This was a well-made pilot for the exceptional TV drama that lasted an incredible, and then unprecedented, 14 years from 1979-1993. "Annie," played by Karen Allen, is the rebellious teenage daughter of series saint Sid Fairgate (Don Murray). She is making his life--and that of his wife, Karen (Michele Lee)--hell by the time this episode begins at the end of the first week during her planned two-week visit. Moving next door amidst this tense melodrama is Gary and Val Ewing (Ted Shackleford and Joan Van Ark), brother and sister-in-law of evil J. R. Ewing of "Dallas." The Ewings have remarried and left Dallas, hoping at some future point to bring their teenage daughter Lucy to their new home on the cul-de-sac of beachside Knots Landing, California. Like Annie, who was kept from her father since she was a baby but a cold mother, Gary and Val did not see Lucy for about as many years thanks to J.R.'s schemes. So Val attempts to comfort Annie as she wishes she could comfort Lucy. The directing is tight, the almost Jazz-like musical composition perfectly accompanies each dramatic scene. Karen is portrayed almost as something of a potential villainess here, though in later episodes she softens and becomes something of a saint herself. Sid is shown in his underwear. Teenage Annie smokes after sex in her father's bed with a boy. The show broke some ground there, and in later episodes. Alas, the show has its concerns: Annie, beyond this episode, is mentioned only two more times: when Lucy visits on episode six and again a few episodes later when her mother, Sid's ex-wife, visits to resolve legalities regarding Annie. Then she is never mentioned again. Sid, in fact, dies during the third episode of season three, but neither Annie nor her mother (played by Claudette Nevins) shows for the funeral. So Annie joins the fascinating ranks of the forgotten children of TV series--a list including Richie Cunningham from "Happy Days," Eugene Barkey from "The Big Valley," and the Maxwell children from "V: The Series," TV's innocent children who simply disappear and are never mentioned again. Robin Fletcher, Denton, Texas
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