Saturday, September 19, 2009
Sadly, Guiding Light was so much apart of my formative years, that I feel I have more memories of these characters, than I do of my own life. I started watching ever so faithfully, when I was 12 years old and saw just about every episode for 25 years.
In the beginning, I would race home from school to catch it. My first paycheck from my after school job, went to the purchase of a VCR. It's pathetic to admit, but I actually remember crying if the electricity went out for some reason or my VCR didn't record an episode. Looking back, I'm sometimes ashamed of the amount of time I spent watching soaps, GL in particular. I still need the escapism found in movies, TV and books, most of us will admit that; but for me, the medium of telling stories through daytime serials brought with it a sense of satisfaction that I have yet to find again.
My earliest memories are of Kelly and Morgan (the red haired Morgan) falling in love at Laurel Falls. Annual Bauer BBQ's, A crazy Amanda Wexler, who retreated back into childhood complete with a big, silly bow in her hair and a ever present rag baby. Then, GL moved into it's heydays with focus on the teenage years of Phillip, Beth, Rick and Mindy's friendships and romances. Although, I think I may have loved the old movie quality of Nola and Quentin's Jane Eyer like storyline, even more.
Anyone even remotely acquainted with the show, will agree the most important moment was the day Reva Shane stormed in to Springfield and the whole Lewis/Shane clan saga was slowly revealed to us riveted viewers. To this day, their history seems like gospel, okay, maybe gospel is taking it too far, but if feels like a universal story, not unlike Gone With The Wind or Camelot.
Reva (Kim Zimmer) is just Reva - no words can describe her, but I do wonder if she's counted how many thousand (perhaps millions) of tears she actually shed over the years.
Harley (Beth Ehlers) was tenacious and raw and adorable.
Beth (Beth Chamberlain) took us for a roller coaster ride over the years; sometimes sympathetic and weak, then she'd be devious and self-centered, other times just a mess and sometimes powerful and maternal.
Holly (Maureen Garrett) was one of the most elegantly, naturally, sexy women I've ever seen.
My sister will kill me if I leave out her favorite - Blake (Liz Keifer) who never stopped making mistake after mistake, yet we forgave her again and again.
I also really loved the first Alexandra Spaulding (Beverly McKenzie) and I still miss Nola Reardon-Chamberlain (Lisa Brown). Some young actresses like Melina Kanakaredes, Brittany Snow, Hayden Panettiere and Nia Long got started on Guiding Light and went on to be amazing prime time and movie actresses.
To the viewers delight, Philip and Beth and Rick and Mindy all reunited with marriages for both couples. Billy and Vanessa also made one last trip down the aisle. Alan's double dealings were finally put to rest for eternity and most importantly Reva and Josh rode off together into the sunset.
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