Soap Opera Weekly: Blogging With Mala

Most people who are soap fans watch soaps on their day off. Given that I watch soaps for a living, the logical conclusion would be that the last thing I do on my day off is watch them, right? Then could someone explain to me why I was sitting on my couch between the hours of 10 and 11 AM yesterday glued to GUIDING LIGHT? 

Oh my God, folks. I couldn’t look away. From start to finish … a finish which, by the way, actually had me on the verge of bawling. Dangit, John Driscoll, way to knock it out of the park with a helluva exit line. In fact, he had me the whole episode, managing to retain Coop’s purity of spirit and his trademark snarky Cooper humor while growing progressively weaker and weaker. ::sniffle:: I’m getting all maudlin just thinking about it. 

Coop’s death arc isn’t the only thing to tune in for right now. Obviously, there’s Phillip’s return. And while I’m glad Phillip is back and glad to see Grant Aleksander, it’s the repercussions for the other characters that’s the most compelling aspect of it for me. Olivia and Natalia, who really are one of THE best couples in daytime right now (please don’t screw it up, GL, PLEASE; you’re already doing a better job with The Gay than AMC and ATWT) are pulled even closer together by their desire to protect Emma. And it has spurred Olivia to really analyze how she feels about Nat — and even confess said feelings to Bill. (I may have run around my living room making an ‘eeeeee’ noise at that point.) 

Then there’s Bill and Lizzie, who are one of my favorite couples in daytime, and who’ve pretty much spent the better part of a year in Screwedville. Were they even happy for five minutes before they were torn apart? I doubt it. In any case, Phillip being back plays beautifully on Lizzie’s trust issues and brings out the protective streak in Bill that is so often obscured by his self-destructive streak. And watching Marcy Rylan and Daniel Cosgrove … oh, man. They’re such organic, honest actors that a viewer gets to laugh and wince in the context of one scene. I want Bill and Lizzie back together so badly I can almost taste it. 

Seriously, when GL is good, it’s so good. And entirely undeserving of its low Nielsen ratings. It makes me want to throw my arms around its legs and cry, “Don’t goooooooo!” because I cannot imagine a soap world without this show in it. 

I know a lot of people have criticism for the “Peapacking” of GL, but the one amazing thing about the stripped down sets and the handheld cameras is that it strips away the artifice and glitz of a soap and leaves you with what should be the most important thing: the actors (and characters) who tell the story. And GL has a crop that is so talented, so amazing. They make magic every day without makeup, without fancy lighting. We, as viewers, are pulled into a world far more intimate and personal because of it. It’s like eavesdropping on real people, being a part of their loves and their losses. 

And, sure, it makes me sound like a stalker, but I don’t want to stop listening in on Olivia and Natalia. I don’t want to stop watching Bill and Lizzie’s push-pull courtship. And I want to come along for the ride as the Coopers mourn one of their own. 

Even on my day off. 

(P.S. I watched B&B and ATWT, too, but skipped GH. Make of that what you will. LOL.)


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