Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wedding Interruptus

Today's clipset, Wedding Interruptus, focuses on the mishaps involving the the wedding of GL "supercouple" Tony Reardon and Annabelle Simms. It's taken from May of 1984 and the tribulations range from the Reardon family's interference in the preparartions to the couple's disagreement over where to spend the honeymoon to Nola going into labor right in the middle of the ceremony. It's a charming, but bittersweet look at the GUIDING LIGHT of this time.

It's charming because of the undeniably magnetic chemistry of the the Tony and Annabelle characters. These are unusual, but wholly relatable people that are easy and very rewarding for an audience to give into and the love story was told with such delicacy and care under the the pen of Pam Long and her co-head writer Richard Culliton. Tony and Annabelle's story was filled with the kind of angst, obstacles, and frustrated romance that keeps an audience rooting for their eventual union.

Their patience was rewarded in May of 1984 with a quirky, humorous, romantic ceremony filled with the swirling subplots that are the hallmark of all good soap weddings. One such subplot is the reason I used the word "bittersweet" earlier in this entry.

Several times, we see Bert Bauer complaining of leg pain throughout this clipset. What you may not know is that, by this time, (Bert's portrayer) Charita Bauer's leg had already been amputated stemming from complications due to a blood clot. It had happened around Thanksgiving of 1983 and Charita asked that the development be written into her character's storyline. What we see here in Wedding Interruptus is the beginnings of that storyline. Despite the joyous and lighthearted subject matter of this set , these Bert sections cast a long, dark shadow over the procedings for me.

According to, Bauer continued in the role of Bert until health problems forced her to leave the show on December 10, 1984. 1984 would also see the departures of the characters of Mike Bauer, Kelly Nelson, Hillary Bauer, as well as Peter Simon in the role of Ed Bauer (Simon would be replaced by Richard Van Vleet). This on the heels of the removal of the Hope Bauer character at the end of 1983 (as well as the removal of Culliton as Long's co-head writer), would lead to a radical shift in the tone and content of GUIDING LIGHT, resulting in the virtually unrecognizable mid-80's show that is lauded by so many as the "golden era" of GL. My disagreement on this matter obviously is without measure.

Despite the sad note of this entry, enjoy Wedding Interruptus--

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 , clip 5

clip 6 , clip 7 , clip 8 , clip 9 , clip10

clip 11 , clip 12 , clip 13 , clip 14 , clip 15

clip 16 , clip 17 , clip 18 , clip 19 , clip 20

One of Charita Bauer's final performances in September, 1984 at Hillary's funeral

Fear No Evil--

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 (clips 3 and 4 are of special interest)


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