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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.
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?
Philip and Juliet(TM) have many many (implied) sexytimes, including some bathtub shagging.
Juliet hires a tailor to make a gazillion new suits for Philip so he can dress according to his new station (her lover).
Philip decides to wander Philadelphia in search of news.
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.
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.
Philip heads back to Concord, where Daisy confirms what he now suspects: Kim Cattrall Is With Child.
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.
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.
He’s off to meet married lady Charlotte Waverly (Pamela Hensley from Buck Rogers; Love Boat appearances = 2) who is all slutty for him. The two have (implied) sexytimes although everyone is still clothed when they’re done.
Mr. Waverly comes riding up and challenges Sonny Crockett to a duel!
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).
Kim is sick, but thrilled to see Philip!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.”
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).
Surgeon general hasn’t shown up in a while (turns out later he’s a traitor)! Kim is poorly! Joan Blondell is worried!!
Kim has a son, then dies! It is sweaty and tragic!
- 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!
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.
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.
Yes, nice to know maternal mortality had its upsides? Ugh.
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.
They had to drastically change the second book because the second book had so many characters returning from the first one and they couldn’t afford to use the same actors in two productions.
I have one answer about that dressing gown: Burn it with fire! (Without Kim in it because I’m not a monster, eh!)
I think it would melt, not burn ;)
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..?
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.
Just be grateful, Susan, that the Adams seem to escape unscathed. :-)
I do. And I watch all three Adams TV series/movies – The Adams Chronicles, 1776 ‘Sit down, John!’ and John Adams – religiously.
What on earth is up with Don Johnson’s lapels??
I want Sonny’s blue boots.
Jakes should have stuck with Brak the Barbarian.
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’.
That bath water is nasty