Okay, all this talk about Lisa Hartman-Black (Ciji/Cathy, Knots Landing) made me run out and find a clip for all the young uns—and Luke—who may have never experienced the best damn primetime soap opera ever!!! For 14 seasons CBS fans followed the lives of Dallas's JR Ewing's "good for nothing" little brother Gary (Ted Shackelford), his hayseed wife Valene (Joan Van Ark) and their friends, neighbors and enemies on the famed So Cal Cul-de-Sac.
A lot of kids I grew up with wished they had lived with the Huxtables on The Cosby Show, screw that. I wanted to be peeping through windows on Seaview Circle, especially if Abby Fairgate Ewing (Donna Mills) was up to no good!
Knots Landing was the rare show that only got better with each year. In fact, the soap wasn't cancelled due to ratings, unlike Dallas (a close second on my list), Dynasty (which I had enough taste to know was a tacky, hot, drag queen mess even then. Are you listening Mr. Carlivati?) and other soaps that had bottomed out at the end of their runs, Knots was still a ratings hit when CBS made the decision to cancel the show.
The only reason Knots had to go was because of the astronomical, and in this rare occasion, well-deserved salaries of its veteran cast, especially the fierce Michelle Lee as Karen Fairgate MacKenzie. Ironically, Lynn Marie Latham, who damn near dismantled the House that Bill Bell Built over at The Young and the Restless, wrote for Knots Landing for many years and also created Homefront, the quaint WWII soap I adored. Don't ask me what happened. I think it was seeing Blood Diamond.
After the hugs and kisses from old faves like Shackelford (currently Jeffrey, The Young and the Restless) and Kevin Dobson, who before filling out Uncle Mickey's suits on Days of Our Lives honed his legal skills as lawyer Mac MacKenzie on Knots, a video montage of some of the amazing soap's classic moments airs, set to Hartman-Black's version of the Journey hit "Open Arms". Be sure to check out a fresh-faced, pre-30 Rock Alec Baldwin opposite Hartman-Black. He played Val's crazy religious nut brother Joshua. I still have nightmares about him falling off that roof after his mama Lilimae gave him a stern talkin' to! Okay...no I don't, but it sounded so good there! Enjoy.