Hart to Hart : Can we talk a moment about continuity?

Can we talk a moment about continuity?

First, I must say right up front that I love love LOVE Hart to Hart!!! That being said, as I have had the recent fortune to view the entire 5 year original series on DVD within the past 3 months it has given way to the realization that the writers left a lot to be desired when it came to continuity of story and timeline. Oh. My. Goodness! TV was so different back before the days of household VHS recorders [chuckle] but seriously, we didn't get our first VHS recorder until 1986, which at that time was pretty bulky and expensive. Fact checking just wasn't something people did much of when watching their weekly favorites, which aired once (sometimes twice in reruns the same year). Syndication offered the ability to maybe see it again a time or two a few years later.

I want to list a few of the now blaring inconsistencies right away. There are a lot throughout the series, and some aren't really revealed until the later 2-hour movies that ran, but they were all over the place.

1. We understand that Jennifer's mother died sometime during her childhood. I'm not certain that we know for sure exactly how old Jennifer was supposed to have been when she died, but I feel like it was sometime in her early teens - maybe 13-14. But, there is no certain reference that I am aware of. I'm not sure that we know she lost her mother until s3, ep12 "My Hart Belongs To Daddy, though.

INCONSISTENT: In the series pilot episode Max is reading a telegram from Jennifer (who is supposedly out of the country) where he shares that he is supposed to remind Jonathan that it's "Mrs. H's" mother's birthday in the coming days and maybe he should take her out for dinner.

2. Jonathan is revealed at some point in the series to be an orphan. I'm going to go back through the episodes again in order to determine exactly how early in the series they actually make this known to us, but I know for sure it is brought up in s5, ep12 "Harts on the Run." I haven't ruled out that it could have been revealed or at least implied earlier, but haven't found it earlier yet.

INCONSISTENT: In s1, ep5 "You Made Me Kill You" Jennifer mentions to Jonathan, "I know your mother." A bit later Jonathan asks, "How is mom?" Now, the exchange is intended to be a somewhat silly exchange in front of Jonathan's secretary, Deanne. But, being that it is so early in the series the audience really has no reason to think that Jonathan doesn't really have a mother.

I certainly don't feel like these issues change anything in terms of my enjoyment of the series. I think that TPTB took some time to figure out who these characters really were. I like who they eventually shook out to be, so I can forgive the inconsistencies. I just wish there weren't so many.

There are loads of others, but I thought I'd give others a chance to chime in on the fun. What have you found?

Re: Can we talk a moment about continuity?

My biggest continuity issue is with the Stanley Friedens character. When we first meet him in "Jonathan Hart Jr.", he is married and has kids. In subsequent episodes, he is clearly single and no children are ever mentioned again.

Re: Can we talk a moment about continuity?

Using quotes only at the beginning of a title but not at the end is inconsistent ;)

Re 1.: I'm really not the type to defend inconsistencies, but given that series pilots are mostly shot months before a series is actually booted a simple mentioning of a person that eventually happens to be not even part of the series or who's background (in)existence gets rewritten years later is certainly a minor issue IMO.

Re 2.: As you said, it's a joke. I get your point that the audience can't comprehend this, but still it's no factual inconsistency as such. And again, there's years in between. Or at least seasons (last opposed to first) when watching on a daily basis.

If there are really loads of others, can you bring up some more substantial ones which don't sound rather nitpicky? See my first line for comparison ^^

Re: Can we talk a moment about continuity?

An inconsistency that is kind of noticeable would be references to how they met, dated, time of relationship. I realize there were different writers throughout the series but those things get noticed.

In the early seasons there are references to their relationship (dates, the back seat of his car, their first kiss with her father behind the door, and a reference to the "old" days as if they'd been together for many years). Then in season 5 they have an episode where they meet, kiss (clearly no father around), fall in love and get engaged in 3 days. I love the episode but it dispels early references made about their relationship.

For the most part I can overlook the inconsistencies and try to enjoy each episode as a stand alone. I don't believe they were ever truly meant to be completely dependent on each other like a soap opera.

Re: Can we talk a moment about continuity?

I'll add one myself (you already responded to in another thread):

Messing around with characters' birth dates is totally unnecessary and therefore pretty annoying.

Hart to Hart episode

Please can someone here, identify the Hart to Hart episode, where the Hart's had returned home, after being out of the country, and it was a rainy, stormy night, and a burglar broke into the Hart mansion, and Johnathan caught him, and their was a struggle, and Jennifer, was on the staircase, and a gun shot, went off, and Jennifer tripped, and fell unconscious on the stairs. I think the bad guy, got away! This is driving me crazy. I need to know what episode, this was from!
Top