guiding light

Review: Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album

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Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album Book Review
Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album by Julie Poll

I adored this book, even though it was a compilation of so many things I’d already read or seen on the TV show. It brought back great memories, revealed a few new facts and helped understand a lot of history I’d only known a little bit about. If you are a fan of the show, you must give it a read thru. It’ll make you smile over and over again. If you’re not a fan of the show, no point in reading it. That said, the author does a great job with the family tree history, keep character history and highlights of the best of the best and the worst of the worst. I was very sad when the show ended, but I also knew it was time to go… it had gotten so far off track. My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook

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As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook
As The World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook by Julie Poll

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review
Next to Guiding Light, As The World Turns (ATWT) was my favorite soap opera in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I stopped watching ATWT around 2007, as I couldn’t keep up with 4 of them… and focused only on GL.

But ATWT was a great show, and when Julie Poll published this scrapbook, I had to have it! It chronicled so much of the past in the 1950s thru the 1980s when I wasn’t really alive to watch it. I read a lot in magazines and on the internet, but having a whole book dedicated to it was amazing.

If you’re a fan of the show, it’s a great way to stay connected, and even learn new things. If you’re not, but you love family drama and genealogy, it’s also a cool way to study as much as possible. And then maybe you can watch old episodes on Youtube.

It can easily be read all in one setting — lots of great pictures. But you can also read section by section over a few weeks or months, stretching out the fun.

And I would love to try a telenovela after all this!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story

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Guiding Light: Jonathan's Story
Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story by Julia London

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Guiding Light was the longest running television soap opera, airing from 1937 to 1952 on radio, and then from 1952 until 2009 on TV. I became hooked on it the summer I turned 13 and had a lot of free time on my hands. I watched it for 15+ years, faithfully recording it on my VCR while I was at school and then when I went to college. It wasn’t easy explaining why a 21 year old guy had to record a show on the VCR for an hour a day. And I would get crabby whenever I missed it!

By 2000, the show was on a decline, in part due to the months-long televised OJ Simpson trial. End result, Guiding Light pulled out all the stops to try and retain more viewership. One of those attempts was publishing a book about a few of the most memorable characters, and it was called Guiding Light: Jonathan’s Story, by Julia London.

As I was a huge fan, I had to read it; however, if you only watched the show, and didn’t know about the book, things were happening off screen to the characters that you never knew about. And that just felt odd.

When I checked my “read” books today to see what I needed to write a review on, this one showed up, and I saw that of about 1000 Goodreads friends as of today, 0 had read this book. Hilarious! So I’m not going to convince you to read it. And you’re probably thinking…

All I can say is… when you love a TV show, you’ll read anything about the characters. And while the book wasn’t bad, it was just a bit odd for me to read it and then watch a different story line on TV. I applaud the show for trying this method tho!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

TV Show Review: Mom

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4+ of 5 stars to Mom, a 30-minute TV comedy that began airing in 2013 and is currently in season 4. I couldn’t say enough good things about this show, something everyone should be watching if you like to laugh and enjoy a true slice of life. I want to give it a 5, but I rarely do that unless the show has been out and over for years, and holds up well to continue to watch years after it went off the air. But this one is still on the air, so it’s as close as I can get to giving a 5 for a fun viewing!

Why This Show?

  • I watched Allison Janney back when she was on Guiding Light almost twenty years ago as one half of a comedy maid team for the Spauldings. I thought she was hilarious back then and watched her in any movies or shows she starred in. Anna Faris has been my go-to female comedy girl for a long time… LOVE the spoof movies she does.
  • When they teamed up and were going to play recovering alcoholics, and separated mother and daughter, I thought it would be golden. And it is!
  • I watch about ten shows regularly, and this will always be one of them.

Show Overview

  • Christy (Faris) is a newly sober 35-40 year old woman living in Napa Valley, California. She’s been estranged from her alcoholic and pill-popping mother for years, but unfortunately inherited the same tendencies. She’s got an 18-year old daughter (not sure who the father is) who seems like she’ll follow in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps, and she’s got a 12-year old son (different father we see from time to time) who spends time with his dad more often than not. Christy’s a waitress and went back to law school to earn a law degree, struggling to survive as a parent, caretaker and recovering sober woman.
  • Bonnie (Janney) is Christy’s mother who raised Christy, but was often in jail or on a bender. She’s witty, sarcastic and hilarious. She’s had tons of jobs, was a lesbian for a few years so she had someone to pay for her habits and take care of Christy. Bonnie finds herself currently a building super, tho she has know skills in managing a building. She re-kindled her love with Christy’s father, but he eventually died of a heart attack in an earlier season.  She never knew her mother, and recently had a one-day introduction, but the woman later died where Bonnie learned she had a half-African-American brother. She’s currently dating a paraplegic man and trying to be more sensitive to everyone’s feelings around her.
  • Bonnie and Christy have spent the last few years re-building their relationship, living together, raising Christy’s kids together and figuring how how to be sober together. They even helped Christy’s then 16-year old daughter give up her new baby for adoption when Violet didn’t want to be a mother.
  • They have a group of friends through their AA meetings who have become an incredible support system and a sense of amazing comic relief.

Notable Stars

  • MY FAVORITE (in this show)
    • Allison Janney is the bomb! She’s been nominated for many awards, and even won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in the show. Her sarcasm and critical style are always on point and the biggest laughs on the show. But she also has a tender side and you will always root for her even when you want to smack her.

  • OTHERS
    • Anna Faris is a close #2 favorite. She plays a similar character as she has in many of her movies, but she’s got more substance in this show. She’s a good mom, but both her kids can be terrible. She tries to be nice to her mother, but she just can’t be — in a funny way. She has a good sense of comedy, a few dramatic scenes, but it’s her frequent snafus that keep us all entertained.
    • Mimi Kennedy plays Marjorie, the older and wiser sober friend who helps them all figure out how to keep moving forward each day. She’s best known for her role in Dharma and Greg.
    • Jaime Pressly plays Jill, the super-wealthy divorcee who wants a baby, but ends up adopting a teenager. She’s best known for her role in “My Name is Earl.”
    • Beth Hall plays nurse Wendy, a whiny friend who is always just one step away from the group. She’s best known for her role on Mad Men.
    • Many stars have joined from time to time, notably French Stewart and Octavia Spencer (who was fantastic).
    • Supporting players include Bonnie’s boyfriend Adam, Christy’s kids Violet and Roscoe, and her ex-husband Baxter.

The Good and The Bad

  • It is a true comedy. It covers so many different life experiences, and you have an amazing time watching them grow season by season.

  • It has a good amount of drama. There is excellent balance. We’ve watched death, break-ups, benders, marriages, births and a lot of heart-ache. Sometimes it’s shocking as you think it’s all comedy and boom, something bad happens.

  • Every episode is its own story. And sometimes, you don’t even realize you’ve been taught a lesson.
  • There’s been a few holes where characters should have stuck around longer. We want to know more about Bonnie’s half-brother. Baxter and the kids have been gone most of this season. Octavia Spencer’s role should be more frequent. Christy needs a good boyfriend for a few episodes.

Final Thoughts

  • You will always laugh, so give it a chance.
  • It’s got so much heart without being cheesy.
  • You root for everyone, even when they are doing stupid things.
  • I hope it lasts another 2 seasons and ends on a somewhat happy note.
  • If you’re going to watch it, you can pickup any episode and not worry about missing history. It’s good to watch in order, but not 100% necessary.  Find the one with Octavia Spencer’s debut… it’s probably the best one out there!

 

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I watch TV A LOT. I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. This site, https://thisismytruthnow.com, is where you’ll find TV & Film reviews, book reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.