Friday, September 07, 2007

The Homecoming

In previous blog entries, I've talked about the history, evolution, and reception of the Rita Bauer character. This endlessly fascinating creation was brought to life by the limitlessly talented Lenore Kasdorf and GLMP followers have had the opportunity to observe her in a variety of situations. The Homecoming provides yet another dimension to this character as we experience some of Rita's less sympathetic aspects.
Taken from the very end of 1979, we get a good look at Rita's claws and deeper flaws as she returns to town pregnant with what she (and others) are fairly certain is Greg Fairbanks' child. Rita's exchanges with Greg, Sara, Bert, and even Ed are indicative of the painting of the character as someone who is absolutely not a "heroine." She is complicated, conflicted, deeply flawed, and sometimes unpleasant.

This clipset includes one of the legendary clashes between Rita and Barbara (played by the always spot on Barbara Berjer) and it's easy to see why these encounters have attained the reputation for for electricity and entertainment value that they still possess. Kasdorf and Berjer have such command of their characters and play so well together. The history and chemistry crackling between them is supported by the rock solid writing of Douglas Marland, cementing my view of this period as the best in GUIDING LIGHT's 70 year history.

The other major event in this set is the return of Roger Thorpe (the other "homecomer"), presumed dead after being shot by Holly. There is a palpable tension as Ed begins to realize the significance of the strange events going on at Christina's school and Alan begins to anticipate the consequences of his aid to Roger. Michael Zaslow is, of course, a coiled spring, making even the small Roger vignettes in this set into riveting viewing.
Two other interesting realizations came to me while putting this set up:
1) I now think of Mart Hulswit as "Ed." He hasn't replaced Peter Simon in my mind as the definitive Ed, but I now instantly think of the character when I see him just as surely as if I'd been a daily viewer during this period.
2) I can't, for the life of me, imagine that anyone took the Peter Chapman character (or his lifeless relationship with Holly) seriously. Everything about this character is so unbelievably dull and it's actually a bit of a surprise that Marland didn't think to create someone who was a more viable alternative to Roger and Ed.
Just to pinpoint the events of this set on the GL timeline, The Homecoming occurs three months after the events of Satisfaction and two months before Enough Is Enough.
And so, enjoy The Homecoming--
Lastly, I've created a new mvid spotlighting the middle four months of 2007. I Want It All features a song by the band Kosheen and covers many of the major events of May, June, July, and August


Blogger Jane said...

Thanks for this Ivn! It is my favorite period of GL. I love this version on Ed, and Holly remains unageable. She looks the same in her 2004 appearance as she looks in this series!

10:56 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I just want to correct something about some of your comments in relationship to the clips of "The Homecoming". And this might also help to explain why Dr. Peter Chapman (even played by the usually brilliant late great Curt Dawson) come out to be not very geat of a character, at least emotionally. The correction: Doug Marland did not write the events that take place during the events shown in "The Homecoming" (this also might explain Rita's actions & reactions). I've viewed recently over at, posted by site administrator WoSTBrian (back in December 2006), two of the full "Guiding Light" episodes from December 13 - 14, 1979 that some of the events in "The Homecoming" are taken from. And those dates give a clue as to how I know that Marland did write these events, that plus the closing credits as seen on WoST still clearly show that the headwriters for "Guiding Light" during these events were the headwriting scribe couple, Jerome & Bridget Dobson (later known better for creating and writing the early years & later years of "Santa Barbara"; who had been writing the show since the end of 1975 & actually created the character of Rita, as well as Peter and gave us the reasons as to why Maureen Garrett's Holly is the way she is even as late as into earlier in this decade of the '00's). Doug Marland wouldn't begin as headwriter, for "Guiding Light", until the next month, January 1980 (in which he created and gave the shows the beginnings of the Reardon family in the guise of Nola & Bea when a disguised as a German professor, Roger, would end up taking refugee -- as well as spying on both Ed & Barbara's house -- at the Reardon Boarding House) which during the same month the Dobsons were to start their rather short tenure (until sometime in the summer of 1981) of about a year and half as the headwriters of "As The World Turns".

9:34 PM  

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