Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Bonanza Season 5 Episodes
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Re: Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Post by Sharry » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:06 pm

ellen wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:35 pm
I think part of the "Laura" problem was the episodes were all written by different writers. (Even Laura's house changed.) For a 4-episode arc, you would think they would make an effort to write her character more consistently.

The writers / directors:
The Waiting Game - Ed Adamson / Richard Sarafian
The Cheating Game - William Stuart / Joseph Sargent
The Pressure Game - Don Tait / Tay Garnett
Triangle - Frank Cleaver / Tay Garnett
I had never considered that angle of things before. That does sound plausible.

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Re: Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Post by PJudith » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:19 pm

That's always been something I considered as to why Laura seemed to have so many personalities. They needed to assign ONE or maybe two writers to script the Laura arc. But the way they wrote it, she was all over the place.

In reality, since Frank was gone a lot and then she was widowed, she obviously had SOME smarts. She was able to run the ranch on her own for long stretches of time. She couldn't have been a total airhead. But that's the way the dialogue made her sound. I think Laura may have been doing what a lot of women did then and unfortunately still do today (to some degree). Namely, they play dumb and helpless. And don't forget, these episodes were written in the early sixties when a pretty blonde woman was rarely portrayed as smart or having any sense at all.

In "The Cheating Game" and "The Pressure Game" Laura was probably getting frustrated with Adam coming around and hanging around, but still not making his intentions clear. He seemed to like having it both ways, a pretty woman to court and to have dinner with (Laura cooked) but no strings attached. As Aunt Lil said, "He keeps his hat by the door."

Because of the societal constraints on women in that century, Laura couldn't just come out with, "Look pal, either $!@# or get off the pot!"

Women were expected to be passive and wait for a proposal. I'd say that Laura's instincts were right on the money by refusing Adam's proposal. He finally proposed by prefacing it with how he had monopolized her time. Not an "I love you" just "I haven't given the other fellas a chance." What kind of a halfhearted proposal was that? :shrug

The second time he proposed ,Laura accepted. But I think that was only because of the concussion that she sustained when the Bonner brothers ran her down in the street.

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Re: Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Post by Janet the Wicked » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:50 pm

I have an idea that Frank stayed away purposely. Can you blame him?
If I had the most fortunate opportunity to have been in Laura's shoes, I would have have confronted Adam, asked him what the heck was wrong. If you love somebody, you don't play these stupid games. If Adam was falling asleep at my house, I would ask him just what was on his mind. Talk to him. He's worth that after all, isn't he? Well, actually, I'd give him a back rub first. And Adam gets along so well with Peggy. Wouldn't you take a step back and consider this?
Of course, Adam is so complex. Who knows what he was thinking? But I would never, ever treat him like a doormat. If we couldn't work things out romantically between us, I would hope that we could at least be friends. I would ask him to come visit Peggy whenever he was in the neighborhood. And I would stop by the ranch with a basket of apples from my orchard.
I guess you know that what bothers me about the Laura episodes is that Adam is treated so shabbily and he no way deserves to be. I would be very honored to have Adam as a friend, if not a lover. He's a good man. He's a good soul. And he's good looking!
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Is that all you can think about at a time like this, cake???

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Re: Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Post by Janet the Wicked » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:51 pm

Well, I'm in love with his father anyway, so...
Is that all you can think about at a time like this, cake???

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Re: Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Post by Drifter » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:23 pm

Ok, this episode is picking up steam, So I’ll give my observations.

When looking at Adam’s relationships he seems less romantic with Laura than say Regina in The Hopefuls. I don’t know if it’s entirely the writing or partly Pernell being less enchanted with the character, but just throughout the Laura episodes he does give mixed signals. Initially Adam seems like he’s interested in The Waiting Game, by asking her out, and the kiss. In The Cheating Game, he’s take charge, but when his ordering around her ranch isn’t appreciated he decides he needs to be more romantic; yet his “I’m sorry” make up attempt doesn’t seem wholehearted. In this episode, it’s clear they’re together, yet Adam and Laura are in the buggy, joking something to the effect that they don’t need a relationship label. If memory serves me, it was mentioned or indicated it had been a year (either in this episode or Triangle). That’s more than enough time in those days if one was serious. I get the sense Adam wasn’t planning a proposal until others, especially Pa confronted Adam about his intentions. Then it comes off begrudgingly, then he’s more desperate the next time, but it still lacks passion. Perhaps Adam subconsciously shied away from marriage due to his father’s experiences, but I don’t think he would’ve waited a year to propose to Regina if somehow he was convinced he could give up his lifestyle, or somehow she was willing to leave hers. (Both unlikely, but the passion was obvious there.)

I don’t completely fault Laura, for wanting his assurance towards marriage, considering women at the time usually couldn’t manage long on their own, let alone with children. I honestly don’t know if she was capable of continuing to run that Ranch on her own, or if it was always poorly run, but in dire straits after Frank‘s passing. (Who knows, maybe he gambled just to keep the place afloat.) I will agree though, she was over the top about him missing the picnic, and wasn’t fair when Adam was giving her sound advice on other things.
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Re: Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Post by PJudith » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:52 am

Oh , the "Picnic"! That's another whole topic. :grin First, Adam DID promise to take them. He made a point of telling Peggy that he would take her. And it is really crummy to break a promise to a child.

Of course he did have responsibilities to the ranch. He had to find the Bonner brothers and get them to agree to move those cattle. But, a big BUT, he could tell time. He says to Aunt Lil that he forgot how late it was. Oh baloney. He just didn't care. He surely must've known Laura would be waiting for him. It was just plain rude to leave them waiting.

He could have told the Bonners, "I'll be right back" and gone to the hotel to make his apologies in person. He could have told Peggy that he'd make it up to her. He would explain to Laura that the Ponderosa had to move 500 head of cattle in a hurry. This problem came up and he had to tend to it.

Of course though, the Cartwrights were wealthy and losing a few cows were hardly going to send them into poverty. :laughing Adam could've said, "Screw it!" and taken Laura to the picnic.

But he obviously wasn't that "into her". Like the book, "He's Just Not That into You" explains to women who make excuses for a guy's indifference. If he's ACTING indifferent, then he IS indifferent. So cut your loses!

But in Laura's day, women waited patiently. I don't blame her for being angry at his rudeness. But when she says, "Peggy was bitterly disappointed", I think she is referring to herself and not so much Peggy.
They should've had it out then and there (after she sent pushy Aunt Lil OUT of the room).

Laura could have asked Adam why he was jerking her around so much. Why did he seem to care and then just blow her off. I know I'm using 20th century lingo. But I am sure she could've expressed herself in the vernacular of the day. So Adam, are we a couple or not? Quit pussyfooting around. Are you in or out?
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Re: Episode 166 - THE PRESSURE GAME

Post by Drifter » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:05 pm

Actually, I think she said something to that effect and “I don’t know why you bother?!” In the beginning of The Cheating Game. But yeah, Adam wasn’t as charismatic in this series, that’s certain. Adam wasn’t quite ready to be a stepfather and a husband, at least not in this instance.
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