World Cup Tournament World Cup of 80s Soap Cliffhangers - Round 2, Week 8

Willie Oleson

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Match 1: Dynasty Season 8 vs Dallas Season 7
After the rescue of his kidnapped son, Adam loses custody of that very baby to the surrogate mother and her lowlife husband.
The fight scene looked more choreographed than a show dance on Strictly Come Dancing
Say about the Dynasty catfights what you like, but the male-on-male fights were usually pretty good and more vicious than the ones on Dallas.
when I heard it the first time for me this words were not for Krystle only but for the future of the whole show
Precisely.
Krystle's bizarre disappearance - enhanced by the disturbing evidence that her state of mind had caused her to ransack the bedroom - kind of creates the same impending doom as Alexis' first appearance, only from the opposite point of view.
"What's she doing here?" (as in "if she'd stay away forever it still wouldn't be long enough") versus "My God, Krystle, I thought we had more time".

I'm not sure if I'd call it a great shocker, but I found it very bewildering, like, but-but-but...what now? What does this mean? What's happening to this family?

This DALLAS season finale episode is so, so, so very good I love every minute of it. Cliff going ballistic are probably the best parts of it, and then there's JR checkmating Peter and Sue Ellen plus the mega-twist that Cliff has struck oil. "Maybe the richest strike in the Gulf!" That part would have been my preferred cliffhanger.
I find the image of the unknown person sitting in the chair even creepier than the unknown prowler, but at the same time I feel the only reason it was Bobby was because they couldn't do a Who Shot JR again.
Interestingly, Lucy also makes a surprise discovery when she enters a bedroom and notices that Sue Ellen's closets are empty - and Teresa's explanation is just as vague as Jeanette's.

Match 2: Falcon Crest Season 1 vs Dynasty Season 1
Over in Dynasty, the cliffhanger was unusual because it wasn't really about raising the tension or expectation of a storyline
That courtroom drama was all about big drama and tension, a tension increased by the delay of a certain "expert witness"
raising tension and expectation about something regarding the production of the show, i.e., who would they be casting to play Blake's ex wife
It's a popular topic in the NuDynasty forum, but in those days I don't think that kind of buzz or expectation even existed.
If anything, it would apply more to Richard Channing since he didn't exist before that season finale.
Alexis's appearance in court didn't really add a great deal the proceedings of the case
It certainly affected the characters in that courtroom. I loved their PEYTON PLACE style freeze frames.
1656006251086.png1656006266353.png
Furthermore, she didn't show up just because, she entered the Dynasty saga at that particular stage. When it comes to soap character introductions this was probably the most perfect timing, regardless of who was going to play her.


Match 1: DYNASTY
Match 2: DYNASTY (and let's not forget about Claudia and Lindsay's exciting car crash).
 
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Seaviewer

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Match 1: It was getting really hard to care about Dynasty at this point but Dallas was still hot: Dallas Season 7.
Match 2: But seven years earlier, Dynasty was just getting started: Dynasty Season 1.
Yip, the good old UK press let the cat out of the bag and printed photos of Bobby slumped in chair and falling to the ground after it was shown in USA - after much specuulation that JR was to be shot AGAIN!!
I think I've mentioned before how the same channel that showed Dallas also had the US Entertainment This Week which included those final moments in a story just a night or so before the episode screened here,
 

James from London

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Dynasty Season 8 (Dex and Sean fight and a gun goes off during their struggle and Krystle is sick and is gone from the mansion leaving Blake to lament that he wished they had more time) vs Dallas Season 7 (Bobby is shot at Ewing Oil by a mystery assailant).
The penultimate scene of this DYNASTY finale includes a moment that couldn’t be soapier if it tried — Alexis is taking a bubble bath when the champagne glass she holds is shot at point blank range by her back-from-the-dead husband. “That’s for my father!” he snarls. A struggle over the gun then ensues between her third and fourth husbands as Alexis, now clad demurely in a peach bathrobe, watches in alarm, just as Sue Ellen would look on helplessly from the sidelines a few weeks later as her estranged husband and current lover fight it out to the death. Both pairs of men are struggling over a gun when it suddenly goes off. Before we can see who took the bullet on DYNASTY, Claudia or Krystle — I mean, Dex or Sean — it’s all over. Bye-bye, everyone; see ya next season. But wait! There’s one more scene to go! Back at the mansion, Blake finds his and Krystle’s bedroom in a state of disarray. (In reality, it’s no more untidy than the average teenager’s, but this is Soap Land.) Jeanette tells him that Krystle left the house a little while ago and he swears her to secrecy. However, it’s the season’s final line — “My God, Krystle, I thought we had more time!” — that pulls the narrative rug out from under us, in the same way that Bobby Ewing’s “Good morning” and the disembodied voice asking, “You want out, Mrs Mackenzie?” did at the end of the 1985/6 season.

Two years before "Who Shot Bobby?", the FLAMINGO ROAD season finale blatantly referenced the “Who Shot JR?” mystery by having several of its characters line up to threaten Michael Tyrone’s life. It then cleverly subverted audience expectations of a whodunnit by having Tyrone fake his own death. The final third of this episode of DALLAS pulls a similar trick. First it establishes a handful of characters as having a motive to kill JR. Then in the final scene, an unknown assailant enters the Ewing offices just as they did once before, only this time they shoot ... Bobby! Given that he is hit from behind while sitting at JR’s desk, it would seem that he is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time — just like Karen Mackenzie was when she took the bullet intended for Gary on the KNOTS season finale seven weeks earlier.

DALLAS!

Falcon Crest Season 1 (After the inquest finds Emma was responsible for Jason’s death, Chase takes 50% of Falcon Crest from Angela ) vs Dynasty Season 1 (A surprise witness appears for the prosecution at Blake’s trial, Fallon exclaims it’s her mother).

Over in Dynasty, the cliffhanger was unusual because it wasn't really about raising the tension or expectation of a storyline but about raising tension and expectation about something regarding the production of the show, i.e., who would they be casting to play Blake's ex wife.

But this was before big name stunt casting was really a thing in '80s soaps. Besides, the UK was a couple of years behind the US when DYNASTY started so we already knew Joan Collins had been cast as Blake's first wife, but that didn't detract from the impact of her arrival. Remarkably, Alexis had barely been mentioned during DYNASTY's first season, and never by name, and we knew next to nothing about her so we were caught totally off guard by her entrance into the courtroom. Everything in the Carrington/Blaisdel world had only just been turned upside down by Ted Dinard's death and we we couldn't even guess what the implications of this mysterious woman's arrival might be. All we had to go on were the reactions of the existing characters, each of whom got their own freeze frame, which made it clear that everything was about to be turned upside down all over again, but how? I guess that's the real cliffhanger.

FALCON CREST's finale also suggested the next season would start on a new footing, but did so in a much more neat and tidy, traditional TV way.

DYNASTY!
This is exactly as I saw the final scene back then, complete with the following announcements:

Gosh, I think I must have had that on tape for a long time too. That description of Sue Ellen "beaten at last by her husband's guile" is really familiar. It's a great pre-social media way of ending a season, with the BBC itself officially confirming that what you've just seen was just as exciting as you thought it was.
During the summer, I lapped up every repeated episode of the season, beginning with Southfork on fire (I had no idea why or how) and running all the way through to the repeat of Bobby's shooting.
Wow, what a great way to experience it -- already having seen how a season ends, you then get to see the journey leading up to it -- kind of like watching a Shakespearean tragedy or a film noir which starts by telling you that the characters you're about to meet are already doomed.

 
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Willie Oleson

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a state of disarray. (In reality, it’s no more untidy than the average teenager’s, but this is Soap Land.)
And more specifically, CarringtonLand, where a vase is never just a vase.
It was one of the first things Alexis mentioned to Krystle, it was also one of the last things that happened between them.
In the meantime they had been throwing vases at each other, and vases were used to keep Krystle sedated - until it broke in this season's cliffhanger.
Sable shot a vase with a perfect bouquet to smithereens in the same way Jeff Colby (unwittingly) crushed her perfect scheme.
1656202407938.png
 

Mel O'Drama

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Back at the mansion, Blake finds his and Krystle’s bedroom in a state of disarray. (In reality, it’s no more untidy than the average teenager’s, but this is Soap Land.)

This made me smile.



It's a great pre-social media way of ending a season, with the BBC itself officially confirming that what you've just seen was just as exciting as you thought it was.

Yes, and it felt like a rarity. Terry Wogan could get away with discussion of Dallas, but in general the linking material and the programmes themselves felt like two different worlds. It would have been positively unseemly for a continuity announcer to concern themselves with the story we've just watched in the way that, say, the Channel 5 Sons and Daughters guy did. Professional detachment was key. The very fact that this was happening meant this was something big.




Wow, what a great way to experience it -- already having seen how a season ends, you then get to see the journey leading up to it -- kind of like watching a Shakespearean tragedy or a film noir which starts by telling you that the characters you're about to meet are already doomed.

Oh, I like that.

Knowing how the season ended certainly skewed how I viewed it and I dare say I projected a lot of subtext that wasn't there, especially since I was really only just getting to know the characters properly as well.




And more specifically, CarringtonLand, where a vase is never just a vase.
It was one of the first things Alexis mentioned to Krystle, it was also one of the last things that happened between them.
In the meantime they had been throwing vases at each other, and vases were used to keep Krystle sedated - until it broke in this season's cliffhanger.
Sable shot a vase with a perfect bouquet to smithereens in the same way Jeff Colby (unwittingly) crushed her perfect scheme.

Oh wow. I don't think I'd consciously realised until now quite how many times vases significantly featured.
 

colbyco

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(...) Gosh, I think I must have had that on tape for a long time too. That description of Sue Ellen "beaten at last by her husband's guile" is really familiar. It's a great pre-social media way of ending a season, with the BBC itself officially confirming that what you've just seen was just as exciting as you thought it was. (...)
- something same happend on German tv. The 2 last episodes of S6 aired the same night. One episode was placed before and one episode was placed after a big news programme. At the end of the news he said something like "now back to the dramas of Denver" .... they never said anything connected to the tv programme before. As a young kid it was so special that even this serious news man talks about MY TV SHOW!!!!
 

Englishboy

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I’m voting as follows:-

Dallas Season 7 - the episode where the chair spins round at the end to reveal that it was Bobby and not JR who had been shot was the best Dallas cliffhanger ever - better even than “who shot JR” in my honest opinion.

Dynasty Season 1 - I’ve never seen Falcon crest so, the Dynasty Season 1 cliffhanger gets my vote.
 

Angela Channing

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No one has won yet because there is still time to go until the poll closes. Cast your vote before the deadline of midday tomorrow. You are choosing your winner between:

Match 1
Dynasty Season 8 (Dex and Sean fight and a gun goes off during their struggle and Krystle is sick and is gone from the mansion leaving Blake to lament that he wished they had more time) vs Dallas Season 7 (Bobby is shot at Ewing Oil by a mystery assailant)

Match2
Falcon Crest Season 1 (After the inquest finds Emma was responsible for Jason’s death, Chase takes 50% of Falcon Crest from Angela ) vs Dynasty Season 1 (A surprise witness appears for the prosecution at Blake’s trial, Fallon exclaims it’s her mother).
 

Carrie Fairchild

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Dallas Season 7: both shows had previously done season ending shootouts, to epic effect, so the gunshots here were always going to pale in comparison. The champagne glass being shot out of Alexis’ hand was very Dynasty but the “who got shot?” scenario wasn’t so exciting, as you always knew it would be Sean who’d get the bullet. Blake’s final scene adds a bit of gravitas to proceedings but it just isn’t the strongest of Dynasty cliffhangers. Over in Dallas, they tried a twist on their greatest season finale with a “Who Shot Bobby While Trying To Shoot JR?”. It may be a rehash but it works. The buildup is suitably suspenseful and the final reveal with Bobby tumbling off the chair is well executed. It just feels more cliffhanger-esque compared to Dynasty.

Dynasty Season 1: a well executed final scene that saw a character that we knew next to nothing about, wield so much power and suspense just by walking into a room.
 

Angela Channing

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The voting has now closed (thank you @Carrie Fairchild for getting your vote in before the deadline) and the results are as follows:

Match 1
Dynasty Season 8 - 2 votes
Dallas Season 7 - 10 votes

Match 2
Falcon Crest Season 1 - 1 votes
Dynasty Season 1 - 11 votes

There are two emphatic winners this week going through to round 2: Dallas Season 7 (Bobby is shot at Ewing Oil by a mystery assailant) and Dynasty Season 1 (A surprise witness appears for the prosecution at Blake’s trial, Fallon exclaims it’s her mother).



Thank you to everyone who voting in last weeks matches. Details of the next 2 matches will be posted on this thread tomorrow.
 
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Angela Channing

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The poll is now open for you to choose which cliffhangers you would like to win each of the next 2 matches to go through to round 3.

You may vote for a winner of either match or for both matches but remember you are voting for your favourite cliffhanger, not your favourite episode or favourite soap opera.

Stating the reasons for your choices is encouraged as this makes the contest more interesting and may help others in making their decisions. However, this is entirely optional and you can just state your chosen winner of each match if you prefer.

Match 1

Falcon Crest Season 7 (
Richard funeral takes place after he is shot by Eric, Melissa takes over Falcon Crest and forces Angela to leave and Angela asks a mystery person when they will tell Maggie they are still alive but is it Chase or Richard? ) vs Dallas Season 1 (Pam miscarries after falling while backing away from JR in the barn. JR later appears indifferent to what happened).



 

Angela Channing

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Match 2

Knots Landing season12
(Karen chases after a car after being hit by a paint ball. The car crashes and Jason is unconscious in the back seat.) vs Knots Landing Season 7 (Karen has been kidnapped and wakes up in an unknown basement. She tries to escape but is prevented by the kidnapper).





The poll closes at midday on Wednesday 7th July 2022.
 
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Mel O'Drama

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It's interesting that we have to re-evaluate the cliffhangers every time they reenter the World Cup. That what made them stronger in the previous round(s) could also make them weaker in the next round(s), depending on the new competitor.

Absolutely. An action-packed or memorable cliffhanger might appear to be a shoo-in, but then it comes up against one with an emotional punch that utilises a completely new skillset and it's a different story.

It's like a soapy version of paper/scissors/stone. Or Top Trumps.
 

Mel O'Drama

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Round 2 - Week 3




Match 1

While I haven't seen this Falcon Crest cliffhanger I have seen the final moments referenced around these parts. I can't say those references have excited me in the way that, say, the plane crash or the nun with the gun have. But seeing the scenes brought to life by Angela's comic strip really helped me to get a sense of how exciting it would be to see that final scene off the back of the ones immediately preceding it. I can imagine myself watching this for the first time and really devoting a great deal of brain time to thinking about the possibilities depending on whom Angela is addressing. It looks solid, well-constructed and appropriately twisty and I can understand this has the power to really pull the rug out from under the audience.

The Dallas finale is also very well-written and shows of the series at its gritty, shadowy, cynical best. However, my previous comments about this scene as a cliffhanger still stand. It's a terrific sequence from an equally terrific episode and, while there is a slight game-changer element that entices the viewer to want to know what happens next, it simply doesn't feel quite cliffhanger-y enough for the purposes of this context.

On that basis, I'm compelled to vote for...

Falcon Crest - Season Seven









Match 2


There are definite similarities between these two Knots cliffhangers, not least that they're showcases on an almost Olympian level for Michele Lee's theatrically shocked face driven home by equally theatrical sharp, robotic body language (on this level, Season Seven takes the prize for that final sustained shot of Karen registering horror and half uttering a silent plea with tears sparkling). Both cliffhangers follow on from scenes that have been disorientating for Karen - being shot with a paint pellet in Twelve; waking in a darkened room after simply disappearing in Seven.

Season Twelve's effectiveness is in showing us what Karen sees and allowing us to get on board with her horror based on the information the visuals give. Season Seven's effectiveness is in concealing information from the viewer. We share Karen's disorientation, as we try to cast our minds back to the last time we saw her when everything seemed so prosaic. We are left to imagine how Karen might have ended up in her predicament; what godawful things might have been done to her between then and now; and to wonder where the hell she is. But those final moments, we don't share with Karen. We don't see what she sees and are left to fill in the gaps with our imagination. She's on her own, and so are we, trying to make sense out of confusion. It's simple, but also incredibly haunting and the mystery of the unknown really gets the mind working overtime. Karen's shadowy captor's final line "You want out, Mrs Mackenzie" can be read any number of ways, including something as innocuous as an offer to open the door. In this situation, though, it reads very much like a death threat, a promise to put her out of her misery if she doesn't toe the line (I've always really disliked that the line was softened and made less oblique in the reenactment that opened the next season. Fortunately that doesn't have any bearing on how I rate the original line for the purposes of this match). Whatever the case, the only way to know will be to tune in to the next episode.

Possibly because it was the first of a number of seasons that ran consecutively, there wasn't a great deal of time for the Season Seven finale to register with me when it first aired. It also followed up what is (in my mind) Knots's finest season finale cliffhanger and so felt a little underwhelming on first watch (proving that the lengthy enforced break following a cliffhanger serves a hugely important purpose in viewer engagement). Until now, in fact, I hadn't realised I liked this cliffhanger quite so much.

It's time for some redemption for...

Knots Landing - Season Seven





It's lucky number Seven for this week's Lorimararama.
 

auhin4

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Everyone leaving Melissa alone in the house is my favorite part. Foreshadows her eventual mania. She's lonely at the top... She wants love too, not just FC. But she's lost Cole and Lance!!!

Falcon Crest season 7.

Knots 7 sounds terrifying and claustrophobic.

Knots season 7.
 

Jock Og

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Match 1: FALCON CREST season 7.

It was sad Pam lost her baby. The episode from start to finish was a fine end to the mini-series. The final scene involving J.R. and Sue Ellen paved the way; for 13 years of oil, cattle, treachery and bed hopping. In terms of an edge of seat cliffhanger FC season 7 is in front. Melissa all alone in FC but now the owner; Richard makes a plan with the 13 that means he won't see the end of the night, Maggie relives memories and who exactly is back, in the land of the living?

Match 2: KNOTS LANDING season 7.

There was sublime acting from Michelle Lee, in both episodes. 'The Longest Night' wins this battle, in my view. The look says it all
 

Angela Channing

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It's interesting that we have to re-evaluate the cliffhangers every time they reenter the World Cup. That what made them stronger in the previous round(s) could also make them weaker in the next round(s), depending on the new competitor.
The soap world cup has similarities to the FIFA World Cup (on which the format is based) or the Wimbledon tennis draw in that you often re-evaluate how you feel about different competitors in every match they play. Who your allegiances go to and who wins each match is based on several factors including the relative strengths of participants, who they are drawn against and their performance on the day (who votes in each of the matches). Sometimes at the start of a match you are rooting for one team or player but as the match progresses your allegiances shift to the other one. I've found myself advocating strongly for a particular cliffhanger in round one and equally strongly making the case against that finale when it was up against different opposition in round 2. This all adds to the unpredictability of outcomes which hopefully makes the World Cup interesting.
 
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