Daytime Confidential's 10 Best Soap Couples of 2009
No. 1: Olivia and Natalia, Guiding Light
For months, Guiding Light teased viewers with a possible pairing between seemingly heterosexual maneater Olivia Spencer (Crystal Chappell) and naive, Catholic mom Natalia Rivera (Jessica Leccia), all the while swearing to the media the pairing would never happen, as opposed to promoting it like crazy to an L-World mourning, upwardly mobile, niche demographic.
In 2009, GL's last year on the air, Otalia did happen. The fire between Chappell's Olivia and Leccia's Natalia— former rivals for the affections of the late Gus Aitorro (Ricky Paull Goldin)— was enough to burn those damn cookies Natalia was forever baking in the kitchen of the late Hart Jessup's old farm house. It really is a shame TPTB didn't have the courage or confidence in their audience to give the most buzzed about pairing in the last decade of soaps the same kind of affectionate, intimate scenes it afforded their straight counterparts. Who knows, it just might have bought the sudser another year? Maybe not, but at least GL fans, not to mention Olivia and Natalia, would have gone away satisfied.
Despite the behind-the-scenes obstacles the pair faced, and plenty of plot driven ones onscreen (Frank impregnating Natalia anyone?), Otalia's love proved to be one that not even prejudice, fear or small-mindedness could destroy. If you don't believe us, just as the IT people for CNN International, or the ones manning the official Venice The Series website. Otalia fever is so doggone strong people are actually paying $10 for a chance to see Chappell and Leccia finally get their chance at love, playing two new characters on a web soap opera, when just a few years back the Writers Guild of America was forced to strike because greedy, Hollyweird producers were refusing to pay up for online content, stating there was no money to be made with scripted ventures online. Silly, silly Procter and Gamble, lesbians buy soap too, ya know!