Are Hugely Popular TV Series Cursed?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Rove, May 25, 2019.

  1. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    During this last week I’ve had discussions with siblings, friends and work colleagues regarding the finale of Game of Thrones and how utterly disappointed each and everyone of them were with the ending. Now before I continue, I’ll admit I haven’t watched the final episode however I do know the conclusion. To be honest I haven’t watched the last 3 or 4 seasons as I’m not as fanatical as others. One day I’ll get around to watching the entire series.

    However, my discussions with each of those fans reminds me how Dallas (Lorimar) ended with Conundrum and I’m left questioning why the producers and writing teams have such difficulty in creating a satisfactory conclusion to a series.

    Dallas and Game of Thrones both share something in common. From small beginnings both became behemoths in the television landscape. Both series followed the story of feuding families. Both followed the script of power, sex, revenge and death. Both dared to kill off popular characters namely Bobby in Dallas and Jon Snow in Game of Thrones; only to be resurrected. One series sidelined many viewers, the other was received with rapturous applause from around the world.

    But I’m questioning how is it two of the biggest TV Series in my lifetime can screw up their respective finales? While many here on Soapchat (myself included) argue Lorimar Dallas limped to its inevitable end I’m left wondering how the producers and writing team of Game of Thrones with advanced notice could not end the series in a blaze of glory. I mean this is Game of Thrones, not Friends.

    I understand some will argue the producers and writing team will not make everyone happy with their respective conclusions but should we have expected something different with Dallas and Game of Thrones?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Whas the GoT conclusion so awful? You knew someone was going to win and others would lose, that ending was already written in the first episode. Would it have made any difference if someone else had won?
     
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  3. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I don't think you can compare the last season of Dallas and it's finale with GOT's last season and finale. Dallas went on far longer than it should have done and the final season really paled in comparison to what Dallas was in its prime. Although GOT's final season and finale may not have been to everyone's liking, it certainly didn't limp to the finish line. The finale, like many of the episodes that season was still an amazing episode of TV. Yes, certain characters didn't get the ending they deserved but it was still very compelling and exciting to watch. Dallas on the other hand was just pretty tired and lame at the end. Give me 'The Iron Throne' over 'Conundrum' and day.

    I think certain factors meant that GOT's final season, although we had to wait 2 years for it, was still rushed. The production values were fantastic, and the set-pieces and the battles were spectacular, but they tried to tell too much story in too short a space of time. I think the fact that the creators had signed up to work on the Star Wars franchise meant that they were keen to wrap it up and yes, to a degree they didn't do the story and many of it's characters justice. Whereas Dallas had the opposite problem, more time and seasons than it had good stories to tell. It was getting repetitive and stale. Whereas GOT could have done with another season even to really let it's story unfold and conclude organically.
     
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Dallas' last episode may not have been so awesome, but I find it pretty epic when a soap's main character kills himself - and because it's a soap it should have that last cliff hanger, just for the heck of it.
    You could see it as a metaphorical ending - put both JR and DALLAS out of their misery, but that's only possible when JR does it.
     
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  5. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    It's not so much whether you enjoy the finale or not but why producers and writers struggle to conclude a series.
    This was the collective complaint from those I work with. My nephew on the other hand informs me Game of Thrones lost something when they only had George R. R. Martin's idea of how the story would unfold since the producers had no books to rely on. It kind of reminds me of the politics playing out on Dallas when Phil Capice was shown the door and Leonard finally had total authority over Dallas. Something felt off after this point.
     
  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    This is my underlying issue with many series. Sitcoms can get away with happy endings but a series like Dallas should have went out in a blaze of glory. It was the patriarch of cliffhangers. Though I did like the idea of JR pulling the trigger it was the story leading up to this point which left a sour note.
     
  7. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    If you mean literally being and staying in charge of the story and production from the first till the last episode, well there are so many reasons why this could happen.
    Budget, network interference, new career opportunities (writers or actors) etc.
    Downton Abbey is a good example: I loved the first 3 seasons but season 4 was a huge letdown and that's when I decided to call it quits. I just didn't enjoy it anymore.
     
  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    So you're suggesting they should have quit making more episodes while Dallas was still popular and making tons of money? Nobody's gonna walk away from the ATM while it's still spitting out twenties. Larry Hagman and the rest of the cast had fun jobs but they were still jobs. They went to work for the same reason the rest of us go to work - to make money.
     
  9. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I wouldn't expect the actors to walk away from the show if they are happy and making good money, but how long it stays on air is not up to them, is it? I didn't suggest they quit when it was still popular, I'm sure it's up to the network and if the show is still making a profit they keep it going. But from a creative standpoint often show runners would prefer to, if not end on a high, at least call it a day before things get really stale. It's a matter of pride and respect for the show you're putting out, and wanting it to end with some dignity, and in a manner that does it justice. That's not what happened with Dallas, and probably because profits were put first. GOT is the biggest show on the planet, yet it ended (although perhaps too soon) because the show runners felt it was time for that story to come to an end. If it was just about money they would have kept it going, and they certainly could have.
     
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  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Not entirely but they certainly have a lot of influence.. it's kind of hard to keep making a show if all the stars of the show decide they don't want to work on Dallas anymore.

    If things are getting stale they can hire writers with more creative ideas. Sometimes in high pressure jobs people get burned out creatively and they need to be replaced, at least for a while, with people who are still hungry to prove themselves in the industry and have fresh ideas. Then when you've given the former writers sufficient time away from the show, you can bring them back. I think any writers, no matter how good they are are going to suffer from creative burnout at some point and will need some time away from the show so they can rejuvenate.

    It's not only profits being put first, although that is the main concern. The producer or show runner or whatever they like to be called now is responsible for the livelihoods a large number of people - not just the actors but all the behind the scenes people as well - who all depend on that show to make a living. If the show's producer decides that he thinks the show has reached some arbitrary limit, say 150 episodes, and he's going to shut everything down just out of pride, He's gotta realize that pride is coming at a high cost because he's going to be putting an awful lot of people out of work just for his own sense of pride. If you've got a show that's making a profit, do you really want to be responsible for putting that many people out of work? You'd have to ask yourself: Is following my creative vision by shutting down a still profitable show worth having people who have been loyal, hard working employees of mine for years maybe losing their houses?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  11. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I think many series could have and should do learn that one word dignity. If Dallas was churning out intelligent stories and engaging characters it could still be airing but it wasn't. I'd much rather have Dallas and other series end with their heads held high.
     
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  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Pride? Can it not be decided based on artistry and creativity, something that you really want to do? Or should everyone keep telling their stories just because they can, and because there are mouths to feed?
    This is the entertainment industry, not some charity case for us to support.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
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  13. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Then find writers who still have the creative drive and ability to keep the quality high. I'd rather lay off a few writers so we can get some new writers with fresh, exciting ideas on board than be the guy who tells a crew of 200 people: You're all unemployed now since I've decided to shut down a very profitable operation just because this show just isn't something I feel like I want to do anymore.
     
  14. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Addict

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    They just keep trying to go on for way too long. Quantity does not equal quality....

    BTW, VP DID walk away while the ATM was spitting out twenties......
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  15. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    The point is that a lot of TV shows have been successful, but not "Dallas" successful, setting rating records and popularity highs. That happens once in a while, and not even critics darlings of the 80's reached its audience numbers.

    upload_2019-5-26_13-19-48.jpeg

    I don´t think either that keeping or bringing back the former producers or writers is a guarantee for success. Look at what Katzman or Paulsen churned out in the post-Dream seasons. If Katzman was the big boss then, he either overlooked the flaws and casting choices, or mistakenly thought he was getting it right. I also doubt that Hagman or Duffy had any real input on whatever plots were used at the time. Both of them were the stars, but also seemingly quite lazy re suggesting new things, though they actually were hard-workers and partly responsible for the show´s initial success anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Besides, I think it's known around here that CBS didn´t really have a lot of good dramas in those years (1986-91). And "Dallas" still was the gold-egg chicken (though the eggs´ quality was not too good...). If you take any of those post-Dream seasons (I myself I´m re-watching Season 11, aka Sue Ellen´s last season), they all have an almost schizophrenic quality. Every year is different in many senses and continuity details are forgotten (though not in a "Dynasty" way...).

    [​IMG]

    They seemed as if they were trying to re-invent the show every year, unsuccessfully. And even so, they managed to remain 5 more seasons on the air. Also, I don´t think they were guilty of getting stuck to old same writers every year: especially the two last seasons had new writers, even female writers, who tried to inject some life to the story.

    Sometimes we forget that the early "Dallas" seasons had a few female writers (eg Camille Marchetta) who penned fine scripts and worked on storylines that became very popular. I doubt that Katzman had so much power early on. And then we have the infamous Capice vs. Katzman affaire. To me it´s clear that the balance between their own qualities and crafts was key to get the "Dallas" hit formula. Was it a random thing? We´ll never know, but it´s quite obvious that once one of them left, things became to fall apart (even if I do like the Dream Season with Capice and the "Knots Landing" writers).

    upload_2019-5-26_13-38-27.jpeg

    ("This beech will become a bad dream literally, I can see...")​

    Finally, I think that back at the 80´s, there was only competition between the 3 major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC. And we could actually delete the latter since their soaps didn´t succeed. So everything was between ABC / Spelling and CBS / Lorimar. And all the supersoaps aired on different nights so did competition really exist? (I think only "Knots" and "The Colbys" coincided briefly on the same night). I don't know about you but I did try to watch all the bigger soaps here in Spain. Even if they were bad (and won't name names...), they could be hilariously fun.

    [​IMG]

    TV makers get burnt, and viewers too. And that´s what leads to the shows´ cancelation. The fact is, that when those soaps had low audiences, they still had millions of viewers. It´s not the same now. And advertisers still were interested in hiring spots for the breaks. I wonder what it would be like if a whole season of a good soap was released to stream and binge-watch the same day. Let´s say, 10 or 12 hours of good old drama. Just dreaming...
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
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  16. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Fan

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    Money talks at the end of the day and as long as a show is still getting viewers/selling overseas execs want them to continue for as long as possible. But that comes (usually) at a cost - just look at some of the high profile TV show finales.

    Dallas - was running on empty for 3 seasons before it was put out of it's misery with a final episode that had absolutely nothing to do with the characters and storys people had followed for 14 years - even now it pains viewers to think what could have been instead of the wonderful life rubbish we got.

    Sobranos - Still regarded as one of the best TV dramas ever made, yet the final episode is panned because it was a quick, easy get out.

    LOST - Arh...poor LOST. After becoming a huge international success, with brilliant characters, writing, plots and mystery - not to mention about 2 writers strikes that really stuffed it up for 3 seasons - we were just 3 episodes from the end when the writers suddenly gave in and produced the magical maguffin that gave them free range to ignore everything we had learnt, throw it out the window and give us the cheap, expected (and quite dull, depressing and pointless - and confusing) ending.

    Game Of Thrones - this one is very simple - an incredible show, full of plot and character development, but the writers were more interested in writing a new Star Wars trilogy and so gave us a final season of 2 episodes of walking and talking, 1 episode of complete darkness which HDTV cannot handle and therefore was pretty unwatchable. 1 episode where the biggest villain of the whole series just stands on a tower before walking downstairs while her city burns & a final episode where the writers just rip off return Of The King. Thrones deserved far better....as did the fans.

    Big Bang Theory - One of the best finales ever - and greatly fulfilling for fans - even if the show had been going for too long.
     
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  17. Via The Void

    Via The Void Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so! Look at Doctor Who. A brilliant concept of a show however since the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor a lot of fans deserted it!

    A female Doctor hasn't gone down too well. It's like asking Dolly Parton to play JR! Some fans will never accept it!

    Whilst I myself don't mind Jodie as the Doctor. She's not bad, for me I think the writing is at fault on Doctor Who!

    Having anyone else play JR other than Larry Hagman just wouldn't work.

    However in saying that, it's been a long time since the Lorimar Dallas was last aired. If a re-booted Dallas did get good casting & took the show in a slightly different direction from the original hit series, who know's what might happen. I don't think Dallas has a life as a continuation from what has gone before. The history is too bogged down with it's own continuity.

    It Dallas was to return, It pains me to say this but I suspect it will be a complete re-imagining & a re-boot, like Wentworth is of Prisoner: Cell Block H. :)
     
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  18. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Knots Landing ended happily, both in 1993 and 1997. While the show wasn't as good as it once was, it never crashed in standard. For longevity, they did an excellent job.

    Regarding Doctor Who, that was a brilliant show of serials in the 1960s and 1970s, but has declined more and more since. The start of the decline was the serial The Deadly Assassin in late 1976, which demystified the Time Lords and made them seem like bumbling fools. Bringing back Davros from the dead in Destiny of the Daleks in 1979 was ridiculous, as was making the Daleks "robots" trapped in a circle of logic, which was contrary to all we had previously known about them. The mistakes in the 1980s multiplied a lot. 21st century Doctor Who I barely recognize as Doctor Who.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  19. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    There wasn't really any story left to tell after Pam went into that Tanker and everyone knows it. What followed was rubbish buffoonery and nothing at all like what Dallas was in it's prime. Hagman may have had fun but all those axed as the show limped along with an ever decreasing budget didn't.
     
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  20. Grant Jennings

    Grant Jennings Soap Chat Fan

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    Pam, the character at the center of the Barnes/Ewing feud by virtue of being born a Barnes and marrying a Ewing, was essential to the series. "Dallas" without Pam or J.R, isn't "Dallas".
     
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