Sons & Daughters Watching/rewatching/discussing The Aussie Hit Show

James from London

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I remember Jeff's death. It's a key event in a major arc. Of course I remember it.
I had no recollection of it. Of all the Claudia Blaisdel things he's done, dying in a fire he accidentally started is the most Claudia Blaisdel of them all!

It's far from the first time S&D has bereaved parents of their child. In fact I can't think of another series that has done it more. As recently as a month and a half ago, Irene's son died. But this is the first bereavement that's really affected me. Heather trying to hold it together on the phone when she's trying to reach Katie got me tearful, but Mike breaking down and crying onto Heather's shoulder really got to me. It's a rarity to see a blokey bloke cry in this way on TV and consequently felt taboo and groundbreaking... and almost voyeuristically intimate to me as a viewer.
I was really willing Jeff to be dead, but then when I saw how devastated Mike and Heather were, I felt a bit bad. First Todd, then Luke, then Jeff -- I don't think even EastEnders has slaughtered so many of its young in such quick succession. I kind of love how S&D took such a nice wholesome happy-go-lucky family like the O'Briens and then just completely and utterly destroyed them.

The sinister Roger Carlyle storyline is a treat. It's so thrilling and strikes the perfect balance by being outrageous and making me believe it. Patricia managing to fight off and get away from two professional hitmen who had a gun to her head seems like it stretches credulity to its limits. But knowing the big picture even that makes perfect sense. Things are happening incredibly quickly now. No wonder I became addicted at this point before. Nobody would dare stop watching with these cliffhangers.
It's such an ingenious way of writing Patricia out of the show.

I’ve decided I quite like Alan. Or at least I like the actor playing him. But the casting seems off. The writing has Alan pursuing women, getting into fights and drops numerous references to him working out. But the actor is a likeable, ordinary, slight young man. He’d be perfect for the Jeff O’Brien lad next door type of character, but he’s not a great fit here wearing suits and shirts that look like he’s raided his Dad’s wardrobe. To be fair it was commented that he’s out of his league in the fight. But there still feels to be a strange lack of congruence between what’s on the page and what’s on the screen. Jill’s all over him and has never felt this way about anyone. Amanda has swooned over how similar he is to Todd. But the dynamic somehow comes off as big sisters to the brother their parents had later in life.
Yes, Jill swooning all over Alan even though he's clearly a little shit feels very random, even by S&D's standards, but now you mention it, it's the casting of Alan that makes it seem so out of whack.

Patricia being on the run and the threat, however, is as thrilling as I remember. Rowena Wallace has wowed me playing her as broken once again, and she’s found new shades within to make this as authentic and heartbreaking as her previous breakdowns. Perhaps more so.
The countdown to Patricia 1.0's exit has begun, and maybe it's because I'm eager to start with the new season but somehow I find it all a bit exhausting.
It just feels like one nervous breakdown too many.
I'm not sure I enjoyed watching Patricia having yet another breakdown. I don't know if it's because, as Willie says, it's one breakdown too many, or because Rowena Wallace is so good she actually makes it difficult to watch, or just the frustration of seeing her being gaslighted ... I think it's a combination of all three.

I have no memory of Patricia and David’s actual wedding and it’s perhaps easy to see why, what with it taking place in the living room at David’s country home and in the middle of a particularly fast moving series of events and cliffhangers. Turns out it's one of the series' most beautiful moments.

Objectively it could be deduced that the writers were forced to pack a lot of storyline into this final run of Season Three in order to bring it to a satisfactory close. But from a subjective viewpoint, I didn’t question it. Even Barbara and Irene being witnesses worked for me. There was a conversation around their decision to do so that was admittedly a little convenient and rushed. But it was enough to satisfy. And it was great to see them standing grimly in the background. I was reminded of Laura Avery rolling her eyes Gary and Abby tied the knot. Except Irene didn’t roll her eyes. She just looked pensively sad.

Sadness was, indeed, the pervading element of the wedding. It’s perhaps the saddest onscreen union I’ve seen. There was no element of celebration. Instead the tone was decidedly funereal. David looked stoic. Barbara uncomfortable and gritting her teeth to get through it. And then there was Patricia. It’s perhaps the most pitifully frail I’ve seen her, with dark rings round her eyes and almost being propped up by David. It was like watching a dying woman.
It's very sad and very ironic -- getting David was what Patricia wanted all along (well, on and off), but then when she finally gets him, she's too out of it to really notice. It's kind of the opposite of Gary and Val's final remarriage on Knots when it felt all the drama and poignancy surrounding their characters had suddenly evaporated. Patricia and David tying the knot feels almost tragic.
 
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Mel O'Drama

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I had no recollection of it.
Oh, that's great. It's nice to be surprised by these twists, even in repeat viewings.




I kind of love how S&D took such a nice wholesome happy-go-lucky family like the O'Briens and then just completely and utterly destroyed them.
In so many ways the O'Briens for me weren't used to their full potential, but I can't help wondering if that's because their stories didn't take the direction I wanted.




Patricia and David tying the knot feels almost tragic.
Tragic's a good word for it. There was no joy at all and it felt very grim. It felt like the ghost of what could have been loomed large. And I suppose as a viewer, knowing that it's so close to Patricia's departure keeps the focus more on endings than beginnings. I'm reminded of that George Bernard Shaw quote about the two tragedies in life. This is sort of a case of both.
 

Willie Oleson

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I can't decide what I'm going to watch after I've finished The Brothers: Upstairs Downstairs or Footballers Wives
Pffooh, that Upstairs Downstairs is terribly cutesy, and also exhausting with all that pseudo-chaos in the kitchen.
Till so far, Mrs. Bridges is the only character I find mildly entertaining.
 

James from London

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Pffooh, that Upstairs Downstairs is terribly cutesy, and also exhausting with all that pseudo-chaos in the kitchen.
Till so far, Mrs. Bridges is the only character I find mildly entertaining.
Cutesy! What a disaster! How far have you got?
 

Mel O'Drama

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Suffering SADWS. (Sons & Daughters Withdrawal Symtoms)...
I can relate to that, VF3. Mine is becoming quite serious and doctors say the next twenty four hours will be critical.
 

James from London

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J. R.'s Piece

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Episode 210 featured some very familiar library music. It's probably been used in loads of things including Prisoner, but I most recognise it from being used regularly in Dallas's third season during a musicians' guild strike. I half expected Sue Ellen to wander through Kevin and Lynn's airport confrontation looking confused and claiming she must o' shot JR.
From ITC’s Return of the Saint (1978-79), where the music score was by John Scott?
 

Mel O'Drama

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From ITC’s Return of the Saint (1978-79), where the music score was by John Scott?
I've been trying to source some of this music on those Bruton library music CDs, but keep hitting several walls:
  • Because they have generic names it's very difficult to identify the familiar tracks that were featured on the Aussie soaps (and during the musicians' strike on Dallas and Knots)
  • Even if I knew the names/artists it's then difficult to then find a CD with the tracks on
  • They're quite expensive - especially if I just want them for one or two tracks
A while back someone had created a cracking playlist with many familiar tracks from S&D (and PCBH), which had the names, artists and whatnot. But it disappeared before I got round to making notes.

Since they seem so passionate, I keep hoping Cell Block H fans will successfully campaign for a soundtrack of some of these familiar pieces. But I suppose it's not that easy, even if someone was minded to push for it.
 

J. R.'s Piece

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I've been trying to source some of this music on those Bruton library music CDs, but keep hitting several walls:
  • Because they have generic names it's very difficult to identify the familiar tracks that were featured on the Aussie soaps (and during the musicians' strike on Dallas and Knots)
  • Even if I knew the names/artists it's then difficult to then find a CD with the tracks on
  • They're quite expensive - especially if I just want them for one or two tracks
Good luck with that. There are some music tracks accompanying the image gallery on the Network Return of the Saint DVD but not those. Although the music tracks concerned are used on several episodes of Return of the Saint. Which is why when I hear those, I keep imagining a stick man with a halo, driving a Jaguar XJS into different shows. Especially as Gayle Hunnicut and David Healy both turned up on both Return of the Saint and Dallas. David Healy first appeared on Dallas in the 1980-81 season. The music reuse is also why on Return of the Saint groups, they play excerpts of Dallas. They want to locate John Scott’s music too!
 
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Carrie Fairchild

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I haven't seen anything official yet but I saw a post on another site saying that Australian distributor Via Vision would be releasing the first season of Sons and Daughters on DVD later this year. Not sure if it's legit but they do have form for releasing older soaps as they're currently promoting the fact that they're releasing season 11 of A Country Practice soon and previously released the first 96 episodes of E Street in one box set.

 

JROG

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That would be lovely to get it on DVD!

The YouTube videos seem to have been taken down.

If anybody knows where I can keep watching, please let me know!!
 

Carrie Fairchild

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That would be lovely to get it on DVD!

The YouTube videos seem to have been taken down.

If anybody knows where I can keep watching, please let me know!!
Same. Up to episode 210 is still out there, which is as far as I've gotten. After that, from what I know is available, I'll have to make do with a handful of the "best of" epiosdes from the original DVD release, an edited version of the 1985 season focusing on the arrival of Alison Carr, a couple more cliffhanger episodes and then the final 70 episodes. It's better than nothing but I wish I could see more of Patricia's glory years.
 

Mel O'Drama

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I saw a post on another site saying that Australian distributor Via Vision would be releasing the first season of Sons and Daughters on DVD later this year.
This is very exciting indeed!!



I'd pay a small fortune for a S&D dvd boxset.
Based on the costs for ACP and E Street, we might have to. They're around AU$160 each, which is something like 99 Euros or £90. Plus another $45 shipping. And there'd be import charges to look forward to. And that's just one seventh of the series.

But it's Sons and Daughters, so like you, I can see myself snapping it up.
 
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