The Haves and the Have Nots: It's Time to Show the OWN Drama Some Respect

When not gasping “Oh my God! Oh my God!” as The Haves and the Have Nots’ Katheryn chased frenemy Veronica around her mansion with a kitchen knife during Tuesday’s episode, I had two thoughts: 1. The OWN drama is flippin’ awesome, and 2. not nearly enough critics acknowledge that fact.

As a fan of the series — created, EP’d, written and directed by Tyler Perry — I find the lack of props as bewildering as it is irritating. Maybe I’d understand if I’d seen any of the Madea movies? Regardless, can’t we look beyond the auteur’s sillier fare and judge HAHN on its own merits? We certainly should.

No, it doesn’t draw Empire-sized ratings. (HAHN’s recent Season 4 premiere scored 3 million viewers, or about 40 percent of the audience for the Fox smash’s fall finale.) However, HAHN has done what neither the Dallas reboot nor Revenge did: It has resurrected the primetime soap. (OWN’s lineup now includes Greenleaf, Queen Sugar and Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong, and his Too Close to Home just kicked off its second season on TLC.)

Moreover, the show isn’t just campy, crazy-lady-on-a-rampage fun. Yes, it regularly delivers moments that will make you shriek at your television. (For instance, Veronica being stabbed by her vengeful son in the breast implant!) Yet Perry’s writing — here as sharp as the blade with which Katheryn nicked her treacherous pal — doesn’t merely go for shocks, it tackles issues of class, morality and sexuality with thrilling and at times brutal candor.

Pacing can be an issue, sure. Dialogue is occasionally repeated often enough that a viewer might think it’s Groundhog Day. But Perry makes up for it by proving over and over again that there’s no “there” to which he is afraid to go. Case in point: Though monstrous Veronica hired a thug to beat the gay out of her son, Jeffrey is now engaged in a twisted affair with a married cop who sexually harassed him! (Oh, and engaged to a woman that he “accidentally” impregnated!)

the-haves-and-the-have-nots-editorialAnd some of HAHN’s characters are absolute gems. Besides Angela Robinson’s formidable Veronica, a Mommie Dearest that you never want to call a “simple bitch,” there’s John Schneider’s Jim, a family man as unscrupulous and unfaithful as J.R. Ewing ever was, Crystal R. Fox’s fierce, righteous Hanna and Tika Sumpter’s modern-day Sammy Jo Carrington, Candace, the mercenary daughter that — so help her, Lord — Hanna may be a little too eager to judge.

In short, HAHN is a guilty pleasure that’s actually so good, you don’t have to feel guilty about it. It’s so good that you wish it were a daily soap. And it’s absolutely so good that it makes you wonder, why the hell isn’t it getting the respect that it deserves?

What do you think? Fellow HAHN fans, hit the comments with your theories. Is it a Madea thing? Non-fans, have you sampled the show lately… or ever? If not, why not?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. R says:

    TVline also didn’t include the start of this season in the calendar, I was lucky enough to see a comment online and that is how I knew the new season had started.

    • Jenna says:

      It’s like Days but shown at night, in a time when Daytime shows are being decimated and eventually will disappear altoghether, like DOOL is rumored to be at the end of the year.

  2. DS says:

    I’ve never heard of it, but I’ll give it a look.

  3. liame says:

    YASSSSS! This review is everything and I agree with you 100% on all points. .

  4. Sebastian says:

    This show along with Greanleaf & Queen Sugar are some of the best shows on tv. Shane they don’t get the reconition they deserve.

  5. Saundra says:

    Tvline and other media sites rarely mention shows on OWN network. I’m not a fan of The Have’s and Have Not’s but it’s ratings are better than a lot of shows routinely covered on this site (i.e. majority of shows on the CW network).

    Queen Sugar had an excellent first season but the media basically ignored it. It’s a interesting family drama with an ensemble of talented actors with excellent chemistry. I totally don’t understand how it didn’t exist in the tv media. Anyhow, kudos for this article.

  6. Carmelita Garcia says:

    Been following this show since season 2 and its a good series and I also follow If LOVING YOU IS WRONG those are my favorite ones . Tyler Perry keep up the good work in your series.

  7. Debbie Smith says:

    I love hahn…Kathrine straighten the flowers after killing the DA…is beyond genius of Tyler Perry. Love him.
    Been watching since beginning.

  8. Mary Livingston says:

    Great show.The show keeps you excited to see what next. If you do not have a cable provider you can not see. Serveral viewers are getting away from cable.

  9. Sheila Y. Donegan says:

    I have followed the HAHN since its beggining. I find it to be an awesome drama series. Quite like average day to day life. Tyler Perry is an outstanding writer, actor & producer. I am a follow er if all of his movies and plays. Better than reality TV shows.

    • Neen says:

      I agree,love it from day one,but agree the dialogue is like ad libbing,its lmost commical in that respect. mad at lazy brainless Benny going on about losing everything he never even earned on his own anyway.

  10. Mary Hutcheson says:

    I love HAHN, it can’t get any better. Just keep David away from that friend of Kandi’s. (Smile)

  11. Evonne Moore says:

    I love all of Tyler Perry shows!!! The haves and have nots, and If loving you is wrong are my favorite shows to watch. I see so much truth in the messages he tries to get across. To me, Tyler Perry is a born genius 👍👍👍👏👏👏👑👑.

  12. EARL says:

    I love this show …I got one of my friend who has started watching and she loves it…thank u

  13. Debra Harrison says:

    i love that TV show I don’t care what people’s said

  14. evababy says:

    I would actually characterize this show as a daytime soap that is being shown at night. It has all the hallmarks of the typical stories from the heyday of daytime soaps and obviously owes its pedigree to those shows more than it does to night time soaps.

    And yes, its ratings are nothing to sniff at it does better than a lot of other women-centric cable shows and even some network shows.

    And I agree OWN is definitely carving out a great scripted niche. Greenleaf is closer to night time soap. But I would characterize Queen Sugar as a truly prestige drama. Great acting, writing, cinematography!!, sound-track — everything is quality stuff.

    • :-) says:

      I love Queen Sugar! The story is interesting is compelling. It feel so real for anyone who been in the Louisiana area for anytime

    • Carole Martin says:

      I love HAHN -been watching it since the beginning. Crazy about John Schneider and Crystal who lays Hannah. All the actors are good, dramatic, especially the evil ones you so wish would get theirs like Veronica and Candace. Keep hoping someone will take them out, they so deserve it. I, too, did not know it was back on -found out by accident. I like Greenleaf too but some of the others he writes and produces, I think are silly.

  15. Deborah williams says:

    I love the hahn.i would like to see veronica get what she deserve. Love it.i love all of Tyler perry Tyler keep us wanting more of your episode.

    • Puddin says:

      I have to agree…..I watch all of them including Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar. I am so HOOKED! This is some of the best TV on the planet. There has to be some way to draw more attention to these great shows and actors so they can get the recognition that they deserve. Lord knows if they canceled If Loving You Is Wrong for any reason, I’d go through real withdrawal, shakes and all (LOL).

  16. CHERYL HONEY says:

    The lines are a bit repititious but I’m still a loyal fan. My favorite female character is Hannah, Crystal Fox. Still as beautiful as she was on “In the Heat of the Night”. Favorite male is the handsome David Harrington, Peter Perros. Can’t wait til that divorce is final….Lol!!!

  17. Teresa says:

    Love HAHN, Tyler Perry is outstanding. Too Close to Home is another show he has in TLC and it’s good.

  18. ChrisGa says:

    I liken Tyler Perry shows to car crashes; they’re almost always bad, yet you just can’t look away.

    That said, his storytelling skills are solid. Where he sometimes loses me is with the campy, overripe dialogue, the way-too-long scenes and the occasionally spotty acting and line delivery.

  19. Tammy Turashvili says:

    I had never seen the show till thus season. So i tried to catch up when they brought all of the last season on. Live the show….love anything Tyler Perry dies. Only thing that sucks it comes on the same night and time as Being Mary Jane

  20. Jimmy says:

    This is one of the few shows I make a point to watch these days. While I agree the show (and its stars) deserve a lot more press (and acclaim), there are some issues that still bug me about the show. The pacing (as you briefly mention) is the main problem. An entire season of episodes usually depicts about three DAYS of these people’s lives. At this rate poor Melissa will be pregnant until 2025 (if she’s really pregnant at all). I think TP would benefit from hiring a breakdown writer from daytime soaps to help him establish better pacing of the stories. He IS getting better about sharing the wealth (story-wise) with the rest of the main players (not just Tika Sumpter and John Schneider).

    I have to applaud the high production values of the show, given its basic-cable budget. Over the course of the series the lighting and camera work (most obvious in the scenes at the Cryer mansion) have become top notch. The Emmys have historically chosen to ignore nighttime soap actors, but they really ought to at least recognize the show’s technical expertise. That said, I do think TP ought to get behind submitting a few of the actresses from the show for Emmy consideration such as Lawless, Robinson, Fox and/or Sumpter, even if the Emmy folks seem biased against soaps.

  21. Anika Sterling says:

    HAHN is a great show it should get more praise.

  22. Kookie says:

    I love Greenleaf and Queen Sugar. I do not like H&H N

  23. Kookie says:

    I like Greenleaf and Queen Sugar. I do kot like H&HN.

  24. Nancy says:

    Have & The Have Not is a throw back to the daytime soaps those of us of a certain age grew up watching and looked forward to seeing everyone episode. Must see TV like Dallas, As The World Turns and The Young and The Restless were.

  25. Connie says:

    The first season started slow, but now I’m so hooked. The characters are unbelievably crazy and I love it. Cant wait for Tuesday.

  26. Calvin Napoleon Cherry says:

    It’s absolutely a show I do NOT miss! Tyler Perry is a crafty genius in storytelling! I’m a fan, I’m a viewer of all his material and will continue to be! I like how he tastefully addresses homosexuality in a respectful, sensitive,truthful manner without reverting to the stereotypical way we’very seen and continue to see portrayed by many. He brings dignity and knowledge to all his projects and knows when to insert humor to feed the mind with his message! Big fan! Tyler, Oprah I thank you both for your genius!

  27. I love all of tyler perry s shows movies and plays wish I could be in one of them can’t wait for the next episode of the haves and the have nots. Keep me on the edge of my seat I was shocked when Katherine shot the da like she said she does her own work

  28. Pat says:

    Yes! Repetetive dialogue for sure! Scenes are SO loooong & drawn-out, it’s enough to put me to sleep.

  29. Lolita J Harley says:

    I love the show! Hanna gets on my nerves with her judgemental ways towards her daughter, but there has to be a turn around. And Kathryn!! It’s about time! This show is being underestimated, possibly because of his plays, but OWN is the station to watch

  30. Bigdede says:

    I love Tika but I hate the character of Hannah so much with her self righteousness. Her judgment and hatred of Candace really made me tune out. Benny acts a fool cussing and disrespecting her yet Hannah forgives him in a second. Candace buy that evil woman a house and Hannah still treats Candace like dirt.

  31. p watson says:

    The only bad thing about the show is the storyline moves too slow.

  32. SANDRA HAWKINS says:

    I don’t have cable any more it needs to be on other channels as well as. Every day And AMEN

  33. SANDRA HAWKINS says:

    Tyler Perry
    Is a Genuine Genius
    And The Actor’s And Actresses are so Gifted I don’t do drama but .
    I DO
    All Tyler Perry.

  34. Mary Praught says:

    Best cast on T.V…..Have watched this from the 1st season and never loose interest….It’s great….

  35. Haves and the Haves Not fan here! Also love If Loving You Is Wrong. It’s not “a Madea thing” . I haven’t watched a single Madea movie because I hate the trope of men in wigs playing Black women, but those two soaps are PURE. CAMPY. FUN!
    Tika Sumpter is amazing as Candace Young, the devious, money-grubbing, social climbing former escort who blackmails her rich client for millions.
    Angela Robinson is deliciously evil as Veronica Harrington, the sophisticated, selfish, homophobic and corrupt attorney who manipulates the justice system and tries to blackmail her gay son Jeffrey into marrying a woman who is basically a young version of herself.
    John Schneider is infuriating but so attractive as the ambitious, goldigging gigolo John Cryer who married a woman he doesn’t love for her father’s money and political connections.
    Renee Lawless is flawless as Katheryn Cryer, the embittered wife of cheating John Cryer who identifies husband’s mistress by numbers (Candace is “Nine”), with two troubled children and one bright spot in her life, her friendship with maid Hannah Young (“Nine”‘s mother), the electrifying Crystal Fox.
    There are so many other fun characters. Gavin Houston’s Jeffrey Harrington, who is cursed with a homophobic mother determined to beat/blackmail/marry the gay out of him, in love with his homophobic best friend, the utterly useless and super buff drug abuser Wyatt Cryer (Aaron O’ Connell) and is currently having an affair with a closeted married cop (Tika Sumpter’s real life boyfriend Nicholas James).
    Also the very suave Peter Parros plays David Harrington, loving and almost saintly long suffering husband to Veronica Harrington, the series villain, who finally gave into the advances of his persistent female admirer, Maggie Day, after his wife Veronica tried to barbecue him in their mansion.
    The dialogue is slow and the twists and turns are scandalous. It’s not filet mignon TV, it doesn’t pretend to be. Just a sinfully juicy burger and fries that ‘always’ delivers! Yum ;D

  36. Gary says:

    I loved it so much I had to watch the entire 3rd season to get some what caught up. Now, I’m a fan!

  37. Wanda bailey says:

    Crazy show. Real life issues. Cant wait to see what happens each week

  38. Tiffany Tart says:

    I truly agree with you

  39. Keith-Allen Anderson says:

    I am one of the HAHN fans better than the Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and Knots Landing Era. HAHN has it all Tyler Perry I Salute you.

  40. Vivian Hargrave says:

    Hahn is the show…it is my Tuesday fix…my all my children..dads of my life..young and restless all in one…with over 6000 fans in our Facebook group…for the hahn…over due for awards…THE BEST SHOW ON T V…

  41. Kim Traynham says:

    I’m an avid watcher of HAHN! Even out of state family members are addicted to all of Tyler Perry dramas. We are constantly speaking about what’s going to happen for the next episode. The Higher Ups, are afraid to acknowledge, Mr Perry for all of his accomplishments. Although, for others in may be discouraging however, for Tyler aka Madea, it’s only empowering him to achieve MORE and be a positive Man!

  42. Joyce says:

    It’s awesome, I give Tyler PERRY 👍👍👍 on all the HAHN episode.. He has done it over an over captured his audience attention an we can’t wait to see his next show….loveya

  43. John Savage says:

    The writing is sometimes unbearable! The acting is sometimes worse than the writing! Still, I watch and sometimes LOL!

  44. Agnes Stokes says:

    I love it only problem I have is it’s not always on on demand it would be great to release it as set

  45. Karen Newcomb says:

    I love watching the haves and haves not. There’s always something good to keep watching it. lots of excitement on it.i like watching a show that has a lot of action in it.cause it’s never boring.thank you Tyler Perry for making such good shows

  46. Lynnette Smith says:

    I LOVE TYLER PERRY 😍I LOVE HIS SHOW!!!! I got a idea🤔🤔🤔 to show.

  47. Rev. Herschel Crane Jr. says:

    Love this series! The Mrs.and myself never miss it! She hooked me on it as soon as I got back home from being over the road!

  48. Rev. Herschel Crane Jr. says:

    The Mrs. and myself never miss it!

  49. Patricia Bryant says:

    The Have and the Have Nots is great. I am a fan and wish it was a daily program. It doesn’t get the praise it deserves. Tyler Perry is brilliant.

  50. blessing68me says:

    I watch all of Tyler Perry’s shows. I love the Have and the Have Not but I don’t like the power he gave Veronica. For Hanna to be a Christian, filled with the Holy Spirit, she need to forgive her daughter and help her. Two wrongs don’t make a right. It is time for forgiveness. My opinion