Thursday, November 06, 2008

RIP Kahlil "IVNKPLNG" Lowry 05/26/1971 - 10/31/2008

I would love to thank ALL of the wonderful people who have visited Kahlil's wonderful creation, who have made Kahlil's life so worth living in an extremely difficult time. I will never forgive myself for not being there for my little brother as a Big Brother should have been. But thank God for angels like yourselves. YOU are the only reason that Kahlil" IvnKplng" Lowry kept living and pushing to keep this difficult time in his life from eating him alive. I am so very sorry to you all for not being there. I will do everything possible to keep Kahlil's creation going.
Three very special women in Kahlil's life "Wendy, Jennifer and Angela" that helped with GLMEMORIES and helped Kahlil through his other challenges, I hope will help me to carry on his legacy with this site. Please do not lose interest in IVNKPLNG's dream. I will be posting a link to the Tribute Website for Kahlil. You will be able to see the very real and wonderful brother and human that I know and that I did not know.
I Will Love You and Miss You Forever Kahlil !!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

IVNKPLNG Rest in Peace

I'm sorry to say that my brother Kahlil Lowry who is "ClassicGL" and "Ivnkplng" was hit by a car and was killed 10/31/2008 at 1:00am. I will miss him dearly. He loved this board that he put together and all of the people he interacted with. Kahlil will be missed. Love his brother Hasson

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wedding Interruptus

Today's clipset, Wedding Interruptus, focuses on the mishaps involving the the wedding of GL "supercouple" Tony Reardon and Annabelle Simms. It's taken from May of 1984 and the tribulations range from the Reardon family's interference in the preparartions to the couple's disagreement over where to spend the honeymoon to Nola going into labor right in the middle of the ceremony. It's a charming, but bittersweet look at the GUIDING LIGHT of this time.

It's charming because of the undeniably magnetic chemistry of the the Tony and Annabelle characters. These are unusual, but wholly relatable people that are easy and very rewarding for an audience to give into and the love story was told with such delicacy and care under the the pen of Pam Long and her co-head writer Richard Culliton. Tony and Annabelle's story was filled with the kind of angst, obstacles, and frustrated romance that keeps an audience rooting for their eventual union.

Their patience was rewarded in May of 1984 with a quirky, humorous, romantic ceremony filled with the swirling subplots that are the hallmark of all good soap weddings. One such subplot is the reason I used the word "bittersweet" earlier in this entry.

Several times, we see Bert Bauer complaining of leg pain throughout this clipset. What you may not know is that, by this time, (Bert's portrayer) Charita Bauer's leg had already been amputated stemming from complications due to a blood clot. It had happened around Thanksgiving of 1983 and Charita asked that the development be written into her character's storyline. What we see here in Wedding Interruptus is the beginnings of that storyline. Despite the joyous and lighthearted subject matter of this set , these Bert sections cast a long, dark shadow over the procedings for me.

According to, Bauer continued in the role of Bert until health problems forced her to leave the show on December 10, 1984. 1984 would also see the departures of the characters of Mike Bauer, Kelly Nelson, Hillary Bauer, as well as Peter Simon in the role of Ed Bauer (Simon would be replaced by Richard Van Vleet). This on the heels of the removal of the Hope Bauer character at the end of 1983 (as well as the removal of Culliton as Long's co-head writer), would lead to a radical shift in the tone and content of GUIDING LIGHT, resulting in the virtually unrecognizable mid-80's show that is lauded by so many as the "golden era" of GL. My disagreement on this matter obviously is without measure.

Despite the sad note of this entry, enjoy Wedding Interruptus--

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 , clip 5

clip 6 , clip 7 , clip 8 , clip 9 , clip10

clip 11 , clip 12 , clip 13 , clip 14 , clip 15

clip 16 , clip 17 , clip 18 , clip 19 , clip 20

One of Charita Bauer's final performances in September, 1984 at Hillary's funeral

Fear No Evil--

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 (clips 3 and 4 are of special interest)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Party Foul

Mention the name "Marina Cooper" to most fans of GUIDING LIGHT and the response you'll get is likely to be fueled by the last four years of one botched, chemistry-free romance after another with characters like Danny, Alan-Michael, Cyrus, and, perhaps worst of all, her current pairing with Mallet. Current Marina portrayer Mandy Bruno has entered into an off-screen relationship with Rob Bogue who plays Mallet and the current powers-that-be at GL seem to feel that this real life development guarantees the success of an onscreen Marina/Mallet coupling. Alas, it does not-- quite the opposite in fact, considering the fact that the Dinah/Mallet union is one of the most beloved romances that the show still has at its disposal. As a result, the Marina character's popularity is at an all-time low-- and that's really saying something taking into account the disastrous turns the show has taken with this character even before Mandy Bruno assumed the role in 2004.

It's easy to forget that Marina used to be wildly popular in 2002 and 2003 when played by Aubrey Dollar. Dollar's Marina was an audacious spitfire who remained sympathetic and vulnerable while causing trouble and cracking wise. The smartmouthed vixen who initially (and falsely) accused Gus of rape eventually won viewers' hearts through her starcrossed romance with older rich boy Ben Reade and her school girl idolatry of Olivia Spencer.

This delightful success of a character (and her Ben romance) were carefully crafted and shepherded, first by "Lucky" Gold and then by Millee Taggert and Carolyn Culliton. However, by the beginning of 2004, the infamous "WesCon" era of the show (with headwriter Ellen Weston and Executive Producer John Conboy) was in full swing, Ben was dead, and Marina was in a soap opera standard "youngster" relationship with Shayne Lewis and at the center of the convoluted and unpopular MaryAnne Carruthers mystery (a story that I actually enjoyed at the time, but that was before I became a student of GL history)-- and by March of that year, Dollar had departed the role that had, at one time, been such a joy for so many. While it might be easy to blame Mandy Bruno for Marina's current unlikability, the character was ruined even before Dollar left the show.

Today's clipset is called Party Foul. It's from the end of January of 2002 and it features a "Welcome Home" party for Marina thrown by Frank and Eleni, who learn, to their horror, that their daughter has actually been skulking around Springfield for weeks. The party guests have their own dramas going on, as this is right after Blake has discovered Ross' indiscretion with Tory, Phillip has discovered that "Lorelei" has been "impersonating" presumed-dead Beth, and Rick realizes that his bride-to-be Harley is in love with Gus. Marina's secret is blown by a loose-lipped Shayne, played here by future indie film star Billy Kay. It's a nice look at what made Dollar so special in the role and a nice reminder of Shayne and Eleni, two characters that are on their way back to Springfield as we speak.

Enjoy Party Foul---

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 , clip 5 , clip 6 , clip 7 , clip 8 , clip 9

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To the Limit

It's mega-clipset time again, kids! Today GLMP presents a whopping 45 clips from August and September of 1998 that detail the swirling mystery surrounding the strange goings-on as the mothers of Springfield become the targets of nursery rhyme-themed acts of terrorism.

We're all aware that this storyline culminates in the regrettable and unforgivable choice to cast Holly as a mass kidnapper at the beginning of 1999 (as detailed in the Parent Trap blog entry), but what's interesting to realize is that the beginning of this storyline wasn't half bad. Obviously and unfortunately, it bears a lot of the hallmarks of the Esensten/Harmon-Brown hamfisted school of soap-writing, with characters like Beth presented as a mustache-twirling villainess most of the time for trying to assert her rights as a mother and Phillip and Harley congratulating themselves on what wonderful people they are while perpetrating one despicable act after another.

It's important to look past that in order to enjoy this clipset which boasts a lot of other really fine qualities, chief among which is a brilliantly effective performance from Maureen Garrett. Garrett's portrayal of vulnerable, fragile Holly, freshly abandoned by both Roger and Fletcher (who also absconded with her infant daughter), as she deals not only with her own anguish, but also with the increasingly boneheaded choices of daughter Blake (who, in this clipset, comes off as a screechy, needy user and tramp, but that's Esensten and Harmon-Brown for you) is truly a wonder to behold. Bear in mind that, at this time, Garrett had no idea how horribly wrong this story would go for her. She had this to say to Soap Opera Digest after the fact in 2000:

"This 'Nursery Rhyme Killer' story started, and we were all wondering who it was," Garrett laughs. "It never occurred to me that it might be me. Then, a couple of weeks before the reveal, I started hearing rumors that it was me! So I went down and said, 'Are the rumors true?' 'Yes, they are.' The actress was stunned. "It felt very unfair because as an actor, you want a chance to develop something like that, something so extreme. It's difficult with warning, but with no warning, it's worse."

So these scenes that you see playing out in To the Limit are not Garrett "playing crazy." This is still the real deal Holly: flawed, neurotic, beleaguered, not the psychopath she was forced to portray mere months later.

Another interesting feature of this set is the last days of the lovely Karen Williams in the role of Vicky Spaulding. Vicky disappears in the middle of this set and would not reappear for another month and a half played by Victoria G. Platt, the person most associated with the role and who would play Vicky until the the character's next abrupt (and permanent) disappearance from the show in 2001. For my part, I think Williams was pretty good in the role, certainly no worse than Platt and with a lot more appealing screen presence.

Other notable aspects to these clips include the presence of Mick Santos as Ben and Blake's blackmailer. People forget that Mick was the only Santos on the show for quite some time. Also, Signy Coleman's casting as Annie was, I believe, still a secret at this point. If memory serves, I think the viewing audience still assumed that "Teri" was a new character.

Additionally, the odd return of Ken Norris, played by Roger Newman, as a red herring in the stalker mystery seemed very arbitrary to me at the time these episodes initially aired, but knowing what I now do about the history of the show, I'm fascinated by the character. To make a long story short, Ken (who was a main character on the show from 1970 to 1975) married Ed Bauer's mistress, Janet, but couldn't overcome his jealousy of Ed (or Roger, whom he also thought Janet was sleeping with). As his mental state deteriorated, he plotted Ed's murder. He was finally taken away to an asylum after shooting Ed in the chest. The Ken character was swept off the canvas in the mid-70's during Jerome and Bridget Dobson's housecleaning era to "modernize" GUIDING LIGHT, a time that also saw the departures of Leslie Bauer, Joe Werner, Peggy Fletcher, and Tim Ryan (Jordan Clarke's original GL role). A more detailed history of Ken can be found in his SoapCentral profile.

Finally, if these 45 clips aren't quite enough of the story for you, you can see how Blake's passion for Ben led to the situation where Ross shot her and put her in that wheelchair in Loaded Gun, which occurs before To the Limit.
To see what happens afterward when Phillip and Harley finally get married, Alexandra meets Vicky, Annie takes control of Josh, and Holly's growing hysteria indirectly causes Jenna's death take a look at Forsaking All Others. And, of course, for the climax of Holly's kidnapping of all the children, Parent Trap is your destination.

And at long last, enjoy To the Limit---

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 , clip 5 , clip 6 , clip 7 , clip 8 , clip 9

clip 10 , clip 11 , clip 12 , clip 13 , clip 14 , clip 15 , clip 16 , clip 17 , clip 18

clip 19 , clip 20 , clip 21 , clip 22 , clip 23 , clip 24 , clip 25 , clip 26 , clip 27

clip 28 , clip 29 , clip 30 , clip 31 , clip 32 , clip 33 , clip 34 , clip 35 , clip 36

clip 37 , clip 38 , clip 39 , clip 40 , clip 41 , clip 42 , clip 43 , clip 44 , clip 45

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Terrible Thing to Waste

One of the most popular couples in the history of GUIDING LIGHT consisted of Tony Reardon and Annabelle Simms. I've been remiss in not presenting more of them as part of this project. I guess part of that is due to the difficulty I've had in really keying into this period in GL's history.

It's easy to see why audiences warmed so to this couple. Tony is the quintessential rugged, working class, alpha male with a heart of gold-- a soap staple that's often attempted but rarely rings quite true. Greg Beecroft is literally perfect in this role hitting all the right notes with Tony's outer bravado and inner depth. Soap royalty Harley Jane Kozak (most famous as doomed Mary Capwell on SANTA BARBARA) is beautifully natural as sensitive, intelligent, no-nonsense Annabelle.

Today's clipset, A Terrible Thing to Waste, finds us at the beginning of 1984 as Tony and Annabelle prepare for their wedding and contend with troublemaking new acquaintance Lujack (a character I don't think I will ever enjoy, but whose raw sexual magnetism made him a star of this era). Complicating matters is Tony's sudden health crisis, a result of a fall taken during their famous Lake Elizabeth adventure.

This is a very simple set of clips highlighting Tony's pride and fear as well as the deep friendship between him and Floyd Parker. The story is a fairly common one as one romantic partner struggles to protect the other from having to deal with a life-threatening illness, but the deft pen of Richard Culliton (one of my favorite soap writers and the last person that knew how to write ALL MY CHILDREN)) and Pam Long (before she set about destroying GL) and through the talents of these fine actors, the story feels fresh and vital.

Also, keep your eyes peeled during clip 10 for a look at controversial soap scribe Megan McTavish as Lola Fontaine.

Enjoy A Terrible Thing to Waste--
For a look at what happens when Annabelle finds out about Tony's condition, view these previously posted clips from the set Masquerade.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Benefit of the Doubt

Almost two years ago, when I first began this blog, I posted a set of clips called Outstanding Citizen. Since then, I've been literally deluged with requests to continue where that set left off, so anxious were people to learn what happened after Roger coerced Gilly into humiliating H.B. Lewis at the banquet in his honor. Today, I'm able to honor those requests and present Benefit of the Doubt. As with Outstanding Citizen, the primary players are Roger, Gilly, and H.B. as they spin out from the confrontation at the banquet that leaves most of Springfield thunderstruck. Another prominent throughline is the crumbling of Buzz Cooper's "Rex Mancini" identity as Mallet begins to put the pieces together (and try not to be creeped out by the fact that the baby in Eleni's womb will eventually become Mallet's lover!)

I've said quite a bit about what a strong show GUIDING LIGHT was during this period. This was the height (or nearly so) of all the enthusiastic press the GL was receiving around this time. The show was a critical darling at this time and it's easy to see why: seemlessly interconnected plots, a mind-blowingly agile cast, and deft, spakling dialogue that made you think (I nearly swooned with pleasure when Holly makes a snarky comment about Jenna's move to the Spaulding mansion-- in Latin!! LOL!) This was not a show for dummies or for quick-fix junkies waiting for an evil twin to return from the dead and bury someone alive. This was a beautifully written, tenderly (but pasionately) acted example of the height of the soap opera form.

I absolutely can't go without mentioning that this is also a textbook display of how to incorporate black characters into a daytime drama (which, not for nothing, shouldn't be the mind-boggler that it apparently is!). Absent is the self-consciously "urban" dialogue and passionless, islanded love stories. These characters matter to the canvas as a whole. Their actions have consequences and they are affected by the lives of those around them. Remember around 2000 when David, Vicky, and Ruth all disappeared? No goodbye, no exit storyline, no explanation (at least not until much, much later-- and none at all in Ruth's case). That couldn't happen during the period covered here because Gilly, Hamp, David, and Kat mattered to GUIDING LIGHT in an organic way as opposed to being inserted in some vulgar, incompetant gesture of tokenism. I see the show trying to accomplish the same thing now with the Boudreau family (an attempt to correct the many, many mistakes made during their awful 2001 introduction), but while the effort has been somewhat successful, they have a long way to go before they reach the mojo of the Grant/Speakes family.

This is a truly satisfying clipset and it features big moments and luxurious looks at just about every cast member from mid-1993, not the least of which is the charismatic and underrated Jean Carol as Nadine (one of my all-time favorites). Here, Nadine must cope with her deadbeat ex-husband (Buzz, played by Justin Deas sporting a bafflingly laughable "New Yawk" accent that Michael Zaslow openly mocks in one scene! LOL!) whose return has resulted in her in her being indirectly resposible for the shame of her beloved father-in-law, H.B.

There are so many plots swirling around in these clips, I can't possibly describe them all, so I will just say that you will not be sorry you watched this clipset. It's GUIDING LIGHT at one of the very best periods in its history (with the exception of the painfully lifeless Ann Hamilton as Mindy).

Enjoy, Benefit of the Doubt--

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 , clip 5 , clip 6

clip 7 , clip 8 , clip 9 , clip 10 , clip 11 , clip 12

clip 13 , clip 14 , clip 15 , clip 16 , clip 17 , clip 18