Watching Capricorn Crude

James from London

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But since they had decided to call their show "Dallas", why not simply "move" the ranch closer to downtown Dallas?
It doesn't bother me or anything, but I wonder why they would complicate the matter for the sake of realism. I mean, who knew where the ranch was located (for real)?
Well, it adds to the clash between the country and the city, the old and the new, the dirty and the shiny. Also, I think I vaguely remember reading that David Jacobs originally was gonna set Southfork in Dallas, but then found out there was no oil actually in Dallas and because Southfork is meant to have oil underneath it, he had to stick it somewhere else.
 

Willie Oleson

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it adds to the clash between the country and the city, the old and the new, the dirty and the shiny
I'm getting those vibes too, but then I could rephrase the question to: why Dallas as the title? Even more so when the first episodes concentrated on Southfork.
But maybe this answers that question:
I think I vaguely remember reading that David Jacobs originally was gonna set Southfork in Dallas
Not that I could imagine them calling it Braddock (or a fictional town version) because the ranch was too isolated to create its own "town" feel.
So it couldn't be another Peyton Place or Flamingo Road.
Then there's the idea that "Dallas" does not necessarily represent a place, but more like an experience or atmosphere - the dark shadows of Texas.
Or a song title that has nothing to do with the song itself, even though the city of Dallas is a part of the soap Dallas. But again, maybe they're not the same thing!
 

James from London

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"Dallas" does not necessarily represent a place, but more like an experience or atmosphere - the dark shadows of Texas.
I think so. According to legend, Jacobs started with the title - DALLAS - without really knowing or even having visited the place itself, and then kind of worked backwards to create a story around it.
 

DallasFanForever

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In retrospect it’s probably a really good idea that they went with DALLAS as the title and not something else. In 1978 the city was still largely hated across the U.S. for being the place where President Kennedy was assassinated. The success of the show actually went a long way in repairing Dallas’s image in the eyes of the American people
 

Miss Texas 1967

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But since they had decided to call their show "Dallas", why not simply "move" the ranch closer to downtown Dallas?
It doesn't bother me or anything, but I wonder why they would complicate the matter for the sake of realism. I mean, who knew where the ranch was located (for real)?
Dynasty's Denver mansion is located in California and the Tuscany Valley doesn't even exist at all, and it didn't affect these shows in a negative way.

This Braddock County/city thing makes the city of Dallas the Dallas equivalent of Falcon Crest's San Francisco.

Only thing I can think of it that it's to keep people (locals?) from questioning the size of the ranch. To emphasise how vast the land was it has to be slightly out of the urban sprawl. To get Texans on side they couldn't pretend a full working ranch sat closer to the downtown area? Or perhaps it makes it feel more local to have the shopping/rodeo rider introduction happen in a rural area? I'm just throwing ideas out now lol, could be something they just did and didn't think too much about.
 

Willie Oleson

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I'm not a fan of disease storylines because there isn't much that you can do with it apart from showing the dread and misery of it all.
The character dies or survives but it isn't something that can be plotted. It's just..."there".
And that's why I wasn't particularly looking forward to these episodes.
Turns out it was much better than I had expected (or remembered, actually).

Jock tightens the thumbscrews on JR who still hasn't done anything about the trust fund for Amanda.
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At this point JR can no longer weasel out of it, but then he kind of does, using his "feelings of guilt" for doing something behind mama's back.
I always like a good improvisation.
Jock thinks JR has a point, and decides to tell Miss Ellie first. Ah, but at the most inconvenient time!
Miss Ellie's condition is still the main topic of the story, but it's soaped along by the Amanda-subject.
And then Sue Ellen bounces the problem back to JR when she gleefully suggests that a divorce would jeopardize his precious Ewing Empire.
Although, personally speaking, I don't really see what Southfork means to JR, except for Section 40.

Pam tries to improve the situation with advice about love and honesty but ironically it's Sue Ellen's cynical stance on beauty and womanhood that describes exactly what Miss Ellie is going through. It's an attack on her femininity.

Sue Ellen is seeing Dr. Elby again and clearly she doesn't know how to behave herself. She wants to talk but it's difficult for her to shake off that "everything's just fine" attitude.
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"May I have a drink of water, please?"
But whereas Adam Carrington immediately obliged, Dr. Elby tells her to "help yourself".

Dusty is still very much in the picture. And it's a beautiful picture because the sunlight suggests the beginning of the sunset, in the late afternoon/early evening.

As a child I always thought there was something melancholic about it, knowing that playtime outside would soon come to an end, and I wanted more, much more.
It was like clinging on to that extra time, it was the worst but also the best part.

Another surprise was Digger, I hadn't even considered him for this storyline.

And it's another thing that's drenched in melancholy and effective melodrama. That is to say, until Digger starts to blame Jock for everything all over again.
There's an expression of horror and realization on Miss Ellie's face, but she doesn't argue with Digger. It's pointless anyway.
She's very angry with Jock, but it's another thing when someone else attacks him. And then she realizes that he shouldn't be the target of all her bitterness.
Thankfully there's nothing clunky about those scenes, what she says makes sense and it's all tastefully done.

Speaking of tastefully...

"Why me, granma? Why meeeee?"
I do get the first part: blaming a loved one for getting sick, the illness that makes that person almost unapproachable.
And to be fair, Lucy had been "very busy" trying different things with her hair.
I don't know how heritable breast cancer is, or how it was perceived at that time, so maybe it all makes sense anyway. And it probably would have looked weird if this situation with Lucy hadn't climaxed. It just feels a bit like... a lot.

No more images, so I think that's it.
 

James from London

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I'm not a fan of disease storylines because there isn't much that you can do with it apart from showing the dread and misery of it all.
And the way individual characters react to that dread, like Gary going completely to pieces during Val's cancer ep.
As a child I always thought there was something melancholic about it, knowing that playtime outside would soon come to an end, and I wanted more, much more.
It was like clinging on to that extra time, it was the worst but also the best part.
That reminds me of a scene in Season 9 where Wes Parmalee-as-Jock talks to John Ross in the schoolyard. John Ross is disappointed that recess is too short. "It'll be that way your whole life," Wes replies.
It just feels a bit like... a lot.
That's a good way of describing Lucy in general, I guess.
 

Willie Oleson

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And the way individual characters react to that dread, like Gary going completely to pieces during Val's cancer ep.
What I liked about Miss Ellie's ordeal is that a lot of drama (not the cancer itself, of course) could have been avoided. If JR had already taken care of that trust fund and if JR hadn't used the "guilt" argument that prompted Jock to inform Miss Ellie.
If JR hadn't put all the Ewing capital in the Asian oil deal, if Cliff hadn't made it so difficult for them to get the oil from Texan soil. And the way I see it, "Amanda" was initially created to complicate that part of the story.
The actions, or in this case the lack thereof, allowed that very topic to clash with the mastectomy story. And that's why it still has a sense of soap plotting, although I have no idea if this was already planned in the DOVE HUNT episode.
Either way, it's much better than simply dumping her in a hospital bed and turn it into a two hour snotfest, like Karen-almost-dying-from-the-bullet-in-her-body storyline.
 

Willie Oleson

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The next episode involves two staged phone calls with the intent to manipulate a member of the family.
The first one is a performance by Lucy who's talking to Muriel about Jock at exactly the same time Jock passes her.
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She secretly wants to meet with Alan Beam but she's grounded because of some speeding tickets.
Master prankster Muriel convinces Jock to allow Lucy to go out and help her with her homework or test.
"To study with a friend" - has anyone actually ever done that? For real? I think it only exists in TV series. And even then it's usually an excuse to do something else instead.

Later, Lucy accidentally discovers that the animosity between Alan and uncle JR was faked, and she goes to Alan's place to confront him.
Funnily enough, he thinks she's found out about his other girlfriend Betty Lou aka Maggie Gioberti's trampy sister.
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I feel a Who Shot Alan Beam cliffhanger coming up!
After he's alerted JR, it's then Lucy herself who's being tricked by a not-so-coincidental phone call between JR and Harv Smithfield. It isn't even a real phone call, JR plays himself and Harv (just to trump Muriel, of course).

Pam tells Cliff he can meet Sue Ellen at Dr. Ellby's, and Cliff tells Pam that Ewing Oil is searching for oil in Asia. It seems a little too convenient that Cliff found out about Ewing Oil's foreign adventure (and he mentions it so casually) but the exposure of JR's questionable business deal creates a lot of drama.
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At this point, JR even fails to convince himself and it's a rare thing to behold.
There is tension, but it's not as hysterical and melodramatic as one would expect from a situation like this. Maybe it's the ranch itself that becomes the main player in this plot, as if it's having a conversation with Miss Ellie.
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Miss Ellie makes Section 40 available for drilling - a very touching scene - so, in a funny way JR got what he wanted.
 

Lastkidpicked

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Later, Lucy accidentally discovers that the animosity between Alan and uncle JR was faked, and she goes to Alan's place to confront him.
Funnily enough, he thinks she's found out about his other girlfriend Betty Lou aka Maggie Gioberti's trampy sister.
1622845940451.png

Now that we are on the Alan Beam episodes, I wanted to share with you something that @Taylor Bennett Jr. and @DallasFanForever discovered on a different thread:

If you watch the episode "Second Thoughts", look for the scene where Jock tells Alan Beam that he secured a partnership for Alan at Smithfield and Bennett. They talk for a minute and then Jock says, "Well, should we tell the family?"

They walk over towards the family and the camera follows them. Watch the upper left corner of your screen. They zoomed out too far and you can see the end of the backdrop. You can even see a stage light and diffuser!
 

Mustard

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I'm getting those vibes too, but then I could rephrase the question to: why Dallas as the title? Even more so when the first episodes concentrated on Southfork.
But maybe this answers that question:

Because Dallas is where all the "new money" was. The oil business.

Southfork is old landowning wealth.
 

Willie Oleson

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The pace and soapy plotting in the next episode is near flawless as it continues to develop without losing any of its drama and suspense.

Seeing Miss Ellie so distraught when section 40 is being cleared for operation in an almost ceremonial fashion as the box opens to reveal its future Pandora, Jock is determined to sell the Asian oil leases in order to pay the bank and save Southfork.

Oh yeah, that house of happiness and peace and quiet.

Everybody has an opinion on Sue Ellen's indifference towards baby John but I feel it's not really helping when Marlon Brando's sister is still there to take care of the child, something that Sue Ellen uses as a default excuse.
Bobby and Pam can hear the Mr. and Mrs. Ewing argue in the other room and I think there's something funny and unsophisticated about off-screen arguments.
I remember another one that has Miss Ellie arguing with JR in the living room while the focus scene plays out between characters in the hallway. I think this kind of scripting is more common in UK and Australian soap operas?

There's a nice touch when Bobby receives a postcard from little boy Luke in Montana. Maybe he and his pa are working on the YELLOWSTONE.


Sue Ellen is still seeing Dr. Ellby hoping to get some answers and cut and dried instructions, but all she gets is more questions, how frustrating! For the first time I noticed that Dr. Ellby actually has a very sinister physical appearance, like the leader of a cult or the villain in a naff British sci-fi series.
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After a most unintentional meeting, Sue Ellen reluctantly agrees to discuss the parental situation with Cliff in the privacy of his apartment. Once she's there she immediately starts to play the victim role but Cliff doesn’t want to hear it anymore and turns the tables on her with nasty counter-accusations.
It mostly serves as a convenient clue for Sue Ellen and Dr. Ellby to get to the core of her problems, but still, someone had to come up with the idea to do it this way.
Soap always looks so much more simple with the benefit of hindsight.

At this point in the story baby John is still Cliff's son, and until the end of this episode Pam was baby John's first "mother".
Which brings me to the parallel storylines between Pam and JR (of all characters).
They're both clutching at straws, there's no way to get in and no way to get out, but then when their respective situations actually improve - Ewing Oil's overseas investment finally pays off and Sue Ellen finally embraces motherhood - they are the ones who're going to pay the price for it.

Once again, JR is being reined in by the only person he looks up to, and Pam is no longer needed in the nursery.

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He was never yours.

Like Southfork was never JR's to play with.

I thought this was an interesting scene because it kind of plays out as the three-way split opening credits.
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Jock and Miss Ellie celebrate the all's well that ends well, as if their private dramas will no longer be televised, Pam is alerted by the sound of crying coming from the nursery and she runs up to her fate of the empty armed Madonna. At the same time, the focus is also on JR who's choking on his pride and covers it up with clumsy-goofy champagne failure.

Ray Krebbs is in it for only 40 seconds but he becomes the winner of this episode when he stumbles upon a twist with great shock value.
They shrug it off as "just a skeleton" but I have a feeling that this is not the end of it.
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Also starring Lucy with dramatic hair movement.
 

Mel O'Drama

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Dr. Ellby actually has a very sinister physical appearance, like the leader of a cult or the villain in a naff British sci-fi series.

His fascinating stiff inscrutability, that masculine mouth and his permanent grave determination has always made him seem to me like a 1960s Marvel cartoon character made real.

 

Richard Channing

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His fascinating stiff inscrutability, that masculine mouth and his permanent grave determination has always made him seem to me like a 1960s Marvel cartoon character made real.


I watched this not too long ago in which he plays a muscle bound hero, with even bigger hair than he had on Dallas.

 

Mel O'Drama

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I watched this not too long ago in which he plays a muscle bound hero, with even bigger hair than he had on Dallas.

Oh my.

There are so many superlatives in that trailer...

You will discover all that is exotic, sensual, spectacular and totally unexpected.

Why do I have this feeling only the last one is accurate?
 
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