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OLTL:Why isn't more criticism directed at RC?


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I don't understand why more people are not critical of RC as compared to other soap writers: Maria Bell, Hogan Sheffer, Guza, Jean Passanante, Brad Bell, Charles Pratt, Dena Higley all had to shoulder blame for their failures, deservedly so. RC has had some successful stories but I find it odd that there is very little criticism and outrage directed at him for his failures. If any of the other writers had a story as awful as the Jessica story on the air they would be run out of town by every soap critic out there.

RC is the writer who was very happy to create and then take responsibility for the Kish wedding that is now labeled as “gay overkill” and is the vehicle ABC is using to justify their decision to eliminate Kish. I understand that the justification is a simple excuse and RC had a great idea with Kish but I wonder why no one has questioned if it was really necessary to draw the Kish story out into the Amelia and Nick subplots? Amelia and Nick were two newbie characters who were poorly developed but thrust into the front burner for a brief period of time while other main characters vanished into thin air. This is a classic RC tactic that critics never bother to address.

RC's inclination for diverting attention to new characters at the expense of other characters started with the Paris subplot. Though Paris is credited as a critical success, RC focused on several temporary characters pushing them to the forefront while ignoring other characters for weeks on end. Now we see the same tactic with Hannah and Ford. Why is it so hard for RC to write for the characters that are already on the show? Isn't that the job of the Head-Writer? Perhaps if RC took the time to further develop the characters and stories in progress some of the characters would not be as vulnerable as they become under his tenure. There is no reason why Jared Banks went under-developed for a year after the BE story fizzled.

The excuse for that was that Frons intervened and vetoed RC's ideas. I understand this defense but isn't that a problem that other writers face as well? Don't they all have to get approval from above? There seems to be a preponderance of excuses justifying all of RC's failures. Make no mistake about it, any failures on his part are always redirected to another party; Frons, the story itself or the actors (Crystal Hunt didn't he brag about her) but never once at RC, the creative vision behind it all. On one hand, RC tends to brag about how he has the ability to think about sending characters to the moon and Frank makes it happen for him and then later when the spaceship implodes no one seems willing to take him to task for sending the characters to the moon in the first place.

And then there are no words to describe how all of RC's returns have been mishandled: Tina Lord, Marty Saybrook, Tea Delgado, Mitch Laurence and now Kelly Cramer among others. RC had some successes, Kish being among his most critically acclaimed story; however, his successes should not shield him from criticism.

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I have not been RC fan since Dorian taking over BE story fizzled. I used to give him a pass because I thought that the bad acting was mainly responsible for how the stories came off, but now I do blame his erratic storytelling for most of the problems on OLTL.

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I was extremely lenient but now I see that his erratic storytelling skills do need to be addressed.

Possibly because Ron is gay, and many in the soap press as well as posters on this board are gay? And they don't want to knock him for what he's done in bringing gay stories to the daytime canvas? Just asking the question.

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Possibly because Ron is gay, and many in the soap press as well as posters on this board are gay? And they don't want to knock him for what he's done in bringing gay stories to the daytime canvas? Just asking the question.

I thought it was because he was promoted from within and also it seems that people are less likely to criticize something that they once praised.

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The fact that he came in after Higley bought him a lot of goodwill. He was able to ride the "Not Higley" express for a good long time then he got smacked by the strike.

I think that is understandable. Higley was bad iirc.

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Oh yeah. Higley was heinous. When Ron come on board it was like Juneteenth for people who suffered through her regime.

What do you think about the way RC handled minorities? I think Higley did a better job with showing them more but maybe RC wrote them better stories?

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Amelia and Nick were recurring support players, period. That's all they were ever intended to be or probably ever going to be, but like Carlotta or Moe or Noelle or Roxy or Wanda or many others in the past, they helped to illustrate a certain canvas; in this case, a larger gay and lesbian community in Llanview. I didn't need a million gay and lesbian contract characters, nor did I expect such. What Amelia and Nick did in their smaller roles was open us up to a wider view. For God's sake, it's soaps' only black lesbian, to my knowledge (oh, I guess we have to count Simone) - I was all for it. And no, I didn't see Amelia or Nick stealing the spotlight from the main characters in the storyline, namely Dorian, Kish, David, etc. They were there to support the major players' story, period. They performed a function in the story. I don't see why they should've been excised to isolate the two gay men, as if Amelia and Nick not being there would've detracted from "gay overkill" and kept Kish on the frontburner; in reality, they would not have made much of a difference, and I am grateful OLTL presented a full spectrum of gay characters while it did.

As for Paris, TX I fail to see when exactly Moe and Noelle took over the show. They were only there to support Viki, Marcie and Gigi, who at that time had just about as perfunctory a role as the other two new Paris players. Gigi did little but run interference and support Viki and Marcie until December of '07, two months after her arrival, when she finally met Rex again at Christmas. Gigi did not begin to have a frontburner story of her own until returning to Llanview the following year.

RC is far from perfect and there are many complaints we can throw at his work, especially stuff like Tarty, Todd, John, Jessica, etc. But stuff like Amelia, Nick and Moe and Noelle are the least of my problems as a viewer. I don't remember them ever stealing the spotight from anyone they were there to support - you might make a case for Moe and Noelle's tiresome La Boulaie yarn with Dorian last year, but that was last year, not in Paris.

As for Higley, I thought her treatment of minorities was ridiculous. Her idea of minorities was Evangeline. Period. Nothing else, and no one else. ABC ate heartily on the idea that all they needed on this show for black representation was her tired ass for several years; that's why I was delighted when they dared to bring on more than one black female or male, as opposed to pretending that La Van was all things to all people, which she was not. For my money, she was overpropped and underwritten, like Rex or John or a bunch of other characters, with many others thrown under the bus for her, which made the sting of her being "the only game in town" on diversity that much sharper.

As for why I liked Carlivati's work, past or present, I liked it before I knew he was gay and I like it after. I liked it before he had a gay storyline on the show, and I liked it after. Gay writer and gay story do not automatically grant a pass from gay viewers, and I find the insinuation from SOAPSFOREVER ridiculously offensive. There are plenty of gay hacks in daytime, and there have been plenty of shitty gay-themed stories.

Oh, and as for Jared, I don't think his fans would agree that he was "not fleshed out" by the time of the BE takeover. The character was IMHO well-drawn and well-written. His only sin was not being John McBain.

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Possibly because Ron is gay, and many in the soap press as well as posters on this board are gay? And they don't want to knock him for what he's done in bringing gay stories to the daytime canvas? Just asking the question.

That's definitely where I feel Nelson Branco is coming from, with his "OLTL is the BEST SHOW IN DAYTIME" bullshit. He's just hot for the head writer and executive producer and wants to screw them, both. And, of course, there are people who suckle from Branco's tit and ingest the same "love" for OLTL -- without realizing how blind and biased it is.

I thought it was because he was promoted from within and also it seems that people are less likely to criticize something that they once praised.

I also agree with this.

The fact that he came in after Higley bought him a lot of goodwill. He was able to ride the "Not Higley" express for a good long time then he got smacked by the strike.

I agree with this as well.

I think all of these are probably true in some variation or another. It's the same syndrome with Lorraine Broderick over at AMC. The minute it was announced she was joining the transitional staff, everyone kept saying how anything remotely enjoyable or decent that was credited as Charles Pratt was obviously because Lorraine was "tweaking." Unrealistic, considering the most of what was airing that had been allegedly "tweaked" was written and shot weeks before Lorraine joined. But it didn't matter. SHE WAS TWEAKING, DAMMIT!

The same with Carlivati. As soon as his name appeared beneath Higley as co-HW, everyone was a LOT of people were just anxious to have someone be better than Higley at the helm that they attributed all the good (in their opinion) to Carlivati's "tweaking" as well. And now, after all of the praise, worshiping and accolades bestowed upon him, people don't want to have to eat humble pie, so they just don't say much of anything. My opinion of Carlivati's work? It's extremely derivative. How many times does he have to go BACK to things that have already been done? 1968? Mendorra? Rapemance? Mitch Laurence? Bo & Nora? 17 Again? I understand using history -- but it seems, to me, that he's being lazy. He's just taking stories that have already been told, and telling them again with his own spin all in the name of "using the show's rich history." That is the same as just continuously dropping names and references into stories and saying "See? We're using history!!" But if you look at the actual stories he's telling -- separate from the historic foundation created from others' work -- do you think they'd be able to stand on their own?

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What do you think about the way RC handled minorities? I think Higley did a better job with showing them more but maybe RC wrote them better stories?

I can't really say. I quit watching the show as a whole when REG left and since then I've only watched clips of certain scenes to keep up with characters/actors I like. Based on that, I will say I found it disappointing that RJ and Hank's returns were negligible and they had no interaction with Rachel who was de-aged and marginalized. As someone who loved the Gannons, I find his treatment of those characters shameful. I also hated the fact that Layla was only allowed to be angry at Fish for one day before she became his biggest cheerleader.

As for Higley, she obviously like writing for Evangeline but she did little for Layla and she's the one who essentially replaced RJ with Vincent. But she's the one who brought on Talia as a muslim and Ron is the one who turned her into Carlo Hesser's daughter. I can't comment on the Vegas because they got on my nerves.

I'm a well-documented Ron "hater" and I don't believe Ron wanted to write for his minority characters but IMO the real racism lies with ABCD as a whole. He's just the overseer on the OLTL plantation.

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That's definitely where I feel Nelson Branco is coming from, with his "OLTL is the BEST SHOW IN DAYTIME" bullshit. He's just hot for the head writer and executive producer and wants to screw them, both. And, of course, there are people who suckle from Branco's tit and ingest the same "love" for OLTL -- without realizing how blind and biased it is.

What Nelson Branco loves is attention and access. If it was all about the gays for him, he wouldn't have delivered the spin about how, conveniently, both the actors in a gay storyline were secretly hard-partying clubbers impossible to work with. He carries the show's water on everything, not just Kish, and his bias was going on long before them.

Some of Carlivati's stories work and some don't, but I have no problem saying when I don't think he's doing well. I've been very vocal about his failures. But I was one of the first to say so when I was surprised the show was not crap when he took over, and at the time everyone shouted me down. Then, when the fan approval bandwagon got big, suddenly you got the backlash, some of it deserved, some of it not. The reality today is a lot of people are far too wedded to their positions and personal irritations with each other than actually examining the show and material on a story by story basis. And this goes for more shows than just OLTL. I prefer to be a little more exacting; I've never been one for a bunch of message board cliques for either 'pro' or 'anti.' I take it day to day, regardless of what anyone else I like or dislike is saying.

As for compare and contrast, I'd take one Rachel and Layla (and Destiny, and even Shaun and Chair-tossin' Greg) over one Evangeline and Vincent (who was awful) any day. I sincerely doubt it was Frons's idea to bring Rachel back. Since RC gave her and Layla actual material (of varying quality, but Layla's was her best ever, as opposed to just being Evangeline's helper dwarf), I tend to think he cares.

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Oh, and as for Jared, I don't think his fans would agree that he was "not fleshed out" by the time of the BE takeover. The character was IMHO well-drawn and well-written. His only sin was not being John McBain.
I am a fan and I don't agree that he was fleshed out very well AFTER the BE story which is what I said in my OP. I learned very little about Jared after BE that I didn't already know and that is on RC imo.

Amelia and Nick were recurring support players, period. That's all they were ever intended to be or probably ever going to be, but like Carlotta or Moe or Noelle or Roxy or Wanda or many others in the past, they helped to illustrate a certain canvas; in this case, a larger gay and lesbian community in Llanview. I didn't need a million gay and lesbian contract characters, nor did I expect such. What Amelia and Nick did in their smaller roles was open us up to a wider view. For God's sake, it's soaps' only black lesbian, to my knowledge (oh, I guess we have to count Simone) - I was all for it. And no, I didn't see Amelia or Nick stealing the spotlight from the main characters in the storyline, namely Dorian, Kish, David, etc. They were there to support the major players' story, period. They performed a function in the story. I don't see why they should've been excised to isolate the two gay men, as if Amelia and Nick not being there would've detracted from "gay overkill" and kept Kish on the frontburner; in reality, they would not have made much of a difference, and I am grateful OLTL presented a full spectrum of gay characters while it did.
This is a good point but I feel focusing on Nick and Amelia came at the expense of focusing on Dorian and Viki's feud during the Mayoral race. We saw one debate and very little of their campaign touching upon the heart of what makes Dorian and Viki work. I never advocated for Kish to be isolated but I don't understand why they could not have been drawn into Dorian and Viki's fued. I also didn't understand why both Dorian and Viki have to be pro-gay to win the election?

As for Paris, TX I fail to see when exactly Moe and Noelle took over the show. They were only there to support Viki, Marcie and Gigi, who at that time had just about as perfunctory a role as the other two new Paris players. Gigi did little but run interference and support Viki and Marcie until December of '07, two months after her arrival, when she finally met Rex again at Christmas. Gigi did not begin to have a frontburner story of her own until returning to Llanview the following year.

Fine but why did Moe and Noelle have to come to Llanview. That is the part that is overkill and I don't feel it added to the fabric of the community in any way.

RC is far from perfect and there are many complaints we can throw at his work, especially stuff like Tarty, Todd, John, Jessica, etc. But stuff like Amelia, Nick and Moe and Noelle are the least of my problems as a viewer. I don't remember them ever stealing the spotight from anyone they were there to support - you might make a case for Moe and Noelle's tiresome La Boulaie yarn with Dorian last year, but that was last year, not in Paris.
This is why I raised the thread. I used examples that came to the top of my head but yes, I'd like to discuss this issue in depth because it is largely ignored and I see the same thing is happening even in this thread.

As for Higley, I thought her treatment of minorities was ridiculous. Her idea of minorities was Evangeline. Period. Nothing else, and no one else. ABC ate heartily on the idea that all they needed on this show for black representation was her tired ass for several years; that's why I was delighted when they dared to bring on more than one black female or male, as opposed to pretending that La Van was all things to all people, which she was not. For my money, she was overpropped and underwritten, like Rex or John or a bunch of other characters, with many others thrown under the bus for her, which made the sting of her being "the only game in town" on diversity that much sharper
Higley was bad. You'll get no argument there. Higley had 2 black actresses on contract. RC had 2 as well and I liked his stories that he wrote for Rachel and Layla but there is a point of distinction that I noticed as an black viewer. For every point you raised about how Higley viewed Evangeline it was apparent that she loved writing for Evangeline. I don't feel like RC ever did fall in love with writing for Layla or Rachel. He is on record as saying that he wrote more diversity to address the concerns. I have to say as a black viewer it bothers me.

As for why I liked Carlivati's work, past or present, I liked it before I knew he was gay and I like it after. I liked it before he had a gay storyline on the show, and I liked it after. Gay writer and gay story do not automatically grant a pass from gay viewers, and I find the insinuation from SOAPSFOREVER ridiculously offensive. There are plenty of gay hacks in daytime, and there have been plenty of shitty gay-themed stories.
RC's sexuality is completely immaterial to me and the points I'm raising. In fact, I countered SOAPSFOREVER's point by saying that I feel that more people are inclined to give him more leniency because he rose up through the ranks and was the conduit of praise early on.
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As for compare and contrast, I'd take one Rachel and Layla (and Destiny, and even Shaun and Chair-tossin' Greg) over one Evangeline and Vincent (who was awful) any day. I sincerely doubt it was Frons's idea to bring Rachel back. Since RC gave her and Layla actual material (of varying quality, but Layla's was her best ever, as opposed to just being Evangeline's helper dwarf), I tend to think he cares.

I agree RC wrote better stories but they felt vulnerable to being underutilized as well. That is an issue.

Some of Carlivati's stories work and some don't, but I have no problem saying when I don't think he's doing well. I've been very vocal about his failures. But I was one of the first to say so when I was surprised the show was not crap when he took over, and at the time everyone shouted me down. Then, when the fan approval bandwagon got big, suddenly you got the backlash, some of it deserved, some of it not. The reality today is a lot of people are far too wedded to their positions and personal irritations with each other than actually examining the show and material on a story by story basis. And this goes for more shows than just OLTL. I prefer to be a little more exacting; I've never been one for a bunch of message board cliques for either 'pro' or 'anti.' I take it day to day, regardless of what anyone else I like or dislike is saying.
This is what I'd like to discuss. I'm not interested in the cliques or personal biases. I think it's time to critically examine the show's material on a story by basis and discuss what's working. Of all the times to scrutinize the show, I think now is the time.
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