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07 April 2009 @ 10:08 pm
Guiding Light's Olivia and Natalia  
If you aren't already watching the Olivia/Natalia (a.k.a. Otalia) storyline on Guiding Light, you should be! Their storyline is the most beautiful, nuanced story I've seen of two women falling in love in any medium, not just soaps. Even if you are wary of soaps, I recommend giving this story a try. It's brilliantly written and acted.

I will try not to give too much of the plot away because I'll link you to where you can catch up on your own. Olivia and Natalia started out with an extreme dislike of each other. Olivia and Gus were best friends and Olivia was very demanding of Gus' attention because she was suffering from a heart condition and wanted Gus' support and Natalia, his fiance, out of her way. Of course, Gus died and his heart ended up being a match for Olivia (It is a soap!). As Olivia recovered from her heart transplant, Natalia, who worked for Olivia, was always around when Olivia was ill or needed help. They developed a grudging respect for one another and soon a genuine friendship. When Olivia continued to have health problems and Natalia needed help paying for her new house, Olivia and her daughter Emma moved in with Natalia. Olivia and Natalia realized they liked living together and working together to raise Emma so, even after Olivia got better, she and Emma remained at the house with Natalia. It's while they're living together that it become obvious that they're developing stronger feelings for one another than just friendship.

One thing that's unique about a soap exploring this relationship is that several issues that might get glossed over in another format that couldn't devote as much time to the story. This story explores several interesting themes:
  • These are two women in there 30s and 40s who have previously been married to men developing feelings for each other. Olivia, especially, struggles with how the fact that she is now attracted to a woman impacts how she sees herself and how others view her.
  • Natalia is a devout Catholic and the storyline explores how that faith affects her developing relationship with Olivia.
  • Both Olivia and Natalia have children from previous relationships. Olivia's daughter is elementary school age and Olivia and Natalia work together to take care of her. They very much see themselves as a family and both are very protective of that family. One of the big turning points in their relationship comes after Emma does a report titled "My Two Mommies" at school. It prods Olivia and Natalia to take a closer look at their feelings for each other and elicits a variety of reactions about what some consider a untraditional family from their friends and other parents at the school.

If you're interested, I suggest catching up via the Otaliafan YouTube channel. Otaliafan has compiled all the Olivia/Natalia clips from October 2008 on. You can also catch the most recent episodes on CBS.com.

If you become a fan of the pairing, I recommend checking out the forum Big Purple Dreams for all things Otalia. The fans there are also currently working on a campaign to encourage Proctor and Gamble to find a new home for Guiding Light. CBS will stop airing the show in September but the show is looking for a home on another network. (Even if it ends in September, which I hope it won't, this is a storyline worth watching! There is some really exciting stuff happening for these characters right now.)
baelyzu on November 1st, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
Very happy I found your site. Will note it and return for more info.