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Dallas: Discussion Thread


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30 minutes ago, Chris 2 said:

Agreed on the missed opportunities with Donna. Why they needed to saddle her with a baby and have Ray suddenly want her to become a homemaker is beyond me. Ray and Donna should have been the most stable, normal people on the show. I don’t like what they turned Ray into, with his trophy wife and his unhealthy obsession with controlling his stepdaughter


I detest SH's politics but she was a fantastic actress and Donna a great character. I second everyone's take but I do know that her refusal to play certain stories because of private beliefs probably irked them and irks me. I respect someone's right to have opinions; not impose them on her character. If Dixie Carter can play an outspoken liberal, then Howard should have lived with whatever they wrote for her.

But as for Donna's value, we go back to the show writers not understanding the concept of strong women beyond a few episodes and isolated moments. In the end, things must go back to the "right way" in which Ewing men dominate, Ray included.

 

5 hours ago, Chris 2 said:

Well, as most of us know, the 1980s were a very different time in terms of attitudes towards gay people.
My guess is that Barbara and Larry at least would have had a different point of view had they been born 30 years later.


I know about how gay rights were seen in the 80s; it does not make it any less disgusting even "in context" (racism wasn't OK even when it was widespread either). And characterizing the show as "family-oriented" was hypocrisy of the highest order even at the times considering JR's behavior. So, you know, unsurprised and understanding of the context but still displeased by that anecdote. I will judge people harshly for bigotry, even when bigotry was widespread.
 

30 minutes ago, Chris 2 said:

Katherine was another missed opportunity. They shouldn’t have turned her into an attempted murderer. You really couldn’t do much with the character after that.


One of my biggest irritation of the post-dream-season lack of cleanup was indeed Katherine just disappearing considering that if Bobby's death had been a dream, she was still around and not an outright murderer.

 

1 hour ago, SoapDope said:

In the late 80's they should have had a dummy corporation crop up and start purchasing shares of Ewing oil in a plot of a corporate take over. When it is finally revealed, little Lucy (who J.R. thought was a dumb and weak like her father) marches in with her entourage declaring her presidency of Ewing oil. Lucy then would tell J.R.


I don't know if Lucy would have been my choice but that's the kind of story I had suggested earlier should have made up the final season. Instead of the random guest arc from Barbara Eden and *Michelle* taking over, they should have build up a season-long plot involving Lucy and others indeed and making JR's downfall at the hands of his enemies spectacular and involving tons of fun cameos.
 

1 hour ago, j swift said:

 

  1. However, Wentworth going from a tool and die company to an oil company was not as smart.  It negated various stories for Wenworth to mess with Ewing oil based on controlling the means of production.
  2. (...)
  3. Yet, putting Cliff in charge was dumb.


And we go back to our earlier conversation: the frame HAD to be a man vs a man. And JR vs a weaker enemy. 
They couldn't let Pamela headline the opposition to JR. And they couldn't give a space to the Wentworth where the Wentworth had an upper hand to play.
They had to face on the field that JR could always win on: oil.

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Another thing that helped build and and later decline Dallas was the "Who Shot J.R." storyline. Dallas quickly became the most watched show in the world and after all the hoopla was over, they painted themselves into a corner of how to top that cliff hanger. They even repeated it by having Bobby get shot in his office. The series finale was a let down.

 

Charlene Tilton wasn't the best actress, but I would liked to have seen Lucy get even with J.R. in the end with a corporate take over of Ewing Oil. She could have crawled into bed so to speak in her plot with Jeremy Wendell. 

 

In another scenario Pamela (who everyone thought dead) was behind a corporate take over. She and Bobby reunite and remarry. When it is revealed she has one upped J.R.....in the final scene J.R. repeats the line from episode 1 in 1978......" Looks like I under estimated the power of new Mrs. Ewing, Well I won't do that again"  Freeze Frame ....THE END

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Afton was also a wasted opportunity because while she lacked book smarts, she knew how to read people.

 

She knew Clayton was into Sue Ellen (even Jr said she was perceptive because he missed that)...and she knew Katherine wasn't to be trusted and warned everyone in various ways.

 

It was why I didn't like in the revival how dismissive Bobby was of Afton..because she was always close to Pam (even naming her daughter after her and Pam's mom).

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3 hours ago, SoapDope said:

Charlene Tilton wasn't the best actress, but I would liked to have seen Lucy get even with J.R. in the end with a corporate take over of Ewing Oil.

This goes back to my earlier past of Lucy marrying a businessman, rather than a doctor to keep her character more integral.

She could either connive along with him to get JR or be used by him to achieve that aim.

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9 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

This goes back to my earlier past of Lucy marrying a businessman, rather than a doctor to keep her character more integral.

She could either connive along with him to get JR or be used by him to achieve that aim.

It would have been funny if she married Jeremy Wendell who was old enough to be her grandfather. If that had happened though, I picture her getting on his nerves big time. He would be trying to make a phone call while she was trying to be  all lovey and smoochy with him. He would then tell her he bought a present for her and it's hidden somewhere in the house and she would go off on a scavenger hunt while he is scheming against the Ewing's. 

 

They could have also introduced a scheming son of Jeremy's that Lucy marries. I could picture someone like James Spader in the role. 

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Whether "Dallas" was too male-oriented is probably debatable, but I don't think there's ANY question that David Jacobs's original idea for the show was a rivalry between J.R. Ewing & Pamela.  In the original story projection, didn't Bobby Ewing DIE, and Pam took over his place as JR's chief adversary?   And the show nailed this aspect on so many different occasions (such as the reading of Bobby's will, when Pam is named as the trustee of Christopher's shares of Ewing Oil).   Without Victoria Principal's Pam character, there was just no show left anymore, because from Day One, she was the character who got under JR's skin.   I really like Soap Dope's idea that the series shoulda ended with Bobby & Pam remarrying, and JR realizing that he's gotta deal with her yet again.  

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4 hours ago, SoapDope said:

In another scenario Pamela (who everyone thought dead) was behind a corporate take over. She and Bobby reunite and remarry. 

Yes. THAT would have been a fitting end. Pamela returns, reveals JR kept her away, JR loses Bobby for good because of it, gets thrown out of Southfork, Pamela joins forces with (insert list of enemies here) to kick JR out of Ewing Oil and he has now really lost everything.
THEN it would make sense for him to be so despondent as to contemplate suicide.
There is no way the likes of Cliff would ever make him feel defeated.

Of course I'd expect Pam and Bobby to reunite but making the fact of their remarriage the thing that sticks it to JR would falling back into the bad habits of making Pamela JR's enemy through Bobby.
I like the idea of her hitting him where it hurts: business.

Edited by FrenchBug82
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6 hours ago, SoapDope said:

Another thing that helped build and and later decline Dallas was the "Who Shot J.R." storyline. Dallas quickly became the most watched show in the world and after all the hoopla was over, they painted themselves into a corner of how to top that cliff hanger. They even repeated it by having Bobby get shot in his office. The series finale was a let down.

Absolutely agree. As soon as the shooter is revealed, the season became a dud. Do not get me wrong I loved “The Who shot Jr?”Storyline, but I was letdown on the reveal, I felt the shooter was predictable. I was hoping for something left field like sue Ellen’s therapist LOL!

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On 4/24/2021 at 8:18 AM, Paul Raven said:

The money they were paying Larry and then Patrick, along with escalating salary increases and production costs coupled with falling ratings meant they had to cut people to keep the show financially viable.

There was not a lot to be earned in reruns (a gold mine for other shows) and international sales had tapered off.

So I guess once contracts came  up...

 

 

Yep. Look at Grey's Anatomy - there's like three people who were on the show from the pilot currently? And they'll still have to cut popular characters every now and then despite being one of the highest rated shows in the lucrative 18-49 demo.

 

Of course, Grey's is a workplace soap, so it's easier for people to just quit and write in new characters. For a family soap it's much harder as you can only introduce that many long-lost siblings, cousins and whatever before it starts getting ridiculous...

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6 hours ago, te. said:

For a family soap it's much harder as you can only introduce that many long-lost siblings, cousins and whatever before it starts getting ridiculous...


Or you retcon a convoluted story to introduce cousins and even make them entitled to shares at Ewings to establish them as part of the show only to drop them with an off-hand comment a year later and never mention them again

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Jack and Jamie Ewing - bland characters played by bland actors.

This  would have been the time to introduce JR's illegitimate son.

It would be totally believable that JR had a child. Maybe by Serena(?) one of his go to ladies of the night.

That story could have gone so many ways.

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1 hour ago, Paul Raven said:

Jack and Jamie Ewing - bland characters played by bland actors.

This  would have been the time to introduce JR's illegitimate son.

It would be totally believable that JR had a child. Maybe by Serena(?) one of his go to ladies of the night.

That story could have gone so many ways.

I felt Sasha Mitchell was all wrong in the role as his illegitimate son.

 

Maybe could have been an early role for Rob Lowe if the character had been brought on around 1983 ? 

 

 

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An illegitimate daughter of JR would have been more interesting.

 

In fact, Jamie could have been that very person (with a different actress of course).  Imagine JR's illegitimate daughter hooking up with Cliff.  Would have been better..imho

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48 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

In fact, Jamie could have been that very person (with a different actress of course).

In case anyone is wondering Jamie was played by Jennilee Harrison (also known as Cindy Snow on Three's Company).

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3 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

An illegitimate daughter of JR would have been more interesting.

 

In fact, Jamie could have been that very person (with a different actress of course).  Imagine JR's illegitimate daughter hooking up with Cliff.  Would have been better..imho

 

2 hours ago, 72Hearts said:

In case anyone is wondering Jamie was played by Jennilee Harrison (also known as Cindy Snow on Three's Company).

What if Heather Locklear had played Jamie (as J.R.'s daughter) ? That would have been something. She popped in and out of Dynasty so much it got crazy at times. 

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