Sunday, January 24, 2016





Episode Title: Hitchhike: Part One

Season 02, Episode 01

Episode 014 of 344

Written by Don Murray

Directed by Edward Parone 

Original Airdate: Thursday, November 20th, 1980

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Sid picks up a young hitchhiker who sets him up by asking him to give her money. When he refuses, she accuses him of rape. Diana has difficulty facing people. Sid's sister, Abby Cunningham, arrives in Knots Landing with her two children. Karen persuades Sid to find a new attorney instead of Richard.


                Welcome to season two of KL.  After those two positively delightful Brief Dallas Interludes, it’s time to get back with our old friends at Seaview Circle, including a wonderful new neighbor I am very excited to talk about over the course of the next nine seasons.  Let’s get started, shall we?

                I’ll start out with an update on the opening credits for season two.  These are virtually identical to the opening of season one with a few very minor changes.  The layout and style are the same, that being the overhead view of the cul-de-sac which opens up a bit to reveal images of the actors (In Alphabetical Order, of course).  What’s different?  Well, and forgive me for this major nerd moment, but the font is different for the title and the actor credits.  Also, we gotta make room for our new cast member, so things are a little bit sped up, particularly when the camera zooms in over the houses to reveal images of the characters (Karen and Sid making out from Pilot, for instance).  However, after we get the shot of Kenny and Ginger, we then get a fifth little house zoom in where we get a fabulous image of the very fabulous Donna Mills as Abby, toweling off a bit, showing off her fantastically beautiful body.  From there, the images of the cast are all the same as the previous season, but with the obvious inclusion of Donna Mills, squeezed comfortably in-between Constance McCashin and Don Murray.  Her little screenshot in the opening is very enticing, by the way, as she is making a wonderful face that accentuates those legendary baby blue eyes.  Mmmmm.  However, it’s actually gonna be awhile before we physically see her character.  For now, as we rev up to start season two, we see her image here in the opening but it’s gonna be maybe twenty minutes before we actually meet her, so patience! 

                We actually open this episode in a very cinematic style, which really sets a tone for this episode that I was not expecting.  As we went through this episode, I was continually surprised at how many little touches the director threw in to give it a little flair, and I was reminded again why I find KL so much better than Dallas in pretty much every way.  Especially after having watched those two Dallas episodes so close to my viewing of this episode, it’s remarkable how much better KL looks than its parent series.  Dallas, for me, generally shot everything in a very bland and unremarkable way, rarely making any efforts to look more cinematic (although I did read that when Linda Gray directed episodes, she made a conscious effort to move the camera more and keep things looking more interesting, and I do recall some of her episodes looking much better than the others), but KL does lots of small things that I really appreciate.  Again, I am not saying there is anything mindblowing visually in KL, this is not Twin Peaks or The X Files or any modern show from the last ten or fifteen years that make conscious efforts to look and feel cinematic, but there are still small touches that I appreciate and which I will take a moment to mention very shortly.

                Sid is driving along at night, clearly running a little late.  See, Diana is about to go onstage for the high school talent show, right after, um, lemme take a look at my notes here, oh yes, right after a band called Zarris.  I must say that Zarris seems remarkably professional for a high school band, although they haven’t put a lot of effort into being terribly original, as they are all adorned in obvious KISS makeup and are putting on a show that is remarkably similar to a KISS concert. But anyway, I digress, and I don't judge Zarris becuase this is 1980 and I'm pretty sure that KISS was at the absolute peak of their popularity right here.

                There’s this chick hanging out on a street corner, and she asks Sid for a ride.  At first, Sid tells her he can’t do it; he’s in a hurry and he’s got to get to the school in time for Diana’s rather horrendous little song-and-dance routine.  However, as he starts to pull away, he sees her being harassed and threatened by some sleazy looking dudes in a big red shagging wagon van.  Ever the gentleman, Sid turns around and lets the girl hop in for a ride.  This is a decision he’ll quickly regret, but it’s important to note that he does what he believes is right and, because of that, ends up in a harrowing two-part adventure, showing that sometimes, even though we wish to be nice and decent to our fellow humans, we may actually wind up regretting it in the long run.  In a way, this is sorta the sad and cynical thesis of this episode and the next one, and it’s a theme we’ll see returning again and again until this two-part episode resolves itself.

                Okay, so the chick gets into the car, and we learn who she is…sorta.  Her name is Pam and she is played by Ruth Cox.  If that name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because it shouldn’t.  Her last acting credit is in 1986 and I saw nothing on her filmography that rang a bell.  Is she a good actress?  I guess she’s fine here, if perhaps a little hammy, but a healthy dose of ham can often be the most charming part of KL, so I won’t throw stones at Ruth Cox.  Anyway, at first she is nice to Sid, but then she asks him for a hundred dollars and he tells her nope, so she says, “I guess I’ll just have to cry rape, then.”  Sid is remarkably undeterred by this threat, merely pointing at a nearby police officer and saying, “Now’s your chance.”  Well, he shouldn’t have called Pam’s bluff, because she does immediately start thrashing around and screaming and yelling.

                Sid makes one very questionable decision here.  I maintain that, had he behaved just a smidge differently, everything would end right here and we would have the shortest hour of television ever.  What should he have done?  Well, he has a few options.  I’ll go ahead and assume that he did not expect Pam to actually start screaming and freaking out, but once she started doing so, he could have just opened the passenger door and thrown her ass out, or, if he wanted to continue calling her bluff, he could have driven his car right on over to those police officers and said, “Officers, I was trying to be nice and give this crazy bitch a ride, but now she’s freaking out and acting like I am gonna rape her.”  Instead, just as she starts screaming and thrashing, Sid immediately speeds away like a maniac, driving right past the officers and probably exceeding the speed limit by a wide margin, all while fighting this girl and trying to hold her down.  Hmmm, how do you make yourself look like a rapist real fast?  Just try to hold down a girl who is thrashing wildly and that should do the trick.  If I was one of these police officers and saw this insanity going down, I would definitely follow and pull them over, as well, and I would probably assume the man was up to something no good.

                This is where that cinematic flair I was speaking about kicks in.  See, the whole time Sid has been driving, we’ve been cross-cutting back and forth between him and the talent show.  In fact, it’s at the talent show that we learn, through very bad ADR, that Sid’s sister Abby is coming to town for a visit.  We also see the conclusion of the epic Zarris performance and then the entirety of Diana’s performance.  Basically, Diana and a couple of other girls get all nice and dressed up and start dancing and singing that super annoying song If My Friends Could See Me Now.  Okay, at first I turned to My Beloved Grammy and was like, “Ah, fuck this song, I hate it,” but then we keep crosscutting between the garish performance and Sid being pulled over and arrested by the cops.  At that point, I had a minor epiphany and I decided that the use of the song is very intentional.  The lyrics are essentially saying, “Oh boy, what would my friends think if they saw me now?”  Well, here we are witnessing Sid, a well respected man and a pillar of his community, being arrested and detained by the police, and the fact that we keep cutting back and forth from him to the talent show just underlines this.  It’s a small little touch but it’s one which I appreciate very much.

                From here, we move over to two characters who I love very much, Laura and Richard.  Laura is climbing into bed while Richard practices his ridiculous little calisthenics’ routine, which I believe we’ve seen him do a few times before this.  In this instance, he is standing on his head for some reason.  We also get some fantastic dialogue between the married couple (I don’t think I dare say “Happily married”).  See, for those who have forgotten about season one (and remember it’s been a very long summer back in 1980, as everyone had to wait eight months or more for their shows to get started up again thanks to a delay from the writers’ strike), we get a nice reminder that Laura is now transitioning into a career woman; she is positively delighted about all the work she’s been doing down at the real estate office.  Of course, Richard is ready with his acid tongue to cut her down.  When she refers to “the real estate business,” he immediately reminds her that she has nothing to do with real estate; she is merely a lowly secretary.  A little later in the episode, he also pokes a little fun at her because she spent the day stuffing and licking envelopes.  Of course, all this snarkiness stems from Richard’s feelings of inadequacy and his Napoleonic complex (the famous Short Man Syndrome), but let’s shelve that discussion for a little bit later, as we will soon be coming upon a fabulous Richard-centric episode that gives us a ton of material to pour over (it’s just a few episodes away, and it’s called Chance of a Lifetime, in case you were curious). 

                Sid is only in prison for a short time before he either gets bail or the cops let him leave or something like that.  Now, as he’s leaving, we can see that little miss Pam is getting rather chummy with one of the officers.  When she notices Sid and Karen leaving, she starts freaking out again and yelling about how Sid tried to rape her after she refused his offer of money for sex.  Now, there’s a key point of information in this scene that will not pay off in this episode, but which will be important to the resolution at the end of the next episode, as she yells something about, “He told me all these horrible things the men in the van were going to do to me!”  Well, the line comes and goes and is forgotten for the rest of this episode, but keep that line in mind, as it will be important to our next episode.

                From here, we go to our first commercial break, but I must take a moment to note the music of this particular ep.  Boy, but it sure does sound like that intentionally goofy, way over-the-top music used on Police Squad!, does it not?  Interestingly, Police Squad! is still a little ways into the future, but damn if this really heavy handed and extremely loud music didn’t sound just like something Ira Newborn might compose for that short-lived series, and I have to think that series was intentionally spoofing moments of television that were exactly like, well, this.  In fact, this episode and the next one had quite a bit of very strange musical choices, prompting me to look up who did the compositions for these particular eps.  I was rather unsurprised to see it was Jerrold Immel.  Now, I have discussed this musical genius (and I’m not calling him that with any trace of irony….well, maybe a little bit) before a bit.  Obviously he composed the legendary theme songs to both Dallas and KL, but what’s interesting is he’s never the main series composer for either series.  He pops up on both series rather sporadically to do an episode’s score, and whenever he does, I can usually tell.

                For instance, remember the fabulously awful musical score that accompanied Land of the Free?  Yup, that was pure Jerrold, and this double episode is full of his trademark wackiness.  In fact, quite a few scenes get started with this sorta musical cue that sounds like someone has just started playing an old, scratched record, right before the singer starts to sing and it’s just the instruments and stuff.  I don’t know a better way to describe it than that, but if you watch this episode, you will know exactly what it is I am speaking of.  There’s also that BLARING piece that plays when Pam is screaming at Sid in the police station, and finally there’s a cue that sounds like it came right out of Airplane!, and that’s the cue that actually sends the episode to its ending.  EDITORIAL NOTE: ONLY LATER DID I REALIZE HOW DUMB WHAT I'VE WRITTEN IS SINCE THE FIRST HALF OF THIS SECOND SEASON, MUCH LIKE DALLAS AT THE SAME TIME, WAS SUFFERING A MUSICIAN'S STRIKE AND JUST KEPT RE-USING THE SAME STOCK LIBRARY MUSIC FOR AWHILE. 

                As we move along through the episode, we quickly observe the ripple effects of a man, any man, being accused of attempted rape.  Pretty much immediately, people start to turn their backs on Sid, or word starts to spread that he’s a creepy guy.  For instance, Laura and her boss (not Scooter Warren just yet, but don’t worry, as we’ll be seeing him in just a few short episodes) are right on the verge of selling a house on Seaview Circle, and the clients are very interested in the house, but when they see that big “FAIRGATE” name on the mailbox next door, they kinda freak, and the deal is done.  Or, over at the high school, we have girls gossiping about Sid, remembering all the times he gave them a ride home or what have you (I think this might actually occur in the "Part Two" portion of this episode, but it's kinda blurring for me right now).  Finally, down at Knots Landing Motors, Sid starts to lose deals with clients there, or receive phone calls indicating that people are no longer interested in doing business with him.  It’s all very fast and, yes, perhaps a bit over-the-top, but not inaccurate to how situations like this really do play out in real life.

                Things get a bit more complicated with the hiring of Richard to be Sid’s lawyer.  Karen is immediately against it and tells Sid he needs to hire a competent criminal lawyer.   Of course, Sid being Sid, he ignores her at first.  Richard is his friend and he doesn’t want to make his friend feel like he’s not good enough.  In a fabulous scene set in the Fairgate bedroom, the two argue about who should be their lawyer and why it should or should not be Richard.

                Let’s talk about this scene real fast, because we have another little cinematic burst of artistic creativity that forced me to pause the episode and turn to My Beloved Grammy and say, “Are you seeing this shot?!”  See, as the scene begins, we have things lit in a very interesting manner, with Sid on the lefthand side of the screen, actually being reflected in a mirror as he prepares for bed.  Then there’s a big black space in the middle of the screen and finally Karen sitting in a chair on the right side, nursing a cocktail (perhaps a gin and tonic?  What is Karen’s drink of preference?), lit from above in a way that makes her actually look almost villainous.  Perhaps I can get a screen grab of this image so the readers at home can get a look at this sublime framing (except that would require effort and some basic knowledge of this blogging website which I completely lack).  Again, if Dallas was doing a scene of two people talking in a bedroom, it would certainly not look as good as this; it would just be a boring, bland shot of two people talking.  But here, director Edward Parone (who previously directed one of my favorite KL episodes, The Lie, and will be returning to direct Hitchhike: Part Two as well as A Family Matter, both right here in season two) makes the scene into something much more visually stimulating.  It’s small touches like these that I truly appreciate.

                In typical KL fashion, we also have plenty of fascinating and relevant points of view to go around.  I love both Karen and Sid and I understand both of them.  The writing is just so good because I can completely 100% see Sid’s point of view; he’s such an inherently decent person and he doesn’t want to hurt his friend’s feelings, so of course he’ll let him be his lawyer, right?  But Karen, on the other hand, is being a realist; she also loves Richard in her own special way, but she knows he’s rash and makes stupid decisions and is probably not a very good lawyer.  She is concerned for her husband and wants only the best for him and she knows that’s not Richard. 

                Spoiler alert, but Karen is obviously right, as Richard immediately proves by heading over to the super shitty residence of the-alleged-attempted-rape-victim.  Pam is home alone in this awful little apartment, just watching TV and eating Corn Flakes in the middle of the day.  Oh, did I say Corn Flakes?  I’m sorry, I meant "Flakes," as there’s a big piece of black tape slapped right over the word “Corn” on the cereal box.  There are actually a few instances of this in the ep, as we earlier saw a carton of Minute Maid orange juice in the Fairgate kitchen that was blacked out and simply read “Maid.”  Perhaps the prop guys could have tried harder with covering up brand names in this particular ep, no?

                Here’s another thing to note about this ep: Richard is smoking.  I find this very interesting as he smokes several cigarettes in this ep and is very casual about it, yet we haven’t ever seen him smoking a cigarette prior to this.  In fact, if you’ll accompany me on a quick flashback, you’ll recall that Richard was seen smoking a pipe way back in Pilot during the block party that welcomed Gary and Val to the neighborhood.  So we’ve seen him in one episode smoking a pipe and now here he is smoking cigarettes.  Is he just a casual occasional user of tobacco?  Does he only smoke when he’s stressed?  Or does he smoke to look cool and adult?  The reason I bring it up is because he is first shown smoking as he heads into the shitty apartment.  It’s a long shot and he flings the cigarette away onto the sidewalk, so it might be hard to even notice at first glance, but then he lights up when he’s inside, talking to Pam.  I will keep my eyes open over the course of the next few years to see if Richard ever smokes again, and then I’ll report back.  Oh yeah, and while we're on the subject of smoking, I remind you that we saw Laura smoking twice and then never again back in The Lie, so I've developed a little theory about the cigarettes; follow me here.  I think after what Laura went through in the ep, she decided to ditch the secret bars-in-the-daytime lifestyle she was persuing and she also ditched the smokes.  I think she didn't finish the pack and just sorta threw it in a drawer somewhere in the house, not thinking about it.  Later, I think Richard found the pack lying in a drawer and was like, "Hey, these will make me look mature when I'm trying to manipulate that Pam chick," and he snagged the pack and that brings us up to date.  What do you think about my elaborate theory of the smokes?

                Anyway, Richard’s methods of bribery are a bit odd.  He encourages Pam to drop the charges against Sid, then starts telling her about how his buddy owns a surf shop and he can get her free surfboards (he notices surfboards lying around the apartment; he doesn’t just randomly start offering the girl surf-gear and hope she’ll jump for it).  He even extends the offer to her to come and hang out at his buddy’s beach house pretty much whenever she wants.  Bad choice, Richard, but he doesn’t wind up paying for his decisions until a little bit later in this episode.

                Meanwhile, Karen is already at work getting Sid a better lawyer, so she chooses Stan Lesser, played by the immediately recognizable Ron Rifkin.  You all know who this guy is, right?  Seriously, this guy’s been in everything, particularly everything on the small screen.  I think he first caught my attention in a guest spot on E.R.., but he’s also got credits that include Sex and the City, the movie L.A. Confidential and even a few Woody Allen films (Husbands and Wives and Manhattan Murder Mystery).  The guy’s a solid little actor and I always smile when I see him onscreen.  Anyway, he’s introduced talking to Karen in his house, wearing a jogging outfit and sipping a smoothie, all very California, wouldn’t you say?  I think he might have even been munching on a stick of celery, but I could be hallucinating that image.  Anyway, not much is learned from his first scene other than that he answers some questions for Karen regarding this case.

                At the close of the episode, Richard returns to the shitty apartment to continue his acts of bribery towards Pam, but what he doesn’t expect is for Pam’s fat mother to come out of the kitchen and catch him in the middle of this bribery.  Now, as this fat, somewhat Kathy Bates-looking woman entered the scene and started to scold Richard, I found myself recognizing her and having no idea why.  Well, it turns out her name is Conchata Ferrell and she is probably busier nowadays than she ever has been, starring in the God-awful Chuck Lorre abomination Two and a Half Men  (Random aside: I truly believe there is a very special place in Hell for Chuck Lorre because of all the pure shit he has released into the universe through the medium of television).  If you think she’s fat here, add another two or three hundred pounds and you’ll have her today. 

                All fat jokes aside, however, I kinda dig this actress here.  She’s commanding, she’s authoritative, and she’s interesting to watch.  It makes you wish her talents could have gone towards something more productive than a shitty sitcom, but I digress.  I found myself wondering if she truly believed her daughter or if she was, perhaps, the instigator of the whole situation.  These are questions that will be resolved in our next episode, but Conchata Ferrell plays the small role well, and leaves kinda a big impression even though it’s just a two-episode guest stint.  For some reason, she really sticks out as very memorable within the confines of these two episodes.  Anyway, when she sees what Richard is up to, she orders him out of the house and tells him to never to come back.  The repercussions of this event will not start unfolding until our next episode, so stay tuned.

                At the very conclusion of the episode, we have Sid in court, and shit starts to get serious.  The case is not dismissed and, essentially, Sid will have to continue on to a trial.  The camera starts zooming in on Sid’s face while Karen goes on and on about how this is going to wreck their lives, that Airplane! music I mentioned earlier flairs up, and it’s all a very intense little ending (although it is lacking a cheesy narrator coming on and saying, “To Be Continued”).  Oh yeah, in addition, we also have another person to add to our list of Transmorphers.  Who could it be this time?  Why, it’s Don Starr playing the judge!  He barely does anything here; in fact, while he’s talking on and on, the camera is not even on his face, but we get a quick shot of him banging his gavel and I have to sit up and say, “Wait a minute, is that Jordon Lee?”  See, Don Starr also played Jordon Lee in a whopping 88 episodes of Dallas, spanning all the way from 1978 to 1990!  Sometimes the Transmorphers are people who just appeared in one or two episodes of each series, but this is a big Transmorpher, up there with Priscilla Pointer from The Constant Companion (bigger, really, as he was in more episodes than her over a much larger period of time than her). 

                Now, we’ve about wrapped up the episode, yet I’ve forgotten about one very major, dare I say Earth-shattering event that occurs near the middle of this episode.  What could that be?  Why, it’s the arrival of the luscious Donna Mills as Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner onto the cul-de-sac!  I guess I’m getting ahead of myself by giving her that gigantic last name, however.  Introduced here, she is just Abby Fairgate Cunningham.  Even the way she is introduced is just perfect and is another little cinematic touch I love.  See, she is introduced driving her car with her two kids in the backseat right on up into the cul-de-sac.  How would most directors of episodic television shoot this sequence?  Probably with just a simple shot of a car driving up a street, right?  But Edward Parone, that television auteur, instead shoots from the point of view of inside the car.  We don’t see who’s driving, don’t even know how many people are in the car, but we get this P.O.V. of the car pulling up in front of the Fairgate house, and it’s almost like a scene from Jaws, which is perfect considering the kind of character Abby is.  She herself is shark-like, searching out for the nearest man to sink her teeth into, so this shot immediately tells me something about her character that is important and relevant. 

                Anyway, Abby gets out of the car and we get a look at the new lady on the block (although we don’t quite know that just yet; at this point she is just visiting for awhile and not necessarily staying), and she’s stunning.  If we follow the birthdate that Donna Mills gives us (and what actress would ever have any reason to lie about her birth year?), she would be 37 right here as she is introduced and she would be 46 when she leaves the show (and then about 49 or 50 years old when she shows up for the final episode in 1993).  However, I am inclined to take actresses’ birth years with a pinch of salt (after all, Victoria Principal over on Dallas is always insisting she was born in 1950 even though most sources say it was really 1945), and Wikipedia says that Donna Mills was born December 11th, 1940, which would make her nearly 40 years old right here.  In any case, who cares?  She looks great and immediately wins the prize for the sexiest lady of Seaview Circle.  Her body is thin and perfect (readers should note that I am rather obsessed with svelte bodies that are super duper thin) and those baby blue eyes, man.  Plus, she’s introduced wearing shorts that show off her fabulous legs and it’s just all kinds of perfect. 

                In addition, Abby brings along two children who are going to be with us for quite some time.  First off (and much less memorably) we have Bobby Jacoby (also sometimes credited as Robert Jayne) playing son Brian.  He’s gonna play Brian from 1980 to 1984, appearing in a total of 26 episodes, but then his character will undergo a transformation and turn into Brian Austin Green (or BAG, as I call him) sometime during season eight. 

Much more importantly, we have the first appearance of Tonya Crowe as Olivia, Abby’s daughter who is going to be with us for TEN YEARS on the cul-de-sac.  She even gets to be a main cast member during the 1989-1990 season (ironically, probably one of the seasons where her character has the least to do) before leaving the series, showing up for about 139 episodes (the IMDb count could be slightly off as they also include episodes where she is credited but does not actually appear).  Anyway, anyone who has watched KL all the way through knows that Olivia will wind up being a very important character, particularly with her drug arc throughout seasons seven and eight, which is probably the peak of her character and her acting on the series.  However, she is introduced fairly inauspiciously; she is just a nine year old girl who Val of course gets a big maternal boner for and starts to harass.  However, one of the things I love about KL is the lack of transforming and aging children characters (ignoring poor Jason Avery and of course Brian).  Here, we have Tonya Crowe at age nine playing Olivia, and we’re going to get to watch her grow into a mature young woman for ten years and she will be nineteen years old when she leaves the series, same actress playing the same character. You gotta love that.

In truth, Abby doesn’t really do much in this episode.  My excitement at her arrival mostly comes from all the shenanigans I know she’s going to get up to throughout the next nine years.  It’s also interesting to remember how she is introduced.  Even though I am a diehard KL fan, I always tend to forget that Abby is introduced as Sid’s sister because she stays on the show so much longer than Sid does.  However, she certainly is his sister and I think we immediately get the sense that Sid sees his sister as harmless and loving while Karen, perhaps, is able to see through her a little bit better than her dear husband.  For the next nine years, we are going to see Karen go head-to-head against Abby many times, and all those seeds are being planted right here, in this small and not-that-big-of-a-deal first appearance.  I also have to love how beautifully inauspicious this debut is; it's so very purely KL.  If this was another nighttime soap, she would probably be introduced with a BANG and start sleeping with every man in sight and generally fucking shit up right away.  KL is more about the slow burn, and Abs is introduced without any big, epic music or really anything to foreshadow how devious and wicked and amazing she is going to wind up being.  I feel like KL does such a great job playing the long game while the other nighttime soaps would tend to blow their wad real fast and then run out of material.  This quiet, not-that-exciting debut of Abby to the neighborhood is the perfect example of KL's surprising subtlety. 

As we enter season two, I’d really like to make a conscious effort to get these episode essays down a little bit, to not be quite so long.  I have obviously failed in this case, but I’d say that’s only because this is the premiere of the season and a lot of things are being set up.  As a standalone episode, how do I feel about this one?  I’d say it’s pretty damn good, and I also wanna take a quick moment to note that Don Murray wrote this one and the next one himself.  This marks the second time on the series that one of the cast has written an ep (remember that John Pleshette wrote the script for Bottom of the Bottle: Part Two), and I think he does a pretty good job.  It’s another one of those things about KL that puts it high above the other nighttime soaps of the time, in my opinion.  The cast is so well linked to their characters and is given the freedom to write episodes that focus heavily on their own characters.  I imagine most shows would have the actors get a script, be told “Do what it says in the script,” and that would be that, but on KL, the cast is allowed to explore and work on their characters by contributing episodes all about them.  Pretty cool, huh?

We’ve been stuck on Part One for kinda forever now, so why don’t we move on to our next ep?  Airing just one week later, coming up next is Hitchhike: Part Two.


  1. Nice to have you back on Seaview Circle! The Dallas interlude weeks were kinda like the summer wait for the next season...except not nearly as long!

    You usually Have me laughing out loud two or three times per episode, and this one was no exception. You had me rolling when describing the use of black tape to create "Flakes" and "Maid". They were so bad in those days with the branded props.

    And thanks for pointing out the interesting camera shots (Sid and Karen's talk in the bedroom; Abby's entry into the cul-de-sac). I always loved the way Knots looked, but never noticed the detail.

    And you hit the nail on the head by talking about Knots playing the long game. I am in the process of watching "Dynasty" for the first time since the 80's (I have made it to the last season). In the 80's, I enjoyed Dynasty more, but I have totally reversed my views. Knots is superior in every way...acting, writing, look, realism, etc. They are not in the same universe. And, more importantly, Knots stands the test of time better. Yeah, it has it's own 80's excesses and dated qualities, but it is more down to earth.

  2. So happy to see you growing more of a following with these! :-)

  3. How can we get the complete knots landing series released on dvd? Or where can we but now?!?

  4. One other thing that you probably didn't pay attention to: Roundelay (David Jacobs' vanity card on Knots Landing) is credited differently for this season and for the long haul.

    The first go (1979-80) had a simple credit in white (later yellow) over the cul-de-sac saying "A Roundelay Production In Association With," and then the Lorimar "Line of Doom," but starting here, Roundelay will have an actual logo consisting of the Roundelay name in a blue neon semicircle on a black screen, and the Roundelay IAW credit under that (such also preceding the Lorimar "Line of Doom" logo of the time); this logo would be later modified by having an MF (for Michael Filerman, the other E.P. of KL) under the Roundelay semicircle, and then the credit underneath saying "A Roundelay-MF Production In Association With."

    Just thought you'd want to know about that!