Hi Everyone! Well this thread has been in need for a while now.. KC has shared her thoughts with us below so we can get the ball rolling here on this discussion- one location for discussing Amanda’s journey.. Apologies to Amanda’s character – I don’t have time to go through the episodes like I did with Lee – but if someone else would like to – we can have more than one post on this subject no problem.. the more the merrier! Or.. maybe I’ll get to it one day! There is no limit!
Thanks to KC for agreeing to share her comments on Amanda in a post and get the ball rolling on this! These thoughts are up to ALSALS and were originally posted in that thread.. I loved them- so asked KC if I could transfer them here
“I’m going to try to put my thoughts into some sort of order.
I see Amanda morphing and becoming more confident as a complete woman. I think she was always confident in her role as mother, but the divorce left her feeling unsure of herself in other areas.
Now, she has gained some confidence that among other things she has a knack for finding solutions (although also understanding that she also has a knack for getting into trouble—but the solutions outweigh the trouble).
She’s no longer just a mother; although she was very involved in volunteer causes before, now she’s doing something for her country—and making the world safer for her boys—and I think it gives her an extra feeling of usefulness and confidence.
What she does really matters and she’s happy being anonymous ‘cos she’s not the type to want fanfare, just an occasional honest thank you. Her “makeunder” highlights the fact that she’s competent–not just window dressing any more–and not a showboat.
She had a crush on Lee at the very beginning in season 1 and we saw her move past it—occasionally breaking down a bit, but we see that although she cares for him deeply—as a friend—by season 2 she’s packed her heart into a box and put it up onto a shelf in the cupboard.
She’s a very intuitive and sensible person, and she’s not going to give her heart to the playboy Scarecrow, but she does end up giving it to Lee.
In season 3 she takes the box off the shelf in the cupboard, but leaves her heart inside, occasionally cracking open the lid…”
What do you all think??
If you’d like to write a post of your own no problem we can post it too, otherwise feel free to share your thoughts on Amanda’s journey here..
In general, try not to go beyond where we are up to.. that way we don’t get into big discussions about upcoming episodes that haven’t been covered yet Though, if you really want to discuss the stuff ahead in detail- we can create another post for that if you like!
**Morley’s post on Amanda’s hair-don’t and Amanda’s journey will be next up!!
Happy Amanda discussing!!
Wow so many comments, already! I will leave my own musings, I will try not to make it too long but I cant promise anything hahaha (you know how I can drag on when I get going, esp about SMK!)
I am, after revisiting this show as an adult (having watched it as a kid many years ago) seeing the characters in a whole new light as far as emotions go. I dont think Amanda had a crush on Lee, I think it was more like …. well … she was kind of starstruck by him, like in her mind I can imagine her being all like “Wow! A REAL secret agent!!! How cool!!!” But then she got to know him and she was like “Geez … what a jerk!” Then, i think that is where she packed her heart away, “on a shelf, out of reach” like someone above so expertly said, because at first, Lee made it clear that he was NOT intending to change and Amanda, having had her heart seriously broken at a fairly young age did what IMO was the smart thing and put walls around her heart. But she managed to do so and not totally cut herself off emotionally from Lee, which I think is a testament to her character, and kind, caring nature; a lot of women would have become a total cold fish, but not Amanda <3.
She close class and maturity by brushing off his aloofness, his bad behavior and his rudeness, and not let it stick to her, but that doesnt mean she lets him get away with it, either! She intrigues Lee, fascinates him, and makes him crazy, she is unlike any woman he’s ever met. On the surface she seems like any other boring mother of two from suburbia with a station wagon, PTA meetings, and a live in mother. But that is only the first layer of the cake that is Amanda’s character, as Lee gets to know her, he realizes that she isnt ‘just a mother’ or ‘just a housewife’ she is more, SO MUCH more. IMO she is the breath of fresh air the Agency (and Lee) needed, but didnt know it!
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Have to say that I am blown away at the this discussion and the intense and well thought out comments. I just was reading Orson Scott Card’s intro to “Enders Game”. The movie’s coming out and I must reread it first. Just like I do for every LOTR and Happy Potter movie 😉 . Alas, a digression and ramble, but I do have a point. He say’s, “This is the essence of the transaction between storyteller and audience. The ‘true’ story is not the one that exists in my mind; it is certainly not the written words on the bound paper that you hold in your hands. The story in my mind is nothing but a hope; the text of the story is the tool I created in order to try to make that hope a reality. The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided and shaped by my text, but then transformed, elucidated, expanded, edited, and clarified by their own experience, their own desires, their own hopes and fears.” I thought how well this applies to the Amanda discussion as women who have walked in both similar and divergent shoes, and to the SMK characters in general.
Morley, what you said is making me look at Amanda through a new lens. And I love the sleepwalking comment because when haven’t we all done that after a traumatic life experience? Bjo, hope you are wide awake now and don’t need Amanda’s bookends. I know the feeling well and may need to borrow them for a bit 😉
It is Saturday and I sure hope I can have enough quiet moments to try to express the thoughts that have meandered through my mind all week.
I have enjoyed funny, feisty Amanda this week. I love the way she takes Betsy Jordan, not just in stride, but also in an unthreatened comfort with Lee and a comfort in her perception of her role in his life. I think it has taken her every bit of season 1 and this much of season 2 to get there and it is a great place for her. But I do think she had a journey getting there.
So I look at Amanda through 2 lenses, I realize. One is with the foundation that I described in the comment about the needs of a woman’s heart and the other is through my own perception of my self. I guess the character of Amanda is like that line form a song, “I’m every woman.” We will all understand Amanda from our own perspective. I haven’t had some of the experiences that she has, ie divorce and a jaunt through the world of espionage with a dashing spy. But I was a conservative, domestically leaning type who fell in love with a worldly playboy 🙂 My playboy became reformed just before we really got to know each other so I think that may be where the comparison ends, but I still use my experience to think about Amanda’s reactions.
So I see Amanda in the beginning as a rather bruised woman, at least in those 3 important areas of a woman’s heart. I like what Jenbo says about sleepwalking through life. I think Dean was part of that sleepwalking. When someone responds to painful periods like that I think they are trying to stay a bit numb. Becoming aware of desires can mean becoming aware of disappointment and pain, and even though true happiness could be on the other side of those things one might be too tired or disillusioned, to want to pursue dreams, desires or happiness.
But Amanda gets jolted out of this place when she is grabbed, forced to do a 180 and “walk” with Lee Stetson. And I think the first desire of her woman’s heart to become awakened is the need to be part of a grand adventure. Boy does she ever! And she saves the day, numerous times. But she also brings some trouble into the situation, and she is not fully appreciated or recognized. This I think could play havoc with someone who may feel as though already in her life her role in a grand adventure was that of being a wet blanket. I am referring to her desire to raise her sons and not follow Joe to Africa. I am sure before they decided to call it quits that there were some real hurtful discussions and some proverbial mud slung. I wouldn’t be surprised in Amanda didn’t come away from that with some doubts about her ability to be part of “an adventure.” I do believe that Amanda is a woman with great pluck, but we all doubt ourselves at moments and sometimes that doubt can do a real number on us. I think Amanda is working through that in different ways and to different degrees throughout the show, but especially during the parts that we have covered already. And I wonder if as she gets herself further involved her levels of doubt and insecurity don’t fluctuate. That is one of the things I want to think about as I look at Class Act. Here was an opportunity to further formalize her involvement in this Grand Adventure and she goes squirrely on us. Could the tapes of fights with Joe be playing in her head?
The next desire that begins to be awakened is the need to be romanced. I think we see it clearly in SAAB. I do think Amanda is sensible enough to know that Lee is not a man for her, even if he is very attractive, and there is some chemistry between them. And her logical mind would take control. But underneath deep waters are stirring. I can imagine Amanda being very calm and collected around Lee, even when she was being pulled by a strong attraction. This is where I put my own self onto Amanda. Being the logical, sensible woman I prided myself on being there was no way I was going to let on to my attraction to this dashing, blond playboy that had jus showed up in my circles of influence. Even when we began to form a strong connection, I would not waiver in my appearance of indifference even when other women around her were losing there heads over him. I would remain the steadfast logical friend. That was how I responded to my crush and even in our growing relationship. And I see Amanda as doing something similar with Lee. And as much as he was put off by her in some ways, I think that was to hide his discomfort with his own attraction to her, I do think he gave off some vibes of interest in her and due to his suave spy persona, exposed her to a type of romance that she had never experienced before. So now this part of her, (which I don’t think gifts of book ends and storms named for her touched) the need to be romanced becomes painfully awaked. I think it might have been tinged with pain because it would have been clear to her that true romance wouldn’t come from this quarter. She couldn’t remain objective though. I see her working on this from SD to Weekend. and after that I think she has got a handle on it up to SOS where I think she is challenged again and by the end of RS has got herself back in a comfortable place.
As I reread what I wrote I was thinking about some of the ditsy Amanda moments in early season 2. Maybe she didn’t have as clear a handle on this as I remember. I tend to think that as Amanda gets more involved with the agency she needs to work on her perception of her role in the adventure as well as readjust her perception of her growing friendship and attraction to Lee. It is as if things go up a notch and so she must readjust and this causes insecurity and ditzyness. This readjustment is her way of self protection and I think it may use a lot of energy. Just like Lee reacts with anger when his paradigms get shaken, I think Amanda gets ditzy. (Although when those two start getting honest they have much better reactions)
This comfortable place that she finally finds at the end of RS I think is reached through some stress and finding the area of her life where she can place her focus. I agree with IWSOD that her focus is placed on her role as a professional woman and so that is how she orients herself and her thoughts about her relationship with Lee. She is his partner and a good friend and work colleague. This I think at this stage also settles her need to be a part of a grand adventure. It is met in her professional life.
As far as the third desire of a woman’s heart, to have her beauty unveiled. I think it was briefly touched in SAAB when Lee told her she looked fabulous. But I wonder if that wasn’t received by Amanda as Victoria Greenwich and not directed towards Amanda (although I think Lee meant it to be a compliment to Amanda). But I don’t think that desire has been met or even brought out of sleep mode yet. I agree season 3 is the place for that, And boy does it happen, Amanda is beautiful in season 3!
I hope this made sense. I am not sure if I got everything out the way I wanted to. But my little children have been very generous with my time and have had enough. So if I have more thoughts I will add them later.
I wonder what you all will do with my mental gymnastics. I am sure anything you add will make me think even more. I love it!!!
Wow, Morley! Lots to say about this – guess you’ve had lots of time to think about it! It is very nice to see Amanda in an unthreatened comfortable role with Lee as you said. She really is acting like a friend. Maybe realizing that Lee is happy to be in her company even after an immediate dismissal the by likes of Randi made her reach this point with surety. (Is that a word?) It has been quite a journey though.
I like what you say about how that happiness could be within your grasp you might be too tired or disillusioned to pursue them. I feel like I can really relate to that right now in my life and I can see how Amanda coming off a separation and divorce could easily slip into a relationship with Dean, who is so stable and dependable because it is all too easy – doesn’t require much energy on her part. She can sleepwalk through her relationship with him. Heck, she can use the bookends he gave her to help prop herself up!
I never really considered the “tapes of fights with Joe” messing her head up in terms of her moving ahead professionally as in Class Act. I think it is something to think about, especially in the context of the grand adventure. I always thought her ditziness/levels of doubt/insecurity stemmed from the fact that the more involved she got, the more she realized just how far out of her element she really was and I think it scared her and made her realize that she was in over her head. Of course as long as she was with Lee he kept her afloat and she didn’t have to worry too much about drowning. Her “great pluck” is what kept her involved and made her believe she really did have something to contribute to Lee’s success and we saw that week after week. As she is accepted by Lee professionally, she becomes more confident in herself and the ditziness lessens.
I totally agree that after she is “awakened” by Lee to his type of romance and passion that bookends and storms named Amanda cannot compete!! We all know Dean’s days are numbered from the time she sees Lee in his tux on the stairwell at the costume party and they share that little dance in TFT. The concept of being awakened also fits perfectly with the idea of “sleepwalking” that Jenbo put out there. I also think what you wrote about Amanda being attracted to Lee and struggling with that attraction in Weekend but getting a handle on it until SOS mirrors what iwsod has written too (in the Weekend post?)
Hmmmm, not sure I think Amanda took the “You look fabulous” compliment from Lee as if it were given to VG. Even if that desire was still in sleep mode, I think Amanda was very aware that she was getting the compliment. I think that is why she reacts to him the way she does – she says nothing, just looks him up and down as if she doesn’t know what to do or say. I think he caught her off guard. If she had received it as VG, I would have expected her to be able to say something back to him because it wouldn’t have made her mind go completely blank. But then again, even VG’s mind might have gone blank…I now mine would have!! Hahahaha! I would have had him repeat it just to make sure I heard what I thought I’d heard.
I’m sorry it took so long to respond to this very well-thougth out comment of yours! But my little kiddies are back at school (yippee!!) and I’m not planning on doing much of anything today besides trying to catch up on all the SMK goodness I’ve missed these last few days!
Thanks for the feed back BJo. I did think about it for a long time, all those days when I couldn’t respond to comments and the ideas were knocking around in my head and then I finally got them out and it felt like they went in a black hole (which is fine, at least they were out of my head) But it was great to read a response. So thanks.
I like every thing you said, and I think it could always be more than one thing that could cause ditzyness or insecurities. And I think I will defer to your opinion about the fabulous comment in SAAB since you have spent so much time with that episode lately.
Looks like you had a good SMK day today!
LOL – I did have a good SMK day! For about 5 minutes, all the comments on the upper right side of the blog were all from me! I feel like so much had been going on around the blog over the weekend that I missed. If felt great to be able to spend lots of time on SMK today.
Ahh Morley! I love how much thought you put into these fabulous characters!! You are an encouragement to go a little deeper! 🙂 and I do love these characters!!!
I am so sorry I don’t have time to respond to your thoughts right now – but I’ve made a note.. and I’ll get back to this thread as soon as I can.. at the latest, I’d get back here by the end of season two.. where I’ll be busting to hear what you think of all that Amanda’s been up to!! 🙂
Anyone else got ideas on Amanda’s character they’d like to share??
How do you see Amanda??
what traits to do you give her??
her strengths?? her weaknesses??
Do tell!!! Byeee all hope you are all well!!!
I haven’t got the time to really wade into this discussion as we depart for seaside early tomorrow for a week (I can’t wait!) so last few days have been a whirlwind of last minute washing, ironing and packing. Will try and catch up via phone providing we’re not in the dead zone signal wise 😉
I confess I think all you ladies have said it all far more eloquently than me.
To me I see Amanda as sleepwalking through life. I can see why, she must have been through emotional wringer after her divorce, probably resigned herself to the fact that life plods on, PTA, school activities fill her day as well as the juggling of finances. It’s not that these activities aren’t worthwhile but they are linked to her being mother and provider. I just feel she got bogged down in the minutiae of her life and forgot about Amanda the woman. She’s not just Amanda the mother and daughter and provider for the family.
I love how meeting Lee has awoken a side to her she had maybe forgotten about. That she was worthwhile, she could contribute (despite Lee’s grumbles and moans). It’s fantastic she decides to choose this career in Brunettes is wonderful confirmation that whilst being a mother is fulfilling its not the only aspect of her that needs attention.
Anyway that’s enough of an Amandaramble from me 😉
Have a great vacation…don’t get too much sun 😉
In the UK? In August? Ha that will be a first 😉
Sorry didn’t know because here in the US August is usually hot!
I am so glad Iwsod created this thread! And these beginning ideas are wonderful!
I wonder if we don’t have a harder time thinking about Amanda because she is a woman and so are we. Maybe in some ways we identify with her, or we are hesitant to draw too many conclusions because we don’t want to lay our own personalities on top of hers. Does that make sense?
As I watch this show I try to think that these characters have a history before the show began and I try to construct that in my imagination so that all of the subsequent reactions and actions are placed onto that foundation. I am always impressed by how much of our perceptions are based on early and formative experiences and the expectations and beliefs that we hold onto due to those experiences.
So when I approach Amanda I think about two facts that we know a little bit about before the story begins. One is the fact that her father has died. I don’t know when that happened or how, but he isn’t there. I think there relationship was a positive one, but I get more information about him from Dotty than from Amanda. And without a husband as well in the picture, there is a real absence of men in their lives.
Second obviously is the divorce. And this seems like a different type of divorce as we learn later on. But given how highly Amanda holds the concept of marriage and family the failure of her own is probably a huge stumbling stone for her.
But there are other aspects of this that I have thought about and I think they fit right into Amanda’s experiences with Lee.
I mentioned the book Captivating a few days ago. It is a study on the heart of a woman. In the first chapter the authors out line three desires that they say are inherent to a woman’s make up. One is to be romanced, next is to have an irreplaceable role in a grand adventure, and the third is to have the beauty that is unique to them unveiled. These three things just scream Amanda King to me. But when I think about these things, first I think about how her experience with Joe crushed these desires or “needs.” Her husband left her to take care of people in another country. It is an admirable thing to dedicate your life to humanitarian pursuits, but to abandon the woman that you have made a vow to is heartbreaking, and I am sure their is not a woman on earth who could go through that and not feel unloved and undervalued at some level. She has been abandoned in romance
Joe’s decision and how it caused Amanda to choose to stay home to take care of her family probably also crushed her longing to have an irreplaceable role in a grand adventure. Maybe she even felt like a wet blanket to Joe’s desire for adventure. As I think about this aspect I think about my sister. My sister is a mover and shaker in the humanitarian aide world, she spent 5 years in Angola and when there she married another aide worker. Then they had children and my sister’s heart went to her mothering and she realized that she couldn’t raise her sons in the war zones, moving around from one refugee camp to another and she wanted to raise them in their younger years here in the states and continue their work from here for that duration. It ended her marriage. He left and he left her doubting her call, her ability to contribute to the world, her values and her sense of well being. Now maybe I am laying my sister on top of who Amanda King is, but it seems very close.
And lastly is the beauty being unveiled. I wonder if a woman who has gone through what Amanda has, and many of us have at one level or another, hasn’t shrunk back behind a veil, you know? We pick many forms of veils. But I think Amanda picked frumpy, suburban mother. And here in late season 2 ugly earrings and shoulder pads (I know it was the 80’s and I won’t even mention season 4 shoulder pads, shudder). It is wonderful to watch Amanda’s unveiling isn’t it? Especially in season 3.
So one of the things I love about this show is how the context of her interaction and growing relationship with Lee through friendship into romance heals and restores all the aspects in Amanda’s heart so completely.
Well, that was long a verbose… but I hope it adds to our discussion of Amanda’s journey 🙂
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Brilliantly spoken, Morley. I love everything that you said. In looking at Amanda and her experiences at face value you might initially think that she has less of a journey to take than Lee did. But her journey is just a different one. While she may have experienced some of the things that he has missed and wanted. He has experienced some things that she didn’t even realize that she wanted. They were on different journeys, but ultimately their separate journeys put them on the path to each other.
I am so enjoying these conversations. I have struggled with Amanda’s development because I get hung up on the ‘regression’ or ditzyfying (ha ha – just made up a new word!) her character went through mid-season 1 and much of 2). Maybe it was after her near death experience in SAAB and her confidence was shaken, or it was a conscious decision of the writers to make her not as strong (maybe viewers rankled against having ‘mere’ housewife holding her own against a trained agent) or an unconscious slide in the writing but it was hard for me to take. Comparing Amanda at her worst with Laura Holt from Remington Steele who was extremely smart, fiercely independent and driven (often to her own detriment), it is no wonder, growing up I identified more strongly with Laura.
Cindy, I know that ditzyfying is tough to take, but I am determined to do the mental gymnastics so that it makes sense (at least to me). I don’t know how to fix Class Act Amanda yet, but I am sure going to try 🙂 We may have to stick with IWSOD’s tag rewrite for that one, but I am getting ready to give it a shot. As I rewatch the first two seasons for the costume posts I am paying attention to it. Actually I discovered something really interesting (at least to me) in ACM Kid. I wonder if everyone will think its as interesting as I do?
Wow I like how you thought through that. I have always figured that her failed relationship with Joe was what made her want to go slow with Lee. Funny how she always wants Lee to open up, but she is doesn’t openly share a lot about her past. Which it would have been nice to know more about her father Thinking of Wrong Way Home when Lee asked what went wrong with her marriage.
Amanda’s journey probably began when she finally got divorced from Joe. We don’t know how long she was with Dean, but it was obviously long enough for him to have some sort of relationship with the boys and Dotty. In the first episode Dotty seems to be pushing for marriage and she champions Dean on several occasions. She even crosses her fingers so that the next major storm will be called Amanda.
Unwittingly Dotty ends up championing Lee instead when she says things that end up causing Amanda to make comparisons of Dean to Lee. I think its interesting how she even tries to figure out was makes Dean most resistant to Amanda. Amanda was looking for a job, but ended up with a career that made her feel worthy, happy and proud to not only be a mother, but proud to be a citizen.
Amanda is able to learn a few things about Lee right away. He lost a partner, had a rough childhood, dates immature women, etc. He opens up to her and she is able to see just how damaged he is. She can see right away he is not true relationship material, at least not yet. He does however become a friend and even a protector. Amanda comes to rely on the fact that he will always be the one to come to her rescue. She is comfortable in letting him know when she is scared.
I could probably keep on rambling, but I’ll stop, at least for now. I can tell I’m still on summer break. I’ve finished watching all the DVDs. And this is after having seen all the episodes on Amazon Prime. When school starts back soon I will have limited SMK time.
Great start to an Amanda Journey discussion, KC! In general I agree with what you wrote here and will add my two cents another time. I’m hard at work on the stats for SAABeyond right now, but will try to add my thoughts on Amanda’s journey on first half of S1 in the next day or so.
On a separate note, I finished getting all my screen caps for SAAB today and the total number is 100! Prior to this episode SDeath was the leader at 78 caps. The difference is Lee in a tux, Lee in a tux and Lee in a tux! Oh yeah, and all the dimples! And I thought SD was a dimple fest – it has nothing on SAAB!
I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head although I find Amanda a little confusing in season 4. IMHO in season 3 Amanda was ready for a relationship and may even pushed things a little, where as in season 4 after they were engaged she seemed to pull back. She seemed reluctant to marry and it was Lee that was pushing.
Couldn’t agree more Melissa!!
I know we are only going up to ALSALS in the Amanda discussion but I wanted to say a little something about Melissa’s response. I think Amanda’s reactions in S3 and S4 were based on Lee’s reactions to her. I think that she saw how he was more in tune to her and allowed herself to open up more to him. She had waited patiently and was finally getting her chance. I think she knew that once he gave in she had him completely.
In S4 there were a lot of changes going on. She was taking classes to become an agent and juggling a secret relationship, plus her ex-husband was back in their lives. There was more at stake for her. I don’t think she was pulling back. I think that once Lee decided he wanted to be with Amanda he was like gang busters about it and wanted to charge ahead. He couldn’t stand to not be around her. Amanda was always the voice of reason and was able to see things with a clearer head and knew that they should really think and talk about things before just charging ahead.
Yeah–I thought it was how Valerie described it, too. Amanda’s overjoyed that her wish came true, but she’s still sane, sensible AK, thinking first before leaping (but definitely more relaxed after having met Lee than pre-Lee), and especially wants to avoid any chance of ending up with Lee in the same boat (divorce) she did with Joe –> taking infinite care… but deeply in love. Does that make sense?
Yep, makes sense. I haven’t watch season 4 yet (I am rewatching 3 first and trying to prolong it) but I seem to recall a scene where he was talking about relocating the boys to a bigger home in the country and he hadn’t even officially met them yet. YIKES! I understand why she was pulling back, she had the boys to consider as well.
Oh boy, looking forward to discussing all of this when we get to S4!!! I can honestly say I can wait though….because we get to go through S3 first!