As the oldest show in broadcast history, Guiding Light is a piece of history that airs right before our eyes. It has sincerely endured over the years, coping and adapting along the way. However, the show right now isn’t what it used to be. Many fans complain about the show, and at this point and time I can’t disagree with them. The show needs a shot in the arm in order to survive.
One thing that is wrong with Guiding Light is the lack of characters. There simply aren’t enough characters on the canvas to create interesting match ups. It’s somewhat sickening to see character fall into ridiculous match ups that wouldn’t happen if there more actors to work with. For example, young Marina Cooper. She’s been with Danny Santos, then Alan-Michael, and now she’s being flirtatious with Mallet. Two of those men where her aunt’s ex-husbands. That makes so sense at all.
Another example of this is the whole Reva/Josh/Cassie triangle. It makes no sense. Readers where promised a reunion and what they got was a lie. The whole storyline of Josh and Reva getting back together, then Reva getting cancer and hiding it while Josh gets together with Cassie undermines the integrity of the characters. We can’t trust them the way we used to. Change is important for any show, but consistency still needs to be a staple.
As bad as it may seem now, Guiding Light can indeed be fixed. It needs to be a combination of listening to the fans and getting to the heart of what the show is about: relationships. Step one in the plan is to get old actors back on the canvas. Either bring back old ones, or get good recasts. I believe that fans will respond to the effort of bringing back beloved characters even if they aren’t played by the same actor they are used to. Can you image the shake ups that could occur if Phillip was brought back into play? Even by a different actor?
Reacting worked with As The World Turns. They needed Craig Montgomery on deck to cause turbulence. Before they brought him back, there was no real villain. It doesn’t matter that he was played by someone else before hand; the stories that the character is involved in make up for it.
After bringing in more characters, I believe that the writers of Guiding Light should stick to the script. There is something that makes this show work very well. Stick with it. That’s what all good writers do. In the midst of trying to think of interesting ways to shake up the status quo for the characters involved, at the end of the day people come back because there is something familiar. Change is the only constant, but in TV Land success is a mark of staying the same.