What made Knots Landing 'different'

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by ClassyCo, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Fan

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    Some like to single Knots Landing out for being different. I've always thought so, and this why. It seems the other soaps in the "Big Four" niche had one character that defined the show: J.R. on Dallas, Alexis on Dynasty, and Angela on Falcon Crest.

    Do you see it as any different? Do your opinions happen to align with mine, or not?
     
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  2. Billy Nolan

    Billy Nolan Soap Chat Member

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    KL is the only drama-soap I´ve ever watched and tolerate... ;)
    I tried the other 3 big soaps of the 80s - FC, Dallas, Dynasty - but I cannot get warm with them. (perhaps Dallas)...

    KL had the best and most talented cast in my eyes - and it dealt with more authentic storylines and quite "normal" people.
     
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  3. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Addict

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    Yes, I've always found it ironic that of the major 80's soaps, the only spin-off from Dallas was the one least like it.

    You could call Abby the equivalent to JR, Alexis and the rest but the show was not centred on her in the same way.
     
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  4. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Fan

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    That's precisely my point. While Abby was a feminine J.R. transplanted to the California coast, the show itself focused on the other characters just as in-depth, sometimes even more so. Likewise, Abby wasn't known for just being a villain. Although the other villains on the other shows had good hearts some of the time, Abby was more known to be soft-headed. (Those are my opinions, anyways.)
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Intelligence and consistent execution.
     
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  6. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Fan

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    I agree there. It was certainly smarter than the other three.
     
  7. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Fan

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    I know there are some people that will argue that the show's normal situations aren't as normal as we like to make them out to be.
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I think it has more to do with these characters behaving and reacting as normal/authentic people, no matter how crazy the situation is.
    OK, maybe not Linda Fairgate:lol:
     
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  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Perhaps you could say it started out as a show about ordinary people in extraordinary (or at least extreme) situations and then gradually became a show about believable people in unbelievable situations.
     
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    See, that's it. The events which occurred on KNOTS are at least as wild as the other shows, but the characters responded to those things in a context of reality. That's everything.
     
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  11. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Winner

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    There were always repercussions on Knots Landing. If some shit went down you knew it was going to affect everybody and their dog. You knew it was going to bubble away the whole way through the season and involve everybody. On the other shows after a point shit just went down and then more shit went down then more and nobody even noticed or cared that the shit was everywhere.
     
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  12. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Precisely right -- and that's pretty much how I bitched about it at the time as the other 3 shows went off the rails.

    Since truth is stranger than fiction, there's no plotline you can't attempt -- just so long as the producers take the approach of: if this were to happen in real life, then how would it happen..?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  13. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Although some characters on Falcon Crest (of all soaps) retained their authenticity.
     
  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Who are you thinking of?

    I've always thought that Ray Krebbs was the most consistently written character on Old DALLAS. Not that consistency is necessarily the be all and end all -- people are full of contradictions and paradoxes.
     
  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Maggie and Richard, mostly. And Chase too, he always felt so very wronged.

    I loved Julia Cumson's transformation.
     
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  16. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Well, they are but they aren't.
     
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  17. Soaplover

    Soaplover Soap Chat Active Member

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    The show evolved and changed with the times...it kind of adapted to the early 90s and I have a feeling had the budget not gotten slashed so much..it would have adapted to the mid 90s back to basics human drama that was big in the 90s.
     
  18. Julia's Gun

    Julia's Gun Soap Chat Member

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    Knots Landing had such a powerful emotional pull, that made it compulsive and unforgettable for us regular viewers - part of me thought that somewhere on the planet these people were really going through these experiences as a teenager, somewhere over there on the west coast of America. Abby & Gary's beach house where they loved, lived and schemed for a while as exiles, Daniel's Restaurant and the tragic enigma of Ciji, Ben cradling Val pregnant outside the railings of Val's house... and some classic beach scenes - Gary & Val splashing through the waves with Lucy, Sid embracing Michael after their falling out, or Abby finding Val barefoot in the sand before taking her to her babies. That's all part of what made Knots different. I don't remember any scenes like that with the other soaps that have the same emotional resonance.

    With Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest a big cliffhanger was like, okay just how far will they go this time? How big will be the explosion, the dramatic fire or shooting, blackmail and destruction done for shock value and ratings and little else beyond that... But with Knots, those end-of-season episodes could really hurt. I felt so concerned for Val as she drove off at the end of season 3 - was this poor woman capable of going it alone or could she go on and top herself? Then with Gary and Karen at the end of Season 4 - would things ever be quite the same again in the cul-de-sac? No shock ending tagged on, just the unfolding tragedy of a mother losing control of her grown up daughter, and Gary reflecting in jail on his tumultuous year and his own private failings. But it really hit home because you cared about all these people, warts and all. Moments like that made Knots different from other shows. Perhaps because David Jacobs and the writers knew the loyal viewers would still come back next season. As long as we knew that they cared about these people the same as we did - and for the most part they kept the Knots world turning in a dramatic but relatable universe that we yearned to tune into each year.
     
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  19. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Fan

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    That nails down nicely, I think. The stories on Knots Landing weren't all that different from those showcased on the other Big Three, but with a "Californian" twist. Other than that, that's about it. What really differed is how each the characters involved in the stories responded to the situations surrounding them. At the same time, some stories would span entire seasons and involve more characters than the other shows ever did.
     
  20. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Fan

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    Yes, I agree that Knots Landing had a stronger appeal to the emotions than the other three, partly because of the homespun and relatable characters. Of course they faced some things that we "everyday" people would probably never go through, but their responses to those situations were concrete. You felt like you knew these people; they're the neighbors over the back fence, love them or hate them.

    The cliffhangers that Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest employed rarely lived up to their hype. Their first ones were good I'll say, but as time lingered on they became increasingly desperate to "top" what had been done before---and they never quite got there. "Who Shot J.R.?" was the definitive cliffhanger, and while other cliffhangers had their time in the limelight in Texas, none of them reached that pinnacle. (In my personal opinion, however, I may have preferred some of their other cliffhangers.) In Denver, the first season cliffhanger (Alexis in a veil) and the Season 4 finale were probably the best (even though Moldavian got the headlines, but ruined the show). In concerning the Tuscany winery, the second and third season finales are probably the best. (Keeping in mind I haven't finished any of these shows yet.)

    Knots Landing had cliffhangers, but they weren't so outrageous that one sensed a letdown in the works. These writers didn't direct their stories that way, but they were also more willing to allow characters to "pass" (by death or run their course), where the other ones didn't always do that.
     

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