Sunday, April 13, 2008

Most unbelievable phone call...

I haven't given this little secret away for fear that if it didn't happen I'd end up feeling way silly and who would believe this anyway? It's totally unbelievable. All I can say is... who knew that a little idea like sending menus and writing letters and just caring about a show would somehow reverberate into something greater.

This morning I am not believing this really happened so I'm just pinching myself. Ouch!
But it did... last night I got a call from Hollywood. The cast of Side Order of Life! Nope check the date...this is not an April Fool blog post. Last night as they gathered for a cast party (sadly, a sort of goodbye party)they called me!
Holy canoli!

Each cast member spoke with me for a few minutes each and thanked me for what I did to try to save their show. Since I've known about this for a few days, I had to have a witness there-- otherwise anyone hearing me recount this story might think I was loony bin certifiable. My sister Mary and her roommate Natalie were sitting next to me as I clicked my speaker phone on. As Jason Priestley came on both my sister and I could barely suspend our screaming.
If you grow up in an age of 9021o, you just can't put that teen idol scream fest away.
I spoke with Diana Maria Riva, Marisa Coughlan and Christopher Gartin, Lisa Waltz...and of course Margaret Nagle, the creator of the show. Margaret Nagle is the woman who brought this beautiful project together. It is her brainchild that has inspired the devotion of not just me but countless thousands of admirers. Her robust laughter echoed through the phone as I told her " I can't believe this...I can't believe I'm talking to you". I was enchanted.

Hearing them all was incredible, but of is Diana Maria Riva, whose Vivy has moved me beyond words with her performance, that I feel is like my ol' pal. Not only does this actress need an Emmy yesterday, but through subsequent emails I have learned the woman who portrays her is just as warm and wonderful a person as she can be. No one aloof among this Hollywood set...a group of consumate professionals that are also genuinely caring and gracious people.

It absolutely amazed me that in the midst of their celebration they would take time to reach out to me and thank me. I was star struck and like a little kid on Christmas as I spoke with each one of them. Those characters and that beautifully crafted story is so much more than the average "Hollywood creation". Behind the characters and the show is an ensemble that is truly one of a kind. They realized that this show was speaking out to something truly meaningful. Though the fight to save the show was lost (because of blindingly ignorant tv execs) the cast of Side Order did not forget what was important...what really mattered about this show, the audience.

It might be said that television, a medium that has faced the absolute indignity of reality programming, viewer apathy and all around senseless degradation...perhaps has some redeeming value the Nielsens can't calculate. When you look at a cast like that...people who were bonded by a project that really meant something, an audience they cared can not tell me that there isn't hope for television. The problem is---it's those higher ups making those unpardonable decsions that we need to hold up for condemnation, because without their belief quality can not be fostered.

The truth is this story spoke out to an ordinary a very unglamourous life.
Somehow in a surreal way the real people behind the characters she grew to love included her from 2,600 miles away as a "long-distance guest" at their Hollywood party.


dolphin said...

Great post! And what a cool thing .. to receive a phone call from the cast! Lucky you!

I've long been a Jason Priestley fan and still watch the 90210 reruns on soapnet. So silly really, I have the shows memorized but it's my guilty pleasure and heck, life's short enough..

Really too bad about SOOL ... that show was one of my top favorites on tv, and I really don't watch all that much. So much crap on tv these days and it's a sad commentary on the networks when they don't even bother to nurture such creative and intelligent shows like SOOL ...

If you don't mind, I'm going to add you to my blogroll ;-)

Take good care and thanks for directing me here from the lifetime tv comments section ...

Tay said...

Wow, what an inspiring post! I will look to see if I can see past episodes somewhere...the show sounds great!

Nice blog, BTW. And I grew up in Michigan. If you liked dipping your toe in the east side, you'll be swooning over the west side. Saugatuck, Michigan is the Cape Cod of the midwest and just lovely. And the miles of sandy beach are like nowhere else. Keep west Michigan on your list for the second round!