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October 22, 2014

Guiding Light: The Final Episode (SPOILERS)

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 18th 2009 1:29PM
Guiding LightLet's get the bad out of the way right at the top: no clips or retrospective?

It would have been nice to have a montage of past Guiding Light characters. After all, the show has been on TV since 1952, so why not take a little trip down video memory lane? It was fun to see all of the openings they've used over the decades at the start of the show (in reverse order), but it would have been good to see something at the end of the show to bookend it instead of a "The End" and then a commercial and the Tele-Next logo. Seemed kinda odd.

However, that didn't ruin the episode itself, which turned out to be everything that GL fans could have wanted and more.

How should a TV show end after so many years? Fans want to see a happy ending, everything wrapped up in a nice bow. Others might want to see a more "realistic" ending, just another episode so it doesn't all seem forced. Guiding Light went the latter route for the finale (we already got the realism with Alan dying earlier this week), and you know what? Forced was just fine.

I've been watching the show for 30 years, and I didn't have the patience for any kind of "creative" or "edgy" ending. Besides the wrap up of all of the plots that had been spinning for the past few months (except one, which I'll get to in a minute), the show fast forwarded a year, to show us where the characters will be. This turned out to be a masterstroke. Instead of everyone remaining pregnant on the show, we saw the actual children after a year. Instead of the people who left town staying out of the picture forever, like Daisy and Rafe, we saw them return from school and the military and join everyone at the big park party. We saw Bill and Lizzie with child, Frank and Blake together, Mallet and Dinah still on the run in Europe (but together and happy), and (most satisfying of all) Mindy and Rick engaged! That's not just satisfying to longtime fans, it's perfection.

And whoever had the idea to bring back Fletcher Reade (Jay Hammer) so he could take Alex on an around-the world trip...that person deserves a bonus of some kind. That was fantastic. (And I like how he and Bill talked about missing Ben but didn't dwell on it because fans hated that whole storyline.) More kudos to the writers for bringing Ed and Holly together again in the previous episode.

There was only one plot that seemed a bit up in the air, but looking back at the episode before we kinda know what happened. Jeffrey never did catch Edmund. Instead, Edmund said that they were both alike, and what Jeffrey liked was "the chase." I guess that's why Jeffrey's life is going to be now, a constant chase to protect his family. I guess Jonathan will keep this secret forever now that Josh and Reva are together again.

It's really odd that the longest-running TV show is ending. It really is a big part of history that's dying (and I don't want to hear from people who think soaps are "stupid"). If the show had to end, I'm glad they went out with happiness and closure and not the way most shows go out. Guiding Light might be gone but you get the feeling that Springfield lives on.

Now CBS...how about a box set of every episode ever made? I don't care what it costs, I'd buy it.

(This episode will be here on SlashControl later today.)

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HELLO DAVID

3 years later..and Daytime TV is NO better. Actually it is worse. Poor ol Wayne Brady is a pitiful excuse and a HUGE waste of talent for a GRADE C TV show. All the other talkies and Chews and views, and spews are FLOPS. I dont even watch ANY daytime tv anymore..there is nothing on. A HUGE Waste and mistake. the producers at GL and ATWT screwed up royally the last two years by filming everything outdoors and using "cheap" shots, budget cuts, etc.. it was a ROYAL screw up by the producers.. WE the public deserve better. we want decent Daytime.! We DEMAND IT!!! Bring back GL and other soaps that at least kept us entertained. I couldn't care less if the advertisers were SOAP manufacturers or CAR manufactures..Just bring these back and give us DECENT TV again! CBS..You have screwed up royally on this one.

May 03 2013 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TiFF

I think it is total crap (for the lack of a better word) that they canceled the show, I know A LOT of people that watched the show, I have been watching it for the last 4 years and I am 21, so it does target younger audiences. I do think that the story lines got not as good in this last year, but I think maybe they should have hired a new writer...get someone else in there dont cancel are show!! WE WANT IT BACK!! Also I thought the ending was crap it was to short and was like they didnt even take there time thinking of a good plot! They atleast owe them that!

October 08 2009 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shatsi

Wow!! With all the wonderful, wonderful comments being made about GL you would have thought someone could have made it work. I too have watched GL since a young lass in a small town in PA, and as I grew older moving all over parts of the United States and living abroad I still found a way to watch GL. This hurts, this really hurts my soul. I feel like a large part of my family has just simply disappeared. I am always going to wonder what has happened with everyone in the cast, you know like keeping up with family and friends. Anyway, You are missed GL, you are missed.

September 21 2009 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dawn

I started watching Guiding Light as a little girl when Quint married Nola. To me they just couldn't properly end the show in an hour. If the show is truly gone for good, they should have closed ALL loopholes. I stopped watching GL briefly during the Joshua/Cassie, Jonathan/Tammy saga because that was just plain nasty. When Reva married all of the Lewis men, she did it with flair and the scenes were always funny. They should have bought all of the missing characters back, because, Harley should have been around to see her daughter off to college, but then again she did disappear at her graduation. Alan Michael should have made an appearance, you can't just not show up at your dad's funeral unless you are in jail. I don't know who the person in charge that was creating these story lines but they messed up big time. Marah, Josh and Reva's daughter hasn't appeared since she blasted her brother and sister for being together because they were first cousins. You know they pretty much stop caring towards the end of the shows, because they really didn't do too well in hiding Lizzie's real life pregnancy. (Congratulations to you Marcy Ryland) As far as Jeffrey and Edmund that should have had a closure put in, and Mallet and Dinah, who could have at least spied on her mom's wedding, they could have easily replaced them with other people that we wanted to see. Well I will miss the cast of GL and there will never be another show like it ever. God Bless and Hurry up and get those in Box Sets together!!!!!!

September 21 2009 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debra Collins

It must be some kind of coincidence all of the 52 year olds writing on this blog that grew up watching this great show with their mothers. I agree it feels like I've lost someone dear to me, actually a part of my family, to see this show end.
I would also love to buy dvd's of as many episodes as possible. If CBS really wants to make some money, they should investigate the interest in this.
I loved the last show...if it had to end. I assume that Jeffrey will always be chasing that elusive dream of catching Edmund and hopefully in the process will have a life of his own. I'm thinking Jonathan let him know that Reva was moving on with hers.
Thanks again to the entire cast...You will be in my special memory place forever....
Debra Collins

September 20 2009 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Libby

What a nice, thoughtful review. I too have watched for 30 years, and found the ending very satifying. Box set? Why YESSSS! How cool would it be to re-watch Holly, Roger, Beth and Phillip Rick and Mindy back in high school? Relive the old days when you're home sick from work? Get on it CBS! Or at least provide them on iTunes!

September 19 2009 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg andrew

It was a good ending for most of the characters, but really didn't do justice to its entire history; it was a wrap-up to the show Gail Kobe and Pam Long revamped GL into in the early 80s. While I realize that Ed and Holly hadn't been regular characters in a while, Peter Simon and Maureen Garrett were on GL before anyone else in the current cast and should've been part of the final show, and more importantly, there should have been been a Bauer scene paying one last tribute to Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer)

That being said, I've seen a lot of final episodes of soap opera (The Doctors, Texas, Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, Ryan's Hope, Capitol, Santa Barbara, Another World), and this was definitely one of the better ones. The producers managed to bring back virtually every character I thought they needed to and could except Alan-Michael.

September 19 2009 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Greg andrew's comment
Joanna

I agree. I would have like to have seen Alan-Michael and Harley back, at least for the last show. Also a really good 2-hour retrospective. I think the show at the very lease deserved that.

September 20 2009 at 4:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
amy

Here's a tribute:

http://www.soapcentral.com/gl/news/2009/0831-tributevideo.php

September 19 2009 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
amy

It seems like all it took for everyone in Springfield to remain happy was for Alan to die. ;) Actually, I thought that was well played...I teared up when the wedding crowd toasted him and think the actor did a great job and I cried when Philip found him and I've never ever been an Alan fan. I've been watching for 13 years...pulled out when they messed with Harley and Gus because they were one of my all-time favorite soap couples, and also the whole Josh/Reva's sister (whose name escapes me!) creeped me out...came back to see the end. Wondered about Alan's other kids though...they could've at least mentioned them at the funeral. Really happy that they brought some of the former staples back. Good job overall.

September 19 2009 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Donna

The soap is still great as far as I am concerned, I like the fact that they made it seem more real. Look at the other soaps. People are always cooped up in rooms and you know it is a set. I love the outdoors. It is great to see the snow, the slush the rain, the flowers the fields, anything and everything that makes it a real town. It was great to finally see a real pool at the Bauer BBQ. I was tired of that little square kiddie pool. To see people spread out over a real back yard instead of crowded onto a little stage area. Who cares that the scenes were not perfect, it isn't supposed to be. Real life has many imperfections. Like we don't have trash cans, or fences that need mending? Like none of us ever sweat? I will miss this soap, I have been watching for 56 years I have seen so many actors come and go. Watched so many characters die on the show and in real life. I will miss this soap so much, it is like these actors and actresses are part of an extended family. I will miss them a lot. I think CBS and P&G should have continued it. It should at least have lasted through the baby boomer generation. We grew up with this soap. It obviously was creating history. To take a soap off of the air because a few people may have made some complaints is wrong. Many of us have been watching for years and while we may not like the way a story goes at any given moment does not mean that it should come off the air. Many of the older viewers do not have computers or the inclination to write to you, but I am. The Babyboomer generation is quite a large population, I believe you just did not get the proper feedback. Actually it should have been ATWT that you took off. Without Martha Byrne it is not the same. I will not be watching anything but the B&B and Y&R, when they end for the day I will not even watch ATWT, which I only watched as a lead in to the GL. I have no desire to watch another game show so that leaves out Let's Make A Deal, the remakes are never as good anyway. I don't care for those stupid talk shows. So that leaves me with time to spare every afternoon, a time that had been taken up by the GL since I was in the second grade. Such a shame. Hopefully someone will realize that they made a mistake and maybe go back to a monthly special, or an every 6 month special, or even a yearly special. I mean they are just leaving us hanging. And letting Alan die was the pits. He does something selfless and then he dies. Find a way to somehow keep it going, PLEASE. I have been a fan of CBS since I could watch t.v. I Remember Mama, I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, to name a few. Soaps such as Love of Life, Search For Tomorrow, The Edge of Night, when they were on CBS. So you can see I have been watching CBS for a very, very long time. the only time I watch another network is when the sports shows are on on the weekend. I have watched your network cancel many shows, some without warning. Such as Nash Bridges, JAG, The Guardian was much better than the Mentalist. Some shows go off in May never to be seen or heard of again. That is so unfair to the viewers. I am not going to say I will stop watching CBS because I will not. I watch all CSIs, NCIS, The Ghost Whisperer, Cold Case, all the comedies on Monday and Wednesday night, Criminal Minds, Numbers. I am a total CBS fan. I just feel that you messed up in canceling GL. You have cancelled a special part of the day for many of us. Remember that most likely for everyone person that wrote in there are probably at least 10 more that do not use computers because of their age, so therefore you did not get their feedback. We love You GL. Thank You, to the cast and all the crew for performing for us all these years, and for providing us with such wonderful entertainment for so many years. For many of us THE LIGHT WILL NEVER GO OUT

September 18 2009 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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