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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, 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.
Peggy Comes To* Sonny Crockett (*romance novel language). She’s in Philadelphia with her husband and heard about him shagging all over town. “Why are you here?” he asks her. “Why do you THINK I’m here?” she declares. SEXYTIMES.
As Peggy leaves, she’s accosted by some street thugs who want to rob her. Philip is randomly nearby, rescues her, and she runs off.
Jim Backus (THURSTON HOWELL III FROM GILLIGAN’S ISLAND; Love Boat appearances = 2) as John Hancock get ornery at Sonny Crockett.
Sonny sees Peggy’s husband slip a note to a sketchy looking woman!
He follows her to the bar where she works, gives her some money to shag him, and then when they’re done, finds the note.
Turns out Mr. Peggy is a traitor and was passing info to the Brits! Sonny confronts him in an alley, they fight, Mr. Peggy tells his henchman to shoot Sonny, but the henchman shoots Mr. Peggy accidentally instead.
Mr. Peggy is dead! But Peggy can’t believe her husband was a traitor! She runs into Sonny while wearing slutty mourning wear and tells him never to speak to her again.
ALL SORTS OF BORING THINGS HAPPEN WITH PHILIP, who does some kind of secret mission for George Washington and gets caught. The Brits sentence him to hang. At his hearing, the Duke of Kentland (pops; Love Boat appearances = 1) just randomly shows up!
Long, complicated, boring scene as the Duke figures out Philip is his son (signet rings are involved, it is boring, I hit fast-forward). Philip gets off and heads back to Boston, where he opens a printing shop with another guy (Bobby Troup of Emergency!).
In Boston, Philip recognizes Peggy as the mystery woman he rescued. He goes to say hi, and she is very “Thanks but go away.” Philip sees her OVERLY EMPHASIZED laced-front dress and dun dun DUN, Peggy is pregnant!
Peggy is with her aunt, played by Anne Francis (Forbidden Planet; Love Boat appearances = 1).
Philip and Sonny run into each other. Philip tells Sonny about this enticing woman he rescued and ran into, and that she’s pregnant. It’s clear that Philip is Into Her. SONNY KNOWS. He goes to visit Peggy at her aunt’s house:
Peggy and Sonny reconcile.
Sonny wants to marry Peggy, but she points out that everyone thinks her coming child is her ex-husband’s. She wants to wait till after the birth to get married.
Philip runs into the Marquis de Lafayette, recast with an older actor now and wearing VERY QUESTIONABLE MAKEUP CONSTANTLY. The two get their French on, hang out, and then lots of military/political shit happens that I care nothing about and mostly fast-forward.
Peggy has her baby, she and Sonny write back and forth.
A WHOLE LOT of boring military shit happens, including some troop training by General Baron von Steuben. I fast-forward. At some point, Sonny Crockett dies, I was so bored that I didn’t catch why. As he dies, he makes Philip promise to take care of his mystery love without ever saying who she is.
There’s a big battle at Dorchester. Zzzzz still don’t care.
Philip attends a fancy dinner party:
Philip chats up Peggy, she says enough to help him figure out she’s Sonny’s girl, he hits on her.
And we jump to — the war is over! It’s 1781, and Philip and Peggy get married!
- Love Boat appearances: only 4!
- Shitty wigs: only 1!
- Tits out: 5 pairs
- Actors who have made me keel over: only 1!
And we’re out! Hope you enjoyed!