The gays have taken over the soap operas, but how meaningful is that when the entire soap opera genre appears to be on the way out? Pretty meaningful, when Guiding Light, the soap produced for more than half a century by conservative consumer goods company Proctor & Gamble, is about to head off into the ether without ever giving its lesbian characters a chance for “a single romantic kiss.”
But the kissing will happen. In the afterlife.
Guiding Light‘s afterlife. An unofficial series spin-off (the characters’ names will change, since P&G owns them) will live on, online.
On the soap, Crystal Chappell plays Olivia Spencer, a mom who fell in love with Jessica Leccia’s Natalia Rivera; together they are “Otalia” to fans. But that relationship is, in reality, over: the show stopped taping two weeks ago, and the last episode airs Sept. 18. And while Chappell has found a new gig on Days of Our Lives, she’s just as upset with fans that P&G and CBS never let her character kiss her lover on air.
So she’ll do it on the web. In the upcoming series Venice, Chappell will play “a single, gay career woman, and follow other fictional inhabitants of Venice Beach, in Los Angeles,” reports the Times. “Her leading lady on Guiding Light, Ms. Leccia, has agreed to join the cast without pay.” (Actually, nobody is getting a salary. Yet.)
And if that’s not good enough for you? Chappell assures: “In the first 30 seconds you see these two women kiss.”
(Actually, while the Times says the characters never got a chance to kiss, this Soap Opera Digest article reveals otherwise. Or are we splitting hairs over “kissing” and “romantic kissing”?)
We could have an entire conversation about new media v. old media, or webtrepreneurs creating content v. corporations manufacturing content. But plainly, we’re just thrilled to see an actress so enthralled with her lesbian storyline, and motivated by fan support, that she’s up for carrying it on.
Now, how many seconds into Venice will be needed for a girl-on-girl, stripping down, making their way to the bed, covers askew, camera pans to the right, fade to black scene?