This is the second season of this prime time soap opera’s fourteen season run. This show is the stories of three couples who all live in the same cul-de-sac, along the second season addition of single temptress Abby Cunnigham (played by Donna Mills), whose role inspires the packaging’s amusing tag-line “Abby Cunnigham moves to Knots Landing. Do you know where your husband is?”
The show is a spinoff from the massively popular Dallas, and it contains much the same level of drama peppered with some sassy comedy, leading it to surpass Dallas in ratings for a time. This particular season kicks off with a two part story where one of our Californian cul-de-sac heroes is accused of rape and needs the aid of his lawyer neighbour. From there on we get stories involving the FBI, the mob, and an especially interesting episode where the women of the neighbourhood are held hostage at a baby shower and newcomer Abby uses her seductive powers to aid their escape.
Even considering this shows many tales of bed-hopping and major crimes in a quiet community, it is still a relief from the over-flowing plots of such contemporary shows as Desperate Housewives, where each episode seems to have enough plots and twists to fill an entire season of Knots Landing. Affairs and various other tense situations arise between the characters, as anticipated by any viewer with the least bit of knowledge of Dallas or any run-of-the-milldaytime soap opera (which Knots Landing is not, by the way), and each with a twinge of domestic sex appeal and promotion for middle to upper class suburban living. The stories are able to grab ones attention and hold it through each hour long (respectively) episode without resorting to the standard, melodramatic pandering of the aforementioned daytime “soaps.”
Presented in original broadcast full frame. The picture is clean looking as the characteristically Californian use of sunburned yellows, browns, oranges, and all things not-quite-golden are clear. As a child of the 1980s, growing up around home decor that was in transition from the 70s, I feel I can testify in regards to the clarity of these ever-so specific colourations as they are presented here, 20 years after the shows debut, on DVD.
Presented with Dolby Digital…Mono. The menu has 10 times more power than the regular audio tracks. The volume is quite low during the episodes, which forces you to crank the volume knob just so you can make out all of the dialogue. Feeble as it is, it is without cracks and pops of any kind and all in all sounds decent despite lack of power.
Subtitles offered in English and French.
No Special Features at all.
This collection is a juicy enough look back to the cusp between the 70s and the 80s, where the trail leading to the state of modern TV dramas is just that much clearer to behold. This DVD set is certainly a solid buy for fans of this show and its ilk, though some greater care could have been made by the creators to boost the sound and overall production quality for the sake of said fans.