The Diet Pepsi Max Effect
I am not a film student. I am not a TV producer. I do not profess to be, nor do I ever intend to claim that I know the ins and outs of producing either a TV show or a movie.
What I do claim to be is a consumer of both products. An avid consumer actually. I watch countless hours of television in both daytime, primetime and on the web. My DVR routinely maxs out with programming that I need to watch or catch up on, not to mention all of the TV I end up watching live. I even have a TV tuner card that can record TV shows to my computer as a back up just in case something might go wrong with my DVR, lest I miss one of my favorite shows.
I love movies, though my Movie Junkie podcast co-hosts Susan and Craig and more than a few Movie Junkie listeners scratch their heads at my tastes, it can't be argued that I don't love movies.
After Guiding Light switched to the Lauren Conrad Blair Witch filming format we here at Daytime Confidential discussed in depth and in detail how we felt about the new format on our weekly CBS and Days of Our Lives episodes and in our special Top 10 Ways to Improve Guiding Light episodes. Since then one of the producers or executives, I don't remember which and it doesn't really matter, at CBS or Guiding Light said that the show will never go back to the classic soap filming style and in many respects I've come to terms with this stark reality.
Now when I watch Guiding Light I do my best to ignore the shaky cameras and claustrophobic close-ups and focus on the writing. Unfortunately, for most of the year the terrible writing only compounded the filming format. However, over the last two months or so something unexpected began to happen. The writing started to improve, if ever so slightly. Then came casting announcements such as Jeff Branson as Shayne Lewis and the return of Grant Alexsander in 2009. The writing improved a little more.
We now find ourselves in early December, Jeff Branson has arrived and is doing a bang up job as Shayne Lewis. In fact, some Daytime Confidential readers have compared him as Shayne Lewis to Billy Miller as Billy Abbott on The Young and the Restless. In every scene Branson and Gina Tognoni ooze chemistry and are setting the groundwork for unlimited possibilities in 2009.
You may be asking, how does Luke's being an avid consumer of TV and Movies related to Guiding Light? Here's how. Unlike the movie industry where major importance is placed on the soundtrack of a film or in primetime where show's like Gossip Girl and even The Hills uses it for emphasis, Guiding Light continues to insist on using elevator music as its soundtrack.
Any type of dramatic impact the actors at Guiding Light may be trying to achieve is being cut off at the knees by whatever "background music" this show is using. Is it elevator music or is it Enya?
Honestly, I don't know and at this point I don't care because every time I watch Guiding Light I feel like one of those people in the Diet Pepsi Max commercial who keep nodding off before drinking the soda.
Each and every time there is a build up to anything we end up with someone warbling like Charlotte Church in the background. When Mallet and Marina find out that the restaurant is being robbed, Enya. When Dinah makes a shocking discovery, Dido. When Reva cries over having a miracle womb and then ending up with cancer, the Jeopardy theme song. Gus dies and loses his heart, Celine Dion singing "My Heart Will Go On." Lizzie held hostage, LeAnn Rimes.
Now obviously I'm exaggerating because I don't think any of the afore mentioned artists have actually been used on the show, except maybe Enya, but whatever happened to a good old classic da-da-da-dum?
You cannot tell me that it would cost Guiding Light a single penny to dust off the classic soap soundtrack and use it instead of whatever the latest warbling or yodeling no name - I'm going to be a star someday - singer might be pimping.
Ellen Wheeler, the writing of your show is improving. You are bringing in popular actors and things are looking up. We know that it is impossible to go back to the old filming format, but at least admit that the show's soundtrack sucks and do something about it. In the meantime my chiropractor bill is going through the roof from the whiplash induced state I find myself in while watching your show as I perk up for dramatic scenes and then nod off at their execution.