DYNASTY versus DALLAS versus KNOTS LANDING versus the rest of them

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by James from London, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I haven't seen NuTwin Peaks yet. There was so much buzz and anticipation but nobody talks about it anymore.
    It wasn't so difficult to miss it, maybe you blinked?
     
  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    10 Feb 88: DYNASTY: Adam's Son v. 11 Feb 88: KNOTS LANDING: The Blushing Bride v. 12 Feb 88: DALLAS: The Best Laid Plans v. 12 Feb 88: FALCON CREST: Stormy Weather

    There was a photo of Pee Wee Herman in Charlie Wade’s locker on last week’s DALLAS. Maybe she got it from the same “movie-star mag” Jeff Colby is anxious to show Sammy Jo on this week’s DYNASTY (“Bruce Willis, Tony Danza’s in it, Pee Wee Herman, Tom Cruise!”). This is the flimsiest excuse any man in Soap Land has yet used to gain access to a woman’s hotel room, but it works and pretty soon they’re kissing each other’s faces off. Aside from this blossoming relationship and a reconciliation between Jessie and Karen Atkinson, it’s nonstop conflict on DYNASTY at the moment — the show is a world away from the “everyone likes everyone else” vibe of this time last year. Things are heating up on DALLAS too. Save for Charlie’s conflict with her parents and Clayton’s Laurel Ellis storyline, every scene in this week’s episode is in some way connected with JR’s plan to take over West Star. It’s pleasingly KNOTSian. This week’s FALCON CREST is concentrated in a different way with the entire episode taking place in one location. It’s a little bit “Winds of Vengeance” (instead of being stranded at Southfork during a hurricane, all the major characters are trapped in Angela’s house during a rainstorm), a little bit “The Three Sisters” (instead of a haunted house story, the ep turns into a murder mystery pastiche) and there are some half-hearted attempts at “Noises Everywhere”-style character introspection (the best of which is a brief cessation of hostilities between Angela and Richard during a game of chess) thrown in for good measure. FC deserves points for trying something different, but I don’t think the ep really works. (The show’s fans seem to love it though!)

    One of the best bits of this week’s DYNASTY is an antagonistic board-of-directors meeting at Denver Carrington. Adam and Steven turn on each other, Fallon turns on both of them, Jeff patronises everyone and Adam tells him to go to hell. Satisfyingly, all these conflicts arise out of the characters’ pre-existing relationships. There’s also a falling out between Jeff and Blake, who disapproves of his son-in-law “secretly buying up enough Denver Carrington stock so you could force your way into running the company.” This results in Jeff resigning as Blake’s campaign manager. Two other long-term male friendships also take a battering this week. Mack and Gary argue about the twins on KNOTS (“Those kids are mine and you know it and you’re gonna have to testify to it!”) while Ray loses his temper on DALLAS when Bobby tries to intercede between him and Charlie. (“Maybe you don’t think I’m a very good father. I really don’t care what you think anymore … This is my house and I make the rules around here!”)

    Elsewhere on DALLAS, Bobby thinks that Lisa Alden has left town — but she is still lurking in the shadows. Meanwhile on DYNASTY, Adam is angry when Jessie Atkinson refuses to leave Denver even after he’s paid him to. The two men come to blows, Karen gets caught in the middle and the next thing you know, everyone’s at Soap Land Memorial Hospital waiting anxiously for her to give birth. No sooner is she delivered of a baby boy than she utters the words we’ve been expecting to hear ever since DYNASTY first introduced this storyline: “I can’t give him up.” Surprisingly, when we do hear them, they feel dramatically (or at least soapily) justified. In any case, this surrogacy-gone-wrong scenario doesn’t seem quite as silly as FALCON CREST’s equivalent did a few years ago.

    Over on KNOTS, Gary prepares to take his child-based dispute to court. “I had my first daughter taken away from me but I am not gonna give up on these twins,” he vows. This isn’t the only reference to the past in this week’s Ewing-verse. “It’s not like the old days, is it?” sighs JR over breakfast in the opening scene of this week’s DALLAS. “There was a time there wouldn’t be an empty chair at this table.” “… Your daddy was here then to control you boys,” Miss Ellie remembers. Also, the name of Holly Harwood is evoked in two separate (though ultimately connected) storylines. First, Kimberly Cryder and JR lure Sue Ellen to a hotel room so she can find them in bed together — just as Holly once did. “It’s amazing how similar it is,” Sue Ellen later remarks. Meanwhile, JR is threatening to tell Bobby that he and April slept together unless she continues to buy West Star stock on his behalf. “He’s got this old-fashioned notion about not sleeping with anybody I’ve slept with,” he explains, citing Holly as an example. Bobby confirms as much when April discreetly enquires about his past relationship with Holly: “Anything JR touches, he fouls. The thought of being involved with one of his ladies — well, it would never happen.” Back on KNOTS, there’s a surprisingly affectionate moment between Gary and Abby which silently acknowledges their history as he walks in on her dress fitting, wishes her good luck for the wedding (“I hope you’ll be very happy”) and then lifts up her veil to kiss her tenderly on the lips.

    Among those stranded at Falcon Crest this week is the recently appointed Sheriff Buckman, a somewhat glum, not especially authoritative figure. His immediate predecessor, Sheriff North, arrives at Lotus Point this week as Charles Scott’s shady associate. There is no shortage of shady associates in Soap Land at the moment: Harry Thresher on DYNASTY, the nameless Dealer on KNOTS and the other twelve members of The Thirteen on FALCON CREST.

    Two nautically-themed mysteries emerge on DYNASTY and KNOTS this week, involving Alexis and Abby’s respective love interests. Regarding the Natumbe oil deal, Dex notes that Denver Carrington’s ship is loaded, but only half the hold is filled with oil — so what else is Sean planning to transport? And why is Charles Scott suddenly so keen for Abby to expand the marina at Lotus Point? He even offers to put up the investment capital. Abby reacts enthusiastically and pitches the idea to Karen and Gary. Everything is going swimmingly until the scene in her office where she is being fitted for her wedding gown. (Big mistake — it is an unwritten law in Soap Land that every time we see a bride-to-be in her dress prior to the ceremony, disaster is just around the corner: just think Fallon and those headaches, Jamie Ewing and those oil barrels.) Here, it’s a chance remark from her architect that makes Abby realise that Charles had the plans for the marina expansion drawn up long before he ever arrived at Lotus Point. Back on DALLAS, Miss Ellie makes an alarming discovery of her own when she spies Clayton in the company of a younger woman.

    Echoing Sue Ellen and Alexis’s reactions to their husbands’ recent infidelities, neither Abby nor Ellie confronts her man directly, choosing instead to discreetly sound him out. When Abby suggests they move away from Knots Landing after their wedding, Charles insists on staying put: “I’ve decided to relocate my company here … I don’t wanna live anywhere else.” This confirms Abby’s worst suspicions — that he’s only marrying her because of the marina. Miss Ellie and Clayton have the opposite conversation when he tells her he regrets giving up his business when they got married (“Selling my refineries was the biggest mistake I ever made”) and that he plans to go back to work. While Miss Ellie frowns anxiously, Abby blinks back tears during a Johnny Rourke power ballad.

    As Abby cries over Charles’s deception — we see her sobbing alone in the powder room, then staring tearfully into an open fire — Sue Ellen laughs (and laughs and laughs) after finding JR and Kimberly together. Instead of hitting the bottle as she did when Holly set her up, she feigns disgust and then shows up at Nicholas’s apartment with a fit of the giggles. Turning a hugely dramatic scenario into a joke is a risky business. One need look no further than this week’s FALCON CREST. A series which has had its fair share of murder mysteries, this week’s ep sees the characters eagerly participating in a murder mystery game, scampering about Falcon Crest as if murder were something they had no personal experience of. (“I love this game!” exclaims Angela, all but looking at the camera.) As a result, when somebody is (inevitably) murdered for real, it’s hard to care because everything just feels so trivial. Sue Ellen’s amused reaction, however, works — partly because it serves to complicate, rather than dilute, the ongoing storyline. Also, it’s a way of portraying her newfound independence (“I hate him so much right now that nothing he could do could bother me”) in a way that’s dramatically interesting (as opposed to simply depicting her as boringly sober and well-adjusted the way the Dream Season did).

    Once her tears have dried, Abby tasks some unknown minion with investigating Charles’s finances. “I want to know more about Charles Scott’s business than he does,” she declares. “That could be pretty tough to do,” the minion replies. “The next time you see a labourer up on a roof mopping hot tar for minimum wage, call me, tell me how hard your job is,” she snaps. I’ve always found this response interesting. It seems to be a way for Abby to distance herself from Charles’s blue-blood world of privilege and ally herself with her own blue-collar upbringing. Abby Ewing, class warrior? Unlikely perhaps, but this is the most recognisably “Abby” she’s been in weeks.

    Back on DYNASTY, Alexis continues to toy with Leslie and Sean over their affair. She makes Leslie squirm by enquiring about the bracelet she gave her — the same one she then found under her own bed. For a while, it looks as if Alexis is playing the same game of cat and mouse that Blake did when he found out about the emerald necklace Krystle pawned back in Season 1 — but then she blows her cover by accusing Sean directly: “I think you’ve been having an affair with her in our bed and in Africa and God knows where else!” Sean comes up with a lame excuse which, interestingly, Alexis chooses to believe (how very vintage Sue Ellen of her). But in the penultimate scene of the ep, Dex tells her about Sean’s real parentage and then gets down on one knee to deliver the soapiest line week: “Alexis, he married you to destroy you!” Over on KNOTS, it looks like Abby has something similar in mind for Charles. Far from ending their marriage plans when she (like Alexis) discovered Charles (like Sean) had been deceiving her from the beginning, she is proceeding with them. “I don’t want Charles to get away,” she smiles ambiguously. Sue Ellen ends this week’s DALLAS on a high note too. When JR finds her in their bedroom packing, he assumes she’s about to leave Southfork and file for divorce. “That’s the last thing I’m gonna do,” she tells him cheerily. Instead, she explains, she’s moving back into her old room across the hall: “See you at breakfast!”

    And this week’s Top 4 are …

    1 (3) DALLAS
    2 (2) DYNASTY
    3 (4) KNOTS LANDING
    4 (1) FALCON CREST

    It's really extraordinary. It's like nothing else.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  3. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Was it set to have just one season?
     
  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Always at his most charming on his ex-wife's wedding day (Ben and Valene). It's almost cruel.
    And since when does she indulge in frivolous games? I thought her game was plotting and bullying.
    Maybe it's hard not to giggle at such an obvious been-there-done-that soap trope. The big drama returned in TNT Dallas, ironically when she was feeling more secure and in control than ever before.
     
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  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I'm not sure. I think so.

    Ha! Yes, that's true.

    Yes, that's it -- it feels frivolous.

    How true.
     
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