Despite being one of network televisions longest running series, “Knots Landing” managed to avoid too many repetitive storylines by keeping characters interesting and plots just complex enough. Sure there are some episodes here and there that stretch reality, but nothing so farfetched that the series feels implausible. Much of the series focuses on relationships between husbands and wives and their friends on their quiet California cul-de-sac. What made “Knots Landing” so long lasting was the building of the relationships that continued to grow throughout the length of the series, creating a consistent television series that established a loyal following due to the relatable characters and interesting storylines. “Knots Landing” managed to create characters you sympathized with and some that, despite all their flaws, you rooted for in the end.
“Knots Landing” follows several couples who live in a cul-de-sac and go about their daily lives trying to succeed in work, raising families, and their love lives. The characters make a few missteps here and there, but that’s part of what keeps the conflict coming throughout a fourteen year running period. Valene Ewing (Joan Van Ark) and Gary Ewing (Ted Shackelford) move from Dallas (yes, I also mean the television series “Dallas”) to California and reboot their lives, Laura Avery (Constance McCashin) and Richard Avery (John Pleshette) have relationship problems when Laura decides to go to work and Richard gets a wandering eye, and Sid Fairgate (Don Murray) and Karen Fairgate (Michele Lee) do everything they can to maintain a peaceful home and neighborhood. The characters are different enough to bring an interesting dynamic to television and grounded enough to be relatable.
In season two, the addition of Sid’s sister, Abby Cunningham (Donna Mills) was probably one of the best choices the series made. Abby brings a lot of mischief to the cul-de-sac and a lot of personality. Her relationship with Val is one of the more interesting ones, especially as the seasons progresses, but it’s her relationship with several of the men that gets the neighborhood buzzing. The second season finale is shocking and will leave you waiting for season three on DVD.
If it weren’t for the solid writing and compelling performances, “Knots Landing” might have sizzled out after a few seasons. The women of “Knots Landing” had some of the best roles and most convincing portrayals, especially Joan Van Ark as Valene Ewing, Donna Mills as Abby Cunningham and Michele Lee as Karen Fairgate. Several “Dallas” cast members including Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing, Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing, and Mary Crosby as Kristin Shepard make guest appearances on “Knots Landing” during the second season.
Watching “Knots Landing” you can’t help but feel like you’re watching where “Desperate Housewives” got their origins. With similar types of characters and that quaint little neighborhood, you’d almost guess you were watching the people of Wisteria Lane. Then again, “Knots Landing” was far more grounded and a lot less farfetched. “Knots Landing” season two DVD is definitely worth a look for fans of the series. And if you’re not familiar with the show but enjoy memorable characters, consistent writing, and engaging storylines, then you’ll definitely want to check “Knots Landing” out.
14. 2- 1 20 Nov 80 Hitchhike (1)
15. 2- 2 27 Nov 80 Hitchhike (2)
16. 2- 3 4 Dec 80 Remember the Good Times
17. 2- 4 11 Dec 80 Chance of a Lifetime
18. 2- 5 18 Dec 80 Kristin
19. 2- 6 1 Jan 81 Step One
20. 2- 7 8 Jan 81 Breach of Faith
21. 2- 8 15 Jan 81 Scapegoats
22. 2- 9 22 Jan 81 A Family Matter
23. 2-10 29 Jan 81 Choices
24. 2-11 5 Feb 81 A State of Mind
25. 2-12 12 Feb 81 Players
26. 2-13 19 Feb 81 The Loudest Word
27. 2-14 26 Feb 81 Moments of Truth
28. 2-15 12 Mar 81 Man of the Hour
29. 2-16 19 Mar 81 More Than Friends
30. 2-17 26 Mar 81 Designs
31. 2-18 26 Mar 81 Squeezeplay
VIDEO: "Knots Landing" is presented here in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio by Warner Brothers. The presentation is of moderately better quality than one could reasonably expect from a show of this age. Sharpness and detail were fine throughout, as the picture appeared crisp and clear. While not razor-sharp, the image definitely maintained a consistent level of definition.
Some minor grain and speckles were present in some scenes but, otherwise, the episodes were crisp and clean. A little bit of shimmer was spotted, but no edge enhancement or other faults were seen. Colors appeared accurately presented, with nice saturation and no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The mono soundtracks offer clear dialogue, music and sound effects. No distortion or other issues were heard.
EXTRAS: Unfortunately for fans, nothing.
Final Thoughts: "Knot's Landing" still stands up well years later, as the well-acted drama still proves to be consistently entertaining during these second season episodes. While the lack of extras is too bad, audio/video quality is fine. Recommended.