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Another Birthday!


ArizonaDaze

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Happy Birthday Linn!

You're an amazing person who knows what she wants and won't stop until she gets it. You're a determined soul and you stand up for your beliefs and don't back down one bit. You're the biggest Dee/J&M fan that I know. Thanks for the amazingly stunning banners and the picture finds of Martha. Thanks for your always encouraging and kind words.

Hope your birthday is the best!!! :D

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    • So after a ton of IRL work and exhaustion bogging me down for awhile and not leaving me in the proper creative headspace to dig into my notes as I viewed, I've been slowly wrapping up Season 6 (or was before the KL channel went down) and I'm going to try to break up these observations on the final third of the year into several posts staggered out because I have a few in the chamber from awhile ago. I can't promise I'll stick to episodic observations going forward beyond S6, though I am very, very intrigued by the Dallas/KL creative switch next season and will be checking out more of the Dallas Dream Season in tandem with it to compare and contrast how David Paulsen and Peter Dunne handle their respective new shows. I keep threatening to make my KL posts less individualized and more broad-reaching and I will eventually, but I also keep having more to say in the moment, yet I know I can't keep up this pace lol. Anyway: Episode 21 (The Deluge): It's Bill Duke Hours once more! This can mean only one thing:

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      This is sadly Duke's penultimate episode directing for Knots, which is a real shame because he's done brilliant, atmospheric work over multiple seasons. One of his first and most interesting choices in this hour is the camera staying with the men in power in the Empire Valley conspiracy awaiting the news on the ailing Paul Galveston, their leader/cohort, not dissimilar to the various scenes throughout the show's run of people in the hospital waiting on news on Karen, Val, Sid, etc. When one of them takes the final phone call about Galveston's death, it seems to sadden the lot of the devious crew.  Gary gets the news about Galveston when he barges in on the family ranch house, where we have two surprises: First, a young Nathan Purdee from Y&R and OLTL as a Galveston aide, then Hollywood legend Ava Gardner, finally! She's introduced as Ruth Sumner Galveston, and as it happens her name is noteworthy: Ruth was the wife of Galveston's beloved friend, the mother who cuckolded Greg's adopted father and the woman who finally married her true love on his deathbed to take his throne. Ava Gardner has never disappointed me in anything I've seen her in, from Seven Days in May or On the Beach to the insanely strange Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, and she still doesn't here though by all accounts on previous pages of this thread her experience doing '80s network TV was exhausting and stressful for her. She's instantly all charisma and panache like always; whatever Gardner's off-camera struggles with the material or pace she makes it look effortless and always seems to be having a blast - therefore, she is a blast to watch. This episode is another lulu for Bill Duke and a visual feast like his eps often are, and we'll return to that but one of the first, best examples is the scenes between William Devane and Ava Gardner as mother and estranged son reunite - in a floor-to-ceiling blood-red curtained chapel with a pale blue coffin for Galveston. Ruth's avaricious lust for power echoes some of the more mystical material with the Lords on OLTL, as like Victor Lord on that show years later, Paul Galveston's signet ring of power - 'the king's ring,' as it's referred to onscreen, I believe - is fetishized by the camera and in story as a symbol of Greg taking his father's throne. "Good for you, baby," Ava Gardner coos. "Take it. [...] I didn't raise you to be a civil servant." Even more atmospheric: Photographer-dilettante Ruth playing her wildlife photo slideshow in the dark as she and Greg get down to brass tacks about his birth father, revealing Galveston bought Greg's Senate election. Here, Bill Duke has them both in the black overlaid with imagery of wild animals on the savannah throughout, with Ruth framed within the silhouette of the slideshow projector's image of a gigantic, blown-up crocodile and its open jaws - not subtle, but glorious to look at. Leading into some very daring, suggestive dialogue for network TV in the '80s as Ruth tells Greg about her relationship with both his fathers. Ruth: We were all in love, the three of us. I married the romantic one, Sumner, who flew planes. Galveston built them, but they were both your father, Gregory. Greg: You sound almost proud of that. Ruth: I am proud, because it worked. Your genes, your upbringing, everything brought you right to this moment. […] You were brought up to be powerful and you love it and you want it. When last I left off with this season, Karen was fully onto the scent of Val's babies potentially being alive, and she just keeps tripling down on this as she goes ape this week: "A new baby, connected by living tissue!" she howls memorably to Mack, but you know she's right and you support her Broadway ass all the way. That's part of what I love about Karen. She plays the gumshoe out in public as an increasingly unnerved Abby chafes. Karen is finally engaged and on fire and tbh it's been far too long after she spent most of this season ailing or in recovery. The show also returns to faithfully playing the suburban cul-de-sac beats that have always served them so well, pulling the show's stories back down to grounded Earth over the next few episodes as we see a suited-up Eric begin his eager drive to push Karen to sell Knots Landing Motors, then watch him and his mother watching the Galveston executive drone visiting Greg at Laura's across the road to break the news of his father's death. (Greg's reply: "Let's hire a band!") This dovetails with Karen sighting Lilimae next door and buttonholing her for details about the twins' birth, then with Joshua scootering around Seaview Circle while Ben and Val jog together back to her place. Community time! Love it. Over at Pacific World, Joshua continues edging poor Reverend Kathryn out of a job. This leads to the stylistic centerpiece of the episode for Bill Duke: Joshua's latest right-wing TV sermon, a barnburner backlit by blazing neon and rich primary colors sizzling out of the soundstage's faux-stained glass backdrop. "Nobody wants to do anything hard anymore," Joshua declares in a spooky, mesmeric direct address to camera, similar to Duke's work with the Ciji murder reveal in Season 4 as her gigantic face stared down the camera onstage at Daniel. Joshua urges his audience to "face our mistakes," hammering on about personal responsibility and preaching Reaganite bootstraps gospel while bemoaning the plight of the American working class vs. invading foreigners - it's clear he is lumping in Val, his own sister, with the 'easy people' who make rash choices and pay for their sin. Joshua goes into overtime on-camera, ignoring the cue to wrap up. Later, he leverages his contract against Abby by demanding to put Cathy on-air with him. Joshua is transformed, squaring off with executrix Abby in a very smart '80s blazer getup, commanding and forbidding as he refuses to have oversight over his material before walking out on her. Shades of Alec Baldwin's later work in movies like Harold Becker and Aaron Sorkin's Malice. Joshua's growing tyranny grows back at the Ewing/Clements household, where a Chinese takeout dinner devolves as Joshua, the newly-crowned alpha male of the home, demands they all bow their heads, which doesn't sit well with Ben or Val. Cathy and Joshua continue to argue at Laura's, as she has no intention of singing on his show. "You're only comfortable singing in roadhouses," Joshua sighs, showing a very contemporary facility for manipulation and shaming. "That shows how little you think of yourself." The apparently-infamous Madison Mason is introduced as mysterious diplomat John Coblenz late in this episode, a very creepy dude with an over the top delivery. The final act of the episode is nicely cross-cut first with Greg and Laura having a ritzy dinner while she pushes him to admit he does want his father's power and influence, then with Karen and Mack cozily sandwiched on the couch at home as she begins to put some of the pieces behind the EV strangeness together and concludes "something creepy is going on in Gary's Shangri-La." This in turn is intercut with the men of power at Galveston arrayed together onscreen by Duke at the family ranch like some sort of dark pagan rite, as Ruth unveils Coblenz to Greg. Coblenz lays down the law with Sumner about the truth behind Empire Valley and its Deep State plans: "Your work in the Senate is inconsequential," he intones hammily. "Listen to me, Gregory. Listen to the words." Empire Valley being the hub of a global spy network and surveillance state control center is way, way ahead of its time as a storyline IMO. So why did people hate the story so? I guess I'll find out. For now, the '70s paranoia thriller/sci-fi vibes here are great. As is the final shot of Greg, drafted against his will as he eyes Galveston's kingly ring.
    • The font change is a huge, huge improvement. That cannot be difficult to fix and Y&R should do so immediately. 
    • Sure has been nice the past few days to see a show that resembles Y&R.  And yes, it'll be jarring to go back to the desolate, tumbleweed version of Genoa City.  
    • Great to hear Leslie Charleson's voice the other day.   It's still March, isn't it?  I see April's thread was already started again too early. Just wondering what the rush was before I get chastised  for mentioning  this again...  or my post gets removed again.   <coughs>
    • THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS   Photographer   3/24/2023     had a few lines     Jhey Castles @jcar03  for your counts
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