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Peyton Place The invasion of the Jills, Joes, Toms and Susans

Discussion in 'Sundry Prime Time Soaps' started by Wintry North Poleson, May 19, 2017.

  1. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Martin Peyton leaves town because of his medical condition.
    upload_2017-5-18_23-40-46.png
    I didn't like to see him go, but at the same time I thought it was time for something new, something fresh.
    And that's exactly what I got!

    The first new arrival - literally and figuratively - is an impostor-or-not character: Allison MacKenzie's baby.
    To me personally, this story seems like a no-win situation. If Jill, the girl who brings the baby into Peyton Place, is telling the truth, then everything that happened to Allison post-disappearance is a very unsatisfactory continuation.
    I wish they would just let it go, especially since they already covered that part with Rachel Welles' storyline.
    And if Jill's lying, then it looks like a very clumsy con, although most people are more suspicious of her name: Jill Smith.
    And then there's the motive, or should I say: what is her motive?
    Of course this may be revealed at a later time.

    Nevertheless, it looked as if this would lead to an explosive and super-dramatic conflict between Rodney and the Carsons, and Rodney and Betty.

    "I'll make a home for Kelly. I'll dress her, I'll bathe her, I'll feed her. But there's one thing I can't do, not ever. I can't love her".
    I think that's a very soaptastic premise, and I couldn't resist flashforwarding to an imaginary Peyton Place 1983: the confrontation between Rodney's daughter and stepmother Betty.
    Another great angle of this storyline is that Steven Cord sees the opportunity to undermine the Harrington's rekindled romance.
    The Cord's divorce is far from pleasant, and he wants her back at all costs.
    upload_2017-5-19_0-35-46.png

    But right now (episode 426) the dust has already settled. The baby is with the Carsons and Rodney and Betty are planning their lives as a married couple.

    Constance talks to Elliot about her pregnancy (in response to Allison's presumed pregnancy) and how her mother convinced her to create Mr. MacKenzie - a picture from a dime store.
    Suddenly I wondered, what if the man in that picture, the fake Mr. MacKenzie, would show up in Peyton Place? How mind-boggling would that be?

    Rita has lost her baby after a life-saving operation.
    I've always appreciated Norman and Rita as supporting characters and as the optimistic note in all the Peyton Place drama.
    But imho these characters aren't strong or interesting enough to carry their own big dramatic storyline. Rita's always had a way of shrugging things off with a simple "Okay!" so it's not very convincing that this new drama demands so much attention, and it's also not very interesting to go through the Joe Chernak history again.
    Eddie Jacks has turned from brilliant con man to over-protective father in order to feed this Rita-Must-Be-Happy-Again storyline.

    Michael Rossi's criminal brother, Joe, reminds Rita of the other Joe.
    Joe Rossi knows Jill from New York, actually they're ex-lovers and he believes he's Kelly's father.
    Seriously, what are the odds that they would end up in a tiny town like Peyton Place at the same time?
    Norman, who would normally avoid bums like Joe Rossi, is trying hard to befriend him. Lord knows why.
    After a car accident, he and Joe are rescued by Reverend Tom Winter.
    upload_2017-5-19_1-7-32.png
    He looks kinda mean so I was hoping this would be the new villain.
    He's not, but he's married to a Lynn Anderson look-alike.
    upload_2017-5-19_1-11-47.png
    Susan Winter is in the process of becoming an alcoholic because she feels neglected and also because her husband dismisses the prospect of a corporate career in her father's company.
    On paper, this is soap heaven, and yet it fails to engage my interest.
    I don't dislike it, but somehow it lacks the tension that usually derives from a domestic set-up like this.
    They're a really odd pairing too, and I have yet to see some chemistry between these actors.

    So, I'll continue to continue, hoping things will improve a little bit.
    And hopefully they'll go back to where the good stuff is:
    upload_2017-5-19_1-44-18.png
    A king amongst soap-men!
     
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  2. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Well...I think the magnificence of the previous seasons is gone.
    It already starts to feel like a "Next Generation" show, although that shouldn't be the reason why it can't be good anymore.
    It's quite enjoyable, once you get "the hang of it", as it were.

    The highlight of the last 10 episodes was a string of events with a snowball effect, and it all happened in only two episodes.
    Rita goes to the warehouse to face her demons from the past. When another person also enters the building, she panics, believing it is the demon: Joe Chernak.
    upload_2017-5-21_1-5-11.png
    Nice use of shadows as it makes the intruder look like a giant.

    It turns out to be the other Joe, Rossi, who is looking for her because Norman can't find her.
    Somehow, the shock cures her from her inner-struggles, but when Eddie Jacks enters the warehouse he thinks he sees Joe attacking Rita.
    A fight between Eddie and Joe ensues, Eddie gets hurt and they have to call Dr. Rossi.
    Despite Rita's firm statements that Joe hasn't done anything wrong, Michael accuses his brother of immoral behaviour.
    Joe is furious, and in order to get back at his brother, he goes to the Carsons and tells them he's the father of Kelly and, more important, their best friend Dr. Rossi knew about it all along!
    Elliot has an angry conversation with Michael, and Constance has an emotional confrontation with Jill - and then Jill finally tells the whole story.
    It was very exciting to watch this non-stop action/reaction.

    Apparently, Jill (as Joe's girlfriend) knew the Carsons via Allison, who was the subject of conversation when Michael visited their sister Lisa.
    And then she learned about Allison's disappearance (because the whole nation was watching Peyton Place) and then she figured that...eh...oh never mind, it's just so bizarre and far-fetched.
    Jill Smith (her real name!) is an ill-conceived character imo. Or perhaps I should say non-conceived, as her personality is purely defined by story development.
    And that could change from episode to episode.
    She gave the baby to the Carsons without the slightest fuss, and then she took it back as if the Carsons had borrowed her fondue set. There's absolutely no logic in her actions or behaviour.
    Giving up her baby to punish her ex-boyfriend?

    This cute little kid?
    upload_2017-5-21_1-37-52.png


    Founders Festival at Peyton Place!
    upload_2017-5-21_1-45-10.png
    I thought, maybe they're going to show that creepy accident as described in the novel.
    They didn't, but they introduced yet another new character: Carolyn Russell.
    Carolyn is having a difficult time because her parents are going to divorce, and she acts very stagy and wisecracking to hide her anger and disappointment.
    It's a little annoying, and yet there's something about her that I really like.
    Maybe because she looks like she could be a member of a singing family, like the Partridge Family (or The Cowsills).
    And perhaps it's this personal interpretation that gives the show a strong pre-seventies look, and also a sense of pop-culture.

    upload_2017-5-21_2-13-46.png
    I don't know what her story is going to be, but they look good as the new Wild Kids of Peyton Place!

    Armageddon! The Carsons leave town!
    upload_2017-5-21_2-13-26.png
    Yes, I got a little misty-eyed, and I'm definitely going to miss Constance and her bookstore.

    But look who's back:
    upload_2017-5-21_2-29-8.png
    "Mother?"

    Here's an unusual scene: Happy Harringtons eating cake.
    upload_2017-5-21_2-31-53.png
    It looks like it's going to be another bon voyage. Peyton has sold the mill, and Leslie decides to look for a job elsewhere.
    Somehow this also affects Steven Cord, who then goes to meet a mystery person in a limo, to get the full details about the transaction.

    Lo and behold
    upload_2017-5-21_2-37-48.png
    "Mother!"

    [​IMG]
     

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  3. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    Let the dullness commence.
     
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  4. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Oh dear! Am I being too optimistic?
    Ironically, I find the juiciest storyline - the minister and his unhappy wife - boring beyond belief. There's a certain reluctance in the way the actor performs the role of Tom Winter, as if he doesn't want to be on the show. And why isn't the drunken wife acting like Neely O'Hara? LOL
     
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  5. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    I thought Susan was fabulous, but I get what you mean about them not being well matched. She's a bit larger than life and he's not. He's a big Debbie downer and she's all airy-fairy. Though I did like their exchanges. She needed to be more venomous though.
    I just thought Carolyn was the most boring character ever. I liked her mother more. The whole Carolyn teen storyline was a snooze fest for me.
     
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  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    You see Lynn Anderson, I see Joan van Ark. In fact, I had to kind of keep reminding myself that she wasn't JvA. But really, she's Diana Hyland -- John Travolta's older lover who tragically died shortly before he became mega-famous in Saturday Night Fever. That was kind of his Peyton Place back story.

    I totally loved the Winters.

    Not many people seem to dig Carolyn, but I think she's interesting. At this point, Peyton Place isn't a timeless, endless novel anymore. It's starting to become a contemporary soap dealing with contemporary issues and Carolyn's at the heart of that. I think it helps to remember that the things Carolyn experiences are now so totally commonplace one wouldn't even think of them as "issues", but that depicting such things on TV at the time was probably pretty groundbreaking.
     
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  7. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    That's Eudora Weldon, right?
    Well, the hair, mostly.
     
  8. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    But when they put these three characters together, it's magic!
    And it already starts with the reason why: Susan hopes that, by taking Jill into their house, her husband will find himself attracted to the fresh young girl.
    And that should make him doubt his calling as a minister.
    I thought it was quite a gamble as it's very difficult to control other people's feelings (unless your name is Martin Peyton).
    upload_2017-5-27_4-2-38.png
    Although now I feel that his introvert and passive character makes the emotional scenes even more emotional, because it seemed impossible that something like this (his attraction to Jill) could ever happen to him.
    At this point (episode 451) they are all aware of the fact that there's a "situation" going on, but only Tom and Susan know why Jill was hired in the first place.
    Normally, this would be a reason for Tom to fire Jill, but no...he doesn't want to do that.
    The atmosphere at the Winters' is filled with guilt and resentment (and too much alcohol), and Jill finds herself trapped in a bizarre and nightmarish triangle.

    Oh, she's a total gem, and an obscure one at that. According to IMDb, Elizabeth "Tippy" Walker has only done a handful of roles, and her last part was a guest appearance on The Sixth Sense (which I'd love to see) in 1972.

    A divorce story may not seem so earth-shattering these days, but I find her performance simply mesmerizing. She's funny, manipulative, her insults and provocations always sound polite, and there's a constant twinkling in her eyes that seems to suggest that she's a step ahead of everyone else.
    upload_2017-5-27_4-37-57.png
    Basically, she's a twisted version of Allison.

    Rodney and Norman are involved in a car vs. motorbike accident, and the doctors have to perform a difficult operation - it's the only way to find out how much damage has been done.
    The motorbikes, the racing, Betty telling them "be careful!"...Rodney telling her "don't worry!". Yes, what could possibly go wrong?:lol:
    The fact that Steven Cord was driving the car doesn't help matters.

    No update about Joe Rossi! Except that he's at work and not so angry anymore. In SoapLand, that's an unofficial death. Quick, do something!
     
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  9. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Yes, the saga-style is gone - the vendettas, the family secrets, the murder trials - but the quality of the show hasn't changed that much, imo.
    The clever dialogues, great performances and interesting supporting characters - it's all still there.

    I like the Harrington place because it looks like a house with a mini-house built in it:
    upload_2017-5-30_2-8-33.png

    The Winters household has fallen apart. Jill has lost custody of her baby, Susan has lost her husband, and Tom...well it looks like he's lost everything.
    Personally I wish it would have lasted a little longer, it was such a delightfully impossible situation. I think it would have been enough material for a sixties cult movie.

    And speaking of cult: new psychedelic opening credits!
    upload_2017-5-30_2-32-49.png
    There's a sequence of 4 images for each actor, instead of putting them all in one frame like they did on Dallas and Falcon Crest.

    An instantly likeable new family: Dr. Harry Miles, his wife Alma and son Lew.
    upload_2017-5-30_2-45-7.png

    And just when I thought that Jill & Joe's fights were becoming repetitive - and therefore outstaying their welcome - they wrapped it up with a romantic happy ending. Talk about good timing!
    upload_2017-5-30_2-51-58.png
     

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