Monday, August 24, 2009

A Celebration Of Guiding Light: Part Two

During last Wednesday’s celebration of “Guiding Light” at the Paley Center for Media, the panel conversation eventually turned to some of the more outrageous plot twists unique to the soap genre.

Bradley Cole (Jeffrey) signing autographs

“Where else can you get away with playing a prince on a white horse but on a soap opera?” quipped Bradley Cole (Jeffrey), who went from being a prince in his first GL incarnation to a district attorney in his second.

Michael O’Leary (Rick) laughed about his character’s overnight development as a doctor.

“I went from being an orderly one day to doing brain surgery the next.”

Cast members and executive producer Ellen Wheeler alike spoke with great affection for the strong work ethic and closeness on the “Guiding Light” set.

“It gets passed down from generation to generation,” Wheeler said, adding that the show’s cancellation won’t diminish what cast, crew and audience have experienced together.

“No one can take that shared moment away from us.”

During the Q&A portion of the evening, many GL fans in the audience articulated that same sentiment, sharing personal stories about how they’ve been affected by the show. A recently widowed woman moved Kim Zimmer (Reva) to tears when she said the character of Reva has taught her that it’s okay to grieve in a big way.

Kim Zimmer and me: The GL veteran was as bubbly and charming as she’s been every other time I’ve met her through the years

Fans swarmed the charming Miss Zimmer at the post-panel cocktail reception. One of daytime’s greatest and most gracious stars, she made time for everyone who approached her, thanking everyone for their good wishes and support.

Naysayers and poor ratings be damned, GL’s exec producer says the future of soaps may not be so bleak after all.

“There’s something uniting about serial storytelling,” Wheeler said. “And there are plenty of fans who want to see stories.”

If the outpouring of love at this celebration is any indication, she’s absolutely right.

Coming up…a new chapter in my love life begins and a look at what happens when work gets in the way of romance.

No comments: