Last night I was woken up at 1:30 am. Unable to go back to sleep I started to channel surf until I settled on Dubai One. They were showing a TV movie titled "Knots Landing: The return to the cul-de-sac 2". For those of you born in the late 80s and 90s, Knots Landing was a popular prime time soap opera. It was a spin off of another infamous TV show "Dallas" as it followed the lives of Val and Garry Ewing (JR and Bobby's brother) upon moving to Knots Landing, somewhere in California. I want to say Los Angles, but I am not totally sure.
Growing up in the 80s, I used to religiously watch every episode of Knots Landing and Falcon Crest (another prime time show staring Jane Wyman). They were on everyday at 9:00 on channel 2. Everyone watches these shows. They were often topics of discussion at school, with people trying to guess what is going to happen next. We would anxiously await the twists and turns of plot lines, and try to mimic the actors fashion (who can forget Abbey's eye shadow and hair cut, she started the whole Rachael craze). Even now, 20 odd years latter I still remember the names of the major characters and couples. There is Val and Garry, Karen and Mac (she was originally married to Sed, but he got killed off), Greg and Laura (who died of brain cancer, and their daughter Meg was raised my Karen and Mac). Many careers were launched in these shows. Alec Baldwin made his debut as Val's younger brother. He was totally hot, we all had a huge crush on Joshua (the name of his character) until he turned into a psycho and killed his wife, then committed suicide. Who can forget Page (Nicollette Sheridan), Mac's daughter with Anne.
Although I tuned in the middle of the TV movie and I had no idea what was going on, I kept on watching. Abbey was scheming something with Gregg and someone got killed while a warehouse burnt down. Val was furious to discover that Garry has a daughter with some other woman. Mac was occupied with a case against Gregg. Just same old Knots Landing business. I kept on watching out of the sheer joy of reminiscing with the show. This got me thinking about the prime time soap operas of today. Are there any ? Maybe "Desperate Housewives", but that show has been deteriorating since season three. What else, "Grey's Anatomy"or "Private Practice"? I wouldn't necessary characterize these shows as a soap opera. Although everyone is sleeping with everyone else, but there is a genuine lack of scheming and plotting. Then I realized that I have stopped watching soap operas all together. I am more into short witty sitcoms (or what's left of sitcoms) and other cable dramas like "Ture Blood", "Boardwalk Empire", "Damages", and "Sons of Anarchy". I still tune into network crime shows such as the "Law and Order"s and "CSI"s. I wondered about this shift in taste. Are current prime time soap operas so bad that they don't attract my attention anymore? Have I just matured and my taste of entertainment has evolved? Or maybe our lives are full with our own drama. We are plagues with tragedies that were unimaginable a few years back. There is war, famine , natural disasters, economic turmoil, life threatening animal related flu. The list goes on and on. No mater how you try to hide from the news, it's going to find you whether be it via television, facebook, SMS, or pod casts. Misery likes company, and it finds us all eventually. The adventures of the residents of Knots Landing, or Westeria Lane for that matter, does not entertain us any more.
As I was dwelling on this conundrum, I looked over at my alarm clock to see that it was almost 4:00 am. I waited for Fagr azan, then I fell asleep to the familiar sound of the opening credits of "The Closer".