Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Harder They Fall

I'm back! My apologies for the prolonged absence, but life can be a strange and terrible thing and it sometimes prevents us from focusing on the things we love most. Rest assured the GLMP is back on track and I've got lots of great goodies coming up for those of you still on board! Now, on with the show!

Beth Raines is a very unlucky woman. Even by the alarmingly harrowing standards of beleaguered soap heroines, Beth Raines is an extremely unlucky woman-- like, Lily Snyder (ATWT) or Viki Lord (OLTL) unlucky! In 2001, following the death of Beth's husband Jim, Beth decided to take charge and start being a more driven, take-no-mess kind of lady. It goes without saying that this ended badly. :(

Beth was folded into the pre-existing San Cristobel storyline via a surprisingly effective and involving romance with Edmund Winslow, "evil" brother to "heroic" Prince Richard. Played by the tremendously magnetic and talented David Andrew MacDonald, Edmund became the kind of "villain" that elicited equal parts sympathy and fury from viewers and characters alike, much like classic GL scoundrel Roger Thorpe. As Beth begins to fall prey to Edmund's horrific actions, an interesting dynamic begins to emerge that very successfully recalls the tortured push-pull-love-hate struggle of quintessential GL "super couple" Roger and Holly.

In the press and in fan circles, we hear so little about the work of Beth Chamberlin and that fact never ceases to amaze me. Chamberlin is passionately, brilliantly believable as a woman who thinks she's finally found the strength she's lacked all her life only to have the entire thing collapse around her. The chemistry (apologies for employing that overused, ill-defined term) between Chamberlin and MacDonald is literally breathtaking, especially in the searing hospital scenes in clips 34 through 36.

What's less effective (especially in hindsight) is the royal intrigue storyline with Dax and the control the monarchy of San Cristobel. This mileu was created by the (in my not-that-humble opinion) worst head writing team in the history of the show Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown in 1999 and inherited by subsequent writers after they left. This clipset occurs at the tail end of Claire Labine's term as head writer in late June/early July of 2001, after the Richard/Cassie pairing had achieved considerable popularity. Labine wisely highlights the love story of Richard and Cassie and the gothic brother relationship of Edmund and Richard, but the political machinations of San Cristobel and the (frankly laughable) scenes of Phillip and Noah in combat fatigues, holed up in bunkers, and leading troops through the forest to storm the palace(!) do not age well at all. Having said that, the central event (which yields the title of this clipset) with Beth falling from the tower as Edmund and Phillip watch helplessly is very exciting.

This clipset is a great look at a time in GL's history which feels strangely distant to us now even though it was only seven years ago. I think part of this is because "the San Cristobel era" was relatively short and was abandoned so completely afterward due to a very understandable viewer backlash.

The Harder They Fall provides a great look at the Beth/Edmund (one of the most underrated romances in soap history) and Edmund/Richard relationships as well as some very touching Richard/Cassie moments. The San Cristobel intrigue sections are interesting as well, even if only in a time capsule, "classic misstep" kind of way and they provide a nice glimpse of soap legend Thom Christopher's time on the show as Colonel Dax. For those who don't know, Christopher is best known for his work on ONE LIFE TO LIVE as Carlo Hesser, one of that show's premier villains.

And so, enjoy The Harder They Fall.

clip1 , 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

It should be noted that this clipset immediately follow the events of The Head That Wears the Crown which features Edmund's coronation and his wedding to Beth.

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

I'll see you all here very soon for more goodness from the rich history of GUIDING LIGHT!!

take care,


Blogger Jane said...

IvnKplng, welcome back! And a great clip set too: 38 clips, wow!

I'm at Part 26, Beth just hit the dirt! I missed all this entirely when it first aired so this is wonderful back story for me. Thank you!

9:23 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home