would piss me off over the years but he did do right and actually listened to the fans about story they wanted to see in front of their TV screens. His personal differences with Martha B. was unprofessional and petty because that was a hugh error to not let her come back for closure of Holden and Lily and most importantly the fans. I know I will be weeping today, I have been all week. As for your comment on GL, I am somewhere in middle about the cancellation. It was deeply ailing but still had the essence of GL at the end. But it was probably time for it to fade out the light. Sometimes fans are the worse enemy of soaps, because I don't read many posts from fans on what they do like about their shows, instead we get noise about EVERYTHING, bitching just to be bitching because they don't see the cup half full but half empty. I know I am vocal about my soaps when not happy with story or characters not being written to their character but way out in left field. Regardless, I do keep watching my soaps, GL, ATWT, even left GL for almost a year, (not completely always peeked in, the characters are in my blood) but I can immediately see a story which truly captures that soaps essence I am in heaven. Prime example is AMC, all the trash talking and haters out including some of the regular bloggers from DC Confidential but I have been tuning in and giving DK & DS a fair chance to see how the story evolves. You know what I'm enjoying thus far how the stories are moving and keeping the faith. GREAT article JBJ

Member since:
31 March 2009
Last activity:
2 years 18 weeks

Bernard.... I agree 100% w/your article!!!

I am a lifetime soap fan, I have watched them all & I continue to tune in. I have been a fan of all the soaps, at times in favor of one over the other. I have watched all of the shows during all their glory days & these dire times.

I think people forget that even during some of the glory days there were storylines that weren't so hot injected into the soap. No soap has ever been perfect thru and thru. I will also go on record saying that I never liked Port Charles or Passions, both were to far from what I felt a soap should be.

The ending of GL and ATWT are worlds apart. How GL was wrapped up was a joke and an insult to commonsense and viewers. It was a slapped together happy ending in which storyline leading upto it didn't match. The show had Olivia running around acting crazy for Natalia while they never once had the characters kiss or show any real affection for the other. They built up romances for Dinah&Shayne and Mallet & Marina and then slapped they apart & swapped them in a 24hr time frame. They had Jefferey off MIA away from his wife and child and then slapped Josh & Reva together in a flash. I could go on and on about this how each storyline was completed and yet no-one truly got a well rounded storyline. The only notable part of the ending was the storyline written for Phillip & Alan. GL may have brought back characters, but none of those characters go a storyline or a chance to act and show us just why we loved them or why we missed them.

The ending of ATWT is on point, it's true to the show's core and yes it is telling a touching multi generation story.
I don't like Janet, don't like her daughter and wish they would have skipped town long ago. But they were there and they were injected into storyline already, they had to finish the arch and I can accept that. At the end of the day Dusty got a child, he had his father John back and Carly & Jack got married w/a baby on the way.

I dare anyone to show me a soap that has created a gay character and storyline arch that is even close to ATWT.
Luke is a core character on this show, he is going on a journey with his life and his family. How is it different that Reid died vs when Brad died on Katie, or so many other deaths characters have had to deal with over the years.
Luke didn't just have one love, he had his epic love with Noah and that had to be respected as well.

As for the character of Chris Hughes, he is a core character and his introduction to the canvas did what was required, it brought the hughes family the center of the show and actually gave them a storyline which we got to see from start to finish. I will also go on record saying that I love DC's chris hughes and enjoy his pairing with Katie.
I would have loved to see them get the full court buildup to their ending but time wasn't on their side. As for Katie, she has been a core part of this show for ages, her character needed it's storyline also and she got it. Sure she could have run off with Simon in these last months, but then that would just be an additional storyline arch to tell.
Linking her storyline to the hughes and Luke & Reid was a great way to tell things. Bringing John back to tie the storyline archs together was also a great idea.

I could continue to go on and on about this, but I'll just point out some reasons why ATWT storyline blow GL's ending away.
We hardly saw the vets on GL and while storylines were wrapped they weren't told.
Alex left with Fletcher, yet we never got to see more than 2 scenes between them vs John & Lucinda who actually had dialoge and shared history and current storyline.
Hooking up Katie with Chris Hughes vs hooking up Shayne & Marina. Katie and Chris had shared storyline with the other since march, the romance was built from the minute he appeared on the show and both were single. Shayne had storyline with Dinah and married her in the final weeks, Marina was married to Mallet and then flashforward and we got a swap.
Olivia & Natalia.. what exactly did they get, not a kiss, not a hint at having sex or talk about it. Olivia got to spoon with Josh and nothing with Natalie... Vs Luke who did sleep with Noah, did kiss and talk openly about sex with Reid. Even in his final disscussion with Noah about Reid, Luke was able to express his regret over not having sex with Reid. Nothing between the two gay storylines can be compared, ATWT had the guts to really go there, GL never did, not once.
There are so many other things I could get into, the biggest being the who killed Edmund and the horrible ending to the entire Josh/Reva/Jefferey storyline.

VS ATWT..
who actually took the time to tell and planout storylines to take the show into it's final end. While I may not have loved the premise of all the storylines, they all lead the characters to the place they are now and everyones actions were explained and played out thru time.

My regret is ... that the storyline is ending, because I could see the show going forward with much more to tell.
I feel that as it ends, I wish I was going to get to see these storylines continue to playout. With the ending of ATWT there was progression toward the finale and at the sametime the progression didn't go so far as to limit the interest in the continued progression for the characters.

Member since:
17 September 2010
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

goutman sounds like some terrible disease!!! i hate him ( well everybody does) for ruining my fav character, fav show and fav couple... and mr whoever-wrote-this-article is gout your boyfriend that you are defending him even when the whole world is so hurt by what he did? please dont put such articles here in the future they suck!!!

Member since:
17 September 2010
Last activity:
3 years 30 weeks

eeww how low some people can stoop to get attention!!

Member since:
31 March 2009
Last activity:
2 years 18 weeks

It's interesting that the ratings are way up for ATWT as the show winds down, which did not happen for GL..

In fact GL got 50x more attention in it's closing days and still didn't get a bounce in ratings..

Often the reflection or opinion of those on the internet is not inline with those who are actually watching the shows..

It's amazing how 20 fans can actually map out opinion on the internet and in fan forums so that it seems as if it reflects what the majority of viewers believe, when it's simply the opinion of a couple of dozen viewers.

Member since:
2 April 2009
Last activity:
1 week 3 days

Actually thats not true in its final week GL was number 4 I think in the ratings.

But all the soaps have now came down to GL's level when it went off the air. GL was getting mostly 1.7's during its final months and if you take a look at the ratings now for all the soaps GL would not be doing bad at all right now.

Member since:
26 February 2009
Last activity:
1 year 35 weeks

"Olivia & Natalia.. what exactly did they get, not a kiss, not a hint at having sex or talk about it."

Olivia and Natalia did talk about sex, repeatedly. Olivia also talked with her friends about how she wanted to have sex and they talked to her about what she could do to make herself feel better. I would say that Olivia talking about vibrators was probably more daring than Luke somehow managing to have two of the exact same "we need to wait...we need to wait" stories with two VERY different men.

"I dare anyone to show me a soap that has created a gay character and storyline arch that is even close to ATWT."

AMC.

Or do you mean a storyline arc that ends with a gay man being miserable and alone? That's quite common.

"Katie and Chris had shared storyline with the other since march, the romance was built from the minute he appeared on the show and both were single."

This is the epitome of telling and not showing. Not once did I see any real portrayal of love. It was clumsily obvious that he was supposed to be some great love of hers, but this was shown in very stupid ways, like making out when they were pretending to be Lisa and Don Hughes (they can use him there but can't even mention him when Nancy died), or having twit Katie running him over with her car.

Unfortunately a lot of the stories were this way, the chief being the insistence that Lily and Holden are fated and are a great couple, even though Noelle and Jon have no chemistry and they were both uncomfortable with playing out this story. That is not planning out a story. It is banging a round peg into a square hole.

I also hope that stories like Craig gets a long lost child with his mouth hanging open who forgives him right before the finale were not planned out in advance.

Member since:
27 November 2009
Last activity:
3 years 3 weeks

Chris Goutman's decisions over the last few years destroyed this show. Why were we seeing so many people from the ABC soaps? I realize he had a real problem with financially putting on the show but didn't these people cost money and did they really think people would jump over to ATWT at this stage? I could have lived with all of this however if they didn't start playing with history and messing up characters to drive the plot . Craig sleeping with Dani, Rosanna losing all her money, 100 people living at the Snyder farm, Mick, are just a few things that drove me crazy. But something that was made clear to me the past few weeks that anyone who would let John Dixon walk away from ATWT has no desire to put what long time viewers of the show want to see on the air; or perhaps, even know what that is. I missed Martha Byrne but one scene with Larry in it bought me back to the ATWT of my childhood in a way Martha never would have. I still remember the days of John and Susan working in the hospital lab plotting together behind David Stewart's back.

thecourt99's picture
Member since:
30 April 2009
Last activity:
10 hours 20 min

Where do I begin?

First of all, I think much of the ire comes from the fact that your article comes off as condescending. I don't believe that it is intentional, and while people have different opinions, there is really no need to show seeming disdain for a dissenting opinion.

With that said, I completely disagree with your article, yet again. I know you aren't praising Goutman, but you believe that he did things mostly right. I, on the other hand, believe that he did things mostly wrong. GL brought fan favorites for half a second at the end, however I believe it was the best they could do given their notice. ATWT had much more notice and publicly said that they would not listen to the fans.

GL, in the end, focused on the families at the core.

ATWT, in the end, has placed undue focus on new families. The CarJack wedding would have been a great way to focus on the Snyder family....yet most of the family was dismantled and/or not there. If the writing had been there, they could have had a Lilden wedding at the end and married off CarJack months ago.

Katie did not have to end up in a relationship to become part of a core family. She is already a Hughes and now a Snyder. As a result, the return of Chris could have been shown as a coming together of the Hughes family without the near death and forced love story.

The Stewarts have been limited to Ally babysitting. Paging Dr. Stewart???? Where is she? Emily's story was wrapped up with the Ryan family, but what about with the Stewart family?

Luke is part of a legacy family AND a groundbreaking gay character. During the show we rarely saw him happy...what is wrong with his character getting a happy ending for once?

Instead, we see a Ciccone family reunion when there was a much more organic way to close out this wonderful show.

Goutman's decisions were mostly wrong because he made them with his own ego in mind, and not the viewer.

Member since:
31 March 2009
Last activity:
2 years 18 weeks

We all like what we like, some like storylines and others don't, that's the nature of soaps.

I loved the Otalia storyline on GL and found it's early months so well crafted and acted..BUT once Olivia professed her love to Natalia and the non-frank wedding halted with Natalia returning her love the storyline took a major downward turn, never keeping on pace & developing as another love story would or should have. But frankly in the end of GL none of the couples paired in the very end with the exception of Bill & Lizzie were developed as full storyline archs.

I think it's double standard to request that characters get storyline which is on pair with other characters and yet not be open to all storyline shifts. So we are to assume that non-gay characters can die on soaps, such as Alan on GL and that gay characters like Reid cannot.

I see Reid dying as being more about re-connecting Luke & Noah in the end, showing that it's possible these two will come together once again, showing that they came full circle, that Noah was able to be there for Luke in an unselfish way, to understand his love for another man.
I'm wondering how that storyline is any different than what we saw in the Katie & Chris storyline, him helping her move forward, look to the future. The storyline isn't wrapped up in a way that Luke has no hopes for the future or dreams for the future, he is going to mourn and honor the man he loved and he also knows that their is somebody waiting for him & wanting him at the same time, when he is ready.

Killing one gay character to setup a reconnection to another gay character is not giving the gay character the short end of the stick, it's keeping the focus on the gay characters and their storyline, it's keeping Luke, the son of Lily at the heart of the storyline. Reid was a supporting player in both Luke and Katie's storylines.

there are likes and dislikes, I happen to like Noah & Luke and Luke & Reid and I also like Katie & Chris. I saw all of those storylines and romances develope in a certain fashion.
They were all well told storylines.

Katie & CHris set up was classic soaps, as was Luke & Reid's.
The widowed mother bumps into newly returned doctor, she is not wanting to get involved but makes it her mission to find a match for the returned doctor, only to fall for him herself. Classic soaps, say one thing and feel another.

Reid & Luke, he hires a doctor to come to town and help his love Noah. The doctor is rude and pushy and unemotional.
But thru this period of time they connect and eventually Luke warms to Reid and Reid lets part of his guard down.

As for Reid,his character could be looked at in the big picture, he was a character who was brought on to heal things, to be a catalyst for other storylines. He was brought on to save Noah's eyesite, during this time Noah & Luke became broken and not in the same mindset and after Reids death if brought Noah & Luke back together on the same loving level they once were, they were completely fixed, but they were mending, understanding what is important.

He also served as a catalyst for Katie to move on with her life and for Bob Hughes to retire and have his dream come true, for his son to take over his job. It was Reid's good standing with Bob that caused chris to take action, something he might not have done, had reid not been their.

Sometimes a character dies on a soap and the death is so effective that it remains in the minds and hearts of viewers for years to come. Had ATWT lived on, so would have the effects of Reid's death.. much like stone on Gh or BJ..

Johnathon's picture
Member since:
10 December 2008
Last activity:
2 years 38 weeks

I have been a fan of ATWT since 2007, I fell in love with the Snyders and the ongoing stories of the citizens in Oakdale. With that said I really feel like Guiding Light did a MUCH better job with its final weeks then ATWT did.

I can completely see where you are coming from Bernard, and I do think that the show is doing a good job with the goals that Goutman set for himself, but I don't really think that the choices were right at all.

I like the idea of 'life goes on', but why in the world does it seem like we are so focused on stupid crap that really only effects the last one-two years of storylines when this is a fifty-four year old show.

I  know that my 'history' with World turns is slim, I completely get that I am a 'newbie' to this program, but I do think that the show needed to honor a bit more of its history then just what happened in the last few moments. Some of the 'flashbacks' for Nancy's funeral were great, but why not attempt to get some of those people back for her final day and do a big 'Alice Horton' type funeral? 

There was a lot that could have been done dfifferently, and a lot that would have made this shows ending a lot more acceptable, but at the end of the day this is what we got, and I have to say I do enjoy it, and I look forward to seeing how it all ends in a few hours.

Member since:
25 March 2010
Last activity:
3 years 25 weeks

Why not just send CG some flowers and ask for his autograph? It seems that your only desire is to throw gasoline on the flames by being so combative in your tone, and the coulda shoulda attitude is pretty high school. Regardless of the endgames, fans would be disappointed with any outcome - the show is going off the air. CG is a big boy in a tough profession. He probably doesn't need to be defended here, at least not so vehemently in multiple articles, especially on the last day of the series. I question your motives and timing.

There was only one chance to wrap up ATWT. For someone who did a pretty bad job with AW this was his chance to get it right, or at least do a better job. Last spring when people were clamoring for story lines to end in order to allow a parade of long gone vets to start showing up, I said in a comments sections here on DC that I thought CG should be allowed to keep moving forward with story lines in progress and not treat this like a museum piece. I was willing to see what he did. I suspect, especially after the bulk of the last three weeks episodes that maybe the creative team still thought the show was going somewhere else. The pace over the summer was slooooow until Barbara's rescue and they have been on racetrack chasing the rabbit ever since. Regardless, he is The Peter Principle at work: one rises to the level of their own incompetence. He might have given us his best, but it simply wasn't good enough for the task at hand. All of the plot points you wax so rhapsodically about could have been handled differently with similar outcomes in terms of emotions and character resolution.

Your comment about thrusting the Hughes family back into the spotlight is a prime example of where I think you are just wrong. They should have always been in the spotlight. CG's obsession with Meg/Paul/Damien/Dusty/Craig/Emily/Kitchen Sink wasted months over several years when perhaps the Hughes family could have been used a bit more.

This is a dying genre, and as such he is becoming the mortician of choice, and any show that needs the final push should hire him. OLTL got a head start by bringing back JP. So you go ahead and blow some more smoke and enjoy your afternoon.

Member since:
17 December 2009
Last activity:
4 weeks 1 day

Sorry, I couldnt disagree more.

Guiding Light was no longer viable because of Ellen Wheeler/CBS/P&G. When GL was at the top of the ratings they bled all the $$ to cover CBS' abysmal prime time lineup.

As The World Turns' situation is a little different in that they had more time to prepare for the end. Which was pointless because Goutman didnt use the time he had wisely and again didnt listen to what the fans want. Had they listened to what the fans want they wouldnt have lost viewership. The last few weeks there have been some real sterling moments surrounded by crap.

Goutman SHOULD have brought Martha Byrne back. Regardless of their personal issues. I like Noelle Beck a lot and if teh show continued she would have grown more with the character, but for Gods sake, give the die hards back their Lily.

The Reid/Luke storyline has been the most popular story to come out of ATWT in years and they kill Reid to save Chris?!?!?
Its not homophobia, its bad writing/producing.

If I hear that Wheeler or Goutman are producing another show, I will know the Soap Opera Graveyard will be expecting another body.

Im angry, not at the cancellation so much as the disservice they did to the actors and viewers of this much loved show.

Member since:
31 March 2009
Last activity:
2 years 18 weeks

At no point did this column state that CG is a good show runner or that he wasn't responsible for the failure of ATWT on some level..

The column is simply about how he ended the show, how he the storylines were wrapped up vs other soap endings. It's not about the past 5 yrs of failure, it's about once the ax was given and the show was going to end, how he ended it.

Sarah Bibel happens to agree with Bernard, and she is a respected fair journalist.

http://www.fancast.com/blogs/2010/tv-news/deep-soap-farewell-as-the-worl...

baycity's picture
Member since:
24 May 2010
Last activity:
3 years 3 weeks

“I have no idea why it took so long to embrace the possibilities of having nothing left to lose and stop wasting time on silly storylines that were in theoretical pursuit of younger demographics. I suspect CBS exerted its influence until the end.” - Sara Bibel

Goutman failed the fans of this show. And there are three possible explanations:

1. He’s an egoist and didn’t care what the fans wanted.

2. He’s a coward and refused to take on the network although it is very doubtful that there would have been any consequences since the show was already cancelled.

3. He’s incompetent and just did not have the talent to come up with a satisfactory ending for ALL of the major storylines.

Member since:
27 November 2009
Last activity:
3 years 3 weeks

How it ended? I like that the Hughs family actually had a story in the last few weeks but the trouble with "How" it ended is that they didn't start ending it when it was cancelled and we had months of characters we don't care about. This may be because of money but I blame Goutman. Why were Carly and Jack married in a field? To me I would of rather in their living room or the Snyder kitchen. And just for the record although I like Jon Lindstrum he is not Craig and never will or could be. This show started dying when Hogan Scheffer left and nobody at CBS cared enough to get rid of Goutman and company. To me a good soap, no matter how long your away from it, when you turn it on, no matter what the story is, you recognize some characters and sets and relationships betweeen people so it feels familar but the story is exciting enough to pull you in.

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
15 hours 6 min

Such passion in this thread!

Love it kids!

Member since:
31 March 2009
Last activity:
2 years 18 weeks

Soaps are ending for many reasons and yes EP and HW are part of the problem, but they alone are not what is destroying soaps.

Look at all the soaps, with the exception of Y&R, only 100,000's seperate the remaining soaps. That is why on the weeks leading to the end of ATWT it is ranking 4th in the ratings and higher than soaps that are not cancelled.

P&G didn't wish to invest in soaps anymore, because the payoff isn't there, they aren't reaching their targete d consumer anymore. Yes CBS is the one that decided to no longer air ATWT, but it was P&G who decided not to invest in the product, to cut costs. It isn't just one area that a soaps is effected when the money isn't flowing thru, it's all the areas. Salary's are slashed, moral is slashed, writing is slashed, production is slashed and everything else.

We no longer live in the soap world in which their are rehersals, changes to scenes or actors working 4 or 5 days a week and cast members having overlap. This is one of the biggest problems, the tops a cast member works a week now is 3 days and during those 2 or 3 days all their stuff needs to be filmed, so it effects how everyone's work is filmed.
It's all about the bottom line, you don't just get to write a story and tell it, you have to consider how your going to film it and do so under a very limited circumstance. There is no way to say I want the whole cast in all this week to film this storyline arch and I want them everyday.

Soaps are dying because nobody is watching them, people aren't watching because they lost interest or because the venue did not pass down to the next generation in the way it was to us. Teens and young adults are not interested in soaps, not the way they were once. There are other options out there and often due to the computers and youtube you can get what you want when you want it.

At some point I think we will see a re-introduction to soaps down the line, but for now they just simply are no longer in fade. The need to redefine themselves and find away to remove the stigma associated with them currently.

Money won't be invested in them, it will continue to be taken out, unless someway or somehow they find a means to appeal to more viewers, at least 1 million more viewers.

Ryan-Scott's picture
Member since:
4 May 2009
Last activity:
15 hours 6 min

I agree.

Nothing against Julie Pinson who I have thought was wonderful since she was on PC but Janet's baby should NOT have been so central the last week of this show.
NO! NO! NO!

I will say it's been GREAT to see John Dixon, Rosanna, Gwen, and Will again.

Member since:
8 April 2010
Last activity:
3 years 13 weeks

People are beating up on Goutman and Passanante pretty hard. I have too. They deserve it. But, when all is said and done, ATWT is in better shape and is getting a better farewell than most of the shows that were cancelled in the last 15 years have received. What's done is done. It seems rather pointless for people to be bitching and moaning now.

My tribute to the show is to savor my memories and be thankful that it was there for me for so many years.