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Richard Culliton: Yea or Ney?


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Richard Culliton has a lot of fans it seems--and yet I was surprised so see recently that he hasn't lasted as a HW more than a yearr two at any of his shows. I only really know his year at AMC which was for me a very mixed bag, but I was surprised at how short most of his runs as HW were--even Port Charles which he co created with his wife, they gave him under 6 months there it seems (unless he left on his own terms?)

So, I'd love to hear from his defenders and critics both. I'll prob chime in on my thught about his AMC, but I think most here know my feelings.

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Its no secret around here that I am a huge advocate of his writing at AMC from late 2001 to late 2002. I felt he was able to grasp the community sense that is integral to All My Children succeeding (and any soap for that matter). I loved Greenlee/Leo, loved Vanessa, loved Kendall's return and LOVED David and Anna. Above all it was clear Culliton cared about the vets and apparently was fired by Frons for having alot of huge stories planned for them. Culliton left and Barr, Canary, Knight among others were backburnered immediately. The dialogue was also very strong during his reign. Sure, he wasn't perfect and some of his plots did have some major holes (Proteus, Maria's return) but compared to who he followed and how came in afterwards... he stacks up pretty good.

I think generally this guy is a flawless script writer, a fairly competent head writer when stacked up against some of the other recycled writers working.

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I can mainly agree with that. He certainly had a disaster of a show on his hands thanks to Passanante and then no HW when she fled among firing rumours. He DID appreciate immediately the need to make the show a community, and while MOST of his character returns were flops (and kinda half hearted--ie bring back Frankie but no Angie, bring back Timothy but no Janet or Trevor, etc, even for one or two eps--it's not too different form creating a brand new character when you bring back a recast, aged, past character and not the characters that connected him to the show and audience in the first place) and he seemed to be the master of dropped stories and characters, it was a hard time. And of course his Kendall recast was, for a few years anyway, massively successful.

(LOVED David and Anna as well, though its ironic that their best scene, one I still have on video and should put on youtube, where they come to terms with the collapse of their marriage and death of Leora, was one of the first scenes when mcTavish came back when, for a few months, we suddenly were getting a bunch of killer, LONG, scenes--I wasn't used to scenes that would fill a full 10 minute "act")

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I just missed him writing for AMC during his reign, as I started watching in 2003 when McTavish came back <_< so I don't really have much knowledge of his time at AMC. But I must say that I am really enjoying his script writing at DAYS right now. He is the shows best, and I think one of the best SW's of all the soaps right now.

Regarding what Adam said up there, I wish I could have watched AMC during his reign, to see everything with Greenlee\Leo\Vanessa, and David and Anna!! I resort to YouTube, but...

I would have liked to experience his AMC, though. As I've heard a lot of people say that it was the shows strongest point in the last decade, his reign.

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Perhaps it was--since late 2000 when Agnes Nixon left, anyway, though (*hides and ducks*) the first half year of McTavish was pretty strong I think too. (even the first year and a bit to an extent)

McTavish: July 2003-March 2005 was decent. I had no real major issues with it.... but 2+ years of crap far outweigh any success she had in my eyes during that stint. It all came off the rails SO quick too.... I can remember thinking after one bad story after another "it can only get better".

God.

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I really liked her writing at first, with the start of Babe\JR, Bianca's rape, the baby switch crossover with OLTL, the start of Zendall, and I even really enjoyed Erica's alcoholism storyline and her intervention episodes. She really started loosing me when she had Jonathon kill Edmund, brang in Josh and Dr. Madden, made Josh Erica's un-aborted son, Tad buried Dr. Madden Alive, Dixie died of pancakes, Satin Slayer.....*cringe* there were some things I liked in between but in all it just became a hot mess!

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Yep pretty much totally agreed (though Erica in Vegas was too ridiculous I liked the intervention tons--if we were gonna get Erica in Vegas I wanted at least one big chorus line production number :D ) Her last few months (form the Slayer on)I don't think even McTavish's crazy wicked heart was into it anymore, the show was losing even elements of her worse style and just seemed autopilot.

Her initial months were so great partly because she did so quickly clean up messes and give Pine Valley a sense of community again--she started with a Martin's Fourth of July episode.

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I liked Culliton's AMC a lot. Some moments were not good, to say the least, but I felt a sense of community, umbrella stories, key history was revitalized, and I know a lot of people hate Kendall now but bringing her back was a huge part of furthering Erica as a character.

I also really liked his AW. The show fell apart after a few months but the show's producer at the time, Savitz, was just an NBC flunky and her moves were awful (what she was involved with during the Malone tenure made the show hell -- hey, let's just pretend Jake never raped Marley!). I felt like history was back when he took over at AW. He made Grant less cartoonish, he gave Vicky back some of her fire and Jake some of his edge, Donna initially had some purpose again, and Cass was finally funny and strong again, which immediately added such depth to the canvas. Culliton alone made the last few years of AW better by what he did with Cass. Even after he was no longer headwriter, the various peabrains who took over were able to keep using Cass.

There was a Vicky/Lila scene I loved where they fought over a set of keys. I loved the end where Vicky goes "Here sweetie" or something like that and tosses them to Lila as she (Vicky) leaves the room. I wonder if that's online anywhere.

I also thought his GH run was not as bad as made out to be. I remember how happy we were supposed to be at his exit because that meant Guza was on the way back!! And almost immediately, Guza started destroying the show.

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I liked Culliton's AMC a lot. Some moments were not good, to say the least, but I felt a sense of community, umbrella stories, key history was revitalized, and I know a lot of people hate Kendall now but bringing her back was a huge part of furthering Erica as a character.

Bianca's rape aside AMC was fine until the baby switch.

It was all downhill from there.

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I think McTavish often comes in with big (and often decent) ideas and then sorta works running on empty--I believe she had most of AMC, at leats the BIG stories mapped out till the babyswitch. (It was also around then or the Mihael Cambias murder, which was a poor retread of the Will murder but at least was better than murder mysteries we've had since then, that AMC started on its dangerous path of having basically ONE sole storyline and group of characters day in and day out--something B/E were espeically bad with and at least Pratt started working around)

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