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Okay, now that I have time to sit down and pour out my thoughts....here it is:

Seasons 1-6 are generally KL's best, most consistent years, IMO. This was when the show was the best written, acted and the characterizations the most consistent. The show was at its best when the focus was still largely centered in the cul-de-sac. Peter Dunne, who ran the show during Seasons 4-6, is largely responsible for the quality of the show during these years (although, ironically, when he was sent over to Dallas in 1985 -- the infamous dream season -- the stories that year were total flops).

David Paulsen came over from Dallas and ran Knots Landing during Season 7 (1985-1986). Under him, I think the show developed a bit of a darker taste and the male characters took on greater prominence. I'm not really crazy about Season 7, but it has some good parts, particularly the episode "Phoenix Rises", which I count as one of my top 10 favorite episodes of KL. However, the Empire Valley storyline was just stupid, and especially by KL's standards. I think Season 7 is where the show began its downturn in overall quality.

Lynn Marie Latham and her husband Bernard Lechowick took over Knots Landing in Season 8 and stayed through Season 12. They were very hit-or-miss. They were very plot-over-character writers, and in particular, they seemed to struggle with writing for Abby and Val. They did have some good stories, though, like Jill going crazy, which started in Season 9 and carried through most of Season 10, and the Murakami storyline in Season 10. Ultimately, though, I think the duds outweighed the gold under them. Seasons 9 and 12 are especially weak, and the show is basically a plot-driven farce for most of their last season.

It gets worse in Season 13, however. This is Knots Landing at its absolute lowest. John Romano takes over the show from the Lechowicks and proceeds to fill the show with lots of boring, insipid new characters that nobody cares about in boring, insipid storylines that just as many people (meaning none) care about. It got so bad that KL's creator, David Jacobs, shut down production about two-thirds of the way through the season and brought back Ann Marcus to helm the show. The show improved but was still pretty weak, IMO.

Season 14, the final season, was an improvement over the previous year, but it was hurt by the remaining veteran actors frequently being absent from episodes due to the show's reduced budget. Still the story arc of that year, Treadwell, was pretty cohesive and was almost like a callback to the Wolfbridge storyline of Season 5 (though not nearly as good). The series finale was pretty satisfying.

And there you have it. :)
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Knots Landing · Retro TV Talk