September 15, 2009, - 4:31 pm

End of an Era Caused by Feminism, Crap TV: The “Men” Who Watched “Guiding Light”

By Debbie Schlussel

On Friday, CBS will air the last day of TV’s longest-running drama, the soap opera, “Guiding Light.” ( It’s been around for 72 years on radio and TV.)  Not that I care. I don’t watch soap operas. They’re stupid, boring, and a waste of time. Not to mention, cheap and tawdry.


The demise of soaps is not news to me.  I wrote,  years ago, on this site about soaps’ demise as most women now work and aren’t at home to watch and as the stories, people, and sets have grown stale and chintzy.   Sleazy soaps upped the sleaze factor with explicit shower and hot tub sex scenes and gay story lines, but they still couldn’t compete with even sleazier daytime talk shows–Oprah and Springer–that featured real-life stories about the same thing and yenta-fests with ugly gay airheaded women (“The View”), that were about the same.  Even bringing back those old nostalgic actors, characters, and storylines with tawdry updates–Rick Springfield temporarily back on “General Hospital” as an alcoholic Dr. Noah Drake–was like trying to remove the dead, long after rigor mortis set in.

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal ran a full page feature on the end of “Guiding Light” (though it’s by lying, fabricating “reporter” Amy Chozick, so you don’t know if you can believe most of it).  And this part made me laugh and wonder if this guy is auditioning to be Elton John’s newest ethcort, er . . . escort:

Richard Cole, a 38-year-old photographer in Hampton, N.Y, started watching “Guiding Light” when he was 14. Mr. Cole says he told his television service provider Dish Network to cancel service after the final episode airs Sept. 18. He will no longer watch television, he says.

I think it’s pretty obvious for which team this guy plays. WNBA season tickets are waiting near the wallet (or man purse).

These aren’t the days when macho pro football players watched the soap operas after practice.

And they’re no longer the days where women stayed home to take care of kids and cook and clean. Now, guys like Todd Palin are doing that.

Still, at least there’s one tiny silver lining of feminism–that these stupid daytime dramas with their ever-escalating dysfunction and sleaze are dying. Sadly, as I noted, they’ve been replaced by something far worse: Mr. Moms, Oprah, Springer, The View, and Dr. Phil.

And there’s nothing good about any of those (other than when credits roll).

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11 Responses

When I was the only white kid on my bus in Pontiac, MI. I used to skip school a lot, since going meant running the gauntlet of bullies. Sneaking back home, I listened to Rock ‘n’ Roll radio and watched Bill Kennedy at the Movies.

I think I turned out o.k.

P. Aaron on September 15, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Guiding Light and General Hospital are for wusses. The Young and the Restless, now that’s a soap real men watch! Remember when Wayne Gretzky was on it?

Norman Blitzer on September 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Guiding Light? More like Gelding Light. And not only is it a man-purse, he probably accessorizes it.

Sean M. on September 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Elton john’s ‘ethcort’-that’s hilarious!!

helotim on September 15, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Guiding Light was the King of the Cowboys favorite soap opera…Roy Rogers

Tamster on September 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm

There were a few exciting soaps: Dallas and the 80s nighttime spinoffs. But they didn’t last forever. The daytime soaps are vain, stupid and boring. Fewer and fewer people tune into them anymore. They are a dying genre.

NormanF on September 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

You are right about that NormanF. Today’s daytime soaps are vapid and insipid with terrible and storylines. My mom watches “All My Children” and “One life to live”. It makes the whole family cringe when those are on.

Matthew on September 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Dear Ms. Schlussel: Don’t be so hard on the soaps. Occasionlly, when a person just wanted garbage to relax with, they could be fun.

Miranda Rose Smith on September 16, 2009 at 1:42 am

Is “As the stomach turns” still on?

Bill B. on September 16, 2009 at 2:41 am

All the women on daytime telly look like 12yr old girls.Telemovelas are where it’s at.Except there’s always a guy crying for his mother after a break-up.That’s a little creepy

gordito on September 16, 2009 at 9:21 am

I have never been a fan of soaps on daytime TV. I have been an admitted game show FREAK! Well the show to replace Guiding Light after it douses the light…A REVIVAL OF LET’S MAKE A DEAL from Vegas with Wayne Brady as host. It is set to air at 10:00 in NYC which would serve as a lead in to The Price is Right with Drew Carey (both these guys were on Whose Line is it Anyway).

The last time CBS had game shows other than Price is Right on their sked, go back to the 1990’s when Family Feud, hosted by the late Ray Combs was on the air, but on its last licks only going a couple of more years in syndication even going so far as to bring back Richard Dawson!

Ten years ago Feud came back in syndication with Louie Anderson as host, then Richard Karn and now John O’Hurley so this go round of Feud has been on longer than the original ABC network run with Dawson as host.

There were rumors about Pyramid coming back, but not with Donny Osmond in Hollywood, but instead being taped in New York where it first was taped back in 1973 and with a grand prize of $1,000,000 to be handed out in a tournament format. Included among the celebrities for the taping of a pilot, and there are pictures on the web (some of which give off a vibe of the 1980’s version of Pyramid)…Jeopardy icon Ken Jennings.

Also Millionaire has a new money ladder.

Question #1 – $500 (formerly $100)
Question #2 – $1,000 (formerly $200)
Question #3 – $2,000 (formerly $300)
Question #4 – $3,000 (formerly $500)
Question #5 – $5,000 – “Safety Level” (formerly $1,000)
Question #6 – $7,500 (formerly $2,000)
Question #7 – $10,000 (formerly $4,000)
Question #8 – $12,500 (formerly $8,000)
Question #9 – $15,000 (formerly $16,000)
Question #10 – $25,000 – “Safety Level”
Question #11 – $50,000
Question #12 – $100,000
Question #13 – $250,000
Question #14 – $500,000
Question #15 – $1,000,000

Of course they still have hostess uber lib Meredith Vieira.

WHEW, I need a life!!!!

Bob Porrazzo on September 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

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