It's a simple statement, and it really sums up GL both on-screen and off this week. In the 8+ years I have done this column, there are weeks where it is relatively easy to figure out what to talk about. Other weeks, it's not that simple. This week, as I was contemplating what to say, the two stories that dominated our show had an interesting recurring theme.
As I mentioned last week, TPTB have asked GL cast and crew across the board to take a pay cut (reportedly the same percentage for all), will move cross-town to ATWT's old studio and cut some jobs in an effort to save money (and the show). Which means that there will be a lot of fallout from these changes. Stories will appear in the press - some true, some false. Fans will take sides - and the show could certainly lose in the long run.
There are few topics in life that make folks edgy as money - it makes the "world go 'round" as the saying goes. Everyone has an opinion on how much they are worth, and if they are getting what they believe they deserve. It's just human nature to want to be treated fairly and above board.
That being said, I don't know the inner workings of GL. I have learned a lot about this business over the past few years - and please don't ever forget it's a business. Profits and losses are all a huge part of the whole picture - just not the one you see on your television screen each day. It is no secret that GL's ratings are down more than ever (a 2.2 the last time I looked) and that means less dollars to go around.
So when I pick up a soap magazine and see Kim Zimmer's picture on the cover with a headline about exits and cuts, it gets your attention. It gets a long-time fan like me thinking about what this could mean for the show. But in the years that I have met Kim, I can tell you that she's a straight-shooter. She tells you what she thinks, and is pretty honest about the inner workings of her industry. It is one of the things that I really admire about her. Kim is signed on GL through July of 2006 and does not want to renegotiate a contract that GL signed with her in 2003. What will happen? Only time will tell.
And Kim is just one of the GL cast that is faced with this predicament. Her "out" for a contract is now (that is determined in their contract and is usually at 13-week increments). ALL of the contract players (the ones you see on the opening montage) all, well, have contracts - and will face the same dilemma. GL will try to re-negotiate all of them with the salary cut. The crew are all facing the same cuts, just out of the media spotlight. So while GL the show we all watch is losing fans, the business behind the show will certainly have fans taking sides. Good vs evil - everyone will have an opinion. But what I wonder is how the show will fare with all of the changes, the upheaval, and publicity? It's like a very messy, very public spat between two Hollywood stars. The glare of the spotlight is there - and it's very public. But when the spotlight moves on - as it always does - what is left of the relationship to be salvaged?
On-screen, things were coming to a head this week as well. Phillip's shooter was revealed - as Alan. I say "shooter" and not "killer" because Alan said "shoot" and not "kill" Friday. And I still hold out a little glimmer of hope (especially since GL has photos of Grant Aleksander all over the house) that Phillip will reveal himself to Alan and wreck havoc on his life for shooting him. Note to GL: If you are going to do that, it had better be soon - the show could use the boost in ratings and the fans really want Grant back.
I have to admit that I had Alan as a suspect in the killings. But the silly "fan" part of me couldn't see Ron (Alan) shooting Grant (Phillip). The two are friends - and share a pretty close relationship. That being said, Ron was told several months ago now that he was the shooter. He did do a pretty great job of keeping the secret. Harley was obviously not the shooter - the one in jail rarely is the shooter in the soap world. And the obvious links to Olivia and the shooting had me a little suspicious. But how will Gus react when he learns that Alan let Harley take the fall? Alan will have lost not one, but two sons (Phillip and Gus) and will certainly be a dangerous man. GL fans take heart, Ron is not leaving GL. How he'll stay out of jail is a mystery for now, though.
While I am a huge fan of Gus and Harley, I really want to see a little more of other folks on GL these days. The show seems to write for the actors to work 4 days a week, which means that if you don't like this story (or think you are about to scream with seeing it nearly every day) you won't be tuning in. I would like to see other stories now except the Phillip murder mystery (going on since November now) and Cassie and Edmund's baby. Once again, the balance of characters is not there, and it shows. Where is Rick? I about fell out of my seat to see Mel this week - she's been MIA for months now. It doesn't look like I'm going to get my wish anytime soon, but a girl can dream....
I want to thank all of you who shared your thoughts online last week concerning our 1st (un) Official Emmy's!! This week, with all of the behind-the-scenes goings on and GL, do you think it will help or hurt the show? How do you feel about the changes at GL and what it might mean to our show? Express your opinions and share your thoughts at http://boards.soapcentral.com/showthread.php?t=63871
So while the summer weather heats up, it looks like GL fans will have to wait and see what happens on and off screen. I wish all of you a healthy, happy Memorial Day. Take some time to spend time with family and friends, and remember those who made the sacrifices that allow us to live in a great country. Until next week.... Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!