Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Parent Trap

A little while ago, in the Small Steps blog entry, I referenced a story about Holly kidnapping the children of Springfield. Commonly regarded as one of the biggest missteps in GUIDING LIGHT's history, it's that event which serves as the axis of today's presentation, Parent Trap, which spans the end of 1998 and the beginning of 1999.
Initially, I was going to confine the clipset to that event, but I decided that it might be best best to broaden the scope a little bit to include some the drama surrounding Holly's activity as the Nursery Rhyme Stalker beforehand, the Beth/Matt/Vanessa triangle, and the Thanksgiving celebration.

There are a lot of things to criticize about this period. To say that the late 90's were a rough patch in GL's history is putting it mildly. We're talking about the era that boasted the Reva clone and Hart's boxing match with Death, among other travesties. The damage done to the character of Holly definitely falls into this category. Always complicated, conflicted, and neurotic, Holly was never the out and out lunatic that this story made her out to be.

Subsequent writers would claim that this story rendered the character unusable, which is, of course, lazy, small-minded hogwash. I can almost understand why it might be difficult to bring a character back from being turned into the perpetrator of your key demographic's worst nightmare, but it's certainly been done elsewhere.
I could certainly go on about how wrong this development in Holly is, but I'd like to instead talk about some of the good things about Parent Trap. In putting this clipset together, I'm astounded at how many stories there are playing at one time. In contrast with the narrow focus of the current show, this period seems like a veritable ocean of viewing choices. I think that's one thing that really makes this clipset a "must view" (aside from the "can't-look-away-from-the-car-crash" value of watching Holly's character assassinated) is the expansive panoramic look at the show of this era. In the 28 clips, I think you get to see pretty much everybody and every story that was on the show at this time, including the disastrous return of Roger Newman as Holly's brother Ken Norriss. (I can't help but wonder how he must've felt, returning to the show after 24 years away, only to be plopped into this nightmare of a story.)
Another interesting thing about this set is getting see the young adult characters of today relating to one another as children. Watching Lizzie, Tammy, and Marina (and, to a lesser extent, Shayne and Coop) and thinking about the paths their lives would take. And don't get me started on the fact that Susan is now younger than all of them.
Anyway, if I haven't scared every single one of you off, here's Parent Trap:


Blogger Misty Row said...

Oh, my goodness! You're so right. To see little Tammy and Lizzie, and's soooo weird how they all ended up today...and after seeing a picture like this, Susan's de-aging is an insult to us all.

4:29 PM  

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