Was Val a mental case?

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by Toni, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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    I was watching an episode of "The Affair" last night, and something they said made me do an association of one of the characters with Val (never mind which one, but you might guess if you watch it too). Not in a very concrete way but in the sense that she had "episodes" once in a while (at least the one that took her to Shulah...), thus meaning she had experienced psychotic crisis due to diverse traumas.

    upload_2019-4-14_0-46-14.jpeg

    "Mama is a beech, Annabelle..."
    "Yes she isssssss..."

    I eventually ended up wondering if, in the 15 years we don´t know from Val, prior to both shows´ timelines, the Shulah crisis was not an isolated thing. Picture it: Val in the 60´s. All alone. A poor waitress with a nutjob of a mother and no father at sight. No sense of fashion at all. As if she were caught in a time loop (I think that even Joan Van Ark mentioned this when talking about how she created her look).

    [​IMG]

    Imagine that Joannie had chosen this look for Val.
    And supervised by Paul Galveston, from all. Cookie!

    Besides, if we take into account the infamous "Three Sisters" episode, which may be interpreted as another crisis, then we have two. Better not get into the brain virus thingie, which is today as cringeworthy as ever...

    So what do you think? I´m speaking seriously here in case someone doubts it (Miss Piggy?). Do you think that an emotionally unstable though an utterly kind and generous and sensitive person like Val, could have suffered different kinds of PTD´s after having her daughter kidnapped and raised by her husband´s family? And most importantly, separated from her daughter until she was 17, and practically with no other relationship (maybe some rolling in the hay with Rusty?). Honestly, I think that would be enough to push any stable woman over the cuckoo´s nest...into the Ga-ga Land (not the singer). I also see the fact of her obsession with other people´s children (Olivia, Cricket, etc) a bit strange...

    upload_2019-4-14_0-52-25.jpeg

    Someday in the past, Val believed she was a space princess...​


    In other words, did Val have a dark past before we met her and Verna and the Donna Mills-wannabe were only two of her personalities? I´m almost seeing her too as a Sheila Fisher figure (maybe a sister soul of hers?)...That would be truly awful, by the way...
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If Knots Landing had been a daytime soap instead of primetime, they could very well have developed a story like this for Valene. But this sort of intricate back-story would have required a lot more screen time for JvA, and while she of course would not have objected to that at all, her co-stars (especially the ladies) would likely have been a bit ticked off for her to be taking so much time away from other (read: their) stories. Plus, such a storyline would be virtually all "her" and not the typical nighttime stories where stories involved three or more characters interacting regularly. I think the writers would have been forced to truncate or at the very least give short shrift to such a story that ought to be played out over a longer period of time than nighttime soap audiences were accustomed to. Not doing it 'right' usually makes the end result unsatisfying---like the story Falcon Crest wrote for Morgan Fairchild.

    I can say for certain that such a story could be developed because something similar was done for the character of Sharlene Frame on Another World. She started out as a dull supporting character in the late 1970s who married the town doctor. She was later revealed as an ex-prostitute and left town humiliated. They brought her back ten years later as a quiet, repressed woman, but after some time (and a new husband) she started exhibiting multiple personality disorder--her other persona being a trampy party girl who called herself 'Sharly'. Over a year or so they ironed out her issues, which arose from childhood sexual abuse. "Sharly" was the prostitute back in earlier times, but no one had realized she had split personalities (not even her). Much of her life was spent moving from place to place, which helped cover up the changes in her personalities.

    Valene could very easily have been similarly victimized as a child, what with her absentee mother and (according to back-story) a 60-something father who didn't know how to be a parent. They could say she had long periods of her childhood she can't remember, along with tough-to-explain behaviors as a teen (very un-Val like behavior). Maybe they can say that Valene kept moving around in the post-Lucy years to hide her increasing discomfort about missing chunks of time. Maybe the slutty creation we briefly saw during her trip to Shula is that alternate personality that kept popping up over the years. Heck, they could even hint that Valene could have gotten pregnant and had a baby or babies while in the throes of that alternate personality--and forgot the whole thing just like she forgot everything else that happened when she was that other personality. The possibilities are endless, which is probably why daytime soaps just love these Dissociative Identity Disorder stories.
     
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  3. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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    There is a couple of great movies about this subject, "The Three Faces of Eve" and "Sybil", the latter of which also was remade as a fine TVM starring Jessica Lange. @Daniel Avery, you are spot on, the subject would have taken tons of episodes to develop, which the other divas would probably have seen as a bit too much. Anyway, if we come to think of it, it is what they did it long-term because Val had a lot of psychological issues all through the years. Just the episode of Lilimae´s comeback from Season 1 shows her as a very troubled woman ("Mamaaaaaa!"), independently from the fact that she indeed has enough reasons to be like that.

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    "Lucy, moi and Annabelle inside the closet ...
    Those were the good ol´ times..."

    If we take some liberties beyond what we see in the show, she might even have killed Ciji at the time, if she had another schizo episode (wasn´t what we see told by herself, whom we could call an "unreliable narrator"?). And re. Chip´s confession to Diana about the crime, wasn´t he another rather "unreliable narrator" full of himself who maybe could have lied to himself to fulfill his ego? Just some thoughts about this, but anyway I find interesting how easily her actions might have been interpreted as something more serious. I guess that´s why "Knots" always makes the difference in SoapLand...

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    "My name is Donna Mills and my eyes have (tons of) it..."​
     
  4. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe slutty Val emerged and killed Jean Hackney when no one else was looking. I see her strangling that bitch with her ugly scarf.

    Pity slutty Val couldn't have re-emerged during the height of Jill's reign of terror--that would have been a funny scene, since Jill would have no idea Val could be so lethal at the drop of a hat. Or maybe "dueling nutcases" would have been too much for Knots.
     
  5. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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    Good points. And, after all, it was Val who did stab her then psycho-husband Danny Waleska, wasn´t it...? Echoes of a deranged mind...? And who knows what she did when was missing in the last season. For sure, she did get a bad taste for curled hair wigs...

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    "Now I go to a new stylist called Mr. David..."​
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  6. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    "He suggested I go red. I strangled him with the cord to his blow dryer."
     
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