Sunday, March 4, 2012




Renee O'Connor

Danielle Steel

Earth Prime-Time

"Born to Rerun" or maybe a clone of warrior bard Gabrielle

Jessica Adams was one of twin daughters born to TV newswoman Melanie Adams when she was 19. Her twin sister is Valerie and they're fraternal twins.

Melanie uproots her daughters from their New York life when she falls in love with a widowed doctor in California who has three children of his own. It became a "Brady Bunch" existence with that extra step avoided by the sitcom (but which everybody "knew" was happening) - Dr. Hallam's oldest son Mark falls in love with Valerie Adams and she becomes pregnant.

Their decision to secretly get an abortion provides the storyline with one of its sudsier moments.

I suppose you're wondering why I chose to focus on Jessica Adams rather than on Cheryl Ladd's portrayal of her mother, Melanie.  (Actually, I think you may be wondering why I even chose to do anything about this movie in the first place.  But like it or not, Danielle Steel's oeuvre is literature and so qualifies to be included in this year-long celebration of literary TV characters.)

As far as I could tell from this montage of clips which are centered around Jessica, Renee O'Connor was basically the good girl (but full disclosure - I couldn't watch the whole video.) There's no indication that in four years time she would be embarking on a pop culture journey as Xena's sidekick Gabrielle in 'Xena, Warrior Princess'.

I was tempted to make the claim that Jessica is the reborn soul of Gabrielle, but there were at least four episodes of "XWP" which dealt with that topic and would put a Zonk on my suggestion. However, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Gabrielle's reincarnation in the 1940's, archaeologist and explorer Janice Covington (descended from the family line seen in 'Covington Cross'?), could have been the mother of Melanie Adams. Melanie's parentage probably didn't have any impact in "Changes".

Plus, there was an "XWP" episode entitled "Send In The Clones," in which multiple clones of Gabrielle were created. Although set in "modern times" and broadcast years after "Changes", time was fluid in the "XWP" series - so "modern times" could have happened almost twenty years before the events in the Danielle Steel TV movie. And therefore, Jessica Adams could be another one of those Gabrielle clones. (Then again, trivial items like car models and pop culture references in the "XWP" episode could refudiate that. Maybe I should just forget that angle and stick with the Grandma Janice idea.....)


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