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September 3, 2015

TV Squad Soap Report: The new Guiding Light is not working

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 3rd 2008 1:01PM
GL logoOn February 29, 2008, a new era began for Guiding Light. Daytime television's longest running serial drama -- 71 years old this year -- burst out of the confines of a New York studio to begin shooting on location and on the fly in makeshift, portable sets and real places. The idea on paper was not only exciting, it seemed revolutionary. If they succeeded, Guiding Light could truly be a "guiding light" to the rest of the soap industry.

Sad to say, I don't like it. It's been over a month and the problem with all this sustained out of the studio production is that it's distracting. It's not the camera work that's distracting -- like when NYPD Blue first began and the shaky, handheld camera was considered vomit-inducing by some critics. No, the production values are not substandard. That's not it.

By always being aware of the surroundings -- where they're shooting, the fact that they are not in a studio -- you can rarely become involved in the story and the characters. Instead, you find yourself wondering why they're shooting baskets in a high school gym? And when two different sets of characters are in the same gym over a period of days, you begin to recognize that the scenes are being set in the gym for reasons other than what the writer had in mind.

Guiding Light is a very good show. Or it has been a very good show. I admired the work executive producer Ellen Wheeler has done with the show. Last year, when they won the Daytime Emmy for writing (and tied for Outstanding Drama Series with The Young & the Restless), one of the reasons was the innovation of the "Into the Light" episodes (every Wednesday); stand alone shows that would focus on a particular story, relationship, concept. It was smart and well-executed. Perhaps the idea of doing this on the fly production was seen as another innovation. If so, it's not working.

The real reason for this new concept is money; it's cheaper to film this way as opposed to filming in a studio. I would hope they find a way to make this work in time because the alternative might be for CBS to pull the plug. I would really hate to see that happen because a show with this kind of stellar reputation deserves a better fate. It has some great acting (Kim Zimmer, Beth Ehlers, Robert Newman, Jordan Clarke, and many others). I like Guiding Light; I just want it to shine the way it was meant to shine -- in a studio.

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pat coney

I was really sad when GUS left the show now their goes HARLEY so I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to watch this soap I just wish they would bring back some of the regular actors more often. I'd really be happy to see frank and natellia get together because I think they work well together and they make a great couple. I wish they would get rid of AVA BECAUSE i CAN'T STAND HER AND THE CRAP SHE'S PULLING.

May 23 2008 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have been watching the Guiding Light since the
1950's. your new format is a nightmare. Faces only
focusing on blemishes, necks, ears, etc. How boring.
Music is a disaster, does everyone spend the day in
the "park"..now..cars in background loud.

Hope this can be recitifed some day in the future but
am sure it is a huge expensive mistake.

May 14 2008 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sooo glad Guiding Light was evicted from the Ralph Loran Hotel. Certain actors fair really well in the great outdoors, I guess because they are outdoorsey. But to me the greatest combo is Buzz and Allen. They are like Filex and Oscar and it is truely wonderful. Thanks

May 11 2008 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tina ramos

OMG!!! I could not believe how POP was dressed 2 day on the show!!!And Rick, running around chasing a bunny!! He must really need the money for his roles on the show lately!
And they never show Peyton.....And why is Lizzie being so trusting with BillI really like Marcy Ryan, but come on, it's getting a little boring, with her new found *soft* attitude!Please bring Jonathan Back for some REAL EXCITMENT!!!!!

May 02 2008 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tina ramos

Yes, i 2 miss kim, but 2 day, i saw the up coming events!!! Is REVA coming back alive to do her life story about her, on the show!!! Cool, maybe it will get exciting!!!

April 30 2008 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show has become so boring it just doesn't have anything interesting going on with it. Maybe it should go off the air. I tune in everyday thinking that maybe there will be some interesting storylines but am mistaken. Pull the plug on the light !!

April 30 2008 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tina ramos

Also, i want to add, does anyone want to see Frank and Natalia get 2 gether???? He needs someone, and she will 2 if she is going to stay on the show!!!

April 30 2008 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tina ramos

I have to admit that i agree somewhat about the dislike of the new shooting on this show!! Sometimes it is interesting to see the actors outdoors, but at other times, it can be very distracting!!
Also i wish Harley would get herself 2 gether, and i want to see the real REVA again!!! Also Alan finally got what he deserved, but it has become very boring, and so has Dina!! I hope that they get this show back on it's feet before long, or i may have to take a break from it again, like i did several yrs ago when Reva went off the show !!!

April 30 2008 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janet Zavatto

Although seemingly 'cutting-edge', the show comes off more as an advanced senior high-school film project, and paying more attention to the background is not my idea of escapism; I love this show, I love the actors and actresses. I miss my morning 'break'. 27 years gone???? Oy-vey! Kim Zimmer, Jordan Clark et al, I miss you guys!!!!!!

April 28 2008 at 12:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate it. I have been watching for 20 years and I'm getting completely bored. It is so obvious it is all about money,no wardrobes at all they all look like they have been shopping at thrift stores

April 21 2008 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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