Weekly Guiding Light Blog: Blogging From the Beacon
Week of July 28-August 1.
Last week, after much consideration, Chrissi decided that each of the writers for this site should start offering our weekly thoughts on the shows we cover. Although she’s the only person around the office that is actually shorter than I am, I still gave in to the peer pressure. Although I recap the show everyday, I’ve generally avoided giving my opinions on the show and tried to remain objective, so this is a bit new to me, but it’s all well-meaning.
Last week provided a startling contrast to the one which preceded it. Although Monday gave us some Jeva, with Josh now ironically on the chase after Reva, the plot seemed to be suddenly devoid of the nostalgia that had saturated it the previous week. At best, they seemed to be comic relief. While Josh became scarce as the week went on, Reva stuck around, doing her best to disrupt things between her granddaughter and Grady. Under the shadow of Reva, Daisy continues to battle against her family and even got into a tiff with Ashlee. I know a lot of people are hard on Daisy, but between her self-righteous and felonious grandmother, her equally self-righteous and slightly less felonious mother, her psychopathic best friend and her slightly less psychopathic boyfriend, she’s really the least demented of them all. Daisy’s biggest problem is that she isn’t selfish, dangerous or hypocritical enough to pull off living in Springfield. She still seems to be an amateur on a stage full of people long practiced at being malicious. This week she seemed to be having second thoughts about the whole fiasco, perhaps even conscientious. She is a little Reva though, as is so often pointed out and, as such, logical thinking only comes and goes and her personality could change at any time.
One of the other highlights of the week was the tease of a possible battle between Mel and Vanessa over the new baby. Sadly, from where this story is going, this tantalizing development seems bound to go nowhere. “If you mess with Bill, you mess with me,” Vanessa threatened, but this mess will likely soon be tidied up and sent away. It’s a real shame too because they are both talented actresses who have not been allotted anywhere near the material or screen time they deserve. With the show so bent on looking back at its past, why does it always have to be Jeva? Why can’t it be any of the other characters, most of which, I would argue. have far richer and more interesting histories involving more characters and significant events than the perpetually uncoupling couple do?
Michelle Ray Smith (Ava Peralta Lewis) ended her current stint on Guiding Light last Monday. Over her final days on the series, she turned in a stellar performance, perfectly encapsulating her character's agony in one frozen facial expression. It had the quality of a profoundly well-timed photograph, stretched over time yet remaining still while the rest of the world blurred around it at various speeds. This was a good example of how the show has changed in the past few months. In the past, it would have been more likely that we would have had grueling explanations of what she was going through from various people and perhaps even a drawn out monologue from her. But this way, it was precise and fast. I'll just add my kudos to Smith on her performance, although I think that pretending to be in love with Coop was probably harder work.
Even more disheartening than her departure was what this could to the characters around her. Bill loses a wife and a chance for all the extra-marital affairs so common to Springfield. He's also increasingly losing his mind. Although Bill constantly professes to loving the baby, is it the baby he loves, or is it controlling things? It's odd that Bill is in such a position since he has, in fact, accomplished so little since returning. Almost everything that has been done has been the work of his sister or someone else. This was, I assume, part of the reason for his obsession with fatherhood; it was finally something which Dinah couldn't do for him. She and Bill had something of a falling out this week after she threw some support behind Remy. She displayed a surprising amount of self doubt afterwards and has to be perked up by Mallet. I know Mallet essentially exists at this point in order to give her pep talks at the opportune moment, but there's no reason for it, it just drags down the momentum of the character. Guiding Light needs a dynamic villain, for lack of a better word, now more than it ever has and she's the only character with a chance at taking on that mantle. To keep with the analogies the writers seem to like so much: Does she really have to be fitted as the new Alex? Why can't they make her into the new Roger Thorpe? But then again, Dinah just needs to be Dinah - they just need to settle on who that is.
GL Recap/News Writer