1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Changes on screen

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by GMA, Jun 27, 2020 at 10:53 AM.

  1. GMA

    GMA Soap Chat Newbie

    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    20
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Ratings:
    +4
    I'm currently re-watching Knots from start to finish (just started S11). I'm finding it really interesting that when you daily binge watch (as opposed to weekly watch) you really notice those changes in tone/character.

    I'd forgotten how bad the 'Sally's friend' storyline was - such poor content for Ted.

    I've really noticed how Gary/Val seem to be secondary characters after being front and centre for so many years - it's shifted to Karen/Mack & Sumner/Paige.

    Do we know if Julie Harris was ever meant to come back in S10? it felt as if Aunt Ginny's storyline could have been a guest appearance role for Lillimae but that maybe they couldn't get her so they just created Aunt Ginny.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,654
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    Ratings:
    +6,228
    I came to the conclusion that Latham and Lechowick (the show-runners) did not really "get" Valene and Gary as a couple. They were good at coming up with ways to keep them apart, which...okay, that's a soap staple, but after Jill died the best storyline for the two would have been reuniting them, not coming up with increasingly threadbare excuses/stories (Sally's Friend/Danny/brain viruses) that kept them apart.

    Some of the actors have said in interviews that they thought Harris would be brought back from time to time, but that it just never happened. I'm not so sure about that. She lived on the East coast, and they likely would have had to make a generous offer (probably a higher per-episode rate than she had earned when she was on contract) for her to return for a short-term appearance. The show wasn't shelling out big bucks for recurring roles ("stunt casting") in the later years. When they hired Betsy Palmer to be "Lilimae-lite" Aunt Ginny, that seemed to be the signal that they felt they did not need Julie Harris back on the show in order to have that Lilimae-esque character around. I guess we should be grateful that the show-runners were not arrogant enough to hire Betsy Palmer as a straight recast of Lilimae, because that would have been a disaster. They just wrote Aunt Ginny to function in much the same way Lilimae had.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

    Threads:
    166
    Messages:
    1,108
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Ratings:
    +947
    I figured I'd jump into this with you all considering I'm barely into season eleven myself.

    It is weird how we can notice even the most subtle of changes when we watch the show on a daily basis. While I was in strict quarantine, I watched sometimes six or seven episodes a day, and it was very easy to see the shifts the show was taking. One of the first things I recognized about season eleven was the way the show looks visually. It looks like they're filming it through a different lens or filter on the camera. The tone of the show itself seems to have shifted. Once Sumner came in back in season five it seemed like Knots Landing became a little glamorized. Of course, it was never to the Dynasty or Dallas level, but it did kind of edge away from that "every man" image that it started out with.

    Season eleven seems like they're trying to edge the show back into a more middle class arena, albeit upper middle class. Season ten pushed the show away from Lotus Point and toward the more corporate Sumner Group setup, but season eleven seems to take it back even further. The situations seem a little more everyday (at least in TV land anyway), but with an odd almost detective show slant.

    I think the "Sally's friend" story was a little silly. Gary usually seems to become obsessive over certain things, but it seemed a little weird that he was falling for a woman her didn't he know, had never seen, and couldn't put a name to. When Amanda (the name finally put with Sally's friend) was rapped by Danny (her soon-to-be ex-husband) it made a little more sense that Gary felt he needed to "save" her.

    It's quite obvious, especially to avid fans, that Gary and Val have been slid to the side burner, if not the back. Val seemed, to me at least, like she was somewhat out of the circle after Ben was gone. She was worrying over Laura's death and excusing Karen about excluding her with coffee metaphors, and trying to convince everybody and their mother that Jill really did try to kill her. Now I must admit that I liked those stories and I've always been a fan of Val personally, but her story lines have gotten a little sparse here recently.

    The writers clearly want to drag out the Gary and Val will-they-won't-they arc for as long as they possibly can. Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackelford often said when interviewed that the producers felt that the Gary and Val relationship was one of the continuing arcs that kept viewers coming back and that's probably why they did everything they could to keep those two apart. Sure, it does seem to drag a little and sometimes it can even seem repetitive, but the writers probably worried that they'd write themselves into a corner if they put Gary and Val back together too soon. I'm not entirely sure how I'd keep them separated, but I know I would have went with something besides having them involved with Amanda and Danny.

    Aunt Ginny is obviously a stand-in for Lilimae. Sometimes I forget that Lilimae was even living with Val, but if ever I watch a reunion or special, I'll see clips of her and be remind just how much I liked her being on the show. Aunt Ginny's story lines could easily have been intended for Lilimae, but Julie Harris probably didn't want to return. She might have been a little irritated that the producers edged her out like they did, so she might have not wanted to do them any favors and return at their pleasure.

    I'm kind of on-board with the Michael/Linda/Eric love triangle. It's a little cliche, sure, but it plays well. I've always liked Michael and I enjoy getting to see more of him (and he's finally in the opening credits for season eleven), and this story seems tailored for him and Linda. Eric's just a side pawn to smooth the arc along. I like it all though.

    I agree that Karen and Mack and Sumner and Paige have taken a spot closer to center stage. A lot of the plots follow them, and there's a lot of episodes revolving around Sumner and Paige's tactics to drive one another crazy with jealousy. I must say it's a little cute and I enjoy their antics, but I'd also like to have more done with Gary and Val and even Frank and Pat.

    One thing I like is Paige's fling with Tom Ryan. I kind of dropped out of thin air on me, but it's working well. They are quite a handsome couple, and their story is quite intriguing. I also like that we're seeing more of Olivia and Harold, even if their plots are horrifically repetitive.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,654
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    Ratings:
    +6,228
    [Thrusts hand in the air] "Ooh! Ooh! I know--I know!" [/waves hand obviously] :D
    I think Val/Gary/Frank/Pat would have been a zillion times better than V/G/Amanda/Danny. The suggestion of a Pat/Gary involvement was heavily teased for a while and lord knows Gary could do a lot worse. He DID do a lot worse. Similarly, they placed Frank in Val's "friend zone" at the same time. The Williamses were three-dimensional characters who would have brought a lot more drama to such a muli-layered love triangle/rectangle, more than drippy little Amanda and her mustache-twirling villain of a husband, Danny. Many say the story was not pursued because the producers were afraid of the interracial aspect, but I've always thought it was an assumption of the viewer-fans and not rooted in anything the producers or network ever actually stated. Maybe they were only interested in having 'disposable' characters standing in the way of a reunited Val/Gary, and were afraid of one or even both of the "temporary" pairings becoming popular enough that they would have to continue their stories--and answering to the angry Val/Gary shippers who would NOT be amused. I could especially see Gary/Pat being an interesting pairing, with Frank/Val being more of a reaction to Gary/Pat rather than a genuine love match.

    Obviously eyebrows would have been raised, but in that period the show would have welcomed some extra publicity/buzz and been able to brag that there was still a lot of life left in the ol' cul-de-sac even after eleven years.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

    Threads:
    166
    Messages:
    1,108
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Ratings:
    +947
    Once again, your ideas never cease to amaze me.

    I honestly never really seriously thought about Pat and Frank being the rift between Gary and Val, but it certainly would have been a good story. In analyzing your thoughts, I must say that I was intrigued when Pat was showing some very obvious interest in Gary. I mean, she even talked to Karen about it, and Karen gave her that whole "every woman has a crush on Gary at least once" spill. It would have been groundbreaking for a prime time serial to have the interracial romance between Pat and Gary. At the same time Val and Frank were jogging together a lot and it did seem, albeit briefly, that they could have had some kind of crush forming between them.

    Just like you said, I'm sure the writers and producers didn't want characters they were intending to be more permanent, like Pat and Frank, to come between Gary and Val. It would have caused too much of a rift, especially since Pat and Frank were living there on the cul-de-sac. But then again, they did it once when Abby stole Gary from Val back in season three.

    Either way, I wish they would have gone through with it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,654
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    Ratings:
    +6,228
    You have to wonder: how would the MacKenzies have reacted to it? Though Val/Karen are of course "a couple" in their own right, Karen and Pat had become really close in the short time the Williamses had been in town. If Val appeared to be the one pursuing Frank, then it would cause a rift between Karen and Val. Karen always felt she needed to "fix" everything for all her friends, especially for 'poor Val', but in this case Karen would not approve of what Val was up to with Frank. Mack would be standing by begging her not to get involved. Pat's reaction to her husband taking up with Val is for her (Pat) to throw caution to the wind and act on her feelings for Gary as a combination of revenge on Val and rebound from Frank's betrayal. When Karen discovers this new layer to the story, Mack would have to send her off to a facility. :D

    Joan Van Ark was always commenting on how she wished Val was more proactive in her life. I'm not sure she would have approved of Val as Homewrecker, but written the right way (Frank already feeling disconnected from Pat, maybe resentful of having to go into witness protection) it would have been something new and exciting for her to play. Frank/Val would probably be the shorter-lived of the two affairs, but I think Pat/Gary would have had more 'legs' as a longer storyline since Lynne Moody and Ted Shackelford both have so much onscreen charisma.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

    Threads:
    166
    Messages:
    1,108
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Ratings:
    +947
    So now Amanda's just up and gone after finally going to bed with Gary. This story line is really bugging me. I must say I wasn't totally on board for the Gary and Amanda fling anyway, but having her practically vanish like that is a little annoying.
     
  8. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

    Threads:
    166
    Messages:
    1,108
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Ratings:
    +947
    Karen and Mack definitely wouldn't have been alright with Val and Frank hooking up. Karen had gotten fairly close to Pat during there time in the cul-de-sac, and in a way she had somewhat filled the void left by Val always being tied up with Jill trying to kill her or her complicated romance with Danny. Karen is infamous for trying to "fix" everything, and yes she would definitely have tried to fix whatever rift there was between Frank and Pat. She would have been disappointed and angry at Val, and there would have been a lot of "talks" that would have occurred to try and iron out the conflict.

    I'm not entirely sure that Joan Van Ark would have been alright with Val being branded a homewrecker. Of course, it would have added layers to her character, but I don't know if it would have added the layers she necessarily wanted. She might have even thought that branding Val a homewrecker would have written into a place from where the audience may not been able to forgive her. Personally, I wouldn't have liked it had Val been a homewrecker. It doesn't really "fit" her.
     
  9. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,654
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    Ratings:
    +6,228
    Especially since she was already the most famous "wronged woman" in the cul-de-sac, having had two husbands cheat on her. Having been through this with Abby and with Cathy, you'd think Val would be the last woman to fall into an adulterous affair---which is what makes it all the more attractive to me. But seeing her try to justify her actions to Karen and tell her she just didn't understand---it would be more than a little like the way she reacted when everyone tried to talk her out of marrying Danny. She would just dig in her heels and ignore all the well-meaning advice. She even went as far as announcing that she "loved Danny more than she ever loved any other man" in her defiance of Karen and Aunt Ginny's attempts to talk some sense to her. Val would likely try to convince everyone that she and Frank were "deeply in love" even as he was regretful and trying to undo the damage and win his wife back. Val never did anything half-way.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

    Threads:
    166
    Messages:
    1,108
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Ratings:
    +947
    Yes, that's what would've made her romance with Frank all the more baffling. She had Abby and Cathy both do her wrong with Gary and Ben, respectively, and she shouldn't have wanted to do anything like that to Pat.

    Val would definitely have defended her actions, whether she was fooling around with Frank or not, to anyone that would have tried to talk any kind of sense into her. She did give Karen the whole spill that she loved Danny more than she ever loved Gary or Ben, which I thought was a little sickening. It's a little queasy watching her defend Danny when you all know he raped Amanda.
     
  11. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

    Threads:
    166
    Messages:
    1,108
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Ratings:
    +947
    I cannot tell you all how totally psyched I am that Michelle Phillips is finally back around as Anne. I was anxiously awaiting the return of Anne since she left in season eight. When she popped up for a one-episode stint in season ten, I was so glad to see her. I know she has a iffy reputation with long-running fans of the show, but I have been longing to see more of her, and I cannot be happier she's back. I cannot wait to see what she's got in store for us.

    I'm also awaiting the return of Stacy Galina (as another character naturally) and the introduction of Kathleen Noone. Sure, I also know that these two ladies have a shaky reputation with a lot of fans, but I'm looking forward to their faces cluttering my TV screen. I cannot wait.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

    Threads:
    52
    Messages:
    3,654
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Sunny South Florida
    Ratings:
    +6,228
    I can't speak for all of fandom, but I liked Anne (and MP) a lot. Anne is not a character that would have fit in at all during the first half of the series, but played well with the mood and themes of the final few years. I also appreciated Kathleen Noone's acting skills and what she brought to what could have been a cartoony character. What bugged me (and yes, it's superficial) is how they retconned Claudia into existence. So much effort was put into crafting Greg Sumner's back-story, so having this long-lost sister show up and act like she's been there all along irked me for a long time. And I've gone on the record several times with my affinity for Stacy Galina, both as Kate and as the ill-fated Mary-Frances. Kate admirably took on the "Olivia Cunningham" role of a good girl being horrified by the actions of her villainous mother. Her increased role in the Back To The Cul-De-Sac miniseries showed that Kate had so much potential.
     

Share This Page