Sunday, August 17, 2008

Never Happier

1994 was a very special year in my GUIDING LIGHT history. It was my first full year as a viewer of the show, having begun watching in November of 1993. My memories of this time period are almost uniformly fond ones. The show was riding high on a crest of artistic success and recognition which began earlier in the decade and which (after a time) drew me to the show. I kept reading in the soap press about how amazing GUIDING LIGHT was, but I was exclusively an ABC boy (since the cancellation of my NBC soaps, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and SANTA BARBARA) and unwilling to step across the aisle to try another network. As I've said before it was the casting of two stars from SB, Marj Dusay and Marcy Walker, that finally got me to "turn on the Light." As I've also said before, it was the enormous wealth of talented actors and the gripping storylines that got me to stay.

The clipset, I present today, Never Happier, is taken from June of 1994 and features the wedding of Blake and Ross. These clips are chock full of the faces that drew me into GUIDING LIGHT: Hilary Edson as "Eve Guthrie", Amelia Marshall as "Gilly Grant", Jean Carol as "Nadine Cooper" and many, many more. The primary players are (of course) Ross and Blake, but there is also much focus given to Roger and Holly, Ed and Michelle (played by the best child actor GL has ever seen, Rachel Miner), Jenna and Buzz, and the surprise return of Roger's father, Adam Thorpe (in the person of 70's GL stalwart Robert Milli).

Even as someone who was never that big a fan of the Ross/Blake couple, the wedding itself is actually very moving and all the cast interaction before and after is great fun and quite involving. There's lots of Alexandra and Tangie (the woefully misused Marcy Walker-- but y'know what? Her casting was the final straw that got me to watch GL, so she served a purpose even if Tangie fizzled.)and there's also a great look at one my favorite characters ever on this show: Detective Patrick Cutter, played by the dashing Scott Hoxby. I loved him with Tangie. I loved him with Jenna. I even eventually loved him with Marion Crane (but, alas, that final coupling proved to be his undoing). Hoxby's face in these clips brings me back so vividly to my early days with GL.

I really don't have a lot more to say about this clipset and I apologize for the lack of in-depth dramaturgical analysis. I just got so lost in nostalgia watching it. This is my original GUIDING LIGHT.

One tidbit that is interesting is that the show, at this time, had a large team of head writers, just as it does now. All the naysayers who go on about how such a situation is inherently bad in 2008 need only take a look at the lovely soap opera created by Stephen Demorest, Patrick Mulcahey, Nancy Williams Watt, Millee Taggert, and Sheri Anderson from 1993 to 1995. Five head writers seems extreme, but they put on a helluva show!
And so, enjoy Never Happier---


Blogger Jane said...

Wonderful set, Ivn, thanks for posting this. I missed these years that meant so much to you. Through your clips I can experience it all over.

9:27 PM  

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