January 9, 2009By Danielle McClure Posted: Jan 9, 2009
Happy (belated) New Year! 2008 was a wild year for GUIDING LIGHT and as the show's editor for Soap Opera Digest, I've seen it all — the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly. So, in the spirit of OLTL Editor Lauren Flynn's blog entry listing her "Highlights and Lowlights" of the past year, I've decided to do something similar for GL, from storylines and behind-the-scenes stunners to recasts and ousters. If you haven't already, check out our annual Best and Worst issue (12/16) for more a detailed analysis of what on soaps (including GL) sunk and/or sizzled in '08, but here's my very abbreviated list.
•Bringing Jeff Branson on as the new Shayne Lewis. Not only is he downright sexy, but he's an incredible actor who has already brought so much more to the character than any other player before him. Watching his struggle to reconnect to his family also gives us more quality Reva/Josh time, and who doesn't love that?!
•Hallelujah! The Boudreaus are finally back on the front-burner!
•Reva's pregnant and she has cancer! Call me crazy, but I loved this storyline stunner and I hope that it takes off in even more surprising ways as Reva's due date nears.
•Lizzie and Sarah's farewell/Jonathan's brief return. Fantastic acting that tied up loose ends and let Lizzie move on. Plus, it's always fun to see Tom Pelphrey back into the mix. Bravo!
•The absolute best surprise of '08? Two words: Grant Aleksander. Yeah, he's not technically back on the canvas yet, but what a fabulous year-end casting treat for devoted GL viewers! And there's nothing like starting the new year off with the return of a beloved character/actor to help create good buzz (and karma) for the soap.
•The tragic passing of Beverlee McKinsey (ex-Alex).
•Harley's exit. Beth Ehlers' sudden departure aside, Harley is a character with rich history who has tons of Springfield ties— and she needs to be around! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a recast this year.
•Grady/Daisy. I still don't get it.
•Lizzie's kidnapping. Worst. Story. Ever.
•I know I'm in the minority here, but I loved that little manipulative demon seed Will Winslow and I HATED seeing him go. He was a fantastic foil for minister Josh and watching him gradually get under Cassie's skin was incredibly amusing. Plus, he put evil uncle Eddie in a coma! Brilliant!
•Gus's death. I'm still grieving over how badly these scenes were mistreated.
•Ashlee's Lap-Band surgery. GL dropped the ball on this one, big time. What could've been an amazing storyline fizzled fast. It's a shame.
•Peapack, NJ/GL's new look. Love it or hate it, it's here to stay. The dreaded pond scenes are still atrocious, but I'll admit the rest of the "real" Springfield (including the interiors) have sort of grown on me. When it works, it works spectacularly. Remember the snowy day of Mallet and Marina's botched wedding at Company? Luckily, the weather set the tone and it was awesome. Also, thank goodness the powers-that-be have figured out a way to steady those cams and eliminate background noise (trains, geese, passing cars ... you know you heard them).
•I love me some "Bizzie", but the "tortured couple" storyline is getting tired! They deserve a chance at happiness in '09!
•Lack of vets in front-burner story. I've asked it before and I'll ask it again: Where are they? Alex, Vanessa, Billy, Josh, Lillian and Buzz all deserve more airtime.
•The writers' strike. It sucked and even though everyone suffered, GL did so big time — as it coincided with the launch of the show's new format.
•Ratings. Yikes. Here's to a better '09, ya'll!