Mazo de la Roche's Whiteoaks series seemed like a TV screen writer's dream - several generations of colourful characters living under one roof, lots of sex, action, intrigue and humour, in a story spanning decades. They should have been able to turn this into another Forsyte Saga, so I couldn't believe how totally the CBC botched this project when they finally turned it into a TV series. If it had been tried a few years earlier, I think the producers would have played it straight and just made an entertaining adaptation of the story, but this was the angst-ridden '70s, when Canada's British and colonial past was an embarrassment to the clever-clevers at the CBC, so they just had to muck it up with all sorts of "creativity". In the end, the whole show was an unwatchable dog's breakfast, lurching back and forth to different time periods, telling no story consecutively, but shoving everything into flashbacks. Kate Reid fittingly played the matriarch, Adeline Whiteoak, but they also cast her as Rennie's daughter Adeline, in the present day, which was confusing and off-putting, as Reid lumbered about like a big horse, in a role that was designed for a lively, energetic young woman. I gave up on the story about halfway through, and never even saw the last episodes.
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