After a marathon of GL episodes, I have to admit that I am wrung out emotionally. Knowing some of what would happen, thanks to spoilers, is one thing. Watching the emotions of Springfield - both on and off-screen, is another thing entirely.
When I planned my vacation (to Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP and Glacier NP) this winter, I had no idea that I would miss seeing the last Bauer Bar-be-que - always a big event in the Hay household. Even my husband realized after the cancellation was announced that I would not be a happy fan to miss seeing it on (or around) the 4th. Since National Parks have no tv or internet access, I was pretty isolated from all of the crazy news - and GL happenings - for the 12 days I was away.
While I got to see the July 6th (Monday) episode live in Kalispell, MT - watching the full range of emotions I missed was just crazy. And watching the preview for the show on July 7th (pre-empted for the Michael Jackson funeral - which I watched online) talking about a plane crash when I am getting ready to fly was more angst for didn't do anything for my pre-flight nerves.
But more than that, watching Phillip (admittedly my favorite GL character and actor - and a fellow Marylander) get his fatal diagnosis reminded me of the fate CBS has given GL. Friends who are not GL fans who "try" to "get it" - how the cancellation has left fans feeling - should have been made to watch the episode to get a better understanding of the loss we feel. Phillip's decision to not tell his family right away could not have been easy to make, but is certainly understandable. I just hope GL does this story justice in the next 2 months (even typing that seems very odd, and makes me sad to think of the loss ahead).
The Bauer Bar-be-que itself was great - much better than in year's past. I think the cast really was able to have some fun and show fans some great interaction, while in character. For those fans who haven't been able to meet any of the cast as I have, I always try to explain the great bond they have (and the crew as well) - like one big family…. One coping with impending loss…
A more immediate loss this week was of Jeffrey - which I had heard rumors of a few weeks before vacation. But not to have a final goodbye for someone who has been on the show so long (and someone I admittedly enjoyed watching in both roles) was hard to bear. While I assume that the show will change drastically as actors find other work this, as far as I can determine, was not dictated by Bradley Cole, but the show itself. Which brings me to some questions I've had for this odd period of pre-ending shows.
Since CBS has given the show a final date, does this mean that they have carte blanche to do what they need to (spend what they need to) to finish the stories they have? Or are they on a stricter budget now than before the cancellation? If we need to cut salaries, I can certainly show you a few I wouldn't mind to lose… but give the fans the chance to enjoy the characters they have grown to love before you rip the rug out from under us - I think we deserve that, at least.
I will admit that I love the fact that so many fan favorites are returning. Just announced this week are two of my favorite Springfield ladies - Fiona Hutchison (Jenna) and Maureen Garrett (Holly) who will return shortly. Maureen was one of the first GL actors I met in NYC and we've talked about the fact that the year she started on GL (1976) was the year I started watching. Her character was one of my earliest GL memories, so it seems fitting that she return to Springfield - at least for me ; ) GL's firing of Fiona and killing off of Jenna was a particularly low point in viewership for me. She was basically fired for defending Michael Zaslow (Roger) when he was fired - before we learned he had ALS. I've said before that there were a few times I nearly walked away from the show I love - and that was right there at the top of my list… Glad to see Fiona anytime!!
This week we finally get to see Bill and Lizzie (Bizzie) tie the knot. While the comedy of errors for their wedding was getting to me, seeing how it is all coming together makes me very happy. And Phillip seems to be taking to heart his need to set things right this week when he and Beth share a kiss at the wedding. But will it lead to more? I'd love to see them reunite, but don't have any concrete info one way or another at the moment.
And while the drama on-screen and off was enough to bear, I have to take a moment to say something about my good GL friend Kate, who passed away while I was away. I've known Kate (we never met - although we've spoken on the phone and online) for a decade or more. She was a warm, sweet lady from Tennessee who reminded me a lot of my Grandmother (except she watched GL where Grandmom did not). She was a regular on the GL boards on this and many sites, and was a friend to so many of you out there. I talked to Kate right before I went on vacation and we dished GL (as always). I have to admit that when I saw the SOD cover "Jeffrey Dies" - I nearly E-Mailed her on vacation - not knowing she had died. I'll miss our talks Kate, and will keep your in my thoughts as we watch GL end. Your husband Bill and your whole family are in my prayers….
Whether or not we know how this story - and this show ends, it is important for all of us to stay focused on working to promote the show in a positive light for as long as we can…
Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!