**Hi Everyone – Enjoy Learjet’s very first post on JWWM!**
“Dotty” West- widow and grandmother of Phillip and Jamie, and mother of our favourite superspy-in-training Amanda King. Dotty is my favourite secondary character in SMK because of her quirky, unexpected and often spot-on observations and words of wisdom. And I also enjoy her selection of men. (Apologies for the title of this post – I’m a bit of a ‘Divergent’ fan). So I invite you to join me in a journey exploring Dotty.
Before we start, I’d like to thank iwsod for letting me use her screen caps – I fought bravely with the dvd software and lost – thank you, iwsod!!, and also acknowledge the massive amount of work that she puts into this blog. Now that I’ve done a couple of posts, I realise how much time she puts into it. Thank you, iwsod – you certainly brighten up my life with this blog .
Who is Dotty?
We are not quite sure what Dotty’s full name is. We are told it is Dorothea (One Bear Dances, One Bear Doesn’t) or Dorothy (Any Number Can Play). She appears to be in her mid to late 50s and is a widow. By early season three, we know nothing about her marriage except that her husband told he loved her (and everyone else in the room ) on New Year’s Eve after having too much champagne (Lost and Found). They went on holiday to Hawaii (Vigilante Mothers) – Dotty: My hula skirt rotted….I have nothing now to show for my one and only trip to Hawaii. I wish your father had not dropped the camera out of the war canoe (Lost and Found).
Amanda appears to be her only child. She has an uncle Iggy (Dotty: He was a brush salesman in Topeka. One day they found out he had joined a cult. He was becoming a wizard – Sudden Death) and she worries that Amanda, like Uncle Iggy, is living a double life – quite sharp is our Dotty …
While I was ‘researching’ this post, I looked for more information on Dotty on the internet, and discovered a well-known American country singer called Dottie West whose career spanned the 1960s to the 1980s (her last studio album, called “Just Dottie”, was released in 1984). She also owned a *corvette* at one stage…Was she the inspiration for our Dotty???
When do we first meet Dotty?
Dotty appears in the second scene of The First Time, after the rather random (IMHO) toga scene. And she actually gets the first word in (before Amanda but after the infamous Mrs Welch of the Pilgrim’s Peach Puff plot):
Dotty: Darling, is that all you’re wearing outside? Can you blame her? A nightgown, scarf and a coat?? My own mother would be less tactful (Learjet, why don’t you change? Or wear a nice necklace with that nightie?)
When Amanda has to find an explanation to as why she is meeting Lee, she invents a club “To save the Clams” (You need to learn to lie better, Amanda. But you will… )
Dotty: I didn’t know clams were an endangered species
Arguably Dotty’s most famous line in the series is spoken in The First Time, when Amanda *again*uses her “club” as an excuse. Dotty: Clams again, dear?
What do we know about Dotty?
Dotty is attractive and well-groomed, and was the Homecoming Queen (Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth).
(look at those nails and hair!)
She has her hair done at ‘Emilio’s’ – Amanda: Mother, his prices are just outrageous.
Dotty:Well what am I saving for?! Until my daughter grows up and has kids of her own? (Delirious on Arrival). Even Emilio’s has been touched by ‘National Security’ issues – which Dotty sleeps through (Fearless Dotty)
Dotty’s exercise regime
Does Dotty join Amanda in her “Fitness with Dave” sessions at 8 on Channel 12 (Magic Bus?) Quite possibly… We certainly see her efforts to get fit in the latter half of season two and early season three. In Murder Between Friends, she is vigorously cycling on her exercise bike (ah, the 80s – didn’t every family have one gathering dust somewhere?). Dotty: Besides I want to take a shower. ..Riding that bike is a lot of hard work!
She also jogs (which is how she spotted Mr ‘Sampson’ when he moved in down the street – Vigilante Mothers) and does aerobics with Amanda (Tail of a Dancing Weasel).
Dotty isn’t too fond of camping (which BG was apparently quite insistent on, and led to some tension with KJ, according to BG’s biography).
Dotty: Amanda, I will never understand the male urge to go camping…It’s a throwback to the Neanderthal macho instinct. Burning food over an open fire, ignoring civilized bathing practices (Playing Possum).
She tries to avoid it – Dotty: I think forgetting this camping business is the dandiest precaution!
Amanda: Oh well mother I don’t know why you don’t like it. I mean Phillip likes it, Jamie likes it. I like it.
Dotty: Let me tell you something, if God had wanted us to live outside, he would not have created architects! (Odds on a Dead Pigeon)
She tries hard though – Dotty (instructing the boys on putting up a tent): Tie the retaining cord firmly to eyelet “C”,attaching the end to peg “H” and driving it securely in place (Playing Possum).
However, fortunately for Amanda’s burgeoning career and developing relationship with Lee, she took a lot of trips – Dotty: It’s the first time in two days that I haven’t skewered something to a stick and hung it over a campfire (Weekend) – but preferred a hotel (even though her stay was the result of a ‘break-in’ Dotty: I hate to give up room service, but it is nice to be home (Odds on a Dead Pigeon).
The family trip to Munich (winning a ‘contest’ engineered by the Agency) is more to her taste. She relishes writing a postcode to a certain Beatrice Norton who she can’t stand – Dotty: That is why I’m writing her, telling her that I won a contest, sending my whole family to Munich. That’s why I’m doing it. She’ll be so terribly jealous. I mean, you don’t mind if I tell a little white lie and say that I won the contest? …I’m also telling her that you’re engaged to a baron.
In Munich, in addition to provoking Beatrice, Dotty wanted to go shopping (Dotty: The glockenspiel is so beautiful… But so are the stores…Let’s go shopping, come on (The Times they are a’ Changin’).
Despite her enjoyment of Munich, she isn’t interested in foreign food, for example the “authentic Czechoslovakian dinner” of talankacrea, posena poso sayzilo and skobunkey (Spiderweb). Dotty: I have no sense of adventure, when it comes to my stomach! (Spiderweb).
When we first meet Dotty, she can’t drive. As the series progresses, she has driving lessons but she appears to be more confident about her skills than her unfortunate driving instructor, Howard. Dotty: You see, Howard…Howard says that my problem is that I’m nervous, which is absolutely very strange because I am the least nervous person around. Actually, it is Howard that is nervous. I mean, he sits there straight as a board with his fist just clenched through the whole lesson! Now, the next time he does that, I am going to tell him to take deep breathing exercises. (Waiting for Godorsky)
Unfortunately, the deep breathing exercises aren’t enough. She rides the break, goes too fast and then drives along the middle of the road, according to the hapless Howard.
Finally, Dotty reverses into an intersection
and crashes into a dumpster, causing complete chaos and delaying the bad guys.
Dotty: Oh. I’m so sorry! I never even saw you there!
Dotty tries to save the world
Dotty is an advocate for her neighbours in trouble – Dotty: Oh, Amanda, that’s awful! Oh, it makes you so mad when things like that happen in your own neighbourhood! Now, we’re not gonna just stand here and allow it to happen. I’m going to call our councilman. What’s his name?…I’ve got his number (Brunettes are in)
…and for the consumer – Dotty (in the grocery store): All right, what about this one? Well, now, see? This one doesn’t even have a price. I mean, oh it makes me so mad. Now that they’ve got new cash registers that do the reading, they do not put the price on the individual box. I mean, I really don’t like that. I am going to write a letter (Ship of Spies). It seems that her letter didn’t help us .
…and a gratuitous shot of Lee among the milk containers while Dotty has her price rant.
Dotty and her men
Dotty appears to have her fair share of encounters with men, despite living with her daughter and two grandsons. She is apparently no stranger to temptation (You know, I understand temptation. I mean, when I lived in Topeka, there was a vacuum salesman with the longest eyelashes… – Magic Bus) – TMI, Dotty!
Up to early season three, the only one of Dotty’s men that we hear about in detail is Fred, the chiropodist who apparently tells Dotty that feet are erogenous zones (The ACM Kid). As Dotty says:…Fred and I have determined that I carry a lot of passion in my arches. Fred says that:…feet strangle in shoes. He recommends letting them breathe until at least noon. We hear that Fred trips over a skateboard (maybe he didn’t let his feet breathe until noon ) in If Thoughts Could Kill and then he disappears…
To Amanda’s horror, she makes a purchase from ‘Rebecca’s Fantasies’ for a weekend with Hunter Conrad (Amanda: Daddy’s old fishing buddy??? – Over the Limit ) Dotty’s response?: I’m also an adult. And a woman…With interests, needs. You’re my daughter.… when I ask you questions like this you tell me not to.
Dotty’s love life gets more exciting from the middle of season three, but that’s a post for the future..
Dotty’s tips on friendship and men
Before I close off this post, here’s a selection of ‘wise words’ from Dotty:
Dotty: Well, just remember one thing, darling. Life is short. If I were you, I would tell Dean exactly how I feel (Lost and Found) – oops, Dotty is a bit confused about which man Amanda is thinking about.
Dotty: A best friend is a friend that doesn’t meddle. That’s what they say. Of course, I was never very good at not meddling myself. I always felt, well, an obligation, you know, an obligation to help (Saviour).
Dotty:…he should have spent less money on portraits of himself and more money on life insurance premiums. I mean, there is no reason for a lovely lady like that to be left destitute (Waiting for Godorsky).
Dotty:…A wealthy man like…that is not going to announce his loneliness, He’s too proud! Successful men do not like to admit they have failed at love (Charity Begins at Home)
And an unwise word from Dotty to end off: Dotty: That’s either a very cold Peeping Tom, or it’s our next door neighbour.…
…how rude of him to look through this window!…Mrs Gilstrap said he was a statistician. (Tail of a Dancing Weasel). I take exception to that on behalf of statisticians everywhere – I work with them and, while *not* the life and soul of a party, they are generally nice people and wear a lot of discreet black. But I won’t hold it against you, Dotty .
I hope you’ve enjoyed immersing yourself in Dotty. In the next post, we’ll explore Dotty’s thoughts on Amanda and relationships in general.
Yay! It’s a Dotty post! I love Dotty! And I think you picked the great word for her, Learjet – dauntless is a perfect – fearless and determined…yup, that’s our Dotty. She also seems to be a bit gullible or maybe it’s trusting with the “clams” and Amanda’s “club”. It doesn’t take long for her to figure out that something is not as it should be but she doesn’t pry. On one hand I love that about her, but on the other I think she shows way too much restraint! And although Amanda seems to be a fairly straight arrow unless she’s lying and sneaking around for the government, Dotty must be where Amanda gets her ease or ability to lie – I wonder what other little white lies Dotty tells to Beatrice Norton
I love Dotty in Spiderweb, especially the food scene right before she and Amanda go shopping. And I’m with her, I have no sense of adventure when it comes to my stomach either. I love that she thinks Howard the driving instructor is the one with the problem, not that she might actually be a bad driver. LOL. I wish I could be like that.
Thank you for the gratuitous Lee shot…what a guy!
I also love Dotty’s ramble in the damn duck episode. I love her indignation and how she just lets Amanda have it with one go! All four actors in that scene are great. You go Dotty!
I’ve already peeked at your next post, Learjet, so I won’t mention one of my favorite Dotty moments because you caught it in there. This post has been so much fun to read – awesome job!! I hope you’ll do follow-up posts for seasons 3 and 4 after we’ve walked through them!
Good call BJo! ‘Dauntless’ is a perfect word for Dotty!!! Great choice Learjet!
I am so sorry that I missed these wonderful posts.
I do enjoy Dotty, she adds another wonderful dimension to the show. Her zest for life and energetic yet nurturing character adds fun and some very quotable lines, but I also like how the inclusion of her character rounds out Amanda. We get to know Amanda not only as a mother, a woman and a spy, but as a daughter too. I like that.
Amanda and Dotty are so different, I do wish we had a chance to learn something about Mr. West. I wonder if he was a lot like Lee???
Thank you Learjet for the great posts. If we all contribute a post on what we love about the show, I think we would have such a complete walk. I love it!!!
Glad you enjoyed it, Morley. I think it’s great that the character of Dotty allowed Lee to learn more about Amanda but also learn more about what having a mother (and being in a family) meant. My theory is that Mr West was more like Amanda (minus the rambles :)) and Dotty was the outrageous one in the couple. (BTW Morley, did you see the “Morley” photo I posted at Neds about a week back?)
no! what thread should I look for it in?
where we live
More words of wisdom from Dotty that I must have missed:
Dotty: Don’t joke with me Amanda! Washington is a mecca of dispossessed men with titles. Never be too impressed with a title. You can buy them through the mail.
Simply Awesome, Learjet!
This is awesome! Very much enjoying your commentary, learjet. Dotty is definitely one of my favourite characters – she’s just enough of a stereotype to be comedic but has her own personality quirks that are just so arresting! And I always laugh when her love life is more active than Amanda’s. Her zest for life is absolutely endearing.
Thanks Danni. I think it’s remarkable how much BG manages to convey about Dotty beyone her relationship with Amanda, considering how little we actually see of her.
Learjet, what a wonderful post! I just love Dotty and her approach to life. In Fearless Dotty she says in her fathomless way, “Amanda, that doesn’t make sense! How can you not want to meet someone you’ve never even seen?” ROFL, love her!
I love that quote too. Especially as Dotty often doesn’t make sense herself 🙂
Ooh, I remember Dottie West. (I was raised on country music, what can I say?) She did an album with Kenny Rogers, who was in “The Gambler” with BB. (connections, connections)
SMK Dotty is a hoot! My favorite Dotty line comes up later in S3, so I won’t spoil it by mentioning it here. Great post, Learjet. I look forward to more about the unique, lovable Dotty!
Love the BB connection, debilyn. Dottie West – the name, the Corvette, BB – and chuffed a couple of people have actually heard of her.
Oh, and I caught the Divergent reference, thanks to my youngest. She’s a huge Divergent fan.
LOVE your first post, Learjet!! I think I may agree with you in that Dotty West may be my favorite secondary character on SMK. I will come back soon to comment more, but I’ve been gone traveling, started a new class, and am in final preparations to get my kiddos starting school next week!! I am really looking forward to post #2!
Congrats on such an awesome job!! Woo hoo! Go Learjet!
whooo hoooo!! finally I can relish this walk through Dotty’s character!!!
I don’t know if I’d say Dotty is my favourite secondary character.. but I definitely miss her when she’s not around!
lol your apology falls flat with me- what’s divergent? eek never heard of it!
Awh you are very welcome Learjet! I am thrilled to be able to help and encourage you to go for it with your love of smk!! 🙂
Hey did Amanda’s dad fall into the borsch that new year’s eve party after having too much champagne? or maybe the punch bowl.. it’s a sign!!!
Oh I had forgotten the rotten hula skirt! lol..
I always thought Dotty’s name was a link to the wizard of oz – but.. then We’re off to see the wizard happened and that ruined that idea for me!
Oh my gosh!!! what a find!!! That singer looks hilarious! trying to give Dolly a run for her money! She owned a corvette? rofl!!! Did she have any children? did they work on smk?! lol..
Nice catch learjet – that in the King home, Dotty gets the first word in!!! I like it!!
Rofl! a necktie with that nightie?!! I think Dotty is wearing off on you!!
Oh yeah!! ‘Clams again dear?!’ one of the best Dotty lines ever!!
LOL Love how you’ve given us a run down on all the different aspects of Dotty learjet! yeah that exercise bike is hilarious!
Cool insights from BG’s autobiography learjet – thanks! I agree with BG that Dotty wasn’t fond of camping. I’d say Amanda’s dad was!
Oh I love this line! Dotty: I think Forgetting this camping business is the dandiest precaution! – I had forgotten that line! fabulous!!
Ah yes love that architects line! Maybe Amanda’s dad was an architect? I am guessing he wasn’t a statistician!
whahahahaha!!! so true!! love it!!
Dotty’s driving? hilarious!!! I say good on her for trying to take it up after so many years.. but.. it’s a scary thought having Dotty on the road!
The look on Howard’s face there is sooo funny!! I think after Dotty he quit!
Very true- Dotty is a real activist!!!! Remember how she threatened the doctor in I am not now.. with her friends in the AMA or the VMA or whatever? tee hee!!!
Dotty understands the power of the pen – I wonder what Dotty would think of the supermarkets these days!
Oh rofl learjet loved this line of yours:
Dry learjet! dry!!! and I love it!! Whwhahahaaha!!! 🙂
Oh wow!!! nice little sneak in there of a gorgeous Lee pic!!! So wholesomely good.. (Lookin at Lee, not the milk!) Thanks very much for that gratuity Learjet – I like how your mind works!! 😉
Yeah Dotty started off racy.. and dating.. but things went pretty quiet for a while there.. until the Rebecca’s fantasies catalogue showed up! 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing where Dotty goes in Season 3!
Oh mid season three is it? I really don’t remember.. we’ll see!
I love the irony of Dotty advising Amanda she should tell Dean how she feels – Dotty thinks it’s love.. but Amanda knows it’s a fizzer and it’s got to end.. sooo telling Dean exactly how she feels is going to go slightly different than Dotty imagined!
Dotty not good at not meddling? Love it!! and quite insightful of Dotty there!
Yes science needs statisticians!!! I certainly don’t want to have to do it 😉
whoo hooo! what a fun post! I’m looking forward to part 2 learjet.. hope you’ve had fun exploring Dotty! You’ve done an amazing job bringing all this together!
Glad you enjoyed some of my more obscure (some might say unfathomable) humour 🙂 iwsod.
Divergent has this great tortured male character with a difficult past, along the lines of SMK and Burn Notice. Yes, there’s a theme in Learjet’s taste in leading men…
Lots more on Dotty and Dating in post two. Yes Dotty is definitely more racy than Amanda – possibly more overtly early Lee’s “type” had she been a generation younger? (a bit of an icky thought)
Great post LearJet. Awesome effort collate the scattered and often scanty info that can be gleaned from the episodes about Dotty. Looking forward to Part 2.
Thanks kiwismh. It is a labour of love, and time-consuming, as I’m sure you experienced doing your Maplewood drive posts
Thanks Learjet, this is a great post and I was really looking forward to this post, because Dotty is also my favourite secondary character. I love a lot of her comments. One of my favourites has always been “Clams again, Dear?” The way she is saying it and her face, hilarious. Dotty is just hilarious!
However, if she would be my mother and I would have to live with her in one house and she would always try to find a man for me, it would drive me mad! 🙂
Her gestures and tone of voice are so funny – pity we can’t capture that here. Yes, one of those mothers that is fascinating from the outside but no doubt challenging if she is yours 😉
I agree! she would drive me nuts!! She does have a lovely heart though and is so affectionate and loving towards Amanda even now she is older – Dotty’s a wonderful mum.
Yes, agree, she is a wonderful mum and very loving towards Amanda. And she has also in general a very positiv attitude and seems to have a lot of trust in Amanda. I mean, Amanda is coming up, with the weirdest stories and she never seems to really questions them. I was just thinking about Playing Possum, when Amanda out of the blue decided to go bowling.
My mom would say, “MarA, are you nuts, why are you going bowling now, with whom are you going, where exactly are you going, when will you be back…?”
Dotty just says somthing like, “good idea, use the momentum” or something like this, if I remember correctly.
I really like her !
By the way another Dotty scene which I really like in Playing Possum is, when Amanda is trying to tell her that she is a spy and there is a nuclear bomb in D.C. and both were talking really fast and simulanteously. Sooo funny…..
I really like her ! Oh think I said that already…. 🙂
The Playing Possum scene with Dotty and Amanda talking in unison is one of my favorite “Dotty-moments” as well MarA!!! Every time I watch it, I can’t help but laugh and end up playing it over and over again.
Thanks for reminding us of that driving scene in Waiting for Godorsky learjet5! So hilarious! 🙂 And, don’t forget when she says, “Why are they driving like that,” like her backing up into their space and causing the collision had NOTHING to do with her! ROFL Dotty is a hoot!!! The show would not have been the same without her.
Thanks learjet5 for reminding us of how lovable and comical our Dotty is! And, great job on your first post; can’t wait for the next one. 🙂
This is awesome! Nice post, Learjet. 🙂
Thanks for the gratuitous Lee shot, and all the Dotty goodness.
I’m with LASinLA–the architect quote is my favourite! LOL @ the statistician comment, too, though.
Looking forward to part 2!
Thanks KC. I thought we needed a little Lee to feast our eyes on :). Yes re the architect and statistician quote – Dotty isn’t notable for her “logic” (I use the term in the loosest sense of the word) but somehow she carries off the most outrageous statements…
Great post, Learjet! And as soon as I saw Dauntless Dotty I did think of “Divergent”. I had forgotten all about Dottie West, the singer. Maybe someone was a fan. Gotta love Amanda’s Dotty though. Sometimes she did seem a bit dotty, but then she would say something very wise. And sometimes she would be right on the money. I do like that she was very confident and determined herself. It takes guts to decide to learn how to drive after so many years of not doing it, and of course the flying lessons later on. I loved those little escapades. And I love the fact that she didn’t give up on life after the loss of her husband. Even though she lives with her daughter and grandsons she still seems to have a fairly vibrant life. She’s not letting any grass grow under her feet. And she and Amanda have an awesome relationship.
Thanks for your kind words, Valerie and LASinLA.
Yes Dotty was very gutsy. And when you consider that she was “born” in the late 1920s, her behaviour is even more admirable. She really was ahead of her time and very modern in her thinking. I wonder what Amanda’s father was like???
More on Dotty and Amanda in the next post.
Thanks for the great post, learjet! What fun to have so much Dotty all in one place. The architects quote is my favorite. 🙂
whooo hooo Learjet! Welcome to the JWWM authors club 🙂
Sorry those two huge photos went out on the email booooo stupid wordpress messing with us.. I’ve fixed it now – I’ll be back later to read and respond – I’m looking forward to it! My motivation to get all that I need to do done!!! 🙂 I love Dotty!!! Byee back soon!
Thanks iwsod for spending so much time beautifying the post 🙂