Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Wedding Guest

In 1996, GUIDING LIGHT was changing. But isn't it always? Well, yes, but this was a time of significant, sweeping change. In 1996 alone, there were three different sets of writers.

The show was in the middle of of a quartet of "fan favorite" returns. Rick and Reva had already made themselves at home again. Phillip's return is presented here today in this clipset, while Harley's comeback was just a little over half a year down the road at this time.

As "fan favorites," these characters were awarded lots and lots of airtime and prominent storylines. Also, the changes in headwriters meant that the literate, sophisticated style that had defined the show earlier in the decade was gone, replaced by a more pedestrian brand of dialogue and storytelling.

All these changes were so profound and so consuming, that the show that I fell in love with in 1993 was an almost completely different product by the end of 1997. Reva, Phillip, and Harley very much ruled the day and the fans were thrilled-- well, except for me. This period of change also signaled the beginning of a ratings bleed-out from which the show has yet to recover.

But onto the main event: The wedding of Alan-Michael and Lucy! This event was marked with a lavish location shoot at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and featured the long awaited joyous union of (literally) tortured Lucy Cooper and her hero, reformed bad boy Alan-Michael Spaulding. Having survived cross-dressing rapist Brent Lawrence as well as their feuding families, the couple had certainly earned their right to a moment in the sun. Fittingly, the Sunshine State of Florida was selected as the place to cast some much needed light into the lives of the beleaguered couple and they wed atop the marquee of the Pantages Theatre with friends and family gazing up from below.

For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the wedding, the bride and groom end up with second billing, upstaged by The Wedding Guest: prodigal son Phillip Spaulding. It's Phillip's return (complete with a chip of epic proportions on his shoulder) and the spectacle of Alan and Buzz competing for the right to drool over Reva that end up taking center stage in this clipset.

For my money, the the bickering between Alexandra and Amanda is the best thing going here. I've spent a lot of time getting to know Kathleen Cullen's portrayal of Amanda in the last year and really fallen in love with her, but this set reminds me just how much I loved Toby Poser in the role. Her brassy, luxurious, cigar-smoking Amanda, while worlds away from Cullen's characterization, is truly a joy and seeing her here again is great fun.

And so, enjoy The Wedding Guest--
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

For a look at some of Alan-Michael and Lucy's troubles with Brent Lawrence, take a look at the Cracked blog entry. As Brent material comes in, I will be presenting a better look at this storyline, hopefully within 2007.


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