September 11, 2009By Marc Wilkofsky Posted: Sep 11, 2009
I recall being stuck at home from school on snow days, and as the latest blizzard pounded on the windows, an hour of GUIDING LIGHT brightening up the TV screen was my hot cocoa. Each scene or act, whether the year's holiday season was being celebrated or someone was being romanced or blackmailed, created memorable coziness in my tweenage years, and for many years to come.
It'll be a peculiar fall and winter without GL. Many people are wondering what they're going to do with that hour five days a week. These are the same people who probably said now and then, "Well, that episode didn't do much." It is inarguable that even when some GL episodes were "slow," there were always a few characters you cared about, and often a moment that helped you get to know them. I remember a quiet scene in the mid-'90s between Nola and her nephew Matt; it was just a conversation, but it brought out a lot of character depth in both of them. The show always knew how to pull its viewers in, and surprise them. I was enthralled by Rick and Mindy in New York City (where lovebirds Phillip and Beth were on the run from her dad, Bradley, in 1984), as they suddenly found their own romance...with a beautiful kiss in a park, as the camera panned around them. The show didn't always need action (like the Josh/Reva/Sonni epic, the Susan Piper adventure, Holly kidnapping half the town's youngsters, Danny and Michelle vs. Carmen, etc.) to get viewers' eyebrows up and hearts beating.
Smiles are my oxygen, and GL has brought a lot of them. It'll be rough to see the show go, but as I've been saying in this blog, there are other shows to watch. Also, one's family can, and should, bring smiles. Today, Sept. 11, is a day where that means the most.
Here's another letter from one of this blog's saddened readers.
Marc, I am distraught!! I have been a loyal fan of GUIDING LIGHT for more than 50 years! I even listened to it on the radio with my mother before I started school! I am 62 years old, and had to be under 5 when I began listening. I surely wish someone, somewhere, somehow would pick up their contract and continue this wonderful soap opera.
Judy W. Love,
It's wonderful to read how long you've followed GL, which will continue in the hearts, minds and computer screens of many viewers, Judy. Maybe there's another form the show can take; I'll be looking out for that.
Dear Mr. Wilkofsky,
It's a nice thought...following actors to other soaps. It won't happen, though; everyone watching the soaps on CBS are watching them because they prefer them over the soaps on the other networks! We consider them part of our lives, we have watched them for most of our lives. The storylines, the characters and what they are going through mean something to us. Maybe CBS will stop and think about what it is doing to daytime when we all turn our viewing to cable, or better yet, turn off the television when the game shows and reality shows come on!
Some viewers eagerly plan to move to other soaps, and some don't, Mary; maybe jumps like that of Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan) to AS THE WORLD TURNS will encourage more of the former type of viewer. Thanks for being the first reader to call me "Mr. Wilkofsky."
There is a reality show (one of several) which has, in fact, been worth watching: CBS' latest BIG BROTHER installment wraps up on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and it's been one fun season, proving that this sociological experiment is always unpredictable and absorbing. Thankfully, I can stand all the final three players, Kevin, Natalie and Jordan, who have all been entertaining and have done a fine job keeping themselves in the Los Angeles house (especially Kevin and Natalie's ploy to chip away at Jeff and Jordan's trust in Russell...which worked). BB is another reason to keep the TV on, and I know there will be many more reasons as the leaves, and snowflakes, fall.