Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scrambling for Scraps

Twitter all but broke down yesterday, as Natalia Rivera waltzed back into Springfield knowing what she wanted. That noise you heard? The sound of a million lesbians SQUEEing. Actually, a million minus one. Natalia's return did not make me SQUEE. Not in that way, anyhow.

I'm glad Natalia is back, because this show is winding down and I need closure. I'm glad Natalia's back because I like Jessica Leccia and have missed seeing her on television. Mostly, I'm glad Natalia is back because it means Olivia will finally get to let loose and tell her exactly how betrayed she feels, and how incredibly shitty it was for Natalia to take off without so much as a word. 

At the very least, Natalia needs and deserves a good telling off.

Vision Quest or Act of Incredible Thoughtlessness?

Among the messages zooming around the Twitterverse yesterday were cries of "This is a love story!" and "Yay! Your girl's home, Liv!" and "Kiss her!" Another set of messages addressed blogs such as this one, and chastised those of us who have the audacity to be angry at Natalia for "ruining it for the rest of us." One Tweeter went into a long diatribe about how lucky we should all feel to have this story line, no matter how messed up it's been, because it's better than The Children's Hour, which ends with the lesbian character comitting suicide. Natalia's journey, according to this apologist, was a "vision quest" and one she had to take in order to move towards a healthy same-sex love.

So, let me make sure I've got this right: 

1) By pointing out what's gone so wrong with the Otalia story line, and making a rally cry for positive, realistic portrayals of same-sex love on television bloggers such as myself are ruining it for the rest of the lesbians out there.

2) We should be grateful for whatever lesbian scraps the networks throw our way and just be grateful that Natalia didn't hang herself from the rafters of her lonely room in the convent. 

3) When a man leaves his woman without so much as a phone call, leaving her to think she's unworthy of love, it's an act of selfish abandonment and incredible thoughtlessness. When a woman does this to her female partner, it's a vision quest.

With all due respect, I call "bullshit." Do people really believe this crock? 

Unless viewers take a stand and make our voices heard, we will never see anything resembling positive portrayals of same-sex relationships in the mass media. And make no mistake about this: if we do see an Otalia kiss, it won't be because fans sat back and accepted the ridiculously chaste relationship these two supposed-lovers share. If we see a kiss between these two characters, it will be because the pressure from viewers became too great to ignore. It will be because journalists and bloggers have been critical and pointed out how incredibly stupid and unrealistic it's been for CBS to expect us to believe that two adult women in love wouldn't even kiss one another. If we see a kiss, it will be because certain GL actors spoke out, and made TPTB aware of the Internet buzz about this issue. If we see a kiss it will not be thanks to people who sat back and didn't make any noise for fear of "ruining" things for everyone.

So what if they're neutered? We should just be happy to have lesbians who don't kill themselves. Really? Isn't that like telling a battered wife that she should just be glad her batterer stops before she actually bleeds? This argument reaches a level of sad, pathetic stupidity that I'm not sure I was aware was possible.  Yay! They're not suicidal. Sorry, Liz, but I'm hot snacking.

Natalia went on a vision quest. Okay, I'll buy that. Did she forget that she wasn't a 19th century Native American teen, but a 21st century, middle-aged woman with a fucking cellphone????? Does having big questions about one's future exempt one from taking even minimal steps to care for one's beloved? The traditional vision quest wasn't taken in secret. It wasn't a covert operation designed to worry the shit out of a kid's family. It was a rite of passage that was expected. Natalia didn't just go out to find her answers, which would have been perfectly reasonable. Instead, she dropped the ball and betrayed the very person whose heart she should have been taking pains to care for. She was thoughtless. She was selfish. Even in her return, she's thus far been incredibly cavalier. Does she go directly to Olivia? No. She visits her priest. She meets Blake who, I should remind you all, she barely knows. How healthy is a safe-sex love that currently revolves around one person completely disregarding the well-being of the other? 

But, hey, at least Natalia got back before Olivia hanged herself from the rafters at The Beacon. 


Robert said...

Exactly. Why should we be grateful for scraps? I feel as if P&G and CBS are telling the GL audience, "F-U, we don't care what you think."

MJinTenn said...

Um, Snapper, you've read either my mind or my post at AfterEllen last night. I can't put on a happy face and pretend all's well in Otaliaville... in fact, having lived through the Liv side of this scenario some 25 years ago, I look back and cannot believe how addled I was to let the one who abandoned me back into my arms. It is some sick shit to rejoice at the meandering way Natalia has returned to and approached Liv.

First stop, the very second Natalia got back to Springfield, no question, without hesitation, without passing go, without collecting $200, should have been to Liv. Not seeking out and talking to Fr. Fay, not seeking out and talking to Blake... but seeking out and falling on her knees and begging LIV to find it somewhere in her heart to forgive her.

ocean1blue said...

I would also like to add that what Natalia did is extremely childish. She is trying to gloss over any wrongdoing and thoughtlessness on her part by acting as if it is no big deal. "I thought about you everyday." "You look beautiful." Well then, everything is ok now. Let's move forward without any unpleasantness for me, cause gosh, I don't like that or want to deal with it. Kinda sounds like Rafe doesn't it? Nat should get down on her knees and beg Olivia to take her back and help her raise the baby, because that is the only hope that this child will end up like Jellybean. What's in it for Olivia? I guess that is where the love comes in.

Snapper said...

Oceanblue: I'm probably nitpicking, but I didn't even like the look on her face yesterday, when Liv asked her what, exactly, she had to figure out. She had way too much 'tude for someone who should have been humbly begging and apologizing profusely. The look on her face was sort, "Jeez..ok..I'll show her my pregnant belly and get this over with...but I can't believe she's asking." No, Nat. Just no.

Anonymous said...

I was amazed to hear someone on an Otalia podcast say that she would be happy if Otalia was together at the end, kiss or no kiss, and if nobody was killed in their wedding dress, ala Pepi and Silvia. That sentiment is alive and well among stepnfetchit lesbians, sadly.

We need to talk with our immensely fatter than straight wallets. Are you listening PG/CBS/TELENEXT?

This means that Venice needs to be a HUGE SUCCESS financially, and if it is pay per view, it better do very very well.

Love CC and JL, and their committment to Otalia. Without them and we the fans, you can damn well believe there would be no kiss. We shall see...

Snapper said...

"Stepnfetchit lesbians" - I like that! Myself, I've taken to using "Uncle Toms of Fagdom" but same diff.

Anonymous said...

I love you all and actually feel like hugging my computer.... Thanks to Snapper and the rest of you smart people I know I am not alone in my "boggled out of my f---ing mind thoughts about Otalia".

And I agree about Natalia being cavalier....and I know I am writing a taboo sentence when I say that I think JL needed to give us more as an actress these past 2 days....I like her, and she has really nailed it at times over this s/l but cry a little...reach out more...fret...scream...shake your fist to the heavens....meet CC halfway! And how Natalia told Frank at the end of today...wtf?? I don't even like Frank and I was thinking that scene was awful writing. And can we just wipe Reva's crazytown scenes off our DVR's? I am in love with you all. I live in LA if anyone wants to do dinner. 626-241-4980 (Amy)

Anonymous said...

This is a freaking SOAP. Soap operas are full of this shit. I find it rather amusing how freaking seriously you all are taking this!!! Yikes...time to do something else...

Snapper said...

Almost as amusing as someone seeking out my little, obscure, soap-themed blog to anonymously make a silly comment.

bl said...

My opinion on Natalia coming back is a little outside the norm as someone who doesn't ship Otalia and just likes them. What I was looking forward to the most with Natalia returning to Springfield was to see how much damage she caused by leaving. I want her to see Olivia's anguish over how she departed without saying goodbye. For me it has nothing to do with lesbians, just what I like to see on television. If someone leaves their loved one in a lurch, there needs to be a reaction. I enjoy intense emotional scenes and this situation provides ample opportunity for both Jessica and Crystal to emote.

I don't really follow the greater GL twitterverse beyond actors on GL (and since I don't watch in real time there isn't much point), so I can only take your word for it. I'm an apologist for many things, but I also believe that sometimes the people who love characters or a couple the most can have the biggest issues with the writing. I've sat through many garbage plots grumbling my way through them, but my adoration of my favorites was never in doubt.

I think there should be positive and realistic portrayals of same-sex relationships on television. If anyone feels like GL is just giving them scraps, they should not be attacked for it. It is the job of the show to please the viewer, not the viewer to please the show. So when it comes to the kiss if Natalia and Olivia don't and others do, I will be offended due to the double standard. On OLTL, we had a gay guy being propositioned for group sex with two women asking him if he wanted to double down and GL won't even show two women in love kissing. How bizarre is that?

If it had felt like Natalia was stalling by seeing Father Ray and Blake as she was scared to face Olivia, I would have understood it better. Like Natalia went to see Blake to get a pep talk of sorts, and Blake relayed to Natalia the mistakes she made during her pregnancy with Clarissa (lying about being pregnant for months and then not telling Holly/Ross that he was the dad), so she implores her to not waste precious time. It would finish up with Blake telling Natalia that even if she didn't agree with what Natalia had done, she couldn't judge as she had made a similar mistake in the past, and there was no way she could break the pregnancy news to Olivia or Frank.

GL didn't do all that well by Blake on that episode as it was. As a fan of that character, I think scrambling for scraps is the norm. They finally show a scene with Vanessa and Blake speaking to each other (which I was glad for), and all Vanessa says is she has a lot of work due to Dinah being gone. This glossed over Dinah's fugitive status and there was no mention of how their children that are Dinah's half-siblings are dealing with it. SIGH

FlyingPeanuts said...

Right on.

I love Otalia like nobody's business, but I'm not going to be an apologist for double-standards of bullshit shenanigans.

Natalia left a wanker and came back a wanker; I missed her and her dimples and am glad she's come back determined to prove herself to Olivia, but she was a selfish, destructive prat.

As to the larger issues, strides are made by rocking the boat, not by lying in it.

(I've sent out a link to this on Twitter: hope that's cool with you.)

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's just a lousy soap story (performed by good actors). It's not the beautiful, groundbreaking love story created by goddesses that we were lead to believe...

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across a post the other day with someone "fine" with the prospect of this storyline ending without at least one kiss. Really?! I literally had to walk away from my computer. The only reason I'm still following this storyline at the moment is to find out if they actually kiss. Because if not, I want to be part part of the campaign that trashes P&G/CBS for their homophobic cowardice-I'll write letters for that. And yes, even that is settling for crumbs because this storyline should have given us so much more.
Thanks for your writing. I love reading your stuff.

Anonymous said...

Snapper, I absolutely adore this article for articulating many of the thoughts swirling in my head regarding Nat's disappearance and the current direction of the storyline.

But, I have a question about the your comments over Nat's reappearance, where are you directing your anger? 1)at Nat for being completely selfish and no other fans noticing or caring 2)for GL writing her as some selfish fool, that doesn't realize mistakes when she wouldn't be, thus making this move dumb and unacceptable, and fans not caring about this 3) Or at the writers for only portraying gay characters that are actually selfish? (Did those choices make sense?) Or something else.

For me it's pretty much number 2, but I haven't really understood were others stand on this and want to know.

On your other points about accepting scraps ie. no intimacy thus far, I completely agree and can't understand the disregard of this problem by others.

Explaining away with the many excuses like "Otalia wanting to be completely sure", "there just wasn't a right moment", "waiting is necessary to convince traditional straight viewers", "their a supercouple--slow build up", or "a real in love kiss is better than a loveless sex romp" ignores alot in my opinion.

Thanks again!!!

Rikita said...

The question is whether it is better for a show like GL to have attempted this story and messed it up or not to have attempted it at all. The answer for me is that every near miss and epic fail paves the way for that next innovation. That this is being questioned and attention focused and results in renewed energy to demand they do it better and do it right next time is a positive legacy. When we just thank people for even trying and don't insist that it be done honestly we are failing to live up to our responsibilities as viewers. And passive viewers deserve whatever scraps are thrown their way.

bl said...

A Post Script as I didn't finish what I was writing last night...sorry I didn't include this then.

I see this as really two separate issues...

1. GL's writing can suck as they miss many potential story beats, ignore history and have characters lose their intelligence regardless of what kind of relationship the characters are involved in romantically (see Jonathan and Tammy, Dinah and Mallet etc). The way Olivia/Natalia's relationship started was good, and now they lost their way.

2. The treatment of same-sex relationships (especially between women) has been shameful on television.

If there was good representation of all kinds of relationships in the media, I think the lack of physical intimacy between the two women would not be such an issue. It would just be yet another poor story on a soap.

That said, some people are just happy to get anything at all for their favorites and will like anything they see just because it is their favorite performer. I've seen this with fans of heterosexual couples too.

Robin said...

Who is saying it was a vision quest? I read most of the boards and haven't seen anyone who thinks that is was ok that Natalia left as she did. That said, I don't agree that liking the storyline (as I do) means that I am accepting scraps.

Thus far, with the exception of the insane trip to Chicago that Olivia took, I have been perfectly happy with the storyline. It is a story about two straight women – one deeply religious and both deeply fearful – who fall in love. Since I know a lot of deeply religious people –the lack of physical expression to this point hasn’t bothered me at all, because it makes sense given the characters. Olivia has long shown that she won’t make the first move because she wants to make sure Natalia is really there; Natalia wasn’t really there as shown multiple times in multiple ways in the story line. Her leaving was the ultimate proof of this reality.

Clearly, you are right that she was selfish and thoughtless. In my opinion, she has been pretty much since she fell in love with Olivia. To me, all of that is because she had an unresolved conflict between her faith and her love for Olivia. This inner conflict has brought out the worst in her character (passivity, cowardice and selfishness). However, when Olivia was being selfish and thoughtless (post transplant), Nat was there completely (because she had no such inner conflict so the sweet, kind, determined and nurturing part of her character was on full display).

While I think Nat has resolved that key conflict within herself, she still hasn't come to terms with what that did to Olivia and her rather glaring faults. For the storyline to come to a satisfying conclusion, she must own up to the mess she has created and prove that she is worthy of Olivia’s trust. I am more than willing to watch her do this and, if she does, I will forgive her (as I had earlier forgiven Olivia for being such a complete ass.)

What amazes me is the number of people – you included – that seem to think it is a distinct possibility that there will not be a kiss (of the epic variety). The storyline demands it and I am sure it will happen at the point it makes sense, which will be at the point that Olivia is willing to risk trusting Natalia again.

Now, all that said – if I am wrong and there is no kiss, no satisfying conclusion – I will be the first to acknowledge that I was wrong and will join you in protest. I just think it is premature to trash the storyline along political lines or imply that those who like it are somehow delusional...

Snapper said...

Drum: I'm annoyed at Natalia suddenly being portrayed as someone who is flippant about the feelings of others, especially about the feelings of the woman she supposedly loves. It's out of character, and it's plain shitty.

I'm annoyed at people who are so incredibly glad to see ANY crappy-ass scrap of homosexuality on television that they cheered the return of Natalia and gave her a hero's welcome.

I don't particularly have an issue with a gay character being portrayed as selfish - people are people. But I have problems with *this* particular character suddenly taking this incredibly selfish and thoughtless turn. I'm annoyed that GL has set up a situation that might have been excellent if there had been a year or two to follow through on it, but is just stupid when the show is over on Sept 18. Think about it: Olivia has all of three weeks to take in Natalia being back, accept her pregnancy, forgive her, learn to trust her, again, and agree to share a life together. That's just plain retarded. Especially given the fact that Olivia has been betrayed on a deep level. I'm actually pleased with the way Olivia has been written to show some self-respect and self-love and push Natalia away. I'm not pleased that the writers clearly intend to resolve all of this in record time, and have suddenly Olivia be A-Ok with the person who crushed her heart.

I'm annoyed and disgusted that anyone would look at this neutered, watered-down, sexless mess and celebrate it as a triumph for portrayals of gays on television. It's as triumphant for gays as Amos and Andy was for blacks.

Snapper said...

Robin - I'm not naming names. If you haven't encountered people who think Natalia's taking off as she did was just fine, you clearly haven't been reading as much as you think you have. And, yes, for anyone who's curious, "vision quest" is a direct quote from someone - I was not paraphrasing.

Most of us know deeply religious people. The idea that Natalia's religion would keep her from even kissing Olivia is bullshit, plain and simple, given her history. Let me put it out there in the simplest terms: she fucked Gus. She fucked Frank. NATALIA WILL FUCK. But she won't kiss Olivia? Total bullshit.

You're entitled to be amazed that anyone would be nutty enough to think it's a distinct possibility there will be no kiss between these characters. Now that filming is over I can be more transparent and say that a very reliable inside source basically told me that this is a very distinct possibility and that, as recently as two weeks ago, certain people involved with the show were directing TPTB to the internet - to blogs such as this one - in an effort to get them to give us SOME intimacy between these characters. I'll repeat what I've already written: if there IS any intimacy between these two in the end? It will have nothing to do with people sitting back and being happy with the status quo, and EVERYTHING to do with people making noise and demanding a positive and realistic portrayal of same-sex love that includes physical intimacy.

Carol said...

I've NEVER understood the sit-back-and-wait advocates, who want to see things play out before voicing their opinions or expectations. Since the show filmed 5 or so weeks ahead of airing, waiting and seeing would mean it was too damn late to make any impression or influence the decision makers!

This show is a commercial venture. They want, need, SURIVIVE (via advertisers) on pleasing the public. If the majority voices they hear are clamoring for better for Otalia, there's a better chance at getting what we want and deserve than relying on TPTB's cautious (cowardly?) approach of let's-not-rock-the-(financial)-boat. They will always play it safe, afraid of "offending" and losing revenue - unless we tell them, strongly, that it's in their best interest to do otherwise.

GL might be over, but those folks are still in business. And they need to know how precarious their standing is with us. I don't even know what P&G products are what - but I can tell you I'll freakin' find out, and boycott them for LIFE - if this non-kiss scenario plays out.

If a (single, stupid) kiss is really still up in the air (after all, they're done filming, but probably not editing) - we need to get off our collective and virtual asses and be inundating P&G and TeleNext with DEMANDS for a kiss!!

We still have their addys when we were trying to save their damn show. Now it's time to use them to help them save (some semblence) of this damn storyline!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we've all known deeply religious people. Let's not also forget that Nat made out with Remy straddling his lap, oh and then there's the pesky, not gonna wait conversation, that ended up being fruitless in an effort to out themselves to the everyone in the universe first. (she can force herself when it's not love, but not when it actually is?)

Anonymous said...

there are still people saying, it's frustrating but there just happy the story is being told at all. One person even says it's the writer's story, I'm not judgmental, as others I think have said in the past, as if we aren't the ones, as viewers giving them ratings and jobs, Plus, these aren't gays/lesbians writing the story, if it's wrong or offensive they should know.

Snapper-thanks for the response, that's exactly how I feel.

Snapper said...

There are two facts worth remind one's self of, over and over again:

1) Television shows are products. Viewers are the customers and networks are the salesmen. It's a basic tennet of business that the customer is always right. Walk into any fast food restaurant right now, and you'll see a $1 menu. I'm fairly sure TPTB at Burger King didn't suddenly decide that a chicken sandwich was only worth a buck. I promise you it had to do with the state of the economy, and wanting to hold on to customers who would surely leave if prices didn't come down. There are, after all, lotsof other fast food restaurants to turn to. And there are networks and tv channels other than CBS and CBS affiliates. There is absolutely no reason television should be treated any differently than any other business enterprise. Customers - tha's us, the viewers - have every right to push for what we want. Without customers, there's no point trying to sell a product. It's not rocket science, it's common sense.

2) If you settle for scraps long enough, after a while, you'll realize that you're living on a diet made up soley from - you guessed it - SCRAPS. No one at any of the major networks is going to suddenly develop a television show with gay characters involved in healthy, adult, loving, intimate, same-sex relationships simply on a whim, or because they think it might sort of be the decent thing to do. It will happen because enough people make enough noise, and the networks take note of the fact that pissing off fags is a really bad business move.

B Fuhr said...

I tend to be one of the viewers that is complacent because of being burned with past fan campaigns on shows and therefore turning to fan based content to tell stories worth telling.

I guess I got worn down from Wonderfalls, Firefly, Angel, and BAM (AMC). That I get tired, but I think that your points on the viewer as customer and how we need to be vocal is correct!

Thanks for reminding me that you have to voice your opinion for it to be heard.

I keep wondering if the treatment by networks is another motivating factor to more independent vlogs, webseries content. It just might be that they are too slow on the curve to realize the customer is gone where the voices will be listened too.

I think your argument is thought out and filled with the love of a longtime Guiding Light fan. I'm so happy I found your blog from the Liz interview and hope you continue long after GL goes dark.

Snapper said...

B Fuhr -
You know what? I've got no beef with anyone who is just so freaking tired of being disappointed, and so stops even expecting good things. It sounds to me as if you know full well that a sexless, neutered so-called couple is not in any way progressive. It's the ones who argue that this is GREAT,godammit, and we should shut up and enjoy it for what it is and "not ruin it for everyone else" (Again, that's not me paraphrasing, but actually quoting someone who argued that the current state of Otalia is healthy and positive and a great stpe for lesbian-kind) who drive me bonkers and make my ass-kicking foot itch.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and for posting your comment. I'm not likely to shut up just because GL goes off the air. If you think I'm pissed off now, wait until my essay about same sex marrie and Prop 8 is up.

Anonymous said...

Snapper: Your blog about scraps was dead on. The only way that change comes about is by people screaming for it, threatening to withhold financial support (buy products), publicizing inane and politically incorrect positions, etc... If we do get a kiss, it ONLY came about because of those in the GL fandom and the GL acting family who made phone calls, wrote emails and generated a lot of noise pointing out the political and economic ramifications of failing to have one. I can definitely understand fans who are tired of campaigning but, for the life of me, I cannot fathom those who sit back, accept scraps and then say thank you. Otalia was originally such a groundbreaking, well-written storyline; it fell off of the tracks midway through despite the best efforts of CC and JL.

I still have yet to hear a good explanation of why Natalia left without leaving a note, a text, an email for Olivia. TPTB can conceivably fabricate a semi-decent reason for Natalia leaving town (not that we've heard one yet) but there is no way that they will be able to rationalize Natalia's failure to communicate with her best friend, the love of her life and a heart transplant survivor - because there isn't one.

Robin said...

Like I said, if there is no kiss/intimacy, I will be right there with you storming the Bastille, so to speak.

Two points before my main point.

1.) I have certainly read a lot of people who thought Natalia leaving as she did made sense – but that is not the same as thinking it was ok. I am sure there are a few people who think that (didn’t read the Vision Quest one – which board??) – but the boards seem to be overwhelming in agreement that she fucked up big time. Whether it made sense for her character or not is the argument that I have seen.

2.) I have known lots of DRP (deeply religious people) who didn’t have much of a problem sinning heterosexually because it wasn’t taboo in their mind, but really did struggle when coming out with the whole gay thing (physical aspect included). That is, the internal homophobia really kicks in which, combined with the religious doctrine, creates a different reality for the person. Essentially, it is an internal double standard. And, with Natalia, I think her religion is a factor but, basically, she has been shown to have big-time internal homophobia issues. I have known so many women like her in the coming out process who really don’t rush into sexual intimacy. I think it is very realistic, actually. Having come out pre-Stonewall, perhaps I just have a different take on things...?

Clearly, the storyline as told demands a kiss. Just absolutely demands it. They could have told a different story - not shown Olivia's sexual frustration, not have a vibrator scene, not have her flirt/almost go there with Josh repeatedly, not have the sex talk, not ramp up the angst like they did, etc. Hell, they could have just had Natalia say, "I love you, but I just can't go there. I’m so sorry”. But, instead, they have set up this storyline where ONLY a very momentous denouement (talking a BIG KISS here) will make any sense whatsoever. If it doesn’t happen, they deserve all the hell they will get for the end of time.

You haven’t liked a lot of the things that haven’t bothered me at all as part of the story – the pregnancy, Natalia leaving as she did, the lack of intimacy thus far. I get and respect that you don’t agree with me. But, to me it is all set-up for the denouement that I want and expect. Like I said, I will get back to you September if I have been delusional...

But, you do not get to have it both ways! Given that all that set-up in the story line was created before you or other writers/viewers really started to protest, you do not get to claim credit if the storyline resolves in the only way that makes sense! Instead, I will assume that your insider was just wrong and give credit to the integrity of the writers and EW.

Either you are right – and the storyline collapses - and I will give you public groveling credit. Or, you were wrong, and they did exactly what they have long-indicated, within the logic of the storyline, that they were going to do.

Snapper said...

Robin, if you've been watching a storyline that set viewers up to have a totally sexless, neutered so-called romance,where even the actors look totally frustrated as they fake-out and cut to a friendly hug, where it's clear they should and want to kiss....if you honestly feel that the writers have "long-indicated" that Otalia would be a couple that don't even kiss on the cheek or do any of the the things a couple does.....then you and I have been watching two entirely different storylines. In March, I was watching a show about two women who were coming closer and closer together and who were clearly due for physical intimacy at any moment - *starting* with a kiss. I was watching the show that would *not* write in Jessica Leccia's pregnancy - as stated by the show's writers. I was watching the show where two characters named Olivia and Natalia had gone from hating and not trusting one another, to loving one another, relying on one another, and trusting one another, implicitly. I was watching the show where Natalia, when she was at her lowest, after having loveless sex with Frank, turned to Olivia because she knew Olivia was the one person she could open up to. I was watching the show where Natalia would die for Emma, because she thinks of her as being her own child. I was not watching the show where a character named Natalia would keep the truth from Olivia, abandon her, and abandon Emma. I was not watching the show where Natalia would think it was more important, upon her return, to talk to Blake, than to immediately find Olivia.

If there is any intimacy between these two, at all, it will be a direct result of pressure from viewers, bloggers and actors. This is a fact. I find it highly unlikely that an insider, who worked on the show every day and actually knows the people making decisions about what we do and do not see on CBS , would be wrong about the politics behind the lack of intimacy in the Otalia storyline. I also find it highly unlikely that said insider would make a point of directing the CBS bigwigs to look at the web, read blogs, find out what fans are demanding and and what journalists are saying, in an effort to get them to give in an give us some Otalia intimacy, if he or she didn't think this was the one thing that might make a difference.

As for Ellen Wheeler and the writers - I have never, ever blamed them for the fact that Otalia is a sexless mess. If anything, I've taken pains to direct my ire at CBS and their internal Standards and Practices department.

Anonymous said...

Look, I said I would come back and say I was wrong after Sept. 19th - but I don't need to wait, now do I? Clearly, there is no storyline reason anymore that can make any sense for lack of intimacy. Thus, you were right, I was wrong.

I still haven't agreed with you about lots of your takes on things and still don't, but I do see that your insider was obviously correct.

Therefore, all I can imagine is that they ramped up on the sex stuff, kissing, etc. between Olivia and everybody else to try to show the complete absurdity of the situation (and they did).

It is a real shame that CBS would leave this as the Guiding Light legacy.

Robin said...

Last week, I thought I posted a comment here that basically said I was certainly wrong, you were certainly right. I came back to see if you had responded, but the comment isn't here so I must have screwed up last week.

Anyway, I said I would come back and admit my - what, naivete? - and geez, was I wrong! I still didn't mind the s/l in the way you did, but I certainly think they blew the Natalia return.

My question to you is this: EW had an interview today that basically takes credit for the lack of intimacy. Are you buying that it came from her?

Your posts all week have been great all week. Thanks

Snapper said...

Robin -

Is that your anonymous post just above? Either way, I didn't have a comment because I knew there wouldn't be a kiss. As I said, I wasn't just making things up as I went along - I had it on excellent authority.

As for EW - it's her job to take responsibility for whatever good or bad happened on GL. I'm sure she's hoping to work, again, one day. Pointing a finger at network executives would be the same as putting the final nail in her career coffin. Again, I didn't just make up the stuff about CBS putting the breaks on any intimacy between Natalia and Olivia. I got this from a very reliable source.