Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by January » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:16 pm

Julianna wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:40 pm
I like the Laura episodes but as others state they aren’t the best written. There are inconsistencies and holes in the plots. I am not going to rehash what has been stated very skillfully . A few things to point out however. They spent a lot of time and effort to promote Adam getting a bride. I was 8 at the time and the tv magazines and TV Guide etc carried articles and pictures publicizing it. Then it was on TV ads as well. Then the powers to be changed their minds. It was such a shock. I wanted Adam to get married and be happy. They built this up over the year and then the big letdown. Kathie Browne has the original script on Darrin McGavin’s webpage for The Pressure Game and there’s the wedding and the newlyweds driving off. I read it. I find it so odd.
The plan was for Adam to get married as he wasn't returning the following season. When he signed up for another season, they rewrote their planned marriage. The vision of David Ds characters were to not have them married. They were only marrying Adam off so his exit would be that.
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Julianna » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:09 pm

January I have heard that story but it also was explained that to increase their salaries they all signed for an extra year after the first season. That would be six years, which he did complete. He fulfilled his part of the contract. He did ask to leave and miss the bit parts he had in the last 5 episodes so he could march with MLK in Selma in March 1965. Then he went to try out for some Shakespeare group. I personally think some of the people in charge of the show deliberately confuse the issue so it is difficult to follow. So many versions out there no way to really know for sure.

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by TudorGirl9 » Wed May 15, 2019 10:14 pm

I actually watched this episode earlier today for the first time in a couple of years since i last seen it. I will admit i am not fond of Laura but unlike the other three episodes I sympathize with her due to the pain she had to endure with her marriage with Frank. However, i wonder how she managed to hide Frank's death from Peggy for so long. His gravestone said he died in February and Peggy looked old enough to attend school (she was like what 6 or 7?) Wouldn't have one of her classmates said something to her. Perhaps i'm just overanalyzing the situation

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by ellen » Thu May 16, 2019 12:34 pm

My favorite part of this episode is at the very end, when Laura starts counting with Peggy. It was really spooky, and Kathie Browne played it like someone who was descending into a trance. Then Peggy brings her out of it - "No, Mommy, he's dead, he's never coming back, never!"
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Drifter » Thu May 16, 2019 4:33 pm

Ok, not a favorite of mine, but it’s really not Laura’s fault. I’ll say this much: I don’t think Laura was a bad person; I just didn’t see her as a potential love interest for someone like Adam. Maybe I’d feel different if she was smarter and more independent, but I don’t see any good reason for Adam to take an interest over all the nice widows we’ve seen on the Ponderosa not to mention try to befriend/act fatherly toward Peggy without being committed to her mother yet. Usually it works the other way around. Maybe he figured he was getting older and Laura and Peggy were his last chance? Still Adam must’ve had other options (at least, you’d think so).

As for Laura keeping it a secret? I think Peggy was in denial. Unless her dad was routinely gone for months at a time, which could’ve been likely, considering the condition of the Ranch/property.

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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by RedShirt » Sun May 19, 2019 7:47 pm

So, if you've read about what goes on between the acceptance of a script and the shooting, you'll know that changes keep happening right up until yesterday's "dailies" run. I'm pretty sure that had some influence on the changing nature of Laura's behavior / 'beliefs'. Various of TPTB wanted to show a side they felt hadn't been addressed enough, so ... rewrites until the wee hours and new pages next day (Common for everything from The Honeymooners to Star Trek Enterprise). Frequently what gets tossed first is continuity, second is any character growth, third is anything else that might cost money or make the show hard to rerun as a five-day-a-week episodic snapshot.

Pretty sure the actors in this case had as little control over how the writers / producers / Hays Office (standards and practices, unofficially) wanted stuff done as can be imagined, because this wasn't a time (and particularly this was a show where TPTB had NOT hired stars) were very much The Powers. Good, bad, or indifferent, that had to have some serious influence on all the things that made it to the screen.

No chemistry with Kathie Browne? Well, duh. That one thing may have been the saving grace of this storyline. Two things burn me: we never have mention of Will again (why?) and we never get to see Adam and Peggy say goodbye. (You KNOW that would've brought down the house in tears.)

Now, no chemistry between the characters? Yep, makes perfect sense. By the time they aired this ... Adam had spent most of his life acting as a cross between a big brother and a surrogate parent for Hoss and Joe, and a cross between a son and partner to Ben.

What happened every time a woman came into his life? Disaster. His mom died from complications of his birth. Inger died. Marie died. The first woman we see him kiss (Pilot episode, no less!) is a bit of a no-goodnik he's never going to see again. Then there's the schoolteacher who nearly gets him killed over the history of the Territory (not to mention the one who almost gets him killed while he's trying to persuade her to fall for somebody else). There's a wannabe-hustler seeking, perhaps, to make her husband jealous enough to kill Adam; the young woman in the highly unhappy marriage whose treacherous husband's accomplice tries to get Adam killed instead of Ben; the woman who's out to catch Ben by hook or by crook and might've succeeded if it hadn't been for her obsession over her late husband Harry; the girl who might've been a fever-driven hallucination while he's getting over being shot by an Indian arrow; there's the gold-camp kitchen entrepreneur who's not *really* after Adam but still gets him in Swede's crosshairs ... and the saloon girl who takes him for the evil twin we never see.

It's enough to make a man decide he can't trust women. Kids, now ... No wonder he apparently fell for the child (because the Ponderosa wouldn't, maybe, be as hostile to her as to a grown woman, as he'd had experience with young / orphaned kids coming to the Ponderosa and surviving / thriving. So maybe if he were bringing a *family* home, home would accept them). Far as ranches went -- the one Laura inherits from Frank doesn't seem to be a total loss, and Adam looks like having plans (at least in the episode with her good-for-nothing 'foreman') to make it not just keep going but actually flourish (this is, remember, the man who rescued 'failing' farms and ranches all the way from "The Mill" through "Springtime" to "The Philip Didesheimer Story" -- and as long as he's not trying to permanently add a female member to the Cartwright clan, it all comes right). So ... push comes to shove and the Ponderosa is hostile to her, they move back to the other ranch and get on with living.


Maybe we see/hear from Adam from time to time later on. Maybe not. But the ending isn't a mystery, that way.
Except.

TPTB had brought Will aboard, because they needed a 4th Cartwright. Meanwhile ... PR decided to do that 6th season instead of leaving. So now TPTB had two problems to solve: the bride who wasn't going to be (Laura), and the cousin (Will) they wouldn't need after all.

In the hustle-and-bustle of TV production, two things rule: speed (high) and expense (low).
The solution? Marry Laura off to Will and put 'em in a buggy into the sunset (I don't remember -- did Peggy go with them in that scene?).

Was it satisfactory to the audience?
Evidently not or we wouldn't still be discussing it 60+ years later.
Did it work for TPTB at the time? Wouldn't've made it to the air if not.
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Re: Episode 144 - THE WAITING GAME

Post by Drifter » Sun May 19, 2019 8:03 pm

RedShirt wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:47 pm
So, if you've read about what goes on between the acceptance of a script and the shooting, you'll know that changes keep happening right up until yesterday's "dailies" run. I'm pretty sure that had some influence on the changing nature of Laura's behavior / 'beliefs'. Various of TPTB wanted to show a side they felt hadn't been addressed enough, so ... rewrites until the wee hours and new pages next day (Common for everything from The Honeymooners to Star Trek Enterprise). Frequently what gets tossed first is continuity, second is any character growth, third is anything else that might cost money or make the show hard to rerun as a five-day-a-week episodic snapshot.

Pretty sure the actors in this case had as little control over how the writers / producers / Hays Office (standards and practices, unofficially) wanted stuff done as can be imagined, because this wasn't a time (and particularly this was a show where TPTB had NOT hired stars) were very much The Powers. Good, bad, or indifferent, that had to have some serious influence on all the things that made it to the screen.

No chemistry with Kathie Browne? Well, duh. That one thing may have been the saving grace of this storyline. Two things burn me: we never have mention of Will again (why?) and we never get to see Adam and Peggy say goodbye. (You KNOW that would've brought down the house in tears.)

Now, no chemistry between the characters? Yep, makes perfect sense. By the time they aired this ... Adam had spent most of his life acting as a cross between a big brother and a surrogate parent for Hoss and Joe, and a cross between a son and partner to Ben.

What happened every time a woman came into his life? Disaster. His mom died from complications of his birth. Inger died. Marie died. The first woman we see him kiss (Pilot episode, no less!) is a bit of a no-goodnik he's never going to see again. Then there's the schoolteacher who nearly gets him killed over the history of the Territory (not to mention the one who almost gets him killed while he's trying to persuade her to fall for somebody else). There's a wannabe-hustler seeking, perhaps, to make her husband jealous enough to kill Adam; the young woman in the highly unhappy marriage whose treacherous husband's accomplice tries to get Adam killed instead of Ben; the woman who's out to catch Ben by hook or by crook and might've succeeded if it hadn't been for her obsession over her late husband Harry; the girl who might've been a fever-driven hallucination while he's getting over being shot by an Indian arrow; there's the gold-camp kitchen entrepreneur who's not *really* after Adam but still gets him in Swede's crosshairs ... and the saloon girl who takes him for the evil twin we never see.

It's enough to make a man decide he can't trust women. Kids, now ... No wonder he apparently fell for the child (because the Ponderosa wouldn't, maybe, be as hostile to her as to a grown woman, as he'd had experience with young / orphaned kids coming to the Ponderosa and surviving / thriving. So maybe if he were bringing a *family* home, home would accept them). Far as ranches went -- the one Laura inherits from Frank doesn't seem to be a total loss, and Adam looks like having plans (at least in the episode with her good-for-nothing 'foreman') to make it not just keep going but actually flourish (this is, remember, the man who rescued 'failing' farms and ranches all the way from "The Mill" through "Springtime" to "The Philip Didesheimer Story" -- and as long as he's not trying to permanently add a female member to the Cartwright clan, it all comes right). So ... push comes to shove and the Ponderosa is hostile to her, they move back to the other ranch and get on with living.


Maybe we see/hear from Adam from time to time later on. Maybe not. But the ending isn't a mystery, that way.
Except.

TPTB had brought Will aboard, because they needed a 4th Cartwright. Meanwhile ... PR decided to do that 6th season instead of leaving. So now TPTB had two problems to solve: the bride who wasn't going to be (Laura), and the cousin (Will) they wouldn't need after all.

In the hustle-and-bustle of TV production, two things rule: speed (high) and expense (low).
The solution? Marry Laura off to Will and put 'em in a buggy into the sunset (I don't remember -- did Peggy go with them in that scene?).

Was it satisfactory to the audience?
Evidently not or we wouldn't still be discussing it 60+ years later.
Did it work for TPTB at the time? Wouldn't've made it to the air if not.
Never mind the trouble he gets in when his brothers’ fiancées pursue him instead!

In any case, I was not disappointed in the eventual outcome, but they did make it difficult for any of the Cartwrights to keep a suitable fiancée.
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