INTERVIEW: Guiding Light/Otalia International Following Speak Out

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Siobhan (Wales): This is the first time that I have felt that a same-sex story has reflected back to me what I really feel about life. I always struggled with labels and I have never wanted them. This story made me realize that I don’t need them; that’s not what life is about. For the first time, I realized that I want what Olivia and Natalia have. I want that love and that family and security. I can’t believe someone has managed to slap me in the face and show me that!

I’ve been much happier since watching this show and that’s not just because of Guiding Light. Big Purple Dreams is an amazing community that has an interactive relationship with the show and the actresses. Destini, Mel, Christi and many others work so hard to make that place everything that it is and I can’t thank them enough.

Bonnie (England): It hit me hard! I didn’t know what to do with myself the first week after I got into watching this storyline. Like I said before, I usually just watch documentaries. I wasn’t prepared for the effect this would have on my emotions. Seriously, I said to Claire (Bonnie’s partner), “What have you done to me? What is this? This isn’t like me.” This storyline has had a profound effect on me. I was an emotional wreck when Olivia started to fall in love. It’s so perfectly crafted that the viewer really feels what the characters are feeling. It’s intense. It’s been great for our relationship, though, and I’m glad we can share it, that we can watch this great love story unfold together.

It has also been very touching for us to see a really positive representation of two women raising a child together, as we are in the process of adopting. This is not something that has really been shown on TV much, if at all, and it’s a very real part of many people’s lives. I hope that as Olivia and Natalia’s romance develops, their family life at home with their children will also blossom, and that people will realize that kids don’t need the typical family setup of a mum and a dad to thrive. Personally, some of my favorite scenes are when Olivia and Natalia are just at home, being themselves, doing laundry or stacking the dishes, and getting Emma ready for school. I really identify with that.

Jane (Scotland): It’s just lovely to see a positive same-sex relationship on regular TV – it makes me happy! I’ve also met some very lovely people through the BPD board. I think that’s a very lasting positive result of this story, and one not to be underestimated. The BPD has created a warm, supportive environment for people touched by this story on any level; irrespective of orientation, background or gender.

Rita (Ireland): Well I’m a blubbering wreck of “Otaliaitis” at this stage! I’m sleep deprived because I stay up all hours watching the clips on YouTube. It’s a week on from the whole wedding thing and I still haven’t recovered! I find myself commenting on everything online that has to do with Otalia. I’m putting my name to petitions. I’m allowing myself to be bossed around by some Welsh woman, called “Liz-Lemon” (aka Siobhan) to get things to done to help save Guiding Light. I’m sending postcards to people I don’t even know asking them to listen to my voice. I’m voting for Crystal and Jessica in every poll that is highlighted on the Big Purple Dreams board. I read the play-by-play on a daily basis. I’ve even started putting some animated clips together.

Basically, all I can say is, I’m glad that I’m self employed, and we are currently in a recession, otherwise there wouldn’t be enough hours in a day to feed my Otalia addiction!

EM: Do you feel anything gets lost in translation since it is an American soap opera?

Siobhan (Wales): The emotions and situations are universal, so not trouble on the writing front. Also, we are very used to American shows in the UK. Personally, I watch more U.S. TV than U.K. TV right now.

The format was one thing that took getting used to. You have an enormous amount of adverts, which we find quite frustrating. The BBC has no adverts, and other channels only show a few adverts every 15 minutes.

However, the biggest thing for me was the “re-shoot”. You end a day with one scene, and you open the next day with the same scene having been re-shot. That is ODD! We don’t do that at all in the UK and it confused the hell out of me. I’m still not sure what to think of it.

Bonnie (England): I don’t think we miss out on anything really important, and it’s so easy to ask others if we don’t understand something! Here in Britain, we’re probably more exposed to US TV and films than the other way around, so we’re familiar with all the slang terms and American lingo. We do occasionally miss out on jokes and references to US culture, though. When Olivia says to Natalia that Phillip is “not Captain Kangaroo” I don’t think we really got that, and when Natalia asked Emma if Betsy Ross knew her lines, we thought Betsy must be one of Emma’s friends and wondered why Natalia cared so much! Apart from that, as I said earlier, the format of the show took me a while to get used to, plus the crazy number of ad breaks! Yeah, the ad breaks. We have to pay a TV license here, so we can watch Eastenders with no ad breaks, and even our channels with adverts don’t have as many as you guys have other there. It’s crazy.

Jane (Scotland): Not especially, other than the long heritage GL has in the cultural life of Americans.

Rita (Ireland): The language of love is a universal one, so no, nothing gets lost in translation as far as I’m concerned.

25 thoughts on “INTERVIEW: Guiding Light/Otalia International Following Speak Out”

  1. This is really wonderful fans love Otalia & GL all over the world, everyone together to save the light! When you believe anything is possible!

  2. Outstanding! So nice to see the international faction getting exposure and showing how deep the fanbase is for Guiding Light as well as how strong the passion is to save the show.

  3. Thanks Tiffany for letting our voices be heard. Thoroughly enjoyed the chat 🙂 Rita (a.k.a. Renville68)

  4. So cool to hear from the international fans! It's a shame CBS doesn't make it easier for them to watch the show on their website. Hopefully, whatever network picks up GL will make more of an effort 🙂

  5. Thank you so much Tiffany! This is a great article (though I may be biased ;-)) – it's good to get the word out that there is lots of international interest in Guiding Light and Otalia. Wonderful! I really enjoyed chatting with you and the girls. 🙂

  6. Great interview! As a member of Team Scandinavia myself, I love the fact that the voices of us international viewers are being heard too.

  7. Thanks Tiffany, this was such a great idea for an article! I have to say as an American fan of GL, part of the most fascinating aspect of the fandom have been the international viewers (and my heart goes out to them with how hard they have to work to see the show!).

    I mean what better barometer toward measuring how extraordinary a program is, when you have it being so appreciated across the globe and how it measures to various local offerings. I feel the same about GL when comparing it to other U.S. soaps and dramas; it feels like its working on a different plane right now, and one can only hope that this global phenom will finally get people to think differently of why this show MUST be saved.

  8. I am one of the international views and can only say one word Otalia!!! The reason I started to watch GL. Love the story, love the acting! Just love being part of that incredible love story. It is a magical experience.

  9. Great article! I love reading about BPD's international contingent. There are so many, spread so far and wide, and they deserve so much love and attention for the efforts they have to make to see the episodes. That's devotion! At least we reward them with the Activia lady.

  10. That was a great interview on both sides! It's great to see Team International get some recognition! We are making a difference, and we must continue to do so! Ten minutes to send an email or write a postcard could do wonders! Team International wants to Keep The Light Shining!

  11. Great article! The international Otalia fans bring so much to the Otalia community. It is good to see them recognized for their devotion. The Big Purple Dreams fansite wouldn't be the same without them!

  12. How wonderful is this! Again such brilliance. The international fans help make it happen in a very big way. Thank you so much for showing how far and how deep this fanbase truly goes

  13. A MASSIVE thank-you to Tiffany for giving us the opportunity to get our voices heard like this. It was great to chat to other international fans and to see the technical viewing troubles that we have in common! I really hope whoever picks up GL will be kind to us and allow us to watch at 3pm with everyone else.
    Thanks again…..the international will keep working hard to help Save Guiding Light.

  14. I just want to say a Big HELLO to our international peeps. Nice to see all of you here. About time someone recognized just how wide spread Otalia is. {CBS, you watchin?} Lifetime, you would be getting a show with a worldwide fanbase. Hooray for you and all of us Otaliafans. Keep watching, keep writing, let's not lose track of our goal. Our goal is, Keep the Light Shining!!!! Have an awesome night!!! Otalia = Big Purple Passion!

  15. Imagine this, I'm from Nicaragua, a little country in the middle of Central America and I'm also watching this show. It's the most beautiful love story I've ever seen on my tv and I had always hated soaps, but GL and Otalia are so good I am hooked…the international fan base is growing every day. i can't believe no one is picking up this show and seeing the enormous potential market it has…*i'm looking at u, lifetime* IT CANNOT go off the air…please!!!!!!

  16. Another great article! BPD is truly a community for all! Thanks again for highlighting BPD and Guiding Light!

  17. A big thanks for the great interview, from a Belgian Team International member! BPD is really a very special place, the positivity, love, respect and purpleness rub off on everyone who visits it. It's the people who are in it that make our living room what it is, but I believe it's also the living room that makes the people, even if it's just for a small part. I have been very excited to see the international fan base grow every single day..I have been glued to my screen ever since I started watching GL 4 months ago (though it seems more like a year to me..) and to be able to share laughter, love, angst and fangirlyness with so many people…It's amazing to feel so connected.

  18. Fantastic article and it was good to hear from some of our international viewers. I love their comments about American tv.

  19. Great article! I'm part of Team International (Finland) and I do wish that the show would be more accessible to international viewers, but where there is will, there is a way and this is a true testiment to that. I'd actually be willing to pay a monthly fee to get access to it wherever the show might end up at, to see the show the same time everyone else does, commercials and all. Do you hear me, P&G/Lifetime/etc.?! I AM WILLING TO PAY to see Guiding Light online!!!!!!! Make it happen, please 🙂

    Thank you Tiffany for this article, really!

    And what comes to advertisement… some products are internationally available, like Activia so not all go to waste. We might not have Jamie Lee Curtis as our Activia Lady, but we do have the product in our stores so … there you go. Message received 🙂

  20. Great Article!! Its good to show that Guiding Light has a worldwide fanbase! I would also be willing to pay to be able to watch it online, and I'm sure that nowadays it would be possible to have the advertising be specific for the country of witch the viewer is from?? Something to maybe think about P&G/Lifetime/etc.??? S-thur, proud member of Team The Netherlands!

  21. We at BPD love our international fans!! It really brings to light how far-reaching the Otalia storyline is, and how much of a positive impact is being made. It is so much fun interacting with such a diverse group! If you haven't checked out Bonnie and Scooby with their 'Brit Girls Do' Otalia run-down, it is a MUST! Thanks, Tiffany, for another fun interview! Keep the Light shining!

  22. International fan here (Scotland) I fell in Love with GL,due to Otalia clips from YT, I have watched as many clips as possible past romances, deaths, fights all the drama you could ask for in a great soap. I hope they Keep the Light Shining it is so worth it

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