Shock and...well, more shock
For the Week of June 18, 2007
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For fans of Guiding Light, this year's Daytime Emmys held some disappointments, but also a few welcome surprises.
After 30+ years of watching GL - and the Daytime Emmys - I thought I knew at least a little bit about how things worked. But sitting home watching with my husband, the events of the night proved that I could be more than a little mistaken.
I know that last year we won a glutton of awards - 4 in the acting categories. An embarrassment of riches on a show with ratings near the bottom of the barrel - but it made sense to me. Our cast is top notch - probably the reason that I stay with the show even when the stories drive me nuts. So winning all of those awards was like an affirmation of the way I felt. Great actors getting the recognition they deserved.
Even though we won so much last year, I felt that Tom Pelphrey was a shoo-in to repeat this year (until I saw what scenes he submitted). He had such powerful, soul searching scenes with Tammy, and with Reva when she was sick, but chose a feel-good moment instead. Whoever gave you that advice was dead wrong. Guys get angry and ladies get emotional - that's what typically wins the vote.
After Kim Zimmer's 4th win, I hoped that Crystal Chappell would finally get more Emmy love. She certainly showed her great skills and range of emotions in her scenes - but came up empty. Let's just hope she gets enough meaty stories in '07 to give her a great Emmy reel for next year.
And what in the world happened to Ricky Paull Goldin - who I felt would take Emmy gold for the first time this year? I didn't even feel some of the scenes that his competition submitted were that strong - yet he didn't win, either. Maybe with the Rafe storyline this year we'll get more strong stories to submit next time.
So I sat back, knowing we'd go home empty-handed. The two awards I knew we'd never win - writing and best drama series were the only ones left to give. I nearly turned it off. As they announced the writing contenders, I told my husband confidently, "we'll never win this one - our writing is hit and miss" - and he responded "you were nominated?" See - even an occasional viewer knows that even the strong Reva cancer storyline was ruined by the whole "don't tell" twist. It's like an idea takes shape - and is either butchered - or forgotten - somewhere along the line.
Then the envelope was read. I nearly fell off of my sofa. We won? Seriously? Fans are writing to me - to message boards - and to the show itself talking about the bad writing and it's a winner? Between the anger of fans over the Reva/Cassie/Josh story and the Olivia/Jeffrey story I knew this would never be the case. Little did I know!
OK. They submitted good scenes - so I'll let it pass, I guess. It's a fluke of sorts - one I'm grateful for, but am still very curious about.
Another major disappointment: I was hoping for a great 70th anniversary tribute and was left wanting with the little tribute Kim Zimmer was allowed to give. I would have loved for the show to have some of their alumni come back to introduce clips of the show and have the cast (past and present) on hand to really show the history of the GL.
Then the big prize of the night: Best Drama Series. My husband asked if we'd ever won it before. I had to answer not in 25 YEARS - when I couldn't even drive yet! So as we prepared to go to sleep, I had to see who won, then do what I always do (turn the show off in disgust and hope for better stories/luck next year). And the impossible happened - we won. Well, we tied with Y&R. Better than nothing - that's for sure - but a total shock. The #1 show in the ratings and the#8 or #9 show TIE? Really? Not that I'm not totally grateful, but still in a state of shock - twice in one night.
So what do these two improbable wins mean? The dreamer in me (and you know I am a dreamer if nothing else) hopes it means a little more respect, a bigger budget to work with, location shooting, more/better writers. No more penny pinching and tried and true storylines that drive me nuts (paternity stories, faking your death and love triangles all of the time). Give the fans new and exciting stories that they can relate to. Give the actors a show they can have some idea they'll have a job for more than a year (I can't imagine how the cast and crew can deal with the specter of cancellation all of the time).
While the awards are lovely, it's a ratings driven medium. I know that Tivo certainly makes watching easier but you still have to have stories and characters you are rooting for (and against). It's the pull of the characters that keeps loyal fans like I know GL - and all of the other shows - as their greatest asset. Keep the viewers and you have a bigger budget to work with to do new and exciting things - and keep the light shining for all GL fans for many years to come!
Keep the Light Shining and Congrats to GL!!!
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