(Soaps.com)

Blogging From the Beacon.

For the Week of December 15-19.

Over the past few weeks, Guiding Light has managed to become far more consistent, something which has rarely been its strong point of late. By consistent, I guess I should explain that I mean it has become more emotionally consistent across the board and more focused as far as dealing with the plots.

Shayne’s return has sparked a new range of emotions with a few people. Although he sometimes comes across as the prototypical angry young man at the moment, I’m told that this aspect of the character won’t last. Jeff Branson is doing a fine job in the role. He’s subtle and nuanced and he understands how holding back can often be more powerful than being explosive. He manages to have enormous energy and doesn’t hit false notes. He’s also been good in all of the combinations he’s been acting in. He and Kim Zimmer already manage to exude a sense of history even if the actors have no previous onscreen past. He’s entirely convincing as Robert Newman’s son and he and Gina Tognoni share a wonderful chemistry together, balancing each other in ways that give enticing shading to each character. They’re both complex and emotionally tortured characters and that has great potential, though maybe not in the long run.

There was a more established coupling that impressed me this past week: Lizzie and Bill. I’ll admit that I’ve never been the biggest fan of this couple because I find that they often seem forced. He was often too arrogant and she was usually too needy. But this past week, something in them changed and the chemistry in the relationship was new. He was more vulnerable, she was more tortured by doubt. I think those were both things that I found lacking in them previously and this shift made a big difference for me and let me care about them more.

We also saw the return of a recently departed lover. Ava came back and, though her stay is brief, she is shaking things up a bit for Remy. Their visit was awkward and difficult, which is what it should have been. It’s unfortunate that they are going to make short shrift of this because I never felt that their relationship was explored enough the first time around.

There’s also another relationship I might say the same thing about — Beth and Coop. I’m trying to get into this plot line and I really wish it was being explored in more depth rather being treated in such a minor way. Both Beth and Coop have been seriously underused and having them cuckold Alan should be soap gold, but so far, it hasn’t come out that way. Maybe when they come out of the shadows about it… There are already glimpses of twisted passion there, even if only Buzz has been able to jump off the handle about it so far.