The Dissociation Theory of Amanda’s Hair Don’t
Here we are mid-season two and we all undergo a shock. What happened to Amanda’s hair?! Everything was going so well, why did you go and cut your hair? What were you thinking?
I watch the episodes in a revised order, so ALSALS is after SOS, Spiderweb and then A Relative Situation. I love this show, and it bothers me when there are holes or things that seem to have been dropped by the writers. And I love the acting, there is so much attention to detail by the actors that I have a hard time believing that the continuity errors are real errors.
Many of them have been resolved for me in adjusting the viewing order, but some apparent errors need a bit more creativity on my part to make sense of. Take Amanda’s Hair Don’t. Now either Kate Jackson needed to take care of some burnt out ends due to bad perms, or they were trying to do something with Amanda’s character. Either way, I think many of us feel it was a huge mistake, a very unflattering choice of style. The kind that makes your stomach sink when you look at yourself in the mirror.
Why would she (either KJ or Amanda) do that? I like the idea of the gum in the hair (told in a great fan fiction) but I have also noted that the “hair don’t” is accompanied by some clothing style changes, and this needs accounting for, I think. And so, because of my love for SMK and in order to do the characters justice, I have delved deeply into Amanda’s psyche and have discovered… “The Dissociation Theory of Amanda’s Hair Don’t.”
So I invite you to pull up a couch, grab your favorite frozen treat on a stick and join me for some psycho babble, Dr. Pfaff style.
Wikipedia defines Dissociation, which is measured on a continuum scale, as a detachment from ones surroundings or emotional circumstances. On one end of this scale are mild cases which “can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanism in seeking to master, minimize, or tolerate stress- including boredom or conflict” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation_(psychology). I think Amanda has utilized this mechanism throughout her life. Remember the dragons chasing her as a child? It was because of these types of stories that her mother didn’t believe her when she tried to tell her about the bomb in Possum.
This habit of response would explain why a single mother would be willing to take up work in the field of espionage (boredom?), and it would add another dimension to her fantasies of secret agents in SAAB.
No, I don’t think Amanda has a flawed psyche, I think she is a human woman who has an active imagination and feels things deeply and this is why I think she cut her hair and changed her style of dress at this stage in our story.
Remember how hard Amanda worked to suppress her attraction and reaction to Lee during Weekend?
She can’t help it, she is drawn to him.
He is attractive, yes. But he is attractive to her on so many levels. He opens up to her and there is just something there. I think she feels it.
But at the same time Lee is not a safe man for her to fall in love with.
Not for a woman with two children, a live in mother and a mortgage. Amanda knows this. And so she takes these feelings and tucks them away. She focuses on a friendship, one that she cherishes and one that becomes unique and special to both of them. She does this very well.
Oh my! What was that?
She felt it, she must have! And she knew he felt something. I do think she laughed a bit at Lee there in the tag. And she stayed in her firm place of friendship because she is a wise woman and didn’t give into the emotions. But she is a woman and she feels deeply and I can’t imagine her not being affected by what transpired. But she tucked it away and kept plugging on.
Spiderweb. I am sure Amanda picked up on Lee’s jealousy about Bryce Topping (and good for Amanda to take an offer for a night out).
Her comment to her mother that “sometimes I care and sometimes I don’t” is important, I think. She might not care about Bryce Topping, but I think she did care about what might happen with Lee. I think she noticed Lee’s attentiveness and even the change in his emotions regarding her predicament and faithfulness in this episode.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if Francine’s comments about Amanda being easy to overlook stuck with her.
And then the proverbial “straw”, A Relative Situation. How could a woman like Amanda not be touched by what transpired there?
She would be aware of how much Lee entrusted to her.
She would know the level of connection they achieved.
She would be touched by this.
I know she would try to keep things in her own heart as platonic as possible. After all, Lee is not the type of man to give himself over to the kind of relationship she would require. He would never be able to commit to her,
she is a mother, she is a homemaker, she is “just” Amanda, his friend and sometimes partner. He could never see her as… well, she is just not his type… And on the flip side I wonder if there isn’t also some fear on her part if things did progress for them because it would be complicated. It is easy to flirt with a person or an idea when it seems completely improbable,
but if there became a possibility of something that would bring into play past angst of rejection due to Joe and everything that would go with that, there would be a lot at stake.
Now I am not one who thinks that these two have “fallen in love” here at this stage. I think that both of them have been tugged and pulled towards each other.
I think they are getting closer. But for different reasons they hold back from taking that plunge. But see, this pull could bring about great stress. And I think Amanda feels this stress acutely about now.
I also think Amanda is feeling stress in her work at the Agency. I notice that she gets very fidgety when she is feeling uncomfortable and anxious, she does a lot of it in Spiderweb and ARS.
It is as if she is on the cusp of being taken seriously as a woman, but also as a professional. Her interaction with Francine at the beginning of ARS highlights this.
I think Amanda is insecure about whether she is being taken seriously but also about whether or not she can become an agent who should be taken seriously. I know that people don’t like the “dumbing down” in Class Act, but I wonder if that highlights this stress as well.
So why not do something? Why not dissociate from Amanda King right now? Why not change something? Your hair, your clothes? Maybe Lee will notice you as a woman, maybe not. But right now… anything would be better than this, this what? This crazy, stupid attraction? This run of the mill housewife persona and all of the doubts and insecurities that go with it? Maybe she could feel more professional or even sexy if she changed her look? Maybe she would be taken more seriously? Ach!!!!
So what do you think? Could it be that this is what happened inside Amanda? It works for me. Of course it could always have been gum in her hair. Or Kate Jackson decided to try a short do (um “don’t). Well at least now we have choices to pick from.
This was fun guys. I hope you liked it. I did. Thanks for reading. Now back to our previously scheduled “Walk” with Iwsod through the 88 episodes of our favourite show…
I am absolutely floored at everyone’s deep and thoughtful analysis into this confounding and troubling topic! I am arriving VERY late to this conversation, but I can’t resist chiming in. I agree with the theory that Amanda may be trying to update her look to be more “on trend” and professional. But it’s such a sudden change that it would have helped us poor viewers if they’d said something about that! A couple of lines between Amanda and her mother or something like that.
It also looks like she’s wearing a lot more make up. Could be because her hair is so completely away from her face… dunno.
And those button earrings! Yikes! I sometimes wonder if we will ever be able to look back at 80s fashion without cringing.
In any case, I have a really hard time watching the hair-don’t episodes. Amanda just doesn’t look like herself! For me, it’s the “hair-I-just-can’t!”
I know, this blog and it’s comments are always open – still I’m 2 years late…
Anyway… I just had an idea about Amanda’s cut-off-hair and it’s timing. Why changing it mid-season? Why not at the beginning or at the end of S2? So I did a little research and I learned the following: KJ got divorced from her 2nd husband in December 1984. ALSALS aired first aired at February 4th 1985. Coincidence?
I realy could imagine, KJ was up to a change after that divorce.
Well, it also changed Amanda. Maybe the SMK producers, writers (or who ever) just grabbed that chance and developed Amandas character along to the actress’ change… Who knows?
Just a thought how RL might even influence a fictive world (work).
Great research, L&A! And it makes a lot of sense. I can see myself cutting of my hair following a difficult and painful experience to have a ‘fresh start’. And maybe she did a lot of ear-ring shopping as ‘retail therapy’ 🙂
Sounds plausible to me too. Some contracts will dictate whether actors can or can’t change their hair. Apparently it wasn’t an issue for hers. KJ wanted a change and they worked with it. Kind of wish she went with just simple highlights or something for a new look, but oh well. Glad she let it grow out. They should have banned the ear buttons from her contract. 😉
Yeah, I’m also glad, she let it it grow out again. She’s much prettier with longer hair – esp. In S3. 😀
Banning the ear buttons from the contract? You wish – but hey that’s the 80th!!! Those days they were “normal”… 😦 (ugh)
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Hiya L&A so great to see you stop by again! I created an smk calendar to get my thoughts straight when I was writing about Kj’s fashions over at Neds – we were looking at whether her RL outfits were related to episodes she was filming at the time.
I had found out her second divorce was 1984 but I didn’t know the month – so you’ve narrowed it down – fab!
Anyway, A relative situation was early December filming.. and then the next filming was mid Jan and her hair was cut short (LOTP) – and she gave a public appearance on 27 Jan at the golden globes 1985..(with the short hair don’t, in her metallic LOTP outfit) so this all seems to fit well with KJ getting the chop around the time her divorce was finalised.
so the haircut is KJ’s cry of independence??!!! I kinda like it!!! you go gurl!! 😉 makes me like it a little bit more 🙂 but as I’ve said often – the ear buttons and fashions made the hair don’t much worse 🙂
If anyone wants me to email them this calendar I started to put together I’m happy to share.. and it’s by no means complete.. but all the scripts and episodes and appearances I’ve found so far for KJ are in it.. I sort of stopped compiling it to give it a break – it was feeling a little stalkerish rofl!! haaaa… Bye!
Well they say that art can mimic real life. Interesting, isn’t it. It looked better as it grew out, I think what really added to the awful change were her ear buttons and her new clothing style. I am glad it didn’t last long. That blue puffy thing in ALSALS was hideous.
Thanks for reading my post Lee&Amanda.
Ohh, THANK YOU for writing it. It’s wonderful, morley. I enjoyed it a lot.
Wow, drop out for a weekend and I have lots of new posts/comments to read. Yay! Welcome, Twin4me. Glad to have you aboard.
Morley, this is such a thoughtful post. You’ve definitely come up with something I could see happening. I will admit that I usually just accepted this hair style as part of the 80’s. I had friends who were always into the latest style, and one who suddenly decided she needed a change. I guess I always saw this as Amanda deciding that a change might shake things up. She was growing as an agent, branching out more personally, and felt she wanted something different – maybe trying out different things to find “her own style.” Once she becomes more comfortable with all the changes in her life, she settles into her own style easily.
I don’t remember being really concerned about the short/long/short/long at the time it was airing. I was probably too much into the relationship and the “case of the week.”
Whooo Debilyn, I like how you’ve put it! 🙂 I agree it is a search for who Amanda is.. who she will be.. ‘her own style’ – IMHO I think that’s on the money!
I love the reflection and analysis everyone has put into the Amanda makeover. I remember in the 80s doing something similar because of a need to reinvent myself and feel more confident professionally and personally. (I also went out and bought my first place, but a haircut and new clothes were really a cheaper way to go!) At the time I really thought the hair really framed KJ delicate features and her lovely neck ( but could not get past those frakking big ol’ earrings though!) Now, I’m not so crazy about the cut. I agree Debilyn that she was finding her own way. I also was convinced at the time that the producers had been smoking something, with the short/long/short schizophrenic order of the episodes. It made me crazy!
Hi Jule.. ohh it must have been really weird to have Amanda’s hair changing! You must have been wondering what you would get next! That’s a very cool insight of your perceptions at the time.. LOL that you couldn’t get past the earrings!! 🙂
wow.. I want to go out and buy myself a place.. haircut? for whimps! 😉 tee heee..
Great to hear from you Jule!
I had just broken up with someone and needed to say “I’m moving on” in a big way. Till then I had been too chicken to deal w a mortgage et al, even though I had saved since I began teaching to do so. Funny what propels us to make changes! Again, when I turned 40, I cut my hair from middle of the back long to verrrrry short. Anyone else with those, “I need a change moments”? Love to hear ’em!
Hi Jule – thanks for sharing your story! This isn’t quite the same, but is an “I need a change moment.” Many many years ago when I was a junior in college, I realized that if I wanted to graduate and move away from home to be an independent woman with my own life and achieve some of my dreams, that I just had to believe in myself enough to make myself come out of my shell and take some risks. As a result, I applied for a 7 week project in Washington DC (sort of like an internship) with nobody else I knew. Well I was accepted into the program and it was one of the best things I ever did. I absolutely love my time there and it was the experience of the whole prep for and the actual project that gave me the confidence I needed to try to achieve my goals. I didn’t cut my hair until my senior year of college for job interviews, but since I had already changed on the inside, I think it was just a matter of change until I did something with the outside.
Hi Jule! Funny how our perceptions of beauty change, isn’t it? KJ does have delicate features doesn’t she? But that haircut… and the earrings. I have noticed that there are often times during these shortcut episodes that Amanda has forgotten to put on her earrings. Could KJ have been protesting, or is Amanda not comfortable with her new choices? Did this happen in the earlier long haired episodes? I had never paid attention before. I guess I should in my costume posts huh?
Glad to have you with us Jule!
Oooohhh… here’s another theory: They wanted Amanda’s hair to look more like Stunt Amanda’s hair so that Stunt Amanda wouldn’t be so, uh, obvious…???… 😀
I like that one! She can be obvious, can’t she? The stunt Amanda just doesn’t have the right posture, KJ holds herself so straight and stunt Amanda is more like a Neanderthal. Sorry to whoever she is, it never works for me.
Yes, yes, yes, with the posture–but the wig was just the icing on the cake! 😀
Still, at least Stunt Amanda looked like a woman, unlike Stunt Francine… Sometimes Stunt Francine makes me think of Mrs Doubtfire or some other man-in-drag character. Tee hee hee…
(Sorry for taking things totally off-topic.)
Yes, yes!! Stunt Francine always looked pretty manly to me too. And we get to see it up close in LOTP coming up next. Mrs. Doubtfire is a great comparison!!
Just abandoning my “pretend it didn’t happen stance” to play devil’s advocate for a moment. Having psycho-analysed (yes America, in the Queen’s English there is no “z” in analyse) the reason for the short hair style, the obvious question is – don’t we need another blog entry analysing why Amanda quite promptly grew her hair long again? Seems to me if there was a deep and meaningful reason she had it cut short, wouldn’t there also be an equally profound reason for her growing it long again? I’m just throwing the idea out there to be kicked around a bit. It’s all good fun. Was that thud I just heard Morley fainting?
Shona, you are right, I have half of that blog written. But we have to wait until we get through all those episodes. 😉
Great job, Morley!!! It was a very interesting read 🙂
Hi Everyone! I have guests for the weekend so am not online this weekend.. just sneaking in a few minutes this morning before the day starts!
Haaa Morley I just love how you can develop so much of what we see of the characters into their deepest of motivations, fears, wishes etc. You are the perfect Dr Pfaff! Smile Love your screen caps!! 🙂 [How did you end up taking them.. was it okay?]
I too am finding it interesting looking at ALSALS and looking ahead to the other short haired episodes – without ARSituation and CWars in the middle of them.. I agree with you that there does seem to be a shift in Amanda’s character here.. Reading your post on this has been fun, and fabulously helpful to think through what my own thinking on Amanda is in this time of the show – and why.. Of course this will more fully develop as we go through the short haired episodes..
Morley wrote: “Now either Kate Jackson needed to take care of some burnt out ends due to bad perms, or they were trying to do something with Amanda’s character. Either way, I think many of us feel it was a huge mistake, a very unflattering choice of style.”
Of these two options Morley, I’d go with the ‘trying to do something with Amanda’s character.’! Just like you did!!! but.. I would differ with you on what it is they are trying to do 🙂
I love your honesty Shona about just pretending the haircut is not there.. I’ve found myself doing that so I can write the posts and not be constantly moaning about her fashion choices!! I prefer not to revisit this with every new look as it reduces the enjoyment of the episode and all the other great things that are going on.. how I prefer Amanda to look is really a small element and I’ll enjoy these short haired episodes if I can get past it and not focus too much on it..
Maybe this tactic of mine to diminish the impact of Amanda’s hair don’t is why I’ve drawn the conclusions I have about what is going on with Amanda’s character. I’ll explain.. [though I may change my mind or tweak this as we finish season 2]
For me, I see the Amanda haircut and fashion changes as being the popular fashion of that time in the 80s. So what we may see as an ugly decision or a ‘makeunder’ is in the context of it’s time, for me, not a makeunder at all – rather it’s an updating of fashion/ presentation.
I enjoyed having a joke about Rita and her copy cat hair do.. but really, I see the fact that Rita had the same hairdo as evidence that the look is that of a professional woman who is looking to be taken seriously in her work. It is an up to date look [for that time.. ohhh the 80s].
So while I loathe the haircut and earrings and fashions in isolation –in the context of my understanding of the show and Amanda’s character – it is actually for me evidence of a progression in Amanda’s character – I don’t see it as a regression..
As Morley’s post beautifully pointed out.. in spiderweb we saw Amanda’s discomfort at not being taken seriously by Francine – turning up in her little league baseball coach uniform is not professional. I think it has begun to irk Amanda, and she has come to want more from her life and her work – I don’t see this new look as being about Lee and her feelings for Lee in anyway-[though there are unintended consequences in that department!] I see it as being all about Amanda’s story, her progress.. how she sees herself.. how she wants others to see her.. I hope I’m making sense!
In SOSpies, and Spiderweb, ARSituation, Amanda seems to me to have taken her work up a notch – she is that little bit more professional..boy is she savvy and professional in SOSpies – where Lee is all flustered. but she’s on it! she’s got her stuff sorted! She is not struggling with Lee and her feelings for him at the end of this episode..
Oh dear this is becoming more like an Amanda character discussion and belongs on the other thread – LOL.but I need to say this or my view won’t make sense.. maybe I can amplify my views on that thread next.. and keep it brief here.. [Plus I’ve got to go out!]
I think Amanda’s fashion change here is a result of a search for identity.. she is trying to make her way in the professional spy world, she wants to be taken more seriously, she’s earned it.. and this update is an attempt to make a few changes in her life. For me, it’s nothing to do with Lee – I still see her as having her feelings for him under a healthy control at this stage..
As we head through to the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3, we see Amanda slowly become more feminine and classic in her style choices – and her hair becomes again more feminine.. I think she learns to make her way in the professional world as a woman.. to gain a more serious reputation with her coworkers, and learn to balance this with who she is – she eventually learns how to combine feminine Amanda with professional Amanda.. and at this stage, I think she pushes things more dramatically toward the professional look to shake things up with how others see her.. LOTP and the happenings in that episode only confirm this for me.
So I shall finish up and say – for me, I see the change in hair as an attempt to update her look – a professional look of that time. I see it as being about Amanda’s development – and not in response to her feelings for Lee.. She had reached a point where she wanted to take her work more seriously and wanted others to take her work more seriously. With this new direction, we see the re-emergence of assertive Amanda, now more confident and comfortable thanks to having finally found out that she has gained Lee’s complete trust (which she learned in Spiderweb and ARS). The unintended consequences of this new look on Amanda and Lee’s relationship? well I might come back to that one.. LOL I really have to go!!!!
I know my view is very different to how others see this so – I am not really expecting others to agree with me.. but I do thank you for respecting different views and being open to hearing them – you guys rock.. and Morley – I loved loved loved your post and you’ve really gotten me thinking deeper than ‘uh oh hair-don’t’ for which I am very grateful!!
Byeeeee for now!!
Oh and Welcome Twin4me and Jule!!!!!
sorry gotta run!! 🙂
[edited to fix all my errors! I posted this in a hurry! hopefully this is a little clearer! eek!]
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Looking at it in an 80’s context, that hairdo was seen as more professional, more of a power statement (along with those wonderful shoulder pads). I can get behind the thought that Amanda wanted to be seen as more professional and it probably seemed like a good idea at the time when she was in the stylist’s chair before the first snip of the scissors. 🙂
At the time this first aired, no one I knew thought the hairdo was a positive change.
True Cindy.. sometimes with the show we have to progress forward a little in order to be able to look back and think – Ohh that’s what’s different.. and maybe Ohh that’s why she cut her hair.. or LOL sometimes we just don’t really think that much about it – don’t really care and hey.. there is an advantage to just moving past it and focusing on the good stuff that is more explicit and less guesswork.. because really at the end of the day – we are only theorising here.. which I love to do too Morley! 🙂 Then again, sometime I don’t need to think through something and just think yeah.. bad script.. next! LOL! there is no predicting with me! 🙂
I am thinking that when this aired in the 80s. there would have been no gasps of horror – because it was the fashion of the time.. but I will definitely be revisiting all this at the end of the short haired eps (and maybe a little while walking through them!) I think based on ALSALS alone some could have noticed Amanda was more cheeky, and assertive..
Oh trust me, there were gasps of horror when it first aired. 😉
Oh yeah, I was one of the gaspers at the time. I just remember thinking why on earth did TPTB cut her hair! I was only 14 at the time, so it never would have occurred to me that the haircut could have been linked to Amanda’s career/professional appearance. I just remember thinking why on earth would they want to make this beautiful woman look less beautiful?? Laura Holt never went through a short hair phase did she Cindy? Guess she decided the short hair looked better on Mr. Steele and not herself.
Nope. She did go with bangs and darkened her hair (which didn’t quite work), but nothing so drastic.
morning! Fair enough! I can see there would have been some gasps of horror (whether a fashionable cut or not) LOL.. it was such a change! The haircut isn’t quite Amanda is it..
I can’t imagine what it was like when the show first aired and you saw ALSALS and got the shock.. then suddenly you had the lovely ARSituation.. then gah! LOTParty and OOADPigeon and then… Car Wars???!!!!and then back to DOArrival!! Long short Long short short long short – I think this kind of order only makes the haircut worse..because it constantly reminds us of how pretty Amanda looked before! Oh well..
BJo you never linked Amanda’s career/professional appearance to the haircut? – LOL well.. it might not be true 🙂 – it’s just a theory of mine 🙂 and how I choose to see the haircut – note ‘choose’ because really the show does not tell us why Amanda cuts her hair – not explicitly that I can see – so we can see it however we choose to that fits within the context of what we did get – I think Morley’s theory can work – I can’t see any reason why not.. but I use a different theory that I also think works 🙂 but.. then again, I’ll keep this in mind as we walk to the end of season 2 – maybe there are reasons I haven’t seen yet that make either theory not fit so well..
I think I would have been thinking – ohhhhh they are copying Dynasty!!! noooo!!! Why didn’t Amanda go for the Crystal look instead of Alexis Look??? [ I think the season 3 look is a bit more like Crystal 😉 haaa]
Anyways, thanks for sharing your experiences Cindy and BJo!
Maybe one of your top five baddies of season 2 could be Amanda’s hairdresser Cindy? 😉
I saw a scene in LOTParty the other day where I suddenly thought- her hair looks okay! [ie. not a complete disaster I’m trying to just ignore] .. I’m looking forward to hearing what others think about that..
Well must go byeee for now!
Thanks Iwsod, for all your wonderful input!
I took those pictures with the Amazon prime videos while they were still free. But now I use the DVDs. BJo was tremendously helpful with both! Thanks BJo! But, actually, I think the ones with the DVDs are clearer, so I am happy with that.
I agree that, if one decides to view the change in Amanda’s look as a character development thing, Amanda was trying to update her look. More current, or sharp, or whatever. I think though that what was important to me about this change is that it isn’t true to who Amanda was and it was motivated by stress of some sort. I think we will see as the rest of season 2 unfolds that Amanda becomes true to who she is, or has become. Like you said feminine Amanda, balanced with professional Amanda. I like that.
Obviously I do think it has something to do with the stress caused by her feelings for Lee as well as her view of herself in the professional world. But I wonder if those lines aren’t very clearly drawn for her. I guess I reason that way because I don’t think Amanda has any real thought that anything would ever really materialize between the two of them. She may have a deeper, more gut level reaction to the growing intimacy between the two of them, but I don’t think that is allowed through into her rational mind much (ie the fears that might come up if anything did happen). So all these stressors are rolled into one thing, and that is her image of her self and how she presents herself mainly in the world of the agency and then onto the greater world around her.
And actually it is interesting that the first time we view the new look it is the context of her being recognized as a candidate for Mother of the Year, which has nothing to do with her professional life, except that it is her professional life that blows her chance at winning.
One question, her look bothers me here in ALSALS and a few other places, but does it bother anyone anymore in Burn Out? It would be interesting to ask that question when we get there.
You made me think even more, Iwsod, If that is possible.:)
Morley you seem to me to never stop thinking about where the characters are at and what could be happening – and that is one of the things I like about you! 🙂 Keep it coming!!
Sounds like we don’t differ on all our ideas.. only a few! I am not wed to my ideas at the moment and in fact I prefer to keep an open mind – especially since we haven’t walked through these episodes yet 🙂
Yes good point about her professional life interfering with the MOTY.. only I guess due to the ridiculous way Amanda gets into some of these fixes – it was not her professional life that got her into it – it was actually her picking up flowers for the PTA 😉 and err very coincidentally witnessing a murder!! haaa! I think it is an interesting idea, but not sure if this is what they were aiming to convey.. I’m going to keep all this in mind as we move on to the next – and you will all share hopefully what you think too – as we walk through to the end of season two..
Do you have in mind to do another post on this Morley??
As Shona has shown in her comments playing devil’s advocate – a post on why Amanda grows her hair could be a good idea also! It is ahead..and not yet covered by our walk so I haven’t gone into detail on this – but when we get to season 3 I’d love to revisit our theories and see if there are some that fit better than others – rofl KC I think you are on to something with the stunt Amanda needing KJ to cut her hair! tee hee!!
Hi Shona.. I love a bit of devil’s advocate! 🙂
It is a difficulty with walking through the show in order – that this means sometimes not progressing too far forward with the story – but I think it is worth hanging in there and getting there together – that way our views are swapped based on what we have all just seen or read and not on something we think from watching the episode a few years ago.. does that make sense?? I know that’s what I would be doing..I only have vague ideas about different things from season 3 and 4 and haven’t really looked at the episodes so closely..often when I look closer my understandin has deepened- so I am looking forward to getting there and understanding the upcoming episodes better with you all walking with me and informing me 🙂
I am guessing that there are many ideas floating around for why Amanda has grown her hair back at the start of season 3 [and I’ll bet Morley has a few! 🙂 ] – but we are holding back sharing them, or expanding on them in detail to keep from going too far ahead.. so hang in there!! we’ll get there eventually – and when we do I would love to hear what you think! 🙂
Of course, deeper ‘analysis’ is not for everyone – and that is perfectly cool! I love that we all bring different aspects of the show to this blog and have different interests, and I hope there is something here for everyone – want to not think about Amanda’s hair don’t? that’s cool..quick! look at a tux pic! 🙂 haaaaa… I vary in how deep I want to go.. but at times all I want to do is not think and giggle over Lee like I am 8 years old again without the stresses of an adult life you know?? Other times, I gain a deeper understanding of these characters we know and love that are really enjoyable! I love that I get all that here!!!
Oh dear.. I have blabbed on haven’t I? sorry guys!! I’m back into the books tomorrow.. just said goodbye to my guests, and will hopefully get the first post from LOTP up in the next day or two.. oh and I will try and get to the Amanda thread to hear all your thoughts soon!
ARGGGG! The computer ate my response last night. I shall try and recreate it’s brilliance (HA HA HA!). I appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into explaining Amanda’s hair don’t — I understand the need to reinvent oneself, but I don’t think this was a producers’ decision — it’s too drastic and would affect KJ in her real life (The show could have gotten the same effect by giving Amanda the upsweep she had in the tag of ACM kid). I also think the show was not subtle enough to have such a catastrophic change in Amanda’s looks without someone (at the very least Francine) mentioning it.
I think KJ fell victim to the grand conspiracy of the Evil Empire of Hairdressers who tried to make everyone in the mid 80’s look like Howie Mandal (when he had hair). Heck, even I fell victim and am still a little traumatized by hair dressers because of it. *SHUDDER!*
Now those earrings, on the other hand – a very deliberate choice by someone.
(It is interesting to note that in real life, KJ was in the process of a marital breakup around this time – I wonder if this had anything to do with her change in looks).
I think I will go Shona’s route and deny it ever happened. 🙂
Thanks for posting this Morley, it has certainly given me something to ponder.
Cindy, you are probably right about it not being a producers decision. Actually I read somewhere that it was more like a chemical issue with too many perms and needing to get to healthy ends. But here is where I choose to go fictional and create a plot. And I agree the earrings and those sweaters are someone’s choice. And those costume choices don’t last long. So because of that I let my imagination run free and create possible scenarios.
It is true that Francine could have made a comment, but sometime I wonder if the writer’s weren’t slightly subtle, because they do leave a lot of interpersonal stuff unsaid. The writing for the episodes tend to focus on the cases and only touch on the relational stuff between all the characters briefly. There is a lot we the viewers do not see first hand. At least that is how I view it. I kind of like it that it isn’t all so tightly written that we all don’t have the freedom to insert our own ideas, you know?
I am glad you pushed through and recreated your thoughts again. Sometimes I think computers may be involved in a grand conspiracy of their own.
I am actually jealous of your imagination because honestly, the hair really, really stumped me for a explanation that would stay true to character or canon. Well done!
Love what you have to say, Morley! One of the things I love most about this blog is reading what other people think about this show. Never in a million years would I have thought of something like this! Guess it is a good idea to “talk to someone” because they can tell you things you’d never figure out for yourself. Thank you, Dr. Morley! 🙂 Do you have any Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake pops in your freezer??? Or the Magnum (PI) Caramel ones? Yum. 🙂
I think I tend to go the way of Shona and pretend it didn’t happen and picture Amanda in my mind with her usual longer, prettier hair. The only other explanation that I used to help me through this hair-don’t was to tell myself that TPTB were being nice to the fans and letting Amanda look her least desirable because the OOADPigeon was coming up and they didn’t want to have Amanda looking her best for that episode. That way Lee would not picture the beautiful Amanda of S3 with a gun in her hand either.
I especially like what you wrote about Amanda being on the cusp of being taken seriously as a professional because I think that aspect of Amanda’s character on the show is equally important to her development and her relationship with Lee as the other parts that we usually talk about.
One last thought – love your screen caps! Especially the Spiderweb one with the map behind Lee. Did you catch him saying “Bryce” or “actor”? I think that is so funny when Lee asks Amanda about him. Almost like he’s talking about himself – Bruce, the actor!
I think it was “sounds like an actor” he kind of said that out of he corner of his mouth. Funny too, because I understand that the guy who played Bryce Topping wasn’t so much of an actor as an Olympic athlete. The actor, calling the non-actor and actor. Get it? I think that was confusing;)
Can I buy those pops in the grocery store. My kids may begin to appreciate my involvement on this site more if it causes me to fill the freezer with many different pops. That and cake from the other discussion.:)
It is true, isn’t it BJo, that it isn’t all about the relationship with Lee. All dimensions of their lives are touched and changed and grown because of their interaction with one another. That is what makes it a complete thing. a Whole person interacting with another whole person. You know I often think about Lee’s compartmentalization, I guess Amanda is as well. You mentioned that in our Tupperware conversation, didn’t you?
I think you should be able to buy those pops in the freezer section of the grocery store – I know you can in the midwest and the south.
I do think Amanda does compartmentalize – she is just more organized and therefore things are more easily accessible. Or perhaps she’s just less afraid to access the compartments! I’m chuckling to myself right now because I’m thinking of what my Tupperware cabinet looks like. 🙂 Never thought I’d think of Tupperware as a metaphor for my mental health! LOL.
I’ve always thought this random and mercifully short-lived hideous hairdo is totally inexplicable so I don’t try to explain it – I just pretend it never happened. When I watch these episodes I have trained myself to see Amanda with her normal longer and quite pretty hairstyle. (I apply the same approach to the utterly inexplicable secret marriage of S4, i.e. it just didn’t happen – but I won’t get ahead of the blog at this point). Morley, I salute your well thought out analysis and am amazed at the time and contemplation you must have spent on this random travesty. Who’s with me in the “Let’s just pretend it never happened” camp?
Its a funny thing, Shona, but I think it would take more energy for me to try to ignore it than to find a rational for it. But go for it! I love how we all operate differently. And I love how you use words! “”random travesty” that is great!!
I do so love all the discussions on this blog. It is interesting how something seemingly as benign as a hair cut could lead into all of this. I like all of what you had to say Morley. In reading your post I thought of several instances where people have decided to make or show radical changes in themselves by changing what their hair looks like by either coloring it, cutting it, or trying a different style.
I immediately thought of Samson in the Bible and how his hair brought him strength. He was to never cut it or he would lose that strength. In a recent movie The Women, Meg Ryan changes her hair from curly to straight to signify her growth and change as a woman. And in the movie The Legend of Billie Jean, the main character cuts all her hair off after seeing a movie about Joan of Arc to signify her growth and change from being just a girl on the run to one who was truly seeking justice and fairness.
We do see some changes in Amanda in future episodes and we see changes in peoples’ attitudes towards her as well. I find it interesting that in upcoming episodes there are some identity and personality issues that come up as far as Amanda is concerned. She has a double with an opposite personality. She ingests a drug that plays keep away with her ability to think and behave normally. It’s as if she is going through a transition and growth period. Good stuff to think about.
Valerie, I like the way you are thinking, especially about these upcoming episodes. It will be interesting to apply some of these thoughts into those discussions about Amanda’s identity and personality, both in regards to Amanda herself and to Lee and how he views and knows her. As you can see, I love thinking about this stuff, yup good stuff!
Love your thoughts here Valerie!! btw – I saw the women – and I loved it!!! I was really surprised.. I thought it was going to be quite formulaic but it really grabbed me and I enjoyed it! I agree very good stuff to think about!
I’m excited to be moving ahead and exploring the last part of season 2 with you all!!!
yeah this whole idea of identity is a fascinating one!! I think you are on to something Valerie.. and it could fit in with my idea of Amanda trying on a new ‘super professional, up to date’ look.. Hmmm.. going to keep all this in mind as we progress.. can’t wait to hear what you all see and think too!! byeee!
Well done Morley, great post and explains very well the hair don’t to me 🙂
Am sorry I don’t have more time for this discussion but I will catch up when I can 🙂
Enjoy your vacation Jenbo!
I’m going to throw a little more out there…
I like your idea, Morley–that Amanda is trying to switch things up, as it were. Trying on a new skin. <– that I see as Amanda
I also think that there's the element that the "makeunder" serves to emphasize Amanda's inner beauty (but emphasizing that wouldn't be something that Amanda would do). <– that I see as somewhat of a "plot vehicle"… Lee is falling for someone with inner beauty and charisma (?), not just a "babe" with outward beauty and no heart or intelligence. 🙂
KC, I do like the way so much progress happens in regards to Lee’s attraction and openness towards Amanda during these short hair episodes. I think you are right about that. I actually have a part 2 to this post for later. In it I explore if Amanda maintained the changes in style, and how the eyes of Lee’s heart were opened. Both are changed aren’t they? although that was going to happen whether she cut her hair or not.
Keep throwing it out there!!! The more the merrier!
I agree. This is just brilliant. Its human nature to try to reinvent ourselves. It makes perfect sense that in the face of all the changes she would do so. Very well thought out theory. I love it. Thanks
Welcome twin4me! Thanks for commenting. I am new to writing posts and it was fun to see a new name. I hope you join in often!!
I second Morley’s welcome, twin4me! Hope you enjoy yourself here on the blog.
Hi Twin4me! Welcome!
Great to have you stop by!! I agree it is human nature to try and reinvent ourselves! 🙂
Hope we will get to hear your thoughts on smk in future again!