When CBS flips the switch on Guiding Light on September 18, it will leave the love between Olivia Spencer (Crystal Chappell) and Natalia Rivera (Jessica Leccia) -- arguably the show's most popular storyline in its waning days -- unconsummated. Otalia (as the couple is known in cute-parlance) has never shared a romantic kiss on the soap, despite the urging of the actresses and their fans alike, but that's about to change -- sort of.
Chappell, who's got a new-old gig on Days of Our Lives starting this fall, has organized a volunteer (!!!) cast (including her Guiding Light costars Jordan Clarke and Daniel Cosgrove and The L Word's Elizabeth Keener) and crew to produce a web series that will sustain the spirit of Otalia -- if not the exact characters, who are property of Proctor & Gamble. The show, dubbed Venice, "will feature Ms. Chappell as a single, gay career woman, and follow other fictional inhabitants of Venice Beach, in Los Angeles. Her leading lady on Guiding Light, Ms. Leccia, has agreed to join the cast without pay. One big difference from Otalia: 'In the first 30 seconds you see these two women kiss.' " Only one web developer has a paid position; the logo and music will be created by fans through online contests, and Chappell's fan club president is overseeing Facebook marketing.
To reiterate: an entire creative and production team -- including two of today's most popular daytime TV actresses -- are working for free to give a little lesbian couple a second shot at love. And here we were, losing all hope in humanity.
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