So how would YOU have saved Dallas?

Kenny Coyote

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I'm rewatching season 7 where Pam is working with Cliff at Barnes-Wentworth. She insists that she wants to really learn the oil business not just be a figurehead.
Yes, she did, at that one particular time, but think of all the years she was married to Bobby and never once showed the interest or enthusiasm for the oil business enough to ask Bobby to teach her something about the business. That says a lot about how little natural enthusiasm or passion Pam had for learning the oil business. Did she ever even express an interest in taking a few business courses at a nearby college? Not once.

Then, when she had a sizable amount of her money invested in Cliff's business, then finally, after 7 seasons, she wants to be something more than just a figurehead. She wants to learn enough so that she has at least some idea of how her millions of dollars are being spent. That's distinctly different than had she, from the first season, shown a passionate interest in not just learning the oil business, but becoming great at it. She would have had to become great at it to ever compete with the likes of a JR Ewing, but she didn't have the education or the passion for the business to ever become able to compete at the top level of the Texas oil industry. Even if she had, she might have still found out that while she had the inclination to become great at the oil business, she may not have had the aptitude for it - few people do!

To overcome her lack of education and experience in the oil business, getting a late start in it, Pam would have had to have shown a remarkable natural aptitude for it as well as a great desire to put forth the time and effort required to become great or even good at it. People don't earn MBAs and spend over a hundred thousand dollars in the process because an MBA or at least a BA in Business is just a slight advantage; it's a massive advantage over not having that education. Those people who spend 100or 150 grand on an MBA aren't being foolish - they're doing everything they can to maximize their chances at success. Pam didn't have that drive, that passion, the love of the business needed to become great at it.

Without a Business degree and without a lifetime of experience in the oil industry, the only way it would have been somewhat believable that Pam could have been competitive at the top level of the Texas oil business is is she had both a love of the business (which she did not) and a phenomenal natural aptitude for it. Pam was written as a character with an average intellect. She was not portrayed as having a genius level intellect. There have been people, who literally were geniuses, and succeeded at the top levels of their fields despite having dropped out of high school. Pam was certainly not portrayed as being a genius level character - someone like a Walter White of Breaking Bad who was an amazing chemist. Pam was of a very average intellect, as the character was written.

Given all that, it wouldn't have even been a little bit close to believable for her to quickly learn in two or three years what it took men like JR and Wendell a lifetime in the business to learn. To have Pam being shown as a formidable competitor to the best of the best in the field would have made a mockery of the show. Even if she'd loved the business, gotten a Business degree, and spent her whole adult life in the business, it would have been no guarantee that she'd have become among the best of the best. Everyone earning a Business degree and a genuine love of business aspires to becoming one of the best in their field, and still only a tiny, tiny, percentage of them ever become able to compete at the top level of any field of business. It is that competitive.
 

Seaviewer

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Given all that, it wouldn't have even been a little bit close to believable for her to quickly learn in two or three years what it took men like JR and Wendell a lifetime in the business to learn.
Mm, yes, that's true. But she wasn't a fool and she would know enough to know how things worked. Controlling Christopher's shares for his benefit would have given her the enthusiasm and the clout whether JR liked it or not. The drama would come from a moralistic conflict rather than what was necessarily the most financially lucrative outcome.
 
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CeeCee72

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Back to the original topic of the thread.. how I would have saved Dallas... I believe it would have had to have been done in late Season. 10, because that's where things really started coming off the rails.

1. I would have offered VP the moon and stars to get her to stay. If she insisted on leaving, I would have written an exit that would have allowed her to leave with Pam's dignity intact while still leaving a clear path for her to return.

2. Kimberly Cryder would have never happened. Not the way it did. I would have never tossed out the growth of SE and JR we had seen. Perhaps I would have had them work together to take over Weststar. Perhaps I would have set up a new conflict with Cliff for them to overcome. But I would have NOT destroyed the progress both characters had made, both separately and within their marriage.

3. Ray stays. Period.

4. I would have expanded April's role. The character was one of the few "new" characters that had real value.

5. I would have made Wendell the primary threat to JR for seasons to come.
 

pete lashmar

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You know that any show is in trouble when they bring in the old...erh...hmmm...erhhh...oh yeah - amnesia storyline - once they resort to that, you know a show is in big trouble.
 

stevew

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Yes, she did, at that one particular time, but think of all the years she was married to Bobby and never once showed the interest or enthusiasm for the oil business enough to ask Bobby to teach her something about the business. That says a lot about how little natural enthusiasm or passion Pam had for learning the oil business. Did she ever even express an interest in taking a few business courses at a nearby college? Not once.

Then, when she had a sizable amount of her money invested in Cliff's business, then finally, after 7 seasons, she wants to be something more than just a figurehead. She wants to learn enough so that she has at least some idea of how her millions of dollars are being spent. That's distinctly different than had she, from the first season, shown a passionate interest in not just learning the oil business, but becoming great at it. She would have had to become great at it to ever compete with the likes of a JR Ewing, but she didn't have the education or the passion for the business to ever become able to compete at the top level of the Texas oil industry. Even if she had, she might have still found out that while she had the inclination to become great at the oil business, she may not have had the aptitude for it - few people do!

To overcome her lack of education and experience in the oil business, getting a late start in it, Pam would have had to have shown a remarkable natural aptitude for it as well as a great desire to put forth the time and effort required to become great or even good at it. People don't earn MBAs and spend over a hundred thousand dollars in the process because an MBA or at least a BA in Business is just a slight advantage; it's a massive advantage over not having that education. Those people who spend 100or 150 grand on an MBA aren't being foolish - they're doing everything they can to maximize their chances at success. Pam didn't have that drive, that passion, the love of the business needed to become great at it.

Without a Business degree and without a lifetime of experience in the oil industry, the only way it would have been somewhat believable that Pam could have been competitive at the top level of the Texas oil business is is she had both a love of the business (which she did not) and a phenomenal natural aptitude for it. Pam was written as a character with an average intellect. She was not portrayed as having a genius level intellect. There have been people, who literally were geniuses, and succeeded at the top levels of their fields despite having dropped out of high school. Pam was certainly not portrayed as being a genius level character - someone like a Walter White of Breaking Bad who was an amazing chemist. Pam was of a very average intellect, as the character was written.

Given all that, it wouldn't have even been a little bit close to believable for her to quickly learn in two or three years what it took men like JR and Wendell a lifetime in the business to learn. To have Pam being shown as a formidable competitor to the best of the best in the field would have made a mockery of the show. Even if she'd loved the business, gotten a Business degree, and spent her whole adult life in the business, it would have been no guarantee that she'd have become among the best of the best. Everyone earning a Business degree and a genuine love of business aspires to becoming one of the best in their field, and still only a tiny, tiny, percentage of them ever become able to compete at the top level of any field of business. It is that competitive.
I will agree with you. All that is true in the time frame shown. The one thing Pam could have done with her money to be competitive was to hire people. The most successful heirs (as well as CEOs as no one can ever do everything) surround themselves with brilliant people they pay - then they watch. Watching is a learned skill as well, often requiring an eclectic degree from a university offering an impressive network (which is also where an heir would find the people to hire in the first place). The best Pam could hope for would be the luck to find someone she can trust to do the job for her - a lot of luck because she wouldn’t even know what to look for. This is why Rebecca’s estate would have mostly likely been set up in a trust with professional managers and she’d just get money every 3 months. But that would be nearly as fun to watch or maybe it would, an early reality tv concept - jk.
 

Kenny Coyote

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I will agree with you. All that is true in the time frame shown. The one thing Pam could have done with her money to be competitive was to hire people. The most successful heirs (as well as CEOs as no one can ever do everything) surround themselves with brilliant people they pay - then they watch. Watching is a learned skill as well, often requiring an eclectic degree from a university offering an impressive network (which is also where an heir would find the people to hire in the first place). The best Pam could hope for would be the luck to find someone she can trust to do the job for her - a lot of luck because she wouldn’t even know what to look for. This is why Rebecca’s estate would have mostly likely been set up in a trust with professional managers and she’d just get money every 3 months. But that would be nearly as fun to watch or maybe it would, an early reality tv concept - jk.
I agree she would have been far better off hiring someone to do the job for her, because she'd have someone qualified for the job and it would relieve her of the stress of having to deal with JR every day at the office. For the sake of the show, they'd have had to have made sure that whoever took on that role of being the person who did that work for Pam was an interesting character played by a very good actor. Their judgment in that department in the show's later years left a lot to be desired.
 

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Wendell should have been revealed the following season as Bobby's murder. Bobby in the shower was indeed a dream. Just Briefly as Pam brings closure to Bobby's death.
The hoopla made over Patricks return was just a big stunt. He stays off the show full time, Returns periodically as Pam's dream. No one else talks to him and shes not crazy. It's a way to have the cake and eat it too without destroying the shows integrity.
She teams with J.R. To bring down Wendell anyway they can. Katherine is still alive. Pam still hates her.
 

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Pam knew shit about the oil business. She would have hired someone. A guy that looks strikingly similar to Bobby played by Patrick Duffy. Hes no Saint and is as dirty as JR but not a back-slapper or glad handler like JR. New guy is mostly a good guy but every bit as rithless as JR. He spooks JR as his resemblance is distracting and he helps them bring Wendell down.
This would have been a neat storyline as it brought Patrick back. Bobby stayed dead. Patrick as new guy would help solve the murder of his doppelganger played also by Patrick.
Win for all.
 

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I also thought the “Pam hires an advisor to help her at Ewing Oil” a was a missed opportunity during the dream season. It was a chance to bring in a new character who was a potential love interest, too. This could have even been Jack. Instead, they had her hanging out with the Pornstache and Emerald Boy. Blech.
 

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Make Bobby's death ambiguous, not so definite and give some wiggle room should it not work out.... I would have made it where he witnesses something he's not suppose. His death is faked, (not so dramatic with the clan gathered around). Faked in the sense that he COULD return with some clever writing....

OR

Making Bobby's death final and have Jeremy Windell be revealed as his murderer. The final season of the series, maybe the final episode, we see Windell brought to justice. JR and Pam, call a truce.

By keeping Bobby dead, it may he prevented all of those useless latter day characters.

Victoria may he still left when she did, but recast her with MM.

Have SE involved in local politics. She is tempted by the many offerings and she continues to battle her alcohol addiction.

KEEP JR as the shark! Going soft and losing was boring. Why allow him to lose all the time, if he's not going to regain anything?
 
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Billy Wall

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Have anybody said that maybe Dallas couldn’t be saved no matter what? Dallas was on for FOURTEEN years. That’s almost unheard of. It was bound to leave the air at some point. Even if they’d kept everybody, including Pam, does anybody really believe they could have squeezed another 3 or 4 years out of it?
 

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That’s a good point, although some of the suggestions above would have resulted in a stronger finish for the show.
 

CeeCee72

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Have anybody said that maybe Dallas couldn’t be saved no matter what? Dallas was on for FOURTEEN years. That’s almost unheard of. It was bound to leave the air at some point. Even if they’d kept everybody, including Pam, does anybody really believe they could have squeezed another 3 or 4 years out of it?
Good point. Gunsmoke, Law & Order, and Law & Order SVU are the only shows that have every run for 20 seasons. All three were self contained episodes, not serials. Dallas was remarkable for lastimg as long as it did.

I guess for me, it's not about how long it ran, but about how bad it was from season 11 forward. I don't necessarily care whether or not it ran longer, but I all think we can agree it could have and should have been better in its last seasons.
 

pete lashmar

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Dallas could have gone on for a few more years, but the production /writing teams lost too much focus on the show.

Sure the dream scenario didn't help, nor did the development of J.R after season 11 (DVD) but had they focused on creating better new characters, played by competent actors then I think the viewers would have kept watching.

There were still some good plots in the last couple of years, but also some seriously dubious ones - for instance, the plot with LeeAnn De La Vega could have been completely turned around if J.R did know who she was and played along with her before pulling the rug from under her feet - THAT was what we wanted from Dallas, it would have also done away with Michelle too.

But the show was running on auto pilot, no one seemed to take any pride in the show anymore - any actor was OK, any character could be as bad or worse than J.R, the show just didn't have that spark anymore.

Susan Howard could have easily been brought back for some appearances during the oil tanker story but the producers just didn't want to ask her. If they cared for the show, and it's audience they should have put their feelings aside and ate humble pie to get the characters we knew back - even for short appearences.

When April arrived they developed her character, no other "new" character after that was - Kimberly Foster was a good actress, but Michelle just wasn't written as a likeable character.

Had the actress playing Laurel, along with her ex & her agent been played by people that could actually act maybe, possibly, the story would have been better received - but the bosses really didn't care by this point, the casting director should have been shot out of a cannon for the people he/she brought in.

Dallas had been a perfect example of perfect casting - every main and supporting character worked & then they just dropped the ball and kicked it down the road. Jenilee Harrison was the first mistake....and it went on from there.
 
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Rove

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That’s a good point, although some of the suggestions above would have resulted in a stronger finish for the show.
It does - at times - annoy me the later years of Dallas beginning with the dream season resolution, followed with weak story arcs and poor choices with casting often over-shadows what was so damn good about Dallas. However, at times a wry smile drifts across my face when I hear our favourite series mentioned, whether it's in print or interviews.
 

Rove

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Have anybody said that maybe Dallas couldn’t be saved no matter what? Dallas was on for FOURTEEN years. That’s almost unheard of. It was bound to leave the air at some point. Even if they’d kept everybody, including Pam, does anybody really believe they could have squeezed another 3 or 4 years out of it?
Interesting. In hindsight I would have ended rested Dallas at Swan Song. I also would have moved Heaven and Earth to get Barbara Bel Geddes in that scene. Leaving us the audience guessing to Bobby's outcome could have worked wonders for the series. Dallas could have also been the trendsetter in returning every 5 years or so as a 25 to 30 episode one off series. This leaves us wanting more. Just look at the number of shows experiencing a reboot or continuation. While some have had success, others have left a lot to be desired.

Dallas however is something different. It's a series entrenched in viewers memories. We have developed this weird intimate relationship with a fictional family we care deeply about...and still do. The chorus of condemnation from passionate fans regarding TNT Dallas still resonates.

Yes, Dallas was on for fourteen years but it needed saving from itself.
 

Chris2

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I think Kenny mentioned the idea of the second half of the series focusing on JR’s redemption. The more I think about it, the more I like it. After all, Jock mellowed somewhat over the years. Leave Bobby dead and JR and Sue Ellen split, and focus on how, given his personal losses, JR changes. Doesn’t mean he has to be a goody goody. But he finds his moral center. And in the long term, wins Sue Ellen back again. After all, JR changed an anyway - into a weakling. If he had to change, I’d rather seem him retain his strength and become more of a positive force. And Hagman had the talent to pull that off without making the character dull.
 
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