One Life To Live: Don’t Anoint It Best Yet, Part 2

By Marlena De Lacroix

As I said in Part 1, an earlier post, the bravura scripts of One Life To Live‘s new head writer Ron Carlivati have made OLTL the soap to watch for thinking soap fans who enjoy sophisticated writing.  Whether it’s because so many of other soaps are abysmal right now, or because we’re all so desperate for a soap to love, some journalists have jumped to deem OLTL the “Best Soap.”  I’ve always made it a practice to watch a soap for a year before conferring such an accolade.  Carlivati has been official headwriter for only three months!

Though I deeply admire much of what he’s done (okay, almost  all!) already, OLTL still  has some at least two serious pre-existing structural problems, which Carlivati must correct before anyone hands him that Emmy.  Will he have the clout and the creativity to fix them?  Will ABC Daytime even let him?

Let’s start with the absence of African-American characters as frontburner characters on OLTL.  This is simply wrong!  In 2006, TPTB insanely put longtime star Timothy Stickney (R.J. Gannon), one of most powerful actors in soap history, on recurring status.  Earlier this year, the vibrant and intelligent frontburnering heroine Evangeline was put into a coma because actress Renee Elise Goldsberry couldn’t come to contract terms with the show.  The only African-American contract presence on the show has been limited to two extremely weak characters, Vincent (Tobias Truvillion) and Leyla (Tika Sumpter) who have been written as talk-to supporting players.  Aside from a relatively uncomplicated romance and being the victims of racist Tate, they have been given little in the way of major story lines of their own.

Marginalizing African-American characters is a tragic soap-wide trend.  But OLTL is the soap created by the very progressive Agnes Nixon in 1968 and its trademark has always been racial diversity, long before its time.  Among the show’s major story lines was the story of Carla Gray (Ellen Holly) and her problems as a fair-skinned black woman passing for white in a white society.  Although there had been African-Americans characters on soaps before, Carla was a major black leading lady given a full life and a big story (publicized repeatedly at the time by The New York Times).  Over the next decade and more, Carla and/or her family were main players on OLTL, played by such distinguished black actors as Emmy winning Al Freeman Jr. (police lieutenant Ed Hall) and Laurence Fishburne (who grew up on the show as Ed and Carlas son and step son, Josh).

Throughout almost all the years of its history, OLTL has always had a frontburnering black presence until R.J. Gannon disappeared in 2006.  Yes, the missing R.J. has finally made a few spot appearances lately, but that’s not enough.  Llanview won’t be Llanview again until it has frontburnering black characters, not talk-to tokens like Vincent and Leyla or the innumerable African-American day players who, as on others soaps, are relegated to playing social workers, waitresses, cops, nurses, etc.

It’s despicable that all the hard-fought breakthroughs in inter-racial casting made in the 60s and 70s are being negated by the backburnering or absence of major frontburnering  black characters on many soaps now!

Another problem:  Male diva characters Todd Manning (Trevor St. John) and John McBain (Micheal Eason) literally suck the air out of the show right now.  If you don’t like either (or both), you’ve got a real reason not to watch the show.

What I mean by “diva” characters are those with their own huge (sometimes cult) followings who always must have frontburnering storylines.  (Erica Kane on All My Children is the prime example.)  There’s wisely always been but one diva Erica on AMC, but the fact that OLTL currently has two divas doesn’t add up to twice as much wisdom.  In fact, it’s twice as suffocating.  That Carlivati put Todd and John on the road together for two weeks in the pursuit of Marcie shows he’s aware of this problem.

Diva characters usually have a deep idiosyncratic psychological problem that becomes a conundrum, like Michael’s inability to maintain female relationships and Todd being endlessly redeemed as a former  rapist over the last 15 years.  (He’s now a family man and the writers are always trying to give him sympathy by making him a victim of a female rapist; their son was mistakenly adopted by someone else.)  I’m sick of both Todd and John and their ever-dysfunctional dilemmas.  The big problem with diva characters is that they essentially never change, never really grow up.  They play the same old stories over and over and over again.  (That’s my long-held belief.  Agnes Nixon once wrote a column challenging my contention that Erica has never grown up, but we’ll have to leave it for another day.)

Will Carlivati have the insight to set Todd and John on new lifepaths?  To really change them, and solve their psychological problems, to do the hard work real people do in real life to really grow up?  And even if he does, will ABC Daytime let Carlivati, who really is a serious dramatist, change these characters and let them grow?  They have huge followings, and therefore they are money in the bank for a network.  And a sure thing, money in the bank, is what networks that air soaps need desperately right now.  But will Carlivati have the integrity to alter John and Todd and let them grow and change as real people do?   


  1. Beautiful column. I really can’t believe that OLTL and ABC didn’t do what they needed to to hold on to such a major character like Evangeline. She brought so much to the show and please correct me if I’m wrong, but was she the only AA character that got good airtime on all of ABC Daytime? I would think that they’d want to hold on to her. Letting her walk speaks volumes for ABC in my opinion, and not in a positive light.

    You mentioned RJ and I couldn’t agree more with you if I tried. The actor simply puts the show leads to shame; it’s too bad that a simple thing like race still limits those with talent. Both RJ and Evangeline should be active leads on OLTL.

    Maybe someone will have an ephiphany and fix this problem, but I don’t expect them too any time soon, and that’s too bad.

  2. Justin Murphy says:

    One way to correct the racial diversity problem could be to give Tim Stickney a new contract, and revitalize the Gannon family wwith recasts of Hank and Rachael. Nora and Matthew could als be involved in such storylines, giving Matthew the influence and the values of a multi-cultural background with wealthy white Buchanans and the struggling black Gannons.

    The problem with this none of these ethnic characters are being made important, as Vincent and Layla have no connections to family in Llanview. Such as the above example, the show could make The Vegas watchable again by involving Carlotta more, and placing focus on the family’s Hispanic heritage instead having Antonio and Christian be the typical soap hunks.

    Also the post 9/11 era we live in would be the perfect opportunity to showcase a Muslim family on a soap, and the oppression they face in our post 9/11 society. Tahlia Sahid would be the perfect show case for such a family.

    To solve this ”diva” problem of Todd and John, just sideline John to a desk job at the Llanview PD, and bring Kevin back to take control of Buchanan Enterprises, and have Todd revive Lord Industries (the former Lord Enterprises to compete with him. Kevin would then bring in Cord in attempt to drive Todd out of business, but Todd woul then bring in Tina to get under Cord’s skin.

    To balance out this revival of The Lords, bring back Danny Wolek to have his own beef with Kevin such as holding the workers of The Banner down or laying them off, and have him back up Todd in attempt to bring the Lord family back to prominience. Also have Danny be a single father raising his son Vinnie and daughter Anna (named after Larry’s brother and sister) with Larry’s help.

    The big payoff for all of the above could actually the revelation Tony Lord is alive, as they only got a telegram ”saying” he had been killed in Lebanon in 1983 while doing a story on a terrorist group. He could show up a quarter century as the new rock of the Lord family (the way Victor had been prior to the child molester rewrite in 1995), and still be upset at Dorian for the wedge she drove between him and Victor. Tony would also have post traumatic stress syndrome as a result of his years in Lebanon involving intense flashbacks.

    Such a story involving Tony would be a milestone for daytime television as it not only utilizes the show’s history, but also rips from the current headlines.

  3. As a viewer of over 35 years and I can’t watch this show because I just can’t watch Todd and John they are eating the show alive. Two losers in life that aren’t worth cheering for. A convicted rapist and a hypocritical man that is depressed and won’t get help.

    Todd has been transformed into someone unrecognizable. This new sappy, touchy, feely Todd of the last 4yrs is just repulsive. Todd walks alone! Changing that and redeeming him into a regular loving family man doesn’t work. Having a convicted rapist living under the same roof as Langston is not right!

    John is so mentally draining. The women of todays time aren’t needy and realize this type of guy is not worthy of their time. He needs anti depressants badly.

    My hope is they get rid of them both these useless air-hogs and stop writing for unappealing couples and write good stories!.

  4. Hi Marlena,

    I love reading your columns (when they’re about a soap I have an interest in). You made some great comments about OLTL my only tiny thing is that maybe you proofread a tad more. Not that I’m so great at typing but there are some picky soap fans out there.

    I quit watching OLTL reguarly shortly after Evangeline went blind and quit all together when she was crawling on the floor of the gym for a man I deemed unworthy of her. I do still read recaps on occasion though. Looking for signs that I should tune in again. So far NOTHING

    I’m always confused when I read OLTL is so great and the best soap out there when I along with many others I know can’t find one thing worth tuning in for. I go to SSW annually since I live in the area and many people I talk to who are there for the weekend don’t watch the show either as they also find the show too insulting to watch. As you stated the show seriously lacks diversity. And having Beth Ann Bonner play a half middle-eastern person wouldn’t have been so insulting if they didn’t start out putting dark make-up on her and have since abandoned that notion. Layla is nothing more than the town’s “shoulder” to lean on. The characters who have come on after her with a back story is appalling. Vincent has no place on the show, unless he turns out to be RJ’s son…even so I’m sorry but Tobias Truvillion is no Tim Stickney. No one is. The town needs a villain and RJ is it. The last promising thing I saw of RJ was when I thought they were going to show a real rivalry with him and John. But they dropped that. It is also upsetting that OLTL couldn’t reach an agreement with Renee Goldsberry but they hired countless newbies with much less talent since then and gave them back stories and everything.

    This current OLTL regime have no regard for the dream that got OLTL started. I read snippets of Ellen Holly’s book online and it seems like the same heartless crew who let her go and the lady who played her mother are in charge over at OLTL now.

  5. Bravo!
    Your article was insightful and dead on! Ron has failed to live up to his promise and this soap is barely watchable. I’ve decided to take up watching mold grow on my window seal. It’s far more entertaining.

  6. I completely agree with you! The lack of African-American characters, with a purpose and front-burner storyline on OLTL, is pathetic. I used to watch the show regularly, years ago, and only came back when I saw the pairing between John and Evangeline. Their undoing, coupled with the departure of several other characters, has led me to abandon the soap yet again.

    It was refreshing to see an adult relationship between these two characters. Not only was the coupling refreshing and unique, the chemistry between the two was off the charts. With Evangeline as an intelligent, successful lawyer, looking for love, and John as a broken, emotionally crippled man, the potential for storylines and character growth was there! Unfortunately, as they’ve done with all the Black characters of substance, Evangeline’s character was destroyed, and John has not grown as a “person”. In fact, he’s gone backwards. A wonderful supercouple in the making, gone to the dogs because of bad writing and narrow-minded viewers.

    I think that TPTB believe that by making John and Todd so stagnate, they are creating angst and future stories. This could not be further from the truth. Like you stated: they never change or grow up. It’s not cute or dramatic anymore. It’s just pathetic.

  7. Marceline says:

    Marlena, I’m so glad to see this column. You touch on two of the biggest problems on OLTL and the very problems that drove me away as a viewer after 20+ years.

    I loved seeing a range of diversity on the canvas at OLTL and that disappeared before my eyes. The Gannons vanished. (Goodness how I miss Rachel!) Keri and Liz were killed leaving RJ rootless and expendable. Nora never practiced her religion. Carlotta exist only to serve flan and babysit everyone else’s children. Talia’s Arab-American heritage became a plot point for that wretchedly distasteful OPP/arson story. Granted we get plenty of the Vega boys but that touches on the male diva syndrome you mention. And finally the injury, insult and final straw: Evangeline’s coma.

    Then there’s Todd and John. I love both actors and and used to love both characters but I got tired of watching them in scenes that they could phone in from their living rooms if they so chose. There’s plenty of character pimping and propping but no character development for either of them. Until I hear that one of these situations has changed, I’ll stay in tuneout mode.

  8. Marlena,
    Thanks for sharing that little history lesson. Ms Nixon never wanted her soap to be reduced to what this poor writing team has lowered it too.

    And your opinion is shared by many of us non-watchers since OLTL is steadily dropping in the ratings.

    The vets will not save this show because the viewers have forgotten what made them special. The lack of diversity in Llanview is as anti-OLTL as you can get. Ron C has failed on his promise and I find it hard to find a person in the room that is still watching the show.

    I think it is sad however, because we’ve seen what it could be. What it is now, isn’t even worth acknowledging. Will that change? One can only hope. But if you look at all of daytime TV as a whole the entire medium is carved into the stone ages.

    Every primetime show utilizes talent no matter what color. Soaps have never made that a requirement. The backlash has already started with OLTL – though it never really faired well in the ratings. It’s current descent will be bitter sweet for us all.

    We shall remember it as the Soap that wished it could!

    Take care and keep writing the truth! Cause some of us are listening!

  9. Enjoyed your comments on OLTL. I turn on once in awhile to see what is not happening on this show.

    There is too much of Todd and John. Had to laugh when you called them Divas. John, especially, since he has pretty much taken over the show. I enjoyed it when everyone thought John had died in that car wreck last year or was it two years ago? Anyway, Todd is so full of himself. Guess that runs in the Lord family. (Don’t get me started on his sister, Viki.) This hunt for his son has turned a lot of viewers against Marcie. Yes, he was the boy’s dad but Michael and Marcie were the boys true parents…. I feel bad for Marcie.

    As for not writing for minorities, I have to agree. Though, I am caucasion, I miss some of the black characters on the show. RJ was an interesting character who walked a fine line between good and evil. He either did things to hate him or when he did something good, you liked him….there wasn’t any middle ground with him but he was interesting to watch. I liked his relationships with Nora and Lindsay. In the past, I liked Ed and Carla Hall. It was a sin and a shame about what happened to them. But it was a different era of storytelling and a producer who obviously didn’t want to focus on couple of color. I can see why Ellen Holly and Al Freeman, Jr. are so resentful toward the show.

    As for the way the vets are being written… I could write a novel on this starting with the way they changed the character of Clint when they recast the role. He became a total jerk. I never thought I would say this about one of the show’s true heroes. Well, he was when the role was played by Clint Ritchie until someone decided to destroy his character during the gay storyline and Viki destroying her marriage to Clint…. now, the character has been villified and that is a shame. And why wasn’t Bo at Asa’s funeral in Texas? Good example of lack of contunuity. Now Nigel has made himself a victim of a shyster and has let on this shyster is Asa’slong lost son, and not David Vickers. What a cop out! I could go on but I won’t. This entire storyline is so stupid.

    I have tried to watch this show on a regular basis but sometimes it leaves me shaking my head and I stop watching for awhile.

    Good article!

  10. What a great article regarding the state of affairs on OLTL right now. I agree with you wholeheartedly as do many of the viewers/former viewers of OLTL. So many have tuned out because it seems that OLTL has discounted the viewership of a lot of viewers who have always supported and enjoyed the show in the past.
    Thanks for putting your thoughts in print. Many agree with your assessment.

  11. Chere Marlena,

    Oui, oui. Je comprend and je suis d’accord.

    I never understood the appeal of the John McBane character, much less the Todd Manning character. Both tend to suck the air out of every scene they’re in. Luckily, God invented the fast forward button for times when Todd and John get to be more than I can tolerate, which is fairly often. .

    I too am bothered by the poor treatment of the African American characters in Llanview. But that’s a problem on all the soaps this year (look especially at what Y&R and Days have done to their black families this year). . Evageline Williamson was a breath of fresh air and there’s a huge hole in Llanview since she went into that riddiculous coma. And RJ Gannon is such a mult-layered character with so many shades of gray to play, its distressing how they’ve treated him in the past few years.

    But both those problems could easily be corrected. With luck, once the strike is over, Carlivati will address those problems and bring the characters back full time.

  12. I believe ABC “the family” network has blatant disregard for diversity. So what, they give you “Ugly Betty” and Grey’s Anatomy” – it does not give them the right to rob us quality stories in daytime TV.

    And let’s clarify something Diversity does not mean sprinkle a black person in the back ground and let them be a kick stand to your mediocre characters. Which is all Layla and Vincent are.

    Diversity, crosses both ethnic and religious lines. Why don’t we know more about Nora being Jewish? What was so wrong with Carlotta and Hank have an ON SCREEN love story? Or him and Nora for that matter? Why can’t we see more Nora’s daughter racial and they dynamic of raising a racially mixed child?

    What happened to Alpha males like RJ that gave you someone to hiss at or root for? Viki going to Paris Texas as a waitress is supposed to be entertaining? For who? My grandmother? I just asked her and she said “NO!!”

    NBC has figured this out. The soap Passions (though poorly written) gave leading roles to people of color without hesitation, and some points was pretty good.

    Thanks for your insightful comment because I do believe everything you said needed to be voiced! Very well done!

  13. Hello Marlena,

    It is a blessing that you are online and free to express your soap wisdom and opinion. Your honesty is welcomed by the online audience. All of this OLTL lip kissing and RC “savior” talk means nothing when the viewers are leaving the show every week. OLTL received record low ratings during November sweeps. It is obvious that the current regime needs to go back to the drawing board yet again.

    The lack of miniorites on OLTL is unexcusable. What network doesn’t find a way to keep the most popular AA actress in recent ABC daytime history in Renee Goldsberry? The intelligent and beauitful Evangeline is greatly missed on this show. Where is RJ? Showing up every three months does not equate to a story. OLTL needs both Evangeline and RJ back in front burning storyline.

    Keep going against the grain Marlena. I love that you are so agenda and gimmack free. You call it like it is.

  14. Marlena, wonderful commentary! I stopped watching OLTL completely after REG left the show because I was disgusted OLTL let her leave so easily. Evangeline was and still remains a popular character people want to see return to Llanview and her pairing with John and possible one with Todd still gets people talking.

    You’re right about John and Todd, they have not grown…but we John/Evangeline fans and also those that loved Todd/Evangeline saw the possibilities of growth because of the effect Evangeline had on both men. OLTL ruined that by putting John once again in that dysfunctional and boring pairing of Jolie, and let Evangeline get involved with a guy she never would have if she were still being written the way she originally was. Her friendship with Todd was a thing of beauty and he was almost human with her. But these cowards have opted for Todd/Blair round 345,078 and obviously, a lot of people just don’t care anymore. Sad that I was happy to recently see a 1.9 rating for a once great show.

    As for Timothy/RJ-AMEN!! This man is too great for OLTL and they never do him or his character justice! ! OY! I say get rid of Nash, Cole, Gigi, Layla, Vincent and bring back the Gannons including Rachel and maybe just maybe OLTL will begin to truly rise above the trash barrel.

    Marlena says: I love R.J. and was a huge Evangeline fan. But I have no inside knowledge as to what, if anything, OLTL has planned for those characters.
    But when the strike is over, my best guess is that Carlivati would deal with the tragic lack of frontburner African-American characters somehow. He has shown by his early scripts that he is very intelligent and I think it’s really interesting that he’s given the character of Viki a social conscience. (See Part 1 of my OLTL column for a discussion of this.) So perhaps he will do right by the show’s fans!

  15. Excellent column & I completely agree. As I read your comments regarding Todd and John, I realized that GH has the exact same problem with Sonny & Jason. Two characters that are divas, eat up the show, never change and have the same stories over and over. At least with RC, he may (hopefully) correct these problems. Sadly, Guza is hopeless on GH & never will. I fear that ABC will never even allow either to change with the management in place now.

  16. Thank you for your candor and guts. The lack of diversity on all soaps is appalling. With the Todd/Evangeline pairing the TPTB could have killed two birds with one stone – Todd’s growth and a front burner storyline for Evangeline. But I agree even if Ron wanted to correct the diversity problem, would (ABC) allow him to?

  17. “Ms Nixon never wanted her soap to be reduced to what this poor writing team has lowered it too.”

    Agnes Nixon gave up any interest in OLTL many, many years ago. She abandoned the show for AMC. I’m not sure if she has cared about the show in a long time.

    As for AMC only having one diva, considering how much time they spend propping up Ryan and Greenlee, I’d have to respectfully disagree.

  18. While I wish there was a bigger presence of African-American characters on OLTL, I never was into RJ or Evangeline, though it has nothing to do with the actors. I think part of the problem was when RJ was first introduced as I was watching at that time, the character was less layered due to the writing, in the years I wasn’t watching, the writing for the character became deeper, and when I came back to OLTL, he was barely airing. With Evangeline, well this is going to be unpopular, but I felt that Higley wrote the character as too saintly.

    I don’t want to see AA characters as tokens, but I don’t want to see them as idealized or demonized stereotypes either. I want characters to have a full life, making mistakes, finding love, losing love and having families. I don’t want to see them only used as thug number one or best friend to everyone with no life of their own. I wish they would use RJ more (and I didn’t agree with Tim Stickney losing his contract gig) and I wish they had agreed to REG’s demand of a contract with a shorter length.

    For the most part, I can’t stand “diva” characters and usually run in the other direction. Writing for fans who don’t really care about a show and are only loyal to a particular actor and/or the character they play is a double edged sword. Shows can alienate other groups of viewers for ignoring many other players and turn them off for good. And the same problem arises when people watch for one performer, and they depart if the person is off camera for a time or leaves.

    This pandering is one of the reasons I feel soaps are in trouble as they aren’t writing for the best story to get people into an entire program, but focusing on what may just be a loud following.

    If you hate Todd and/or John having your hand close to the fast forward button is the only way to go if you watch OLTL. For me, one of the beauties of soaps is watching characters grow, change and mature or not over the years. While I think people do sometimes remain the same, if that is the case, it should be shown why they fall into certain patterns that they cannot break away from and how self-destructive that can be.

    Marlena says: Terrific letter, BL!

  19. bakedghoti says:

    Great column regarding OLTL’s lack of racial diversity!

    For this reason alone, OLTL CANNOT be voted as Best Soap of the Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Carlivati is not honoring the tradition of OLTL’s racial diversity! R.J. Gannon was an intoxicating character and OLTL clearly is suffering from his reduced screen time!

    My biggest complaint with Daytime is the lack of racial diversity? Where the heck are all the Asians, blacks, Middle Eastern, Latin characters, etc.?????!!!!!!!!

    It’s very telling that Carlivati was just headwriting for 2 weeks when a certain reported (it praised him as the best headwriter for 2 weeks-3 months worth of material! Thanks for mentioning that Marlena! I love your objectivity.

    I’d love for you to write about B&B’s Brooke’s rape storyline and how POORLY Brad Bell mishandled it!!!!!!!!!!

    Marlena says: Patrick’s new column will be all about B&B. It will be posted later this week.

  20. Very interesting column. I agree with many of your points. The lack of diversity is appalling, but I don’t think Evangeline was the be-all and end-all of characters and I don’t miss her at all. I do, however, miss Hank, RJ and Rachel and I think they need to return ASAP. Matthew only has his Buchanan relatives in his life, and having his sister return (Rachel, that is, NOT Jen!) along with her father and uncle would not only bump up the African-American population, but the Jewish one as well. Oh, wait. The show has forgotten that Nora and Matthew are Jewish! Will the boy ever get a Bar Mitzvah? Or are we not supposed to ask these questions?

    As far as Todd and John are concerned… ICAM. Especially Todd. And have I missed something in my last 32 years of viewing? When did Todd become such a swell father? He stole Starr from Blair when she was a baby, turned her into his buddy and confidant instead of his child, and routinely disappeared from her life for long stretches of time. Jack, aka Can O’ Dirt? Yeah, we don’t need to rehash that one. Tommy? Multiple attempts to kill him. And I’m supposed to want Todd to have Tommy? Even if I swallow the 12-month pregnancy, I literally get a knot in my stomach at the idea that Todd is being given custody of the child he tried to kill. And that, for me, was the deal-breaker.

    I’m currently searching for another soap. Any suggestions?

    Marlena says: Oh Sophie, the current headwriter has only been there three months! Personally I’d give him another chance. As for me, I quit OLTL at least 32 times since its 1968 debut and always come back. Llanview is home.

  21. Wow, such great commentary from so many of you. I found this blog on so please forgive me for being so late to the commentary.

    Thanks Marlena for your understanding of my favorite show as a whole and not just a couple of characters or super couples. I have often felt I was one of the last who actually watched the show for the traditions of the show and not just to follow this couple or that actor. I am glad to find that so many of you are the critical thinkers needed to make changes on the show.

    Having said that so many of you seem to be so tied to certain characters and Actors that some very large points are again ignored. I do think that OLTL was miserable during the Higley years, I do think that Carlivati ( who incidently has been a writer on this show for more than 10 years so he knows his history) has made some serious improvements. I do hope that ABC allows him to continue to correct the diversity issue as it is one that is glaring on all three ABC soaps not just OLTL.

    As fans beat up on OLTL I offer this thought; AMC no longer has any frontburner African American characters. I hear that is going to change but that remains to be seen. GH had no frontburner African Americans and so many rediculously sterotypical African Americans and latinos that the depiction of Dr.Ford, Epiphany, Sonny and the late Alcazar turned my stomach.

    So all in all; while I’m not thrilled with the loss of minority stories and issues on OLTL I am hopeful that Carlivati will foster some change.

    I think BL wrote it best :
    “I don’t want to see AA characters as tokens, but I don’t want to see them as idealized or demonized stereotypes either. I want characters to have a full life, making mistakes, finding love, losing love and having families. I don’t want to see them only used as thug number one or best friend to everyone with no life of their own.”

    Nuff Said!

    Note from Marlena: After this letter was written AMC added show vets Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan to the cast as Jesse and Angie

  22. I have to say, I think the “diva” status of the characters was a problem created by Dena. She wrecked relationship after relationship, building foundations and immediately sucking the life out of them. Infact when Dena was done rolling out her stories you found yourself wondering why you even liked the characters together in the first place.(for example: breakup scenes of Jovan and TnB)
    I feel lalya and vincent have trouble pulling off storylines on their own. Partially because of the writing and the lack of foundations, but their acting is not on the level of the “diva” characters. Renee was given recurring role within months of playing Evangeline and that has to do with the phenomenal delivery of her lines. Both Lalya and Vincent were given a high bar and have yet to deliver. Evangeline’s first scenes on OLTL were phenomenal. She was confident, catty, and gave the role sophistication with such grace, She acted as though she had been a lawyer in Llanview for years and moved amongst the veteran characters with ease.
    It’s not just the minority characters on the show that have been marginalized, but it does make a difference in creating a diverse Llanview. After watching the show today, I really don’t think now is the time for her return. All the characters required to play opposite her are currently engaged in other stories.

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