Amanda Blake didn't think television was classy enough
Blake wasn't afraid to share her thoughts.
Look, if you're on a show as long as Amanda Blake was on Gunsmoke, especially given the caliber of that series, you're allowed to have some opinions about television.
According to an interview with The Atlanta Journal, Amanda Blake voiced her thoughts about the television industry and what she'd like to see from it in the future. She called television "a bunch of garbage," specifically citing the series Mork and Mindy and Laverne and Shirley as examples. Blake stated, "It's all junk."
So low did Blake feel the quality of television had dropped that she seemed to take it personally, and expressed a desire for the medium to clean up its act. She said, "I'd like to see television get a little classier than it is now. There is room for a few little junk things, but to have the whole industry be nothing more than one big junk pile really hurts my feelings."
Of course, there was one television that Blake held in her heart was her own, Gunsmoke. In an interview with The Buffalo News, she expressed the desire to play Kitty indefinitely, and said, "I'd cry myself to sleep every night if I had to give up Kitty. I can't stand to think of it ever going off. I could do it the rest of my life."
The appeal to Gunsmoke, action-packed though it was, lay in the gentle details of the series. This obviously speaks to the appeal of "classy television" that Blake yearned to return to. According to an Associated Press article, Blake insinuated in 1962 that, by keeping things less heavy-handed, the audience is allowed to participate in the story. She said, "We keep it very subtle. We let people let their imagination do what they want them to do. Actually, I love the scenes where all we do is, as Jim [Arness] says, 'eyeball it.'"
Still, a series of Gunsmoke's length was not immune to the repetition of plotlines, a criticism that even Amanda Blake was willing to admit. In a 1968 interview with the Associated Press, Blake said of her character, "Good lord, have I been kidnapped! I'm sick and tired of it. The writers claim I can't be in jeopardy as long as I'm in town — because Matt would protect me. So they keep having me kidnapped."
Hopefully, Blake was able to see television live up to her high expectations, and if not — there's always a good Gunsmoke rerun.