Killing me softly with his song
   Killing me softly with his song
                                   Charles Fox 

Roberta Flack thought about Don McLean when she sang that song.  It entered my twisted brain while watching Carlos sing at The Pit. Of course Carlos was not exactly killing me softly; it was more of a painfully excruciating death.  

I have started this column a few times only to be stopped by feelings of redundancy: why should I bash Carlos to death when the writers are doing a fine job of that all by themselves? 

Clearly TPTB thought Greens needed a romantic partner. I think what she needed was a brief delightful distraction from a widowhood that came way too soon. What Greens did not need was the not very interesting conundrum that is Carlos. 

This is not a slam at the actor. What is happening with him is what is happening all too often on soaps these days. A good-looking guy, usually a model, is hired to up the hunk factor on a show. TPTB have some vague notions about the character. And not only were the notions about Carlos vague, they changed from day to day. And those “vague notions” are the problem. An experienced actor can take a flimsy role and find the substance. We have seen that on AMC: Vincent Irizarry was asked to return as David because he made David much more than Allie’s stalker. Mark Pinter made Roger Smythe a full character from the moment he arrived in Pine Valley.  Few inexperienced actors can do the same. 

Carlos started out on the right track. He appeared to be a man totally smitten with Greenlee but too shy to express himself openly. Hence the anonymous emails.  

When Carlos arrived, he barely spoke English. Remember Reggie translating for him?  I could accept that he could write English but not speak it very well. That’s how I am with French. 

And then Sydney entered the equation. OK, I thought maybe Carlos writes his thoughts in Spanish, and she translates them. It was still romantic and sweet. 

Exposed as the emailer, Carlos tells Greens he also writes short stories.  Terrific, what woman does not want a man who is good with words? 

And then, a short time later, Carlos says that he did not write the emails at all, Sydney did.  

What were TPTB thinking? Carlos went from romantic, shy and poetic to a liar in one episode. 

And not only that, he went from someone who could barely speak or understand English to a graduate of Pine Valley High School. Turns out Stuart was his mentor. Oh wait, I mean “Mr. C.”

And from someone who was not a writer to someone who was a sculptor. A sculptor good enough to be part of a show at the Chandler Gallery. (Maybe they renamed it “Mr. C’s Gallery” for the show.) 

It was a showing of “outsider art.” That must mean art you keep in the backyard because I sure would not want it in my house.  It looked like Carlos had welded lawnmower blades together. (Later will it be referred to as his Slingblade period?) I totally lost it when Greenlee said, “So you make these from trash you find at Fusion?” Is Fusion’s next promotion going to be “ Bring your lawnmower in for maintenance and get a free lip gloss!”? 

Greenlee tries to be nice about his work and he replies, “This is what I do, this is not who I am.”  That’s odd Carlos, most artists think their art is exactly who they are. 

Attempting to show his true self, he drags her to The Pit where she can be made fun of and insulted by his friends. And has to sit there with a polite smile on her face while he “sings” to her. 

Now we know that Carlos is a liar who really does not seem to like Greenlee very much. A liar who thinks drinking cheap tequila will make Greenlee a better person. 

His lying continued at The Pit when Carlos said he did not realize Greenlee was a, well, Greenlee. Yet he had done work at the Greenlee estate and had some sort of liaison with Mary. This past week at the bar, Carlos told Mary he recognized her the first time he saw her at Fusion, so how could he have not known who Greenlee was? 

Is Carlos a con man out for revenge? Or just a poorly developed character whose history changes from moment to moment? 

Either way, Greenlee deserves better. And so do we. And if they are going to keep him, so does Maximillan Alexander. 

Can Carlos be saved? Maybe. But not by Woodie telling us we should like him. First, get him away from Greenlee. Anyone they pair with her will fall short compared to Leo. Let her wait for romance until the writers have a fully developed character and story in mind. Then back up the writers’ work by hiring an actor who can own the part from his first scene. 

Then take Carlos off the frontburner. Give him more scenes hanging with the guys. Maybe make him the bartender at SOS so he can interact with different characters. Have him mix it up with a few people until we see sparks fly. Give viewers time to get past the confusion and disappointment surrounding Carlos. Give the writers time to plan out who Carlos really is and give the actor time to adjust to that.  

Soap viewers are a forgiving group. Hey, we are still here despite Proteus aren’t we?

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