SNARK WEEK RECAP: The Kent Chronicles pt. 3

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This Snark Week I offer you: The Kent Family Chronicles, more specifically, parts 1 and 2: The Bastard (1978) and The Rebels (1979). These are adaptations of an apparently very successful series of 18th century-set historical fiction novels by John Jakes, both of which were made in the 1970s and offer a fiesta of polyester and scoffing. Yes, there’s a third in the series: The Seekers (1979), but seeing as that’s set on the frontier and I have no interest in screencapping a bunch of Little House on the Prairie costumes, I’m sticking with the first two. I’ll be splitting the combined two movies into five sections for a full week of snark! If you want to watch along, you can find both movies on YouTube.

Here’s part 1 and part 2!

Philip goes to Philadelphia to visit Juliet, who is all “I LOVE YOU — especially now my asshole husband Roger is dead!” Philip resists at first, but Juliet is busty and has a weird accent and who can resist that?

1978 The Bastard

She’s also wearing this weird embroidered dress that opens in back, as we learn when she strips herself (how?) in order to seduce Philip. Note also cheerleader hair scrunchie.

1978 The Bastard

WHAT’S WITH THE EMBROIDERED FLOWERS ON THE NECKLINE

Philip and Juliet(TM) have many many (implied) sexytimes, including some bathtub shagging.

1978 The Bastard

Juliet hires a tailor to make a gazillion new suits for Philip so he can dress according to his new station (her lover).

1978 The Bastard

Meanwhile I want to know WHAT THE FUCK WITH THIS ART ON THE WALL I AM HAVING NIGHTMARES

1978 The Bastard

Juliet is in a front-opening gown (yay!) with a sheer layer over the skirt.

1978 The Bastard

Convenient for sexytimes!

1978 The Bastard

She tries to talk Philip into wearing a wig, but nobody thinks that’s a good idea.

Philip decides to wander Philadelphia in search of news.

1978 The Bastard

Juliet has only had one riding habit in her entire life.

He runs into Ben Franklin, who says many wise things about how The Time Is Coming When Men Will Have To Choose Sides, oh and your dead duke father isn’t dead.

1978 The Bastard

Rocking the seafoam green!

Philip heads back to the “City Tavern” (as is emblazoned over its porch) and confronts Juliet(TM). She’s all “We have to go back to England so you can claim your inheritance!” and he implies that he lost the letter from his dad that said Philip was his son/he should inherit, and then tells Juliet she’s a whore.

1978 The Bastard

Juliet wears Naughty Black Lace for her hoooordom.

Philip heads back to Concord, where Daisy confirms what he now suspects: Kim Cattrall Is With Child.

1978 The Bastard

SO many renfaire costumes are now explained to me.

Kim Cattrall arrives and says THE BRITISH ARE COMING. Philip and Kim have a tender moment, and he tells her he loves her, and why didn’t she tell him about the baby, and she says She Needed Him To Choose Without That Pressure.

1978 The Bastard

So she was just going to become an unwed mother and socially ostracized if he picked Juliet?

AND THE REVOLUTION LOOMS, AND OUR FIRST FILM ENDS.

On to: The Rebels (1979)!

JUDSON (terrible name) Fletcher, aka actor DON JOHNSON, aka SONNY CROCKETT(TM) FROM MIAMI VICE is a rakish well-to-do guy living in Virginia.

1979 The Rebels

WHY IS HIS HAT SO TALL

Don Johnson Miami Vice

Yep.

He’s off to meet married lady Charlotte Waverly (Pamela Hensley from Buck RogersLove Boat appearances = 2) who is all slutty for him. The two have (implied) sexytimes although everyone is still clothed when they’re done.

1979 The Rebels

It’s a slutty riding habit?

1979 The Rebels

I LOVE the tan, so 18th century!

1979 The Rebels

You can tell she’s Down For It because of the smokey eye.

Mr. Waverly comes riding up and challenges Sonny Crockett to a duel!

1979 The Rebels

Fine, whatever.

1979 The Rebels

Sonny wrassles with Mr. Waverly’s servant. I feel like someone made some bad decisions with cravats/neck ruffles here.

Meanwhile, back in Boston, Philip has been kicking butt in the Revolution, so they send him home for a week’s leave to see his pregnant wife, Kim Cattrall. Kim is poorly, says servant “Mrs. Brumble” (JOAN FUCKING BLONDELL; I know she was in Grease but still! Love Boat appearances = 1).

1979 The Rebels

Joan embraces her inner biddy.

Kim is sick, but thrilled to see Philip!

1979 The Rebels

Many, MANY questions about this dressing gown.

Sonny Crockett doesn’t want to duel, but it’s a matter of honor. Pops (Forrest Tucker; Love Boat appearances = 3) is a Scot and former Jacobite, but nonetheless is a Tory. He lectures Sonny a lot.

1979 The Rebels

Someone thought it would be fancy to get those pre-fab ribbon rosettes and plop them randomly on Sonny Crockett’s coat.

Sonny heads out to the duel, but en route runs into former love Peggy. They were engaged, but he cheated on her so she married someone else. “They mean nothing to me” he says, and Peggy is all, “I know that now, but back then my pride was hurt.” RIGHT, SHE SHOULD JUST ACCEPT YOUR PHILANDERING WAYS.

1979 The Rebels

Ah, the legendary bouffants of colonial Virginia!

1979 The Rebels

Why does the hat trim match the coat? Who decided this ruffly clown look was a good idea? When were cravats peach?

The duel happens as Sonny Crockett planned (Mr. Waverly is known to be a bad shot, so Sonny’s plan is to let him shoot first and if he misses, then to purposefully miss when shotting back), but then naughty Mr. Waverly pulls out a verboten SECOND GUN and Sonny Crockett’s second takes the bullet. Sonny shoots Mr. Waverly “in self defense.” Mr. Waverly’s brother vows revenge.

1979 The Rebels

Sonny Crockett’s second is also wearing Benjamin Franklin’s coat from The Bastard.

I think because he shot Mr. Waverly, Sonny Crockett decides to join the militia headed to Boston under the command of Capt. McLean, Peggy’s husband (Robert Vaughn of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.The A Team, and The Magnificent Seven; Love Boat appearances = 2).

1979 The Rebels

Just, wow. The stomacher. The elbow ruffles.

Back in Boston, Kim Cattrall needs a doctor, so Philip gets the surgeon general to help out, which he does because apparently “Philip saved his life at Lexington.”

1979 The Rebels

The Virginian troops arrive in Boston, various militia men get into brawls complete with zany music, Sonny Crockett meets Philip and the two become buds along with mountain man Eph Tait (Doug McClure of The Virginian).

1979 The Rebels

I don’t care about his character, but he’s one of the starring roles so I guess I’m going to be forced to.

Surgeon general hasn’t shown up in a while (turns out later he’s a traitor)! Kim is poorly! Joan Blondell is worried!!

1979 The Rebels

Putting on her best “worried” makeup!

Kim has a son, then dies! It is sweaty and tragic!

1979 The Rebels

Clearing the field for a new love interest, eh?

Key stats:

  • Love Boat appearances: 7
  • Shitty wigs: 1
  • Tits out: 3 pairs
  • Actors who have made me keel over: only 1!

Tune in tomorrow for part 4 of my recap of The Kent Family Chronicles!

 

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15 Responses

  1. Nzie

    Can we put these shows on trial? The amount of women are sluts but men who do the same are fine is really annoying. Also, WHY KILL KIM CATRALL? If this ends up just being to leave him free for Olivia Hussy I’m going to be annoyed.

    I do somehow love Tom Bosley as Franklin though.

    Reply
    • Kate D

      That last bit was my complaint about David Copperfield. Marry one girl and have her conveniently die, so you can marry the one you liked first. Merrr.

      Reply
    • Mrs. D

      In the book, he sends “Juliet” packing and marries “Kim.” Then badness happens later. My mom had the whole series, so I read them all. That started my obsession with historical fiction. I’ve not seen the movie, but it looks as if the first one follows the books pretty closely, but the second one goes completely off the rails.

      Reply
  2. Tinny

    Why do I get this sinking feeling that Peggy’s blue jacket thingy comes from the same quilt as Philippe’s mother’s bedspread skirt in the first episode..?

    Reply
  3. Susan Pola Staples

    What happened to John and Abigail Adams? Too busy making The Adams Chronicles? Hmm.

    And I bet Peggy will ‘join the choir celestial’ too. After all her hair is already high enough to join the cast of Dallas and/or/both have it’s own elevator.

    Reply
      • Susan Pola Staples

        I do. And I watch all three Adams TV series/movies – The Adams Chronicles, 1776 ‘Sit down, John!’ and John Adams – religiously.

        Reply
  4. ctrent29

    I’m going to be frank. I couldn’t care less about the costumes in these miniseries. I’ve seen plenty of good movies with lousy costumes. And I’ve seen plenty of lousy movies with great costumes.

    I liked the stories of Jakes’ “Kent Family Chronicles”. They may not have been perfect. Then again, some of the most acclaimed films definitely aren’t perfect to me. Like “The Favourite”.

    Reply
  5. juliadatkinson

    That weird painting looks vaguely familiar to me – I’m fairly sure it’s by a French Impressionist and depicts an old woman who was once a famous courtesan. Perhaps the set decorators bought it in a job lot along with ‘Waterlilies’.

    Reply

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