Monday, May 22, 2017
Knots Landing premiered on CBS in 1979 and remained there till May of 1993; by the time it went off the air, it had become the second longest-running drama series in network history. Creator David Jacobs conceived of four married couples living in a cul-de-sac in Southern California. CBS countered, "If we're going to do domestic drama in primetime, let's try something a little more high-stakes, with a bit more sweep," so Jacobs set aside Knots Landing for a spell. Instead, he gave CBS the saga they wanted, the oil-driven Dallas (that paean to American greed and grit) -- and once Dallas blossomed into a hit, CBS suggested he revisit Knots Landing, remodeling it as a spin-off. Jacobs complied with relative ease, taking two of the characters featured at the top of Dallas's second season, Lucy Ewing's parents, and -- with just a few appearances in Season 3 -- advancing their story enough that they could resettle in Southern California, becoming one of the four couples in the cul-de-sac. The pilot fell quickly into place.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
If you've never watched Knots Landing Season 8, here's the season in a nutshell. Paige is dead! No, not really. Anne is dead! No, not really. Sylvia is dead! No, not really. Jill is dead! No, not really. Sumner's dead! No, not really. Ben is dead! No, not really. The headwriters trot out the same twist over and over, never recognizing that by the second or third time, it's like the proverbial boy crying wolf, and we cease to believe a word they say. But fortunately, beyond that one tired device, Season 8 is full of felicities: sturdy plots for the veterans, skilled acting turns by the newcomers, balanced plotting, and down-to-earth, character-driven story-lines.
No, not really.