Sons & Daughters Sons & Daughters

Discussion in 'Australian & New Zealand Soaps' started by JROG, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Thanks. That's exactly the clue I was looking for, he's mentioned it several times but somehow it didn't register with me.:oops:
    How intriguing that we experience this in such a different way.
    In those episodes before he went to Sydney I did get those stepmother vibes from her.
    It seemed to me that she couldn't be involved as much as she wanted to, it was mostly David's business. And those moments of hesitation, repression even, made it even more dramatic for me.
    When she and Scott/John met at the market she became so extremely emotional, but I interpreted it as a combination of happiness and unloading.

    When Kevin was suspended (I think he was) because of his article in the school paper she marched straight to the principal. Not because she loves Kevin more, but I don't think anyone could tell her to stay out of it, not even David.

    The Visting Parents in tv dramas are notorious troublemakers, and grandpa Palmer is as grumpy and opinionated as they come.
    David himself, dressed in a tank top and shorts as short as Jill's hot pants, looks way too sexy for a domestic dad-type.
    The wedding guests are being ambushed by a camera crew of the Seven Network, I assume it was a very quite week in Australia's cultural city.
    The ceremony has been scaled down to a tiny living room wedding - crips, beer and a pink cake included.
    And of course grandpa's visit ends with a lot of screaming and shouting (you don't really want the Palmers as your neighbours, poor Victory Hardy).

    Gordon and Patricia reminisce their early years at Woombai, but when he mentions the day she showed up with Angela, she suddenly freezes.
    It's almost as if she's tried to rewrite her past.
     
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  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    David's first wife is taboo in the Palmer household, and Kevin is getting more and more intrigued.
    If she wasn't in the story already it would feel like a build-up to an "Alexis" sort of introduction.

    Angela declines Jeff Colby's Simon Armstrong's wedding proposal, much to her mother's chagrin.
    [​IMG]
    Fiona does a bit of Number 96 comedy when David pays her a surprise visit. I thought it was a funny scene.
    John is usually partially undressed, it starts to look like sexploitation - but hey, I'm not complaining.

    Angela accepts Simon's proposal anyway, but it's nothing but a statement directed at "Scott".
    The party scene is nicely staged, the continuously changing camera angles make it look more vibrant than it really is. Apparently there's also a room for dancing but they didn't show it.
    Patricia triumphantly announces the young couple's engagement, but Mrs Armstrong (it's Barbara!) disapproves of this lack of decorum.
    "So...you're not against the engagement as such?" Patricia asks.
    Her eagerness reminds me of Sable Colby's "Hyacinth Bouquet" moment when she realizes that Miles has married the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country.
    This really shouldn't impress a Colby at all, but there's a difference between being a Colby and to love being a Colby.
    And this is also the difference between Patricia and Barbara.

    When Angela tells Barbara off for being rude and snobbish, she turns out to be surprisingly amicable.

    Kevin and Lynn are so cute, they remind me of Norman and Rita (Harrington).
    Susan is shocked by Bill's aggressive behaviour - he's a walking time bomb.
     
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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Patricia's fish out of water scenario in episode 33 was delightfully satisfying, particularly the moment when she went to tear her bread roll, saw the others sawing away at theirs with knives and resignedly took a knife to hers.

    It's a tiny moment, and there was no dialogue to acknowledge it, but the parallel with John's faux pas during his first awkward dinner at the Hamiltons' was hugely rewarding for observant viewers of those early episodes. Particularly when John clocked it and threw her a knowing little smirk.
     
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Fiona (doing aerobics): I know it's a long-playing record but this ridiculous.

    Sons & Daughters is often remembered as a soap with OTT plotlines, but it's also a top-quality show with a very talented cast.
    Patricia is the bad guy for the obvious reasons but in a strange way I can understand her motives. She made her decision all those years ago and it's easier to stick with it than to admit that she's made a big mistake.
    David Palmer is the most unlikeable of the bunch - a very difficult man who has no intention to think outside the box.
    During an argument about Kevin and Lynn's secret rendez-vous, David opens a beer can and spatters some beer on Beryl in the process.
    "Sorry about that" he says, but it doesn't sound like an apology at all.

    The episodes are filled with these sort of details and vibrant dialogue and I think that's also the reason why S&D feels like a very fast-paced show, there's never a dull moment.

    Gordon, Angela and the Palmers are still unaware of The Situation, I wonder if that's going to change now Angela has decided to move out (secretly).

    I like the brown and green colours of the Hamilton living room, it's not Dallas or Dynasty but it looks like early eighties modern chic.
    upload_2019-6-8_1-31-45.png
    In those days, a leather couch or big stereo set was considered a pièce de résistance, and family members were invited to view the latest, luxurious purchase.
     
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  5. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Like Dallas, Sons and Daughters was stepping out from the 70's with its drab and dreary colour pallette. But it's what I expected from the era.
     
  6. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I find early Dallas very colourful, I like it better than the hardcore pastel of the mid- and late eighties.
     
  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That spatter looked accidental to me, and the non-apologetic apology an ad lib. I love these charming little moments that show the "keep calm and carry on" attitude of actors and crew working with time and budgetary pressures. It's part of the appeal of my ongoing British sitcom binge. The Aussie soaps are an embarrassment of riches in this regard.



    The poo brown sets of S&D had a poor rap whenever its name came up in conversation during its original airing here. It was probably a little dated even when filmed and it helped not that we were several years behind.

    Personally, I find the almost claustrophobic earthiness very comforting and it certainly adds to the atmosphere of the series.


    Oh God, yes.
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    It was, but what I meant was that it felt like an insult on top of his bossy behaviour during that argument (or any argument for that matter).
    Yes but it's not just the colours or the furniture. Most Dutch and British tv series of that time had that particular "look".
    American tv shows always looked brighter, prettier, friendlier - even the outdoors scenes.
    And to me this has resulted in a different kind of nostalgia when it comes to classic Euro/Aussie vs American tv series.
    And perhaps a little voyeuristic, too.
     
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  9. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I always thought the set decorators were spot on with the Palmers house in Melbourne...a typical suburban home. The Hamiltons house in Dural on the other hand was actually quite ugly...on the outside that is. But like Dallas the producers/writers did like to take advantage of the driveway. I recall a few characters coming to grips with cars.
     
  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I'd call it a typical council house, and apparently there was never enough money to replace the furniture that David had bought in the late 1960s.
     
  11. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As I get into the fifties by episode count, I'm very impressed that the broad canvas of the series' pre-history is still being painted in rich colours.

    Some things that we knew are being fleshed out. Patricia, for example, has just spoken to David and John about how she met Gordon, with some added details.

    Those things we had questions about are being answered. Details about Gordon's first wife's death, for example. And Rosie's reasons for disliking Patricia (or at least Patricia's version thereof).

    And new information is being given, like some of Fiona's tragic history (hinted at in early episodes).

    None of this feels malapropos. Quite the opposite. It's very organic. We're three months or so into the run. Characters are curious, or getting to know one another. And they've recovered from the shock of early revelations enough to ask some valid questions. Most of which are being answered.

    Appropriately for a series that began with such emphasis on events of two decades earlier, the past is still heavily informing the characters' motives in the present. And in turn is irrevocably changing the future of the characters.

    It's heady stuff.
     
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  12. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. And that was right in character for David.



    American TV series at the time - or at least the few that were imported to the UK back when we had a stronger sense of our own cultural identity - generally had much bigger budgets than British and Aussie shows (and presumably most of Europe too), and that extended to the sets. The sets in American shows seem much bigger, too. I'm sure they're smaller than they appear onscreen*, but still much larger than their European equivalents.

    And they had fewer episodes per year, so plenty of time to get things looking right. I've just been watching some S&D episodes in which the weather has looked rather dull during outdoor scenes, with overcast skies and whatnot. I've seen some episodes of Knots and Dallas where the weather has looked a little inclement (a couple of early beach scenes on Knots, and those windy breakfasts at Southfork), but in general they still felt quite open and light, which I'd say is down to the luxury of time to get the cinematography right so they could lessen the impact of a less than ideal situation.


    *The biggest shock for me when I toured the Corrie set was seeing how tiny Gail's home is. It looks much more open and spacious onscreen, which goes to show that the production values on British shows these days are not to be sniffed at.



    Indeed. I can't see that little bridge at the entrance to the drive without a certain incident from a mid-run episode coming to mind.
     
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  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    And there's the difference between single and multi-camera shooting too, which took me a long time to my head around. KNOTS and DALLAS, because they had more time (and money) to make fewer episodes tended shot using a single camera, like a film, which means you shoot one person in close up, and light them individually, then take a break to adjust the lighting and camera for the next person, and so on. Because there's less time on a smaller soap like S&D or the British soaps, everyone is shot at the same time, with an all-purpose lighting state, like a studio sitcom, which feels a bit flatter and less luxurious.

    Early BROOKSIDE was an exception - because it was shot in real houses, you simply couldn't fit loads of cameras in, say, the Grants' living room at the same time, so they'd use single, more lightweight cameras. And I also think it was the first soap to be shot entirely on videotape as opposed to film - but that's a whole different ball of wax, which I still don't quite understand!

    Gosh, this thread is making me want to watch S&D all over again! But ... I ... must ... resist ...
     
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  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah yes. I've read of the single camera vs. three (or however many) cameras setup, but hadn't thought about how each individual shot is more carefully lit with a single camera job.

    I suppose the three camera one is a little like a Swiss Army knife or those slipper socks where one size fits all. They're very convenient and do the job, but there's no escaping the fact it's a compromise.


    Wow. That makes complete sense but... wow.


    Me neither. There seem to be proponents of both media and they all make good cases. But I'm not really any the wiser.


    [​IMG]

    Gordon says do it.

    Or do you really want to be called into his study and told how disappointed he is in you?!
     
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  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    I think one advantage of the multi-camera set up is that you're watching all the actors in a scene acting at the same time. It gives room for the possibility of a little more spontaneous interaction that can make a scene feel a little more 'alive'. The one camera set up, at least as it was applied on the 80s series, gives a more artificial vibe - say a Southfork living room scene where everyone comes in, takes their position and then (mostly) just reacts from that one spot. That kind of stylised look is part of the shows' charm, of course, but one of the things that thrilled me about New DALLAS (now that cameras are lighter and can move around a lot more) is how fluid it felt in comparison to the old series. The characters could move about more freely within a scene and it felt (possibly an illusion) as if the actors' impulses were dictating the camera moves rather than the camera positions dictating where the actors had to stand. I remember feeling that Bobby and Sue Ellen especially seemed to benefit from this; they suddenly seemed more human and 'real' as a result.

    Those smaller cameras on BROOKSIDE gave a feeling of flexibility the soaps had never had before. Whereas there was a comforting predictability about the camera positions on CORONATION STREET, if say a Brookie director wanted to suddenly film the Grants' living room from the point of view of the staircase, just to add a feeling of unease to a scene, he could. And of course you could follow a character out of one house, across the close and into the living room of someone else's house all in one take if you wanted to. On CORONATION STREET, you couldn't even follow someone upstairs!

    Of course, now that everything's digital and whatnot, there's a lot more freedom for all the soaps to experiment. Only this week, ENDERS did a shot I'd never seen before where a camera in the Mitchells' backyard showed Sharon looking out of the kitchen window and then panned right to show her stepdaughter Louise looking out of the living room window, and we then saw Sharon leave her window to join Louise at her window! (And they're both pregnant by the same man!)

    I think an example of film is that lovely grainy texture you'd get in 70s/80s CORRIE when someone was walking down the street, compared with the flatter look you'd immediately get once they'd stepped into the interior of the pub or the corner shop, which would be shot on video.

    I think that, basically, all the regular interiors were recorded in the studio on video, and all the exteriors and location work was on film -- which was the rule for telly in general back then. Without really understanding any of that, I intuitively knew as a kid when Bet Lynch moved in with her boyfriend that the relationship was doomed because his house had that grainy, filmic texture, which meant they hadn't bothered building a set for it because it wouldn't be around that long!

    I guess that all changed in the 90s when they built the houses on the other side of the street which probably coincided with everything changing over to video. Again, I'm not sure.

    I will, Gordon, I will. I just need to finish at least one other series before I do!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  16. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I haven't watched any S&D episodes this week but it's all Netflix's fault. AND they have their people operating here at soapchat too. I was defenceless.

    Forgive me?
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    From what I know of the set ups, I'd very much agree.


    Yes. American shows in particular always seemed far less naturalistic than the British shows of the time. I'd put it all down to the direction and in some cases the acting too (and in the case of the soaps it's also the genre, which owes a lot to melodrama of decades earlier). But what you've said has highlighted that because of the single camera setup there's a (possible) technical explanation for the sometimes curious lack of kinetic energy on screen.


    Again, I'd pinned this one entirely on the series being filmed in real houses. But I'm sure the cameras added a lot to the overall tone of the series.


    How very soapy!! Something tells me those two are going to have a miserable Christmas Day this year.


    Thanks for this. As that's simple enough for me to remember I'll see if I can spot the difference next time I'm watching something from the era.


    Well, who are we to rush genius.


    With such a series of unfortunate events for you, how can I not?
     
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  18. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking at Eighties culture from an early 21st Century vantage point can sometimes highlight how far we've come. But it can also shine a light on the fact that along with progress has come a certain amount of societal conditioning.

    Take Patricia being wolf whistled at by an employee and sacking him on the spot. From a 2019 perspective, the responses of witnesses and people hearing the news - including John, Rosie and David - seem very unusual indeed. Without exception, they've seen her as overreacting to admittedly inappropriate behaviour. Some would seem to go further and view her as just plain hard.

    The writing, up to a point, is simply showing Patricia's behaviour to be part of who she is. With the arc taken suggesting her response to the wolf whistle was partly informed by a form of sexual frustration over David's presence. Even Patricia herself admitted to John that she'd overreacted.

    Needless to say, this would be unthinkable today. Rosie would not be allowed to say that "you couldn't meet a nicer young bloke" than the culprit. Not unless it was a way to show denial (which it doesn't appear to be). John would not be allowed to tell Patricia that he thought she was wrong. Not unless it was part of a journey to his wokedom. And Patricia would most certainly not be permitted to admit that she'd overreacted.

    The characters in Sons And Daughters may be a little too relaxed about things. But there's also a sanity to the situation. The freedom to learn from a bad judgement. And the freedom to move on without further overreaction. And from where I sit it's refreshing.
     
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  19. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    The last scene I've watched was this powerful moment
    upload_2019-6-16_1-39-26.png
     
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  20. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Isn't it a game changer? This was the episode that inspired my rave about the show in post #99.
     

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