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Knots Landing

The Way We Live-Knots Landing drabble. Mac/Greg
Never Con a Conman-Knots Landing/Doctor Who crossover. Jack/Greg

Live at Five

You want Zeitgeist? It's pretty hard to get more Zeitgeist than Dallas in its first two seasons, leading up to the famous "Who Shot JR?" plot. Remember, we're back in the days of three networks, barely any cable to speak of, no internet etc etc. You might not even have a TV set, might think it was all rubbish and be a proud NPR listener and you STILL knew about Dallas. It put the "prime time soap" on the map and gave Larry Hagman a second career when he was at risk of never getting past I Dream of Jeannie. (Eventually the schedule would be flooded with prime time soaps, including John Barrowman's two short-lived forays.)

I don't remember watching. I didn't think I was interested, although I know my mother watched and I may have stayed up to watch with her. However, even though I can't remember doing the actual watching, I remember having seen actual scenes, mostly of JR being a prick to Ray Krebs and just about everyone else. I DON'T remember any of the steamy sex that was presumably involved. Larry Hagman really did luck out getting that role and finding that bastard in himself.

Rather than remembering watching or even talking with other people about the show, what I remember is hearing about it on Live at Five.

Back in three network plus PBS day, there actually was such a thing as network loyalty and it even extended to or started with the news division. My family were NBC people. Our nightly news broadcast was David Brinkley and John Chancellor (would have been Huntley/Brinkley, but that was before my time) rather than Walter Cronkite and that extended to the local news as well. Long before I was writing fanfic about Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann, I made up stories about Sue Simmons and Chuck Scarborough being involved. I got my weather from Dr. Frank Field, my political news from Gabe Pressman, and my pop culture from Katie Kelly. I couldn't find a picture, but you have to imagine this very warm, maternal, blonde/silver haired woman who in retrospect was sort of a prototype of the DOB (dirty old broad) style of fan (as opposed to the squeee-ing fangirl we're more familiar with today.)

Anyway, Katie Kelly told me who the sexiest baseball players were (Bucky Dent, Lee Mazilli) and kept me informed about the nefarious doings of JR Ewing. What I most remember was her line about Sue Ellen's miscarriages. "Sue Ellen's first miscarriage was caused by a snake and her second was caused by JR. Many people think there was no difference." (Or something to that effect.)

So when I think of Dallas, I think of Katie Kelly and I remember watching Live at Five on WNBC.

Dallas spun off into Knots Landing in 1979. At the time, I wasn't really paying much attention. In fact, I look at the first season credits and there's virtually nobody I recognize or have much interest in. The only reason I ever came to Knots Landing was one man: William Devane. OMG, did I have a crush on William Devane, and that crush was (and maybe still is) built on the impact of seeing him as JFK in Missiles of October. (If I could include Made-for-TV movies, I'd be able to knock off another number.) William Devane IS my JFK. Martin Sheen is my Bobby. There was also a remake of From Here to Eternity and a short-lived series, but I'm not sure I remember much of that. Hell, I have stronger memories of Devane and Robert Conrad as co-athletes on Battle of the Network T and A Stars, with Conrad as the team captain. (Fic, now I want fic.)

So eventually, I glommed on to the fact that William Devane was on Knots Landing playing a Kennedy-esque character, but I wasn't able to start watching immediately, so I missed Doug Sheehan, who I knew from General Hospital and Alec Baldwin before his brief leading man period in movies. I did watch at least the last four or five seasons. I loved Greg Sumner SO MUCH. Seriously, the actor+part+charisma equation was absolutely perfect. I still kind of wish they hadn't screwed up his marriage to Anne because he and Michelle Philips were really amazing together and Nicolette Sheridan was just too blonde and too young and too skinny and too-too. I wasn't actively slashing yet, but in retrospect the Greg/Mac relationship was so fraught and I had loved Kevin Dobson back in his Kojak days. (I even thought he was good Mike Hammer in a one-off TV movie that preceeded the Stacy Keach version. I'm sorry, Mike Hammer should NOT have a mustache.)

I do give KL credit for coming to a good conclusion and wrapping up the stories, and then having Donna Mills come back. I followed Mr. Devane to some of the shows that followed...we WILL have to talk about Phenom at some point, and was recently thrilled to see him on NCIS in a guest roll. (Wiki tells me he has once again assumed the office of President in the new Batman movie.) I think I can honestly say I'd still do him.

There was only other great long-running prime-time soap IMAO, which defined the 80's and became a Zeitgeist show. (Sorry, Falcon Crest just didn't do it for me.) That was Dynasty and that comes next.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2012 05:46 am (UTC)
I had a brief frisson for William Devane when I saw (Don't laugh!) Bad News Bears Breaking Training. I was more interested in who I perceived as the younger version, namely Treat Williams. Which even got me through the first couple seasons of Everwood, although barely.

Dynasty...toward the end of its run, I was working at a telephone answering service that included a pediatric practice among its clients. Two of the most popular girls' names were Krystal and Alexis. *eyeroll*

I want to say the only thing Falcon Crest had going for it was Lorenzo Lamas (Rrrrow!), but that's not true. It had a good cast, including David Selby, but the writing was a yawn and not nearly pr0ntastic enough to compete.

Jul. 27th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
Devane is such a long-lasting fetish for me, but somehow I could never bring myself to watch him in a 'kids' movie.

My Dynasty entry is going to be perhaps a bit too self-revelatory, plus needing trigger warnings. What can I say...that was one of the hottest rape scenes ever, back when you could still say "hot" and "rape" in the same sentence and not have the full weight of the SJWs fall upon you.

(Did you see my Reasonable Doubts entry? Even if you didn't watch the show, you should
check out the entry.)
Jul. 28th, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
you could still say "hot" and "rape" in the same sentence and not have the full weight of the SJWs fall upon you

I'm not entirely sure what JSW is, but the amount of wank over what's rape or dub-con or non-con is completely out of hand. All the whining about trigger warnings annoys the crap out of me. If I go to the library and get a book, and there's a rape scene that wasn't warned for on the book jacket, should I sue the publisher? I'd be laughed out of court! Yes, IRL rape is a Bad Thing---but in fiction, one has the option of closing the book or hitting the back button. Real life does not magically rearrange itself for extra-special snowflakes!

Jul. 29th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
SJW-Social Justice Warriors. Yeah, I'm still stunned by the "evolution" of trigger warnings compared to when I started posting to LJ. I mean sure...rape...dub-con even...and generic squick...but otherwise...people really do need to get over themselves.
Jul. 29th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, warnings are getting crazy stupid. Charlie is a shape-shifter posing as Jon's girlfriend. Joe slaps his "girlfriend" around and fucks her. (But wait, since Charlie is not Jon's girlfriend, then Charlie raped Jon, even if the encounter was dub-con to begin with.) Wait, what?! I call BULLSHIT, since AFIK, there are no such things as shape-shifters IRL.

Thanks for clearing up the SJW thing, which is gonna piss me off twice as much now, since social justice is a hallmark of UU principles and seeing it co-opted by these tinhats makes me want to write something absolutely sordid and without merit and not warn for any of it. Grrr!

Jul. 29th, 2012 11:04 am (UTC)
I loved Lorenzo Lamas in Falcon Crest (and he's still amazingly hot), and I have to say I did really like Jane Wyman in it, and I liked Robert Foxworth and a few others but it was never quite the omg amazing show Dallas and Knots Landing were, imo. But I'll always remember Lorenzo's Lance and Ana Alicia's Melissa and their amazingly passionate relationship most of all from that show.
Jul. 29th, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, although I think Renegade was where he really came into his own. *fans self*

Aug. 1st, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
Oh YES! Long hair and leather and motorcycle and I think there was a plot... vaguely ;)
Jul. 27th, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
I never did get why Dallas was so popular but I've never been a soap fan.
I remember Bucky Dent primarily because my sister had a crush on him when we were kids (she usually went for the jocks).
Jul. 27th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
It was definitely something to do with the late 70's about to become the 80's and the craving for glamour, plus the story-telling wasn't bad.

Bucky Dent wasn't bad looking back in the day. I think Lee Mazilli was cuter. Of course none of them have aged well. Jocks generally don't and baseball players tend not to be the fittest to start with, so when it goes to hell, it ALL goes to hell. Dimaggio being the exception because Dimaggio is always the exception.
Jul. 29th, 2012 11:02 am (UTC)
I loved that line about Sue Ellen's miscarriages. I heard it somewhere too, though I've no idea where, maybe in Soap Opera Digest or something of that nature.

Just after it ended, one of our networks started showing Knots Landing from the early days (not the very beginning) so I got to see most of it in a daytime format. It started sometime during Val's pregnancy with the twins so I got to see a bit of Doug Sheehan (what a gorgeous man - he reminds me a little of James Read), all of Alec Baldwin which will always have me amused when I see him in anything else, almost all of Lisa Hartman's second run and I still adore her to this day, most of Greg's run (I missed a little of it). I do remember the earliest days vaguely, as I did watch, I mostly remember Sid Fairgate and his death actually, because I remember being a little wary of Mac.

I actually really enjoyed Greg/Paige - I think they were one of my formative older man/younger woman pairs, though I think Nicollette is much more beautiful now than she was then, but I see what you mean as well. I also think Paige should really have ended up with Tom Ryan (I think that was his name) and that reminds me, whatever did happen to that actor? I remember seeing him in a few things around that time and can't remember hearing about him since. Plus with Greg/Paige there was the whole thing with Mac that just made it all so much more interesting.

But I couldn't agree with you more about Greg/Anne. William and Michelle's chemistry was sizzling and they just worked so well together. I love Michelle in everything I've ever seen her in (and that's a bit apparently, as I check IMDB).

I also loved everything about Abby. She was one of the most interesting characters.

There's a few characters I didn't care for or found less interesting but overall I did like the show over the years.
Jul. 29th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
In retrospect, I should have been a Greg/Paige shipper because it would have played perfectly into my older man fixation. Maybe Nicollette was just too blonde and perfect for me to "self-insert" with or maybe by the time I really started focusing, I was already getting to the point of having to acknowledge that I was too old to be the younger woman of my dreams.

I wouldn't mind going back and seeing it from the beginning although I think those first few seasons pre-Greg would be a slog.

Doug Sheehan was on GH at the time that I started watching it, just after the Luke/Laura insanity, and he played a genuinely nice guy....I definitely had a bit of a crush on him, but nothing like my Devane obsession.

Abby is one of the great soap Divas and Donna Mills was able to totally commit to that. Right up there with the Divine Alexis.
Aug. 1st, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
I think I was just young enough for it to work (ignoring the blonde perfection bits, at least). I definitely think she got more attractive with age, though. Though I do remember actually liking her more as Anne in the flashbacks, oddly enough.

I really liked Sid and Karen in the beginning, they're kind of the most memorable thing about the earliest days for me - Don Murray was amazing as Sid.

Doug really is very attractive (or was up to a few years ago, last time I saw him in anything). I never saw him on GH but he keeps turning up in older stuff in re-runs.

Abby was so amazing. Donna was/is great, too. I remember seeing her in an episode of Cold Case a few years back, playing an utter monster of a character (made Abby look like Karen, comparatively, to give you an idea) and she's just as wonderful still. That ep also had Perry King as her husband and reignited THAT crush.

I could never say if I liked Abby or Anne better - I wish they'd had them interact at all (or more if there was any) though.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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