Did You Stop Watching?

stevew

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As I said above, I watched until the end. I also watched the two reunion movies in the '90s, and the TNT nuDALLAS of 2012-2014.

Although I wish most of what happened post-Bobby's shooting never happened... I was convinced back then, during the best two year period the series ever had (1982 to 1984) when DALLAS felt almost biblical, that DALLAS -- of all shows -- couldn't and wouldn't deteriorate the way it actually did.

In fact, DALLAS became almost the ultimate example of TV series deterioration, unfortunately.

But once a Lorimar executive decided in 1984 that Miss Ellie's faces were interchangeable, the Emmy winning-matriarch of the biggest drama series in global television history, then nothing was ever the same, nor could it be. It told us a virus existed somewhere behind the camera. It cast a depressive pall over the otherwise competent 1984-1985 season even before Duffy had made the decision to kill off Bobby and leave the series, as if something great had just been ruined, permanently and unnecessarily.

And that's where the show ended, at least its clarity and momentum: the arrival of a new matriarch which could not work.

From that point on, nothing was ever quite right again on DALLAS, and the fiasco just led to all the subsequent fiascos: the dream explanation, Pam's accident and her retroactive ignoring by the family, the campy wink-at-the-camera tone of the closing seasons, the forced and contrived plots for the reunion movies, the 2012 continuation series which pushed the Ewings aside so the maid's family and the new wife's ex's family could dominate.

Susan Howard once referred to it as "abuse of the audience." And after you kidnap Mama and change her face, and expect the audience to accept it (when you should have known to begin with that they couldn't) no further glaring error is unthinkable or impossible. As a result, abject absurdities became an annual event.

So the year between Bobby's shooting and his death became the series' metaphoric death, a Lance Rubin dirge that accompanies a funeral procession leading up to the burial. The muddled-but-fashionable dream season became, indeed, just a stagnant dream, one that tapped into the pointless, soapy zeitgeist of the mid-'80s. And then the season of Wes Parmalee became a blurry, majestically ghostly expression of DALLAS' ambivalent, mythological history: What's Real and Who's Who at the Oil Baron's Ball or anywhere else...

It's a banshee manifestation, the 1986-87 year. A séance at Southfork.

And it's the last period I can sit through. Everything after that feels like rolling a corpse down a street with a stick.

Well said.
 

stevew

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Howard wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and a woman speaking her mind on the Dallas set was frowned on (which is why VP got into trouble a lot). Every syllable Howard said was correct.
And if they had listened to her they would have done much better in the ratings and maybe made a lot more money.
 

TJames03

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And if they had listened to her they would have done much better in the ratings and maybe made a lot more money.
Yes, but the boy’s club didn’t like that. They only liked actresses who just stood there and laughed at their silly and childish little games while running on only a few IQ points (we’ll keep it a secret who that was, ahem....).....
 

stevew

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Yes, but the boy’s club didn’t like that. They only liked actresses who just stood there and laughed at their silly and childish little games while running on only a few IQ points (we’ll keep it a secret who that was, ahem....).....
True. But that’s what makes them stupid. A true “club” (boys or girls or mixed) likes to make money.
 

Snarky's Ghost

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And let's remember, when Peter Dunne came into "reform" DALLAS during the dream season, his writing team attempted to make the women "stronger" and the effort was pathetic and reductive. They just made the women seem dumber.
 

stevew

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And let's remember, when Peter Dunne came into "reform" DALLAS during the dream season, his writing team attempted to make the women "stronger" and the effort was pathetic and reductive. They just made the women seem dumber.
The same with Dallas TNT. They “said” strong women but they were all weak. Sue Ellen back to drinking. Anne scared of her x. Pamela pimped out by her dad. Judith locked away by her son (and coke using). Emma fragile. No matter the moments of strength their female character (and to be fair their male character too) were all weak as water.
 

Snarky's Ghost

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The same with Dallas TNT. They “said” strong women but they were all weak. Sue Ellen back to drinking. Anne scared of her x. Pamela pimped out by her dad. Judith locked away by her son (and coke using). Emma fragile. No matter the moments of strength their female character (and to be fair their male character too) were all weak as water.
Nowadays at least, "strong women" seems to mean that the women are running everything, and that they're shown as "right." And if they get into horrible conflicts with one another, they can and will always blame patriarchal scarring for their behavior.

Ugh.
 

stevew

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Nowadays at least, "strong women" seems to mean that the women are running everything, and that they're shown as "right." And if they get into horrible conflicts with one another, they can and will always blame patriarchal scarring for their behavior.

Ugh.
I forgot Elena, boy was she weak - miss goodie two shoes until it suits her to lie and cheat and blackmail - weak as water. Driven by feelings of inferiority.

That’s why I was looking forward to JR’s daughter. If he was like HL Hunt then she’d have know him - a whole family or 2 on the side with Hunt. If she’d been raised with him as her Daddy, I’d expect a really strong woman. A woman who doesn’t need your money, she’s got her own. A woman who’s friends and suitors would make you beg to be killed if you touched a hair on her head. A woman use to the finer things, jet setting and would never “work” a day in her life. A woman who says jump and you’d better say how high and get it right. A woman who isn’t controlled by anger or jealousy, but the sheer joy of watching you squirm. A woman who is fiercely loyal to her family - her brother(s). I wanted Bobby to say to her “you’re just like your father.”

She’d reply “No, actually I’m not,” staring him down.

He’d give his shitty, superior grim and say, “And how are you different?”

“My brothers stand with me,” she’d smile so satisfied with John Ross on one side and Christoper on the other - yes she’d have been the child Kristen supposedly lost. Both boys looking at Bobby, Bobby knowing, right or wrong the three will stick together and there’s no way to make them fight. Where she tells Bobby, “If Grandpa had tried to make us fight for Ewing Oil we’d have laughed at him and shared it. If my brothers wanted to sleep with every woman in Texas I’d line them up for STD testing. If Grandma left me Southfork and my brothers wanted the oil, they could have; I’d burn it to the ground if it made them smile. Get the difference, Uncle Bobby?”

That could have been fun to me.”

Oh and no patriarchal scaring - for her, JR would be the perfect man, idolized, if not exactly a truthful representation of her father.
 
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JR Ewing Fan

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I don't even remember. It's had to have been over a decade though.
I started watching in the episode Black Market Baby and watched it all the way until the final episode. Then I watched the 2 reunion movies.
 

James from London

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I never stopped watching either and once we got a VCR (in time for the start of the 1982/3 season), I would watch the episode live and then watch it again as soon as I could - immediately if possible.

But about two-thirds of the way during the dream season, DALLAS stopped being appointment viewing and I think I just watched the episodes once cos I was finding myself getting bored for the first time. If it hadn't been for Bobby coming back in the shower, I might have given up watching altogether. But the first episode of next season was so brilliant, it was like coming home and I started watching religiously again, all the way up until the end.

And then when New DALLAS began, I started a tradition of re-watching the previous week's episode just before the new one, to recreate the exciting double bill vibe of the first week. And I kept that up until the end as well.
 

Willie Oleson

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It never crossed my mind, not once. We didn't have Knots, my beloved Dynasty had disappeared altogether so Dallas ended up being my soap-support.
How twisty life can be, since I only started to watch Dallas because I wanted a Dynasty Extra show.
 

darkshadows38

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when Dallas was on Soap net i'd watch it every night at Midnight or tape it but i dunno if it's cause i got burnt out by the show or if the season was just plain awful but i just could not get into season 9 (DVD) i lost track of what was going on and i never got the chance to go back.
 

Via The Void

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I've just found my Dallas movie collection after it being missing for a while.

It was sandwiched between the original mini-series of Return To Eden & the follow up 1985 sequel series of it. Goodness knows why I shoved it in there!

dallas movies.jpg


So time to dust off JR Returns & War of the Ewings & watch The Dallas Reunion: The Return To Southfork. Not Return To Eden but Return To Southfork, as JR does a Stephanie Harper & fakes his own death in JR Returns!! :)
 

pete lashmar

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I've just found my Dallas movie collection after it being missing for a while.

It was sandwiched between the original mini-series of Return To Eden & the follow up 1985 sequel series of it. Goodness knows why I shoved it in there!

View attachment 17153

So time to dust off JR Returns & War of the Ewings & watch The Dallas Reunion: The Return To Southfork. Not Return To Eden but Return To Southfork, as JR does a Stephanie Harper & fakes his own death in JR Returns!! :)
I LOVED RETURN TO EDEN....still pi**sed that they axed it on such a cliffhanger.
 

Snarky's Ghost

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I've just found my Dallas movie collection after it being missing for a while.

It was sandwiched between the original mini-series of Return To Eden & the follow up 1985 sequel series of it. Goodness knows why I shoved it in there!



So time to dust off JR Returns & War of the Ewings & watch The Dallas Reunion: The Return To Southfork. Not Return To Eden but Return To Southfork, as JR does a Stephanie Harper & fakes his own death in JR Returns!! :)
The first time I ever drove through Dallas was as a kid in 1978, the year the series started (and Stetsons were indeed everywhere). The last time I drove through Dallas was in 1996, the year of the first reunion movie (the Stetsons were long gone) and only a couple of days before Leonard Katzman died. Which I saw as very significant.


 
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Via The Void

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I LOVED RETURN TO EDEN....still pi**sed that they axed it on such a cliffhanger.
Have you seen the re-edited final episode, where they concluded the storyline?

If not, hold on.

Here's the video of the re-edited conclusion. Enjoy. :)

 
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Via The Void

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Oh & if you want the boxset of Return To Eden complete along with the re-edited final episode you need to get this boxset. This one has the re-edited final episode.

RTE3.jpg


However, I think that the picture quality is slightly better on the MRA release, which sadly ends on the cliffhanger & doesn't have the re-edited final episode on it. So it might be worth buying both, like I have. :)

RTE4.jpg
 

Kenny Coyote

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That’s why I was looking forward to JR’s daughter. If he was like HL Hunt then she’d have know him - a whole family or 2 on the side with Hunt. If she’d been raised with him as her Daddy, I’d expect a really strong woman. A woman who doesn’t need your money, she’s got her own. A woman who’s friends and suitors would make you beg to be killed if you touched a hair on her head. A woman use to the finer things, jet setting and would never “work” a day in her life. A woman who says jump and you’d better say how high and get it right. A woman who isn’t controlled by anger or jealousy, but the sheer joy of watching you squirm. A woman who is fiercely loyal to her family - her brother(s). I wanted Bobby to say to her “you’re just like your father.”
I like that idea. In fact the only part I disagree with is the part about her never working a day in her life. The Ewings were known for their tremendous work ethic. I liked the scene with Jock and Julie where Jock is talking about retiring and Julie says something along the lines of: You, Jock Ewing? The man I watched put out fires for 4 days straight without sleep while men half your age were collapsing from exhaustion?

I think they'd have to be careful about how they portray this: "A woman who isn’t controlled by anger or jealousy, but the sheer joy of watching you squirm." That's not being "strong"; it's being sadisitic.
 
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stevew

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I like that idea. In fact the only part I disagree with is the part about her never working a day in her life. The Ewings were known for their tremendous work ethic. I liked the scene with Jock and Julie where Jock is talking about retiring and Julie says something along the lines of: You, Jock Ewing? The man I watched put out fires for 4 days straight without sleep while men half your age were collapsing from exhaustion?

I think they'd have to be careful about how they portray this: "A woman who isn’t controlled by anger or jealousy, but the sheer joy of watching you squirm." That's not being "strong"; it's being sadisitic.
I thought JR had his sadistic side. I also thought of her primary motivation being more like Abbey Ewing and Angela Channing - her family (or those they identify as their family). Without children of her own, her family would be her brother(s) and their children. As for work, Ewing women are different - they don’t work or at least Jock and JR didn’t think they should. Now behind the scenes she’d do a lot of “work” but publicly she’d probably be puzzled by why her Aunt Ann is cooking and why her grandmother had a receipt book. Not that she buys into ‘50’s idea of the stay at home little woman, but that she’s rich and “rich folks is always happy.”
 
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