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« As Subtle As a Sledgehammer | Main | The Kid Is All Right »

April 04, 2011

Interview With a Show-Killer

Despite the fact that the headwriters and executive producers of at least two ABC soap operas have demonstrated a staggering inability to speak to the press without offending...everybody, ABC Daytime hasn't imposed a gag order preventing them from giving interviews. I guess the folks in charge of ABC Daytime have more important things on their minds, like possibly cancelling All My Children AND One Life to Live in order to make room for a reality show and a talk show hosted by Tori Spelling, which makes me so livid that I can't even compose an eloquent rant about it. It upsets me, so I am just going to put it out of my mind and focus on the thing I started writing about: Bob Guza's habit of sticking his foot in his mouth every time he speaks to the press.

Speaking to TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan about current and upcoming stories (so there are some spoilers, for those of you who want to be surprised by the show. Unfortunately, the plot twists have been telegraphed so obviously and in neon that it's nothing you haven't guessed already), Bob Guza said things that made little to no sense.

TV Guide Magazine: Why so many kid stories right now? [...]
Guza: It's this whole notion of the sins of the fathers in its many, many forms. Some of our characters have gotten away with an enormous amount for a long time. Our heroes are bad guys. They're criminals. They are certainly haunted by what they do but now we're showing them the consequences of their actions. We want to show the ramifications as their legacies are passed on.

Our heroes are bad guys, but not as bad as, like, EVIL guys. They're criminals, but they're not criminals. Okay. I am glad that we've finally got that out in the open. So here's my question: why are viewers the ones being punished for the sins of the father? How is that fair?!

TV Guide Magazine: Jake's death and the organ transplant that saved Josslyn struck many viewers as a replay — if not a downright rip-off — of Claire Labine's great death of B.J. story in the '90s. What's your comment?
Guza: We absolutely thought about that, and it was a very real concern for all of us.  But that was a long, long time ago and, more importantly, we found a way to do a big variation on it. If the rollout couldn't be different there was no point, because Claire did the story magnificently.

But...I thought that Stone's death was, and I quote but cannot put as much derision into my voice as I assume was in Guza's when he first made this statement, "all that [Claire Labine] had". So now he's admitting that her stories are totally worth ripping off and making substantially worse. I guess that's one way of giving her her due.

Also: WHAT THE HELL WAS THE "BIG VARIATION"? Because the only new aspects I'm seeing are the focus on Jason and Carly and the comically/tragically inept pacing.

 A few more (SPOILERY!) answers after the jump!

TV Guide Magazine: You've been telegraphing the return of Brenda's child for quite some time, so this is no surprise. Why play it that way?
Guza: Because this is so much more than a reunion of a mother and son. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Brenda has always wanted children and she bonds quickly and hugely with Lucian — and he with her — but there are great psychological ramifications for her and her new husband Sonny [Maurice Benard]. He's made it clear he doesn't want any more children. She's fiercely protective of Lucian, and wants to keep him away from Sonny's mob world.

This is about so much more than a reunion of a mother and son! It's also about SONNY! And JASON, probably/definitely!

Guza: This is a sprawling umbrella story. Jax and Carly [Laura Wright] are coming off of the hugely emotional near-loss of Josslyn, and that baby is a very precious part of their very existence. At this point there's not a whole lot else going on between them. The stories of Brenda and Sonny and Carly and Jax will be intimately intertwined.

That's...not...what an umbrella story--you know what, forget it, I should just be thankful that he's actually including Jax as part of this story! Although I'm sure the story will really unfold with Jax completely offscreen and Jason being inserted in a ham-fisted and ridiculous fashion.

Guza: He was deliberately named, as you suggest. I'm just planting a little seed here, desperately hoping that daytime will be around in 15 years and we can harvest it.

I feel like the quickest way to make that happen is to put in your two weeks notice, Bob...


I hate him.

me 2.

Me to infinity......

If there was a Guza anti-fan club I'd sign up. Hate him.

He's named for the devil?

"We want to show the ramifications ..." Really? Because that has been the theme with Sonny and Jason for a few years now and guess what? The ramifications, the regrets, the wishes of do overs last about three, four months tops, before everyone gets back to business as usual - so we can do the story again - and again, and again.

"We absolutely thought about that..." - as if everyone was so surprised that 'look at that, this story happens to have a lot in common with Claire's story about .. what was her name, CJ, DJ..?' To try and pretend that Guza didn't deliberately rip off Claire's story is insulting. They used the damn thing as a template for their cliff notes version. iT WAS INTENTIONAL - not some friggin' coincidence!

And I love that Sonny has now decided he doesn't want more children. Considering he's been bedding the women of PC for years now with clearly no protection - that's obviously for the woman to take of. Guess Brenda will be in charge of that NOT happening, and after her - I guess he'll send out a memo telling all PC women to stock up on birth control because HE DOESN'T WANT ANY MORE CHILDREN!

"... desperately hoping that daytime will be around in 15 years..." Well, Bob - you might want to talk to your boss about that because he's doing whatever he can to make sure it isn't - including keeping you on the payroll (and that decision about ending Soapnet certainly makes more sense with the current rumors). Look at when your tenure began, look at the ratings, and tell me - do you think your crackpot writing is going to keep GH on the air for another 15 years?

Well I guess the Sonny "made it clear he doesn't want any more children" and Brenda being "fiercely protective of Lucian, and wants to keep him away from Sonny's mob world" will be the VM exit storyline.

I'll write your resignation letter for you Bob...really, it's no trouble at all. I never watch GH anymore, so I have that whole hour free...


Mallory, you obviously don't understand Guza-speak (trust me, this is a GOOD thing), so let me translate for you. When Guza says, "We found a way to do a big variation on it [the BJ story]," what he means is, "We found a way to do it RIGHT, because Claire's version wasn't really very good--it didn't involve Sonny, or the mob, and Jason still had all of his brain at that point and Carly was still in Florida--but all is well, because I'm in charge now and I'm going to show the world how it ought to be done. Now Stone's AIDS story, THAT was pure brilliance, because it showed everyone how intrinsically GOOD Sonny is, how he felt such PAIN, how unselfish he truly was--get it, he's a mobster, but he really FEELS things, see? Claire kind of went overboard showing, you know, so much of Stone and especially Robin, because they weren't all that big a part of the story because it was really a story about Sonny--but Claire was definitely on the right track with that story. But that was really the only thing she had."

I guess delusion has to be this total to be effective, but I do marvel whenever I see an interview with this man at how totally lost to reality he is.

I can only assume you've not yet seen the Bob Guza/Steve Burton clip on Michael Fairman On Air On Soaps in which the duo answer questions from viewers...


I have heard and read so many times in the past 10-12 years that SBu and MB have said if Guza goes, they go. I think at one point something I read indicated TG may have indicated the same thing. Point being, these guys have formed some kind of boy's club to cover their asses and their jobs.

Guza writes (throws words on paper) and as long as Mumbles and Glare are at the center of it, they'll all sit around and blow sunshine up each others asses and talk about what a great story it is.

Personally, I hope it is true they have this little club - and then I hope Guza goes and the others follow.

But what I really think is going to happen is nothing. There is no respect for the show's history, no respect for the audience, and they're laughing all the way to the bank with their big fat paychecks because they really don't care about the history and the audience.

And whoever is signing those big fat paychecks apparently doesn't care either.

***Mumbles and Glare*** BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Crystal thank you for making me laugh this morning.

I need someone to explain to me how Joss getting cancer and Jake getting hit by a car have ANYTHING to do with the sins of their respective fathers.

But have you seen this?


Jason is "the coolest guy on earth."

Guza must be going for an Elton John thing here....

That gave me kind of the creeps watching that, Vicki. Guza almost seems to be "in love" with Steve. I guess we know why St. Jasus gets all the storylines.

The bad things happening to Josslyn and Jake are to show that bad things happen to kids through no fault of the mob--he's calling it "the sins of the fathers" but it's really "the redemption of the mob fathers".


Not the first, won't be the last. He's the worst.

*more rage-y gestures*

The only part of that interview that made any sense to me at all was:
TV Guide Magazine: Huh? You're giving me a headache.

And how old would a person have to be to think the 90s was "a long, long time ago"? 12? The story was only 17 years ago...

Why can't someone who cares about soaps be in charge of these shows? He is such an idiot...

Crystal, "blow sunshine up each others asses" is now my new favorite phrase. Bless you and your lovely snark.

Guza = Phelps = Frons. A trifecta of suckage has ruined GH.

Ugh, why did I read the whole TVGuide interview? I hate that a**hole. STOP RUINING MY SHOW!

Oh the video..no words...only rude gestures. And I highly doubt those are questions from actual fans. Probably from the interns like all the questions from SSW events were. (The look of panic in some actors eyes when fans would go off cards was always hillarious)

Dear Bob...shut the fuck up and die.

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