KNOTS LANDING versus DALLAS versus the rest of them week by week

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by James from London, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A fragment of Steve's dialogue about this - about not wanting to be a nepot - is usually the first one that springs to mind when I think of his character.


    This is true.

    Incidentally, reading your review it struck me that Greg's comment about Jimmy Stewart could easily have been directed at Ben. And if Steve is Ben redux, it makes me think about the possibilities for his character had he become that embroiled in the soapy goings on.
     
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  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I should add that it's because of Lance Guest's quirky Kermit The Frog delivery.

    It has an almost identical intonation to his infamous "I've always wanted to make love to an angry welder" line.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As sorry as I was to see Steve's tenure cut short, we should all heave a sigh of relief that the writing team that took over in season 13 did not get hold of that character and attempt to understand Steve's impact on the Sumner Group and the inheritances issue, since that team showcased how little they understood Greg and his motivations during their tenure. They would have screwed up a promising Galveston/Sumner/Whittaker character, and soiled all the related characters in the process while trying to elaborate upon the show's mythology surrounding Greg and Claudia's formative years. These writers were not up to such a challenge, so I'm glad they didn't take it up.

    I always felt Steve was the Lechowicks' "Parting Gift" character. Daytime soap fans coined the "parting gift" term to describe a character or (usually) a plot point the writer tosses in as they depart, something they typically write as a "F-U" to the producers who fired them. It's something nearly impossible to write around, something that opens up such a can of worms, story-wise that the incoming writers can't do justice to it. Instead they end up screwing up the show trying to deal with it and are not able to write their own stories. The outgoing writer sets up a story and basically says "Have fun writing yourself out of that one." Steve doesn't fully fit this term since L&L gave them an 'out' in the cliffhanger, but he could have survived; I think that if L&L had not been on their way out, they probably would have expanded his character and done justice to the twist, since they wrote practically all of Greg and Claudia's back-story and "knew" them better than anyone. The incoming writers didn't seem to know their ass from their elbow.
     
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  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    I'm not that into the coulda-woulda-shouldas, but with echoes of Laura, Mary Frances and Ben in his personality, plus a Peter Hollister/Jill Bennett-sized motive for revenge, not to mention his extremely knotty family situation, the dramatic possibilities for Steve seem almost endless, especially given how good Lance Guest was in the role.

    I had to google that. I had no idea!
     
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  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Greg Sumner often reminded me of those fictional TV presidents (based on real characters or not). Men who control the conversation by behaving quasi-distracted or making a joke that needs to resonate for a moment before everyone in the room burst into laughter.
    As if to make the other person feel that he's thinking about anything but presidential stuff, and then when the important part of the conversation arises he can present his orders with the same but non-negotiable campfire charm.
     
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  6. Knots Blogger

    Knots Blogger Soap Chat Active Member

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    My favorite shark movie!
     
  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a certain fondness for Jaws The Revenge as I can clearly remember reading the book the summer it came out, obsessively devouring any reviews I could read about it, going to watch it in the cinema and then getting the VHS when it came out.

    I can still enjoy watching it on a nostalgic level once every four or five years, but that's about it for me. I'd be interested to know the reasons for it being your favourite of the genre, though.
     
  8. Knots Blogger

    Knots Blogger Soap Chat Active Member

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    I’m not even kidding, I am actually reading the Jaws The Revenge novelization even as we speak, it’s opened up right in front of me. I just finished Jaws 2 novelization which is based on an abandoned script and very different from finished film, now I’m reading Revenge novelization by the same author and he actually tries to make it make a little more sense via a voodoo curse.

    Also I was kidding about it being my favorite; clearly Jaws 1 is the greatest shark movie and I would say Jaws 2 is the highest quality sequel to it; Revenge is the stupidest and therefore, for me, the most fun.
     
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  9. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh wow. What are the chances?!


    I love Hank Searls's writing. Even more than Benchley's original. He's so descriptive and he captures a dreamy state of shock really well in Jaws 2.

    These snippets of John Hancock's original, darker treatment for Jaws 2 are very alluring. Have you read the Marvel Comics adaption of Jaws 2? It's based on the same script as the novel and it's fun to get a visual idea of how the film might have looked with the original director (although of course they can do loads of cool stuff in the comic that wouldn't have been achievable on film in 1978).


    Oh whew! I mean, I was genuinely interested to know why it might have been. But... whew!


    That about sums it up, yes.
     
  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    04 Apr 91: KNOTS LANDING: An American Hero v. 05 Apr 91: DALLAS: Those Darned Ewings

    KNOTS opens with Paige not so much flashing back as flashing sideways to how she wished she'd reacted to Greg and Linda at the end of last week’s episode. Of the three alternatives presented, the most satisfying scenario has her pouring a jug of water over them.

    Over on DALLAS, Michelle is also reeling from an end of episode discovery — that James has another wife and a two-year-old son. As ‘90s girls are wont to do, Paige and Michelle both console themselves by eating ice cream straight from the tub. While Paige favours imitation Haagen Daz, Michelle goes for Blue Bell (a genuine Texas brand), which she laces with a dollop of honey.

    Things only get worse for both blondes as they are forced into close proximity with their respective rivals — Paige and Linda are assigned to the same project at the Sumner Group (“Mrs Richfield specifically asked for Linda … There’s nothing else behind this,” Greg assures Paige) and Debra Lynn and son Jimmy are invited by JR to stay at Southfork (“James, you kinda got two wives now, right? … Are you all gonna stay in the same room?” asks John Ross innocently). Whereas Paige deploys some first-rate glaring and pouting in Linda’s direction, Michelle is forced to make nice around Debra Lynn. “I can’t get into a spitting contest with Bambi. If I go toe to toe with her, it’d be like Jaws versus the Little Mermaid — James would take her side in her second,” she complains to Cliff, mixing her Disney metaphors in the process. While Paige has fun placing a sleazy small ad with Linda’s phone number attached — “Looking for love in all the wrong places? How about my place? … Ready, willing and able to take on all comers” (juvenile yes, but the moment where Mort calls the number and he and Linda recognise each other’s voice is really funny) — Michelle politely asks Debra Lynn to let her and James adopt Jimmy. “This family doesn’t just get by, we’re the people that everyone looks up to,” she reasons. Unsurprisingly, Debra Lynn responds about as positively as Jenna Wade and Adrienne Cassidy did when Pam Ewing and Sable Colby made them similar requests.

    Paige and Michelle’s ice cream binges aside, culinary highlights of the week include Debra Lynn serving up something called a West Point omelette for breakfast at Southfork and a broke Anne Matheson sitting down to a dinner of crackers with apple butter and cottage cheese. “You can never be too rich and too thin,” Nick tells her. “Yeah well, rich and thin is one thing,” she retorts. “Poor and thin is another.”

    And “rich and fat” is yet another. “You are overweight,” JR’s physician informs him. “Your blood pressure’s only a few points lower than your cholesterol which is practically off the chart. You are about to explode …” “Year after year, you yell at me for the same thing,” JR complains. We haven’t been privy to any of these previous discussions, but considering we didn’t find out about Krystle’s terminal diagnosis for years either, that doesn’t seem too big of a deal. The doctor’s words only add to the sense that time, i.e., mortality, is finally catching up with JR. A strict regime of exercise, no red meat and only one ounce of alcohol per day is prescribed. Impressively, JR sticks to the no drinking rule, even if James does catch him sneaking a few chocolate chip cookies. Meanwhile, Greg Sumner, who has likewise been placed on a strict health regime since his liver problems began, ditches the apple juice in favour whisky this week following a run-in with his sister. He accuses her of using Kate to get close to him (and his money). In response, Claudia plays her trump card: “[Kate] is not your daughter and I don’t want you seeing her anymore.” “You wanna know what the problem is with families?” a boozed-up Greg later asks Carlos. “They know where the weak spots are.”

    If Greg’s weak spot is his niece (to the point where he offers Claudia a job running the Sumner Foundation to prevent her and Kate moving back to Pittsburgh), JR’s is his new grandson (“Boy, you are just one cute kid,” he tells him. “Why is it that I think I’m gonna have to make a choice between you and the company I’ve been fighting for all my life?”). Whereas the sight of JR trying to feed Jimmy is possibly a step into cutesville too far, there’s something refreshingly spontaneous about Greg and Kate’s scenes together — he becomes less aloof and she seems less all-purpose perky.

    Both Jason Lochner and John Ross Ewing struggle with their homework this week. When John Ross turns to his father for help with his English, JR isn’t very sympathetic. “I’m afraid I’m gonna have to ground you till your grades pick up some,” he says while cradling Jimmy in his arms. “Bet if it was him, he wouldn’t be grounded,” John Ross replies resentfully. “Now John Ross, you’re a little too old to be jealous of a baby,” JR chides. “You’re almost a man now. It’s best you start acting like one.” Mack is more supportive of Jason’s struggles with Advanced Trigonometry but can offer little practical help. However, an intriguing tension develops between them as Jason continues to sing his father’s praises. “He’s a mathematical genius … He could do this whole sum in ten-seconds flat.” “What did he do, race you?” Mack asks cynically. “Sometimes, yeah,” Jason replies. “You’re kidding!” Mack scoffs. He continues to needle Jason about his dad, making him defensive (“Just because my father showed me how to do something doesn’t make it bad”) and the tension only increases when he and Karen find out from Julie that a composition Jason wrote, on the topic of “An American Hero," has won him the chance of a scholarship to study abroad. The more excited they become, the more Jason squirms with discomfort: “I’m not really sure I want it … I really don’t think I deserve it …. It’s not worth it.” Mack keeps on at him (“Jason, that’s ridiculous! … You’re gonna give up a year in Sweden because you don’t want to read an essay in public?!”) as if he can bulldoze him into submission by the sheer force of his own enthusiasm. This brings back memories of the brash, overbearing Mack we first met in Season 4 who kept trying too hard to ingratiate himself with the Fairgate kids. He badgers Jason to show him his essay. At first, Jason refuses but then he angrily hands it to him. Mack starts to read it aloud: “I, Jason Lochner, am the luckiest kid on earth. I don’t just read about American heroes, I live with one. If a hero is defined by his feats of courage and his willingness to sacrifice …” And here, in a brilliantly human moment, Mack smiles bashfully, assuming the essay is about him. But then he reads on: “… then the greatest American hero of all is my father.” Jason snatches back the paper. “The son of a bitch,” he mutters, as much to himself as to Karen and Mack, “he was my hero. I would have done anything for him. I would have done ANYTHING for him. He had no right to treat me like the way he did, he had no right to treat me like dirt and he sure had no right to not love me … ”

    Dick Lochner isn’t the only parent who finally gets knocked off his pedestal this week. Bobby Ewing is surprised to find Jory Taylor waiting on the cardboard patio at Southfork. “I’ve seen my mother,” she explains. “She told me everything … Everything I believed in is a lie! … How could she do something like that? I mean, she actually planned someone’s murder! … What kind of a woman is she, Bobby?!” Whereas Jason’s outburst about his father is messy and real and heartbreaking, Jory’s about her mother is overwrought and shrill and kind of amusing.

    While Jory is shocked to learn that her mother was responsible for April’s death, Steve Brewer is stunned to discover who was responsible for the deaths of his adoptive parents. They were forced out of their lumber mill by a large corporation and lost their pensions, he explains to Kate. “Dad had to go back to logging but he was too old for the work. He wasn’t on the job three weeks when he was killed. Then my mom died six months later.” And the man behind that large corporation? You guessed it — one Gregory Sumner. Next thing you know, Steve’s showing up for work with his hair slicked back, wearing a snazzy suit and ingratiating himself with Linda behind Paige’s back. It’s Peter Hollister redux.

    As Steve gets acclimatised to life at the Sumner Group, he also finds time to encourage meek and mild (and slightly irritating) Bob to assert himself, in the same way that JR, after he grew acclimatised to life at the sanatarium at the start of this season, encouraged Bob’s identical twin, Donio, to assert himself. When Mort starts taking credit for Bob’s office recycling initiative, Steve suggests he “tell Mort you sent Mr Sumner a copy of your proposal by electronic mail.” Electronic what now?

    Both Ewingverse episodes end with a son surprising his father (or father figure). Along with family, friends and bloody Peggy, Mack arrives at Jason’s school for the formal reading of his essay. When Jason gets to the part where he identifies his American hero, he amends it to “my foster father.” Mack is taken aback and clearly touched. (This moment wouldn’t have worked nearly as well had it not been for the previous scene where Mack assumed the essay was about him, before realising it wasn’t; he may be a genuine hero, but he still has an ego the size of a house.) Meanwhile, James turns a lecture from JR about his fatherly responsibilities on its head. “You already let one child get away from here and by God, you’re fixing to do it again!” JR snaps at him. “What are you talking about?” James asks. “You let Cally walk out of here with your child.” “The hell I did … I’m not the father, you are!”

    Back on KNOTS, Jason’s testimonial about Mack is immediately followed by another tribute, as the words “We remember Steve Shaw who was Eric Fairgate on Knots Landing” appear on the screen. This is followed by a montage of various shots of Eric from the past twelve years, not unlike the Gary/Val montage earlier in the season, accompanied by Michele Lee singing ‘Look at That Face’ by Anthony Newley. This is the first time a Soap Land actor’s death has been acknowledged on-screen since Jim Davis’s on DALLAS nine years earlier. Of course, Davis’s character has remained an ongoing presence ever since, with scarcely an episode going by without some reference to Jock or “my daddy”. This week is no exception. JR, eager to pacify Debra Lynn in the opening scene, invites her to join the family for dinner. Bobby suggests she and Jimmy take “a seat right there, at the head of the table.” “I thought you needed a dispensation from God to sit in that seat,” Michelle remarks. “Not if you’re blood,” replies JR. “My daddy’d be real happy to see his great-grandson sitting in that big old chair of his.”

    And this week’s Top 2 are …

    1 (2) KNOTS LANDING
    2 (1) DALLAS
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  11. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Paige: "I'll be sure to knock in the future. I hate to disturb a professional at work."
    (and we all knew what profession Paige was referring to...)
     
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  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    11 Apr 91: KNOTS LANDING: Where There's a Will, There's a Way v. 12 Apr 91: DALLAS: Farewell, My Lovely

    (Directed by Karen Mackenzie and Bobby Ewing respectively.)

    Just over a year ago, in the third to last episode of FALCON CREST, Angela awoke from her never-ending coma to reclaim her matriarchal throne. This week, in the fourth to last episode of DALLAS, it becomes clear that Miss Ellie has no intention of returning from her never-ending cruise to do the same. Instead, it falls to Clayton (in his final screen appearance) to inform her sons that “your mother’s decided not to come back to Southfork.” JR is not impressed. “What I don’t understand is why the woman who is the head of this family doesn’t at least wanna come back and see her children once in a while!” he huffs. “She’s sick of the fighting and tragedy that seems to haunt this family,” Clayton explains. Ellie's weary sentiment is echoed throughout this week’s Ewing-verse. “There is so much backstabbing and brown-nosing going on there, I can’t take it anymore,” says Paige of the Sumner Group. “There’s nothing left in Dallas for me,” declares Carter McKay. “I’m getting out of the business for good,” echoes Clayton. “I don’t want your stupid company … I’m outta here!” John Ross informs JR. “I don’t give a damn about Ewing Oil. To hell with it,” JR tells James. Yes, after thirteen years and 353 episodes, even the mighty JR Ewing has finally succumbed to soap fatigue.

    Like Miss Ellie on DALLAS, mothers are also a hot topic on KNOTS where Steve Brewer offers Greg his assessment of Linda Fairgate: “I think she’d slit her own mother’s throat to get ahead — although I’m sure you find that an admirable quality in a woman.” “Motherhood is overrated,” Greg replies. “Depends on the mother,” suggests Steve. Ironically, it emerges elsewhere in the episode that Linda’s mother is actually her Achilles heel.

    A few weeks ago on DALLAS, Jory Taylor was very excited that her high-maintenance mom was coming to California on an overnight visit. At the last minute, this visit was downgraded to a brief layover between planes. In the event, Jory wasn’t able to make even this short meeting because she’d been kidnapped. Almost the exact same situation plays out on this week’s KNOTS. This time, it’s Linda’s high-maintenance mom who had the last-minute layover, and it looks as if Linda won’t be able to meet her either, because of an important meeting scheduled with Mrs Richfield. Impulsively, Linda leaves a note asking Paige to cover her and rushes off to the airport. Her mom (whose name isn’t mentioned on screen, but whom IMDb credits as Doris) turns out to be a Mother from Hell caricature — she even smokes, which is never a good sign. Linda clearly adores her, but Doris blithely dismisses both her daughter's new position as the Sumner Group’s Head of Research (“Isn’t that kind of a glorified librarian?”) and the scarf she has bought her as a gift (“It’s, um, busy”). What’s most striking, though, is Doris’s attitude towards Eric, coming as it does just a week after KNOTS’ tribute to Steve Shaw. She gets his name wrong (“How is Ricky doing?”), puts him down intellectually (“He always struck me as a little slow”) and even forgets that he and Linda are now divorced. Her behaviour has the desired effect of humanising Linda and placing her in a more sympathetic light. While Doris can’t get away from Linda quick enough, Jory’s mother Hilary resurfaces at the end of this week’s DALLAS. “I’m really rather anxious to see my daughter,” she declares.

    Now that the season’s nearly over and the writers have run out of wacky things for her to do, Val is cured of her brain virus as arbitrarily as she contracted it. But as one medical storyline ends, another begins as Gary breaks Kate’s arm during a random accident. What this means for her career as a tennis player has yet to be determined.

    In the same way that Cathy Geary gradually went from looking like Ciji to essentially becoming her (first the singing career, then the violently abusive relationship), so Kate now seems to be turning into Mary Frances. A few weeks ago, she adopted her late cousin’s hair colour and now she is fuelled by the same righteous anger towards corporate greed. In fact, when Greg awakens from a nap to find Kate glaring down at him, he could be forgiven for thinking that his daughter’s ghost is back to re-haunt him.

    Kate’s ire stems from Steve’s discovery in last week’s ep that it was Greg who gave the order to shut down his parents’ lumber mill, which resulted in their ruination. This is a familiar Soap Land scenario — the grieving relative of a humble worker blames their untimely death on a business decision made by a bigwig too insulated by power and money to care about the end results of their actions. We’ve seen it before on KNOTS with Peter Hollister and Jill Bennett, as well as with Mrs Scotfield on DALLAS, Nick Toscanni on DYNASTY, Zach Powers on THE COLBYS and seemingly half the Tuscany Valley on FALCON CREST. Rarely does the accused bigwig get much chance to explain his point of view. Greg makes a start (“If you understood a little bit more about how business works —”), but Kate cuts him off. “I’m not talking about how business works,” she tells him. “I’m talking about people. I don’t care about profit margins or cost-effectiveness or the bottom line. My bottom line is how does it affect the men and women that are actually doing the work? … You know, my mom always told me that you put dollars before people, but somehow I didn’t wanna believe it. Now I believe it.”

    Later, Greg broaches the topic again, this time with Steve himself at the Sumner Group. Steve, along with Paige, Linda and Mort, has just concurred with his assessment that a poorly functioning subsidiary company should be sold off. “I was surprised at your reaction to the deal I proposed,” Greg remarks. “If it goes through, it’ll put a lot of people out of work.” “If it goes through, we should do what we can to help those people,” counters Steve. “Well, if all the profits go to bail out the employees, what’s the sense in doing the deal?” Greg asks. “Sound business decisions often hurt a lot of people, but at the same time, they also help a lot of people. If you can’t live with that, you’re in the wrong line of work.” Steve’s reply — “I can live with that. I’m related to you, aren’t I?” — is tantalisingly ambiguous. Is he being ironic or might he be about to succumb to the Dark Side? (The Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker-ish vibe of this moment reminds me of a future office scene, the one at the end of New DALLAS’s first season where JR and John Ross finally join forces.) Add this to Anne Matheson’s two-pronged revelation at the end of the episode — that Steve is Paul Galveston’s son (“Why on earth would Claudia have an affair with him, her own mother’s lover?”) and he is worth millions (“Here it is, Nick, right here in Paul’s will: he left the bulk of his estate to ‘all my offspring’!”) — and the stage looks set for an almighty dynastic power struggle that could run and run.

    Steve isn’t the only one in line for an unexpected windfall. As Ellie’s emissary, Clayton has one more bombshell up his sleeve: “She’s giving the title of the ranch to you, Bobby … You are the new owner of Southfork.”

    Somewhat randomly, Jaws has become a recurring Soap Land theme in recent weeks, starting with the shock discovery in this very thread that Steve Brewer was in Jaws: The Revenge, followed by Michelle casting herself as Jaws opposite Debra Lynn’s Little Mermaid during last week’s DALLAS, and now, KNOTS does a little “Jaws approaching” homage where the camera glides eerily across the surface of a boardroom table (standing in for the Atlantic Ocean) towards Paige and Linda, as a pastiche of the movie's iconically ominous score plays under their adversarial but icily controlled dialogue. It’s playful and fun, but also one of those instances in KNOTS Season 12 where style threatens to drown out content. (No pun intended by the use of the word “drown” in a Jaws context, by the way.)

    The balance is later redressed in a sparky showdown in Paige’s office between her and Linda, which closely resembles a sparky showdown between her and Tom at the beginning of last season, which also took place in Paige's office. Both Tom and Linda start by taking a dig at Paige’s privileged upbringing. “You, with your silk stockings and fancy job and prep school background — you have no idea about the real world,” Tom told her then. “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” Linda tells her now. Each goes on to describe their own tough childhood. “My mother was a drunk who locked me out of the apartment … I got smacked in the head if I spilt my milk so don’t go talking to me about the real world,” said Tom. “I’ve been earning my own money since I was twelve years old and most of that time has been spent kowtowing to people like you,” says Linda, “rich snobs who look down on anyone who has to work for a living, who treat anyone in service as subhuman. You don’t know what it’s like to be humiliated and have to take it because if you lose that job, you’ll lose the rent that month and then you might end up on the street. You’ve had it handed to you on a silver platter. I’ve had to work for everything I’ve ever gotten.” In each case, Paige is coldly unrepentant. “You know nothing about me, nothing,” she informed Tom. “How dare you tell me who you think I am?” she snaps at Linda. “And don’t think that some sob story about how hard your life was is any excuse for the way that you’ve acted.”

    Paige’s enmity towards Linda on KNOTS continues to parallel Michelle’s towards Debra Lynn on DALLAS. “I don’t wanna share the Richfield account with Linda Fairgate,” she tells Greg wearily. “It’s not worth the aggravation for me to stay here.” “If I have to see that sweet thing’s face across the dinner table one more time, I’m gonna puke!” snarls Michelle at JR. “You have two days to get Debra Lynn out of Texas. If she’s not gone by then … James is outta Ewing Oil!” Both of these blonde ultimatums backfire. Greg does indeed remove Linda from the Richfield account, but he takes Paige off it as well. “Since it’s too difficult for women to handle this account,” he tells her witheringly, “I decided to handle Mrs Richfield myself.” And when James chooses Debra Lynn and his son over Michelle and Ewing Oil (why, Lord, why??), JR gives him his full approval.

    And this week’s Top 2 are …

    1 (1) KNOTS LANDING
    2 (2) DALLAS
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
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  13. Franko

    Franko Soap Chat Member

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    Doris was played by Mimi Kennedy, who wrote for the show this season, then moved onto L&L's new show, Homefront.

    It's hard not to feel sad and bitter about how Knots is going to squander some meaty characters and story potential. Steve, Linda, Julie, Jason ... all gone by the end of the year. At least with Dallas, the cast exodus feels slightly justified as we're nearing the finish line. I'm especially looking forward to your comments on The Decline and Fall of the Ewing Empire, James!
     
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  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    I don't remember what happened to Julie, but in the next season Jason decides to go to Sweden after all, and I think it was a sweet and fitting conclusion to his story arc.
    Linda started to play with fire, therefore her gruesome exit made sense to me. That said, of all her many character-incarnations I thought the last one was also the most interesting.
    In SoapLand anno 1991 this almost looks like a corny excuse.
    Who was Gary Ewing's wife in SAVANNAH.
    This is my most-wanted 90s soap, but it's not available anywhere - no DVDs and no YT uploads (or at least not the complete series).
     
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  15. Franko

    Franko Soap Chat Member

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    If I remember correctly, Julie went to college while Frank stayed in town. Granted, they could only do the "fresh-faced young person joins the Sumner Group" storyline so often. I'll also admit that Linda vs. Paige could have eventually reached a point of diminishing returns. Not sure if having Jason around would have lessened the impact of the eventual Mary Robeson storyline.
     
  16. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Julie inexplicably went to "visit relatives" off-screen, despite the Williamses (okay, the Sollarses) having faked their deaths with Mack's help a few seasons before. They used this excuse to have Frank leave, as well.

    It always bothered me that Jason just up and took off for Sweden like that. What mean-spirited foreign-exchange program forces its participants to leave their families on Christmas Day?? Alone? (I mean, you'd think Mack or Karen would have gone with him to help him get settled in). It's also half-way through the academic year. And the poor guy didn't know a word of Swedish, as far as I can tell. I know they had to write him out at that point in the season and the scholarship thing had already been set up, but it doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. And of course there is that little problem of his never being mentioned again.
     
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  17. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE="Daniel Avery, post: 183713, member: And of course there is that little problem of his never being mentioned again.[/QUOTE]

    The old cartoon, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had an island for all the unwanted toys. There should be a tv show about an island for all the prime time soap characters who were significant in the lives of the characters, left and were never mentioned again. Think of it: Jason, Annie Fairgate, Amanda Carrington, that cousin of Pam and Cliff Barnes, Jeff Cunningham, Karen's brother, Linda Fairgate, Leslie Carrington, Dex Dexter, Sable and her "change of life" baby, the Fairgate's dog.
    Instead of doing reboots, a network could do that, maybe a surreal/satire kind of thing. In the right hands, it could be a hoot. Or not:confused:
     
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  18. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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  19. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    25 Apr 91: KNOTS LANDING: The Last One Out v. 26 Apr 91: DALLAS: The Decline and Fall of the Ewing Empire

    ... aka the 300th episode of KNOTS versus the penultimate episode of DALLAS.

    When DALLAS hit its tricentennial, it marked the occasion by trapping JR and Bobby in the Ewing Oil elevator overnight. For this episode, KNOTS does something similar — it confines most of its characters to the top floor of the Sumner Group for an evening.

    The given reason, a security precaution following “a very localised fire on the third floor”, serves the same dramatic purpose as the hurricane in “Wedding Bell Blues” (DALLAS Season 11) and the thunderstorm in “Stormy Weather” (FALCON CREST Season 7) — it’s an external event that forces all the regulars into close proximity.

    A comparison can also be made with KNOTS’ 200th episode, “Noises Everywhere”, which likewise brought everyone together — but whereas that instalment found ways of exploring familiar characters anew, this one mostly goes over old ground. The ep also seems intent on demonstrating how smartly self-aware it is: Mort makes another gag about rushing home to watch LA Law, Anne and Claudia have two more superfluous “thought bubble” scenes, and Gary becomes the latest person to make the disingenuous observation that “this is like living in a soap opera” — which was funny the first time someone in Soap Land said it, either Eric Fairgate or Maggie Gioberti, back in the mid-eighties — but has become progressively less so ever since.

    The highlight of the episode is a clash between Karen and Linda in which Karen gets on her moral high horse as only she can. “You are a hateful person,” she tells her occasional daughter-in-law. “You think people will just put up with you and not notice your duplicity, your hypocrisy … You’re just plain manipulative.” Much as Abby used to, Linda observes Karen’s indignation with detached amusement before moving in for the kill. “Exactly how wicked can I be if both of your sons fell in love with me?” she asks. “What does that say about them? Either they like strong-willed women like me, like you, or they’d do anything, including marry someone as awful as you think I am, to get out from under your thumb.”

    Linda’s words hit a nerve and Karen spends the rest of the episode doubting herself as a mother. After a season spent watching from the sidelines while Mack got all the juicy stuff, this affords her the opportunity to reassert herself as the KNOTS Everywoman. After all, what parent watching wouldn’t be able to identify with her current predicament? “Michael is not tied to your apron strings,” Mack assures her. “But sometimes I act as if he is!” she realises. “I love him and I want what’s best for him, but I’ve got to trust him … I can’t make choices for him.”

    A week after James Beaumont turned his back on the oil business to start a new life in Nowheresville with Debra Lynn and their son, Michael Fairgate decides that he too has had enough of climbing the corporate ladder and quits the Sumner Group. “I’m gonna take some time off, read … I do know that I’m not gonna work here and I’m not gonna see Linda again,” he tells his mother who is as relieved by his decision as JR was dismayed by James’s.

    After being dumped by James last week, Michelle got drunk and woke up to find herself married to Cliff Barnes. There’s another wedding this week on KNOTS, just as unexpected, but at the same time inevitable (indeed, the show has been teasing us with the possibility of it for the past seven years). While everyone else is stuck in the Sumner building, Val and Gary are wed on the spur of the moment. Gary gets a little teary, which is sweet, but otherwise, it feels oddly anti-climactic.

    Arguably, Steve Brewer and Paige are KNOTS’ two most intriguing characters at present, but in this ep, they are placed in a conventional romcom “opposites attract” scenario whereby each spends the episode bitching about the other (Steve to Kate, Paige to Mack) before inevitably facing up to their mutual attraction. Admittedly, the scene where they finally kiss is a bit sexy.

    Whereas the vibe of this week’s KNOTS is reflective, DALLAS is all action. From the moment Michelle is carted off to jail in the opening scene (after murdering The Kidnapper Formerly Known as Sheila Foley on the cardboard patio), the race is on between JR and Cliff as to which of them will get their hands on her share of Ewing Oil. From behind bars, Michelle (clad in grey prison smock and hardly any makeup, she’s never looked lovelier), manages to outwit both men by selling each of them fifty per cent of the company for what she paid for the entire thing — and she also manages to wangle her freedom into the bargain. Not bad for a money-hungry little nobody. Sure, she ends up miserable and alone, but also very, very rich — which in Soap Land terms, counts as a major victory.

    The scene where Cliff and JR simultaneously realise they’re equal partners in Ewing Oil is very funny (and not a thought bubble in sight). That would be a satisfying enough conclusion to their story, but then JR is approached to become Chairman of Board of West Star. He agrees but is obliged to sell his half of Ewing Oil to avoid a conflict of interest. As he makes the deal with Cliff, he rationalises the decision thusly: “This is not Ewing Oil anymore. Ewing Oil is wherever I am and that is not in a partnership with you.” However, he realises too late that he’s been set up — something to do voting rights, which I don’t quite understand — by Carter McKay … and Dusty Farlow!

    While we get a nice little cameo from Dusty (“So long, JR. Give my regards to Sue Ellen. Oh that’s right, I forgot — she dumped you”), the memory of Lilimae is also evoked when Val delivers a pretty decent impression of Julie Harris as she and Gary take a trip down memory lane.

    Meanwhile, Sly has a surprise of her own for JR: “I’m getting married … He’s an engineer in the oil business.” Whether he was busy engineering during her and JR’s recent one night stand isn’t clear. More pertinently, she’s off to the North Sea with him. JR assumes Phyllis will take over her duties, but Phyllis has other ideas: “JR, I’ve been waiting to tell you this for a long time — Hell would have to freeze over before I’d ever work for you.” As exit lines go, that’s not bad.

    While almost everyone on KNOTS is trapped inside the Sumner building, almost everyone on DALLAS is running out on JR: Miss Ellie, James, Jimmy, Sly, Phyllis, even John Ross, who calls his daddy from England to tell him, “I’m not coming back to Dallas ... You don’t have any rights over me so why don’t you play with James and that stupid baby?”

    The Ewingverse’s teetotal tycoons each fall off the wagon this week. Greg uses the situation at the Sumner Group as an excuse to break open “my earthquake supply kit, in which I had this beautiful bottle of Beaujolais … Here’s to being trapped in a building with a beautiful woman,” he says, clinking glasses with Linda. Meanwhile, Sly finds JR drowning his sorrows in his office. “How many bottles do you have hidden in here?” she asks him angrily. “947,” he snaps before ordering her to get out and stay out. While Greg gets tipsy enough to consider “addressing the troops” while wearing Linda’s dress, JR ends up drunkenly contemplating oblivion as he cradles his father’s gun. The same gun that Digger Barnes used to shoot Hutch McKinney with in 1952? I’d like to think so.

    And this week’s Top 2 are …

    1 (2) DALLAS
    2 (1) KNOTS LANDING
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  20. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Agreed. It was their third time but. after all those years, the fans at least deserved a little more. Even if the participants themselves just wanted to get it over with.
     
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