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Guiding Light to get younger, hipper, hand-held camera-ish

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 17th 2007 2:56PM

Guiding Light logoI think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

If you watch Guiding Light, take note of this. The show is going to change in early 2008, according to the show's producers. Say goodbye to the ordinary camera locations and the sets. The show is going for a more cinema verite'/MTV-style show, with hand-held cameras and edgier editing. They want the show to have the look of a reality show. Or something. Ugh.

Supposedly the show got the idea after seeing the results of a one-year study that showed that fans didn't think the show felt "real." Maybe because it's a soap opera? Producer Ellen Wheeler says "When I watch ER, Grey's Anatomy, or even Desperate Housewives, those shows feel real to me."

Um...OK. I can't speak about Grey's, but since when is an over the top soap like Housewives "real?" I'd also like to point out that none of these shows are filmed with hand-held cameras. Also, they're weekly shows. A daily, 70 year-old soap opera that is suddenly goes to hand-held cameras and quick editing? Gah.

I understand that daytime dramas have been falling in the ratings a lot in the last 5-10 years, and might even go the way of the daytime game show. But I really don't see this as saving them. I predict that this will either kill the show for good, or if it does survive, they'll give it up after a year-long experiment.

I watched the show every single day from the early '80s to the mid-'90s or so. I'm probably not the demographic they're shooting for and since I'm no longer a regular viewer I probably shouldn't care, but it's hard to see something that has lasted so long be changed this drastically.

(Note: can someone explain to me what Wheeler is talking about when she talks about viewers wanting to know what kind of flowers characters on the show are planting and what kind of car they are driving?)

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I use to be faithful to Guilding Light. Loved Reba,,,, until she married the brother, father, brother, grandfather, brother, son, etc.......

November 07 2007 at 5:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you wanted to save MONEY ;? Id get rid of 1 GUS 2 BUZZ and 3 teenagers and there problems who needs to watch them anyhow.AND TURN ON SOME LIGHTS .

October 22 2007 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Soaps don't need to be "edgier" unless they are nighttime soaps. It's expected there. If she wants to go with an edge, then put it in the nighttime line up.

That "moving around" look that hand held cameras give, is just annoying. I have watched GL for a long time, and I think it is a great soap, ( if she wants to make a change, how about stopping Kim Zimmer from overacting all the time?) but doing this will surely be the 'kiss of death'. Like a previous poster stated, AMC tried it, and viewers were so annoyed, that they changed it back.

While we're at it, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, get rid of that RIDICULOUS opening sequence!! I have found myself turning the channel until it's over, but sometimes I never even turn back because it's so stupid. The words are nice, but why not SHOW the characters saying the words if you want to keep the meaning of it? You could show them in rapid succession, and at least we would get to see our characters in the beginning. Maybe some don't care, but I happen to really enjoy the opening credits of all my soaps! I also look forward to the changes in the photos when a cast member is added or changed.

Oh well, I hope they don't screw themselves.....and us.

October 18 2007 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The comparison to MTV makes it sound bad, but the best show on TV, Friday Night Lights, also uses this style of production. That show is amazing. Give it a chance. This will be great for both GL and ATWT.

October 18 2007 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People still watch soaps? Really? Why? I will admit I had a soap addiction back in the early 80's while in college. I watched ABC stuff, that was the "Luke and Laura" days on General Hospital. But that was a different time; no cable tv (and when we did get it, it was at first maybe 12 stations, not the 60+ you get now). No internet. Vcr's were pretty new and the rental tapes choices were limited, no dvd at all. There just wasn't all this variety in entertainment choices that there are today, so we watched soaps.But I fail to see any reason to choose them now, they just seem so outdated. Nothing against the folks who like them, but I can think of way better options. Then again, I like Cane, which is just basically a soap, a "Dallas" for the new century. As or the product placement, that wouldn't bother me, if it helps cover costs.

October 18 2007 at 3:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ellen Wheeler has ruined Guiding Light in my opinion and this new idea of hers doesn't sound any better than her other ideas.

October 17 2007 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They're just going to turn more viewers off and kill an already dying show. I tuned out from Guiding Light months ago, and this won't entice me back. I mean I didn't leave because the show didn't feel 'real.' I left because the show was boring, and they were wasting the wonderful actors/actresses that they have with stupid, uninteresting storylines. Maybe someone should look into fixing THAT.

October 17 2007 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To say the viewers want to know what kind of car a character drives or what flowers they're planting sounds like nothing but an excuse for PRODUCT PLACEMENT. Sounds more like P&G is slashing the show's budget by giving them smaller, hand-held cameras to work with and ditching studio-bound sets (which cost money to build, rent and/or store) will also cut down on the budget. Giving all the characters a new car - with the sponsor's brand name prominently displayed - to drive around town in can help offset the costs for getting permits to film on real locations. Everyone will be drinking Starbucks coffee or Pepsi products, they'll have wardrobes provided by a designer or store instead of having them created by a wardrobe designer and crew (another budget saver), furnishing will also be provided by the local furniture store (or IKEA), and locations will be paid for in exchange for prominently displaying the name during the show or in the credits, so eventually GL will just be one long infomercial. But maybe they'll be able to get some nice HD cameras from Sony in the process!

October 17 2007 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They tried this with All My Children with no success.

October 17 2007 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Darrett Burr

I have been an avid watcher of Guiding Light for the last 15 or so years. I understand what Ellen Wheeler is saying when she says she wants viewers to know what type of flowers are being planted or what type of car is driven. One a soap there is a lot of imagination that must be placed in the hands of the viewers.

For example, they shoot several scenes a year around the lighthouse in Springfield. The lighthouse is the cornerstone of the show. All the viewers see is the top of the light house when characters are up there, for whatever reason it may be. I think it would be very dramatic if viewers saw the entire surrounding of a real light house. The scenery would be great with the water below and the beautiful skies above with this huge lighthouse in the middle.

Think about watching prison break without a real prison atmosphere. It would be boring and so not outside the box. I think that today's viewers want their favorite shows to look just like what they see when they open their front doors.

I hope I helped.

October 17 2007 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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