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Beyond the dream - consequences & costs.

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by pete lashmar, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Active Member

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    The Dream season seems to be a very hot topic at the moment, so I was wondering what the consequences & costs of it were beyond the viewers thoughts.

    How did members of the cast feel?

    Many had some great storylines scrapped (was Susan Howard let go because she disagreed with the scrapping of the adoption storyline?).

    Did Dack's time on the show end because Bobby was back or because he and Larry didn't get on?

    Has VP ever commented in the negative of the dream?

    How did John Beck react when he found out was was still dead?

    I know there are lots of interviews around with the cast, but they all seem to tow the line with execs...much like they did with TNT Dallas, when they knew in their hearts it was crap.
     
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  2. StrangerDynastyTreeNat89

    StrangerDynastyTreeNat89 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Well I know VP, Susan Howard and Ken Kercheval were unhappy with Phillip Capice being dismissed, and Susan Howard was extremely displeased with the dream storyline, so was Linda Gray but I guess she was in the "in crowd" so unlike Susan Howard, Linda Gray was kept on.

    Those on KNOTS LANDING were furious and famously and rightly severed ties with DALLAS as a result, so Bobby stayed dead on KNOTS, there's a storyline in DALLAS's season 10 where Sue Ellen, Pam, and the children are sent away to California which was strange considering KNOTS had split away from DALLAS.
     
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  3. JR Ewing Fan

    JR Ewing Fan Soap Chat Member

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    I don't even remember. It's had to have been over a decade though.
    Well Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark never appeared in Dallas again except for the finale in that dream. While Dallas struggled it's last few years KL became the best of the prime-time Soaps. Just about anything other then the dream probably would have been excepted by fans. I just remember watching the premiere and being so hyped after the long summer and just feeling so disappointed. The resolution lasted less than a minute. I understand why they lost half their audience. That season as a whole was pretty good but the show could never recover.
     
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  4. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Addict

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    Can you imagine the nightmare scenario if Victoria (which she did anyway), Ken and Susan informed the producers they would not be renewing their contracts with Lorimar Productions once they had fulfilled their current duties. If the thought of Victoria leaving was bad enough imagine if Ken decided to hand in his resignation at the same time. Let's be honest the premise of Dallas was built on the Ewing/Barnes feud spanning decades. Suddenly that story is no longer relevant since Pam and Cliff exit stage left. What would be the purpose of Dallas if Cliff was no longer there for JR to beat up on. That would have been a seismic shift in the Dallas Universe.
     
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  5. StrangerDynastyTreeNat89

    StrangerDynastyTreeNat89 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    The dream cost DALLAS, creditably, reputation as a good drama not just soap, two very good actresses leaving in the same season (VP and Susan Howard), a mass exodus of other good actors and actresses in the immediate years that followed the dream resolution and the loss of Philip Capice, when DALLAS had both Katzman and Capice it was a balanced show, one without the other and DALLAS was uneven, though I personally felt that Capice understood the direction that the show was going in better than Katzman who allowed the series to be ran essentially by Larry Hagman, and allowed it also to slip rapidly to the regions of camp and buffoonery in its final years.

    DALLAS had a very good reputation and despite season 8 being somewhat repetitive and stale at times it really revived itself by season 9, it's first seven to nine years were golden, its final five years was forever sullied by the dream season.
     
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  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Addict

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    Even in interviews (available via youtube) in the heady days of Larry's popularity it showed how much fun he was having playing up the role, almost to the point I began to question whether Larry or JR was being interviewed. He relished playing the part (throwing all those fake JR dollar bills around) and I'm sure the viewing public and interviewers rejoiced dancing to his tune. This is when the issues arose. Larry's sometimes warped sense of humour appeared to morph into the Dallas scripts - and it all came crashing down - as Dallas limped to stunning demise. Kind of reminds me of that other scenario, Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
     
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  7. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Active Member

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    I know that Susan Howard was very displeased at the scrapping of the down's syndrome, miscarriage, adoption of Tony, and patching up of Donna's marriage to Ray storylines. It looks likely that she was let go because of this, or for pure budgetary reasons.

    Both, I believe. Dack Rambo was supposed to replace Patrick Duffy, although Jack was more mysterious and laid back compared to Bobby. Dack had some good storylines in the dream season, particularly his romance with Grace and the whole fallout with Angelica Nero after the attempted assassination, as well as his nice friendship with his sister Jamie, and Cliff, yet Jack was never used properly at all in terms of Ewing Oil and any serious conflicts there with J.R. and Pam. Dack mentioned in the early 1990s that Larry Hagman was never his kind of person and vice versa, and that the atmosphere around him (Dack Rambo) got more distant during the dream season. Dack said that he felt really unwanted during his last season (Season 10 DVD), and that he wasn't "masculine" enough for some on the cast.

    I do wonder if it got out to the cast about Dack's bisexuality and his promiscuous bachelor lifestyle. I personally find it interesting how we never actually saw Jack Ewing kiss anyone passionately on the lips during Dallas, not even Grace, who Jack was having a passionate love affair with. The potential romance with Jenna storyline before that was dropped very quickly. It may have been the intention all along for Jenna to have a breakdown over Bobby when Jack tried to get close to her, but I do wonder sometimes.

    And as for Season 10 DVD, I honestly believe that Dack and Larry are channeling much of their real feelings through Jack and J.R. in their dislike of each other. In most of the dream season, Jack and J.R. had gotten on well and their onscreen chemistry was very good. I got no hint from their scenes in the dream season that Dack and Larry didn't like each other in real life. Of course, Dack and Larry had worked together before, in the late 1970s on Sword of Justice, where Dack was the star.

    I think Pam's weaker character in Season 10 DVD convinced Victoria Principal to leave Dallas for sure. Even in 1985, Victoria said that she would probably leave Dallas in 2 years time, yet nobody seemed to take that seriously at the time.

    Probably had a chuckle to himself and lamented lost pay checks.

    By the way, the dream revelation doesn't mean for sure that Mark definitely died. It means that either he died in the plane crash, either he went to clinics to find treatment and failed, or he succeeded in finding treatment yet decided NOT to come back into Pam's life because she was back with Bobby.

    The Knots Landing team were correct to be annoyed. In Season 7 of Knots Landing, they had things like Gary grieving for his dead brother while Abby comforted him, Gary going to Bobby's funeral while Greg and Abby took advantage of his absence at Empire Valley, Val getting her stolen twins back and naming her son "Bobby" after his late uncle. Cutting off any storyline links with Dallas, and not mentioning Bobby again, was the only serious option from a good writing point of view once Bobby was brought back from the dead on Dallas.

    And yes, it's ironic that Dallas seemed to mention Gary and California even more than before after the dream revelation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Active Member

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    Don't you think that a year's worth of storylines being written off was even worse than Bobby's return from the dead per se? That deflated feeling from storylines being written off goes on for many episodes, perhaps even lasting into the middle of the season.

    And yes, Knots Landing, incredibly long lasting quality of writing and performances. The actors had a much greater say in the storylines on Knots Landing, and were given more artistic freedom. It shows.
     
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  9. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Active Member

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    Notice with Linda Gray how they gave her another storyline where Sue Ellen goes from weak to strong. So whereas in the dream season, it was an alcoholic Sue Ellen hitting rock bottom and then getting high self-esteem for the first time in her life and recovering brilliantly with self-discipline to get back in favour with J.R.; in Season 10 DVD, it was Sue Ellen taking over Valentine Lingerie as a way of making Mandy Winger a star, making Mandy rich while getting her away from Dallas, while also turning Mandy off to J.R. sexually by having her pose in trashy lingerie for the public, and making J.R. admire Sue Ellen's business skills when she reveals that she owns Valentine Lingerie.

    You mean the dream revelation rather than the dream season? The dream season is before the reveal of a dream.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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  10. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Fan

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    Oh my gosh, absolutely. Having bobby's death be a dream was the brass saying: "we don't take the show seriously anymore." But telling viewers that a year's worth of their experiences with the show were now junk was them saying: "we don't take our viewers seriously either."
     
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  11. StrangerDynastyTreeNat89

    StrangerDynastyTreeNat89 Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I meant revelation not season :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  12. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Good points @Mustard. Well said. I totally agree with Susan H on that. That was Donna and Ray's best season and just wiped out on a whim. They way they split them up the following season was border line blasmephy imo
     
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  13. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Here´s the abovementioned interview with SH and the Kids from Dynasty:



    PS: I wanted to post this on the SH thread but since this is about the dream too, here it is!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  14. JR Ewing Fan

    JR Ewing Fan Soap Chat Member

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    I don't even remember. It's had to have been over a decade though.
    And then they put Ray with Jenna. They had no chemistry whatsoever.
     
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  15. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I love it -- Bobby would spend most of Season 11 running around Washington, trying to influence senators and get the Ewing Oil name back, and Donna, with her political background/connections, certainly wouldn't have fit into that storyline, would she? ;)

    That laugh at the mention of the dream kind of says it all. Obviously, they laughed when Thompson tried to act like Adam was going to get a legitimate crisis, but, after the dream resolution, they laughed at DALLAS that way too.
     
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  16. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Addict

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    When Susan begins to speak about the Dallas brass letting her go there is an immediate change in her tone. The reaction from the audience exemplifies exactly how I felt when the character of Donna left. For those behind the scenes (insert the name Leonard Katzman here) believing the character of Donna had runs its course proves how out of touch the Dallas brass had become with their fan base. This was no longer about producing an entertainment show for the masses. It was about point scoring. Settling old scores.

    Susan should fondly look back at her tenure on Dallas when it was at the top of its game. After she and others left the same people responsible for letting her go also drove Dallas into the dust bowl. There is justification in that.
     
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  17. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    It was as if Katzman had told her: "We don´t take plot suggestions or demands from supporting actors. Go now you beech! You are as disposable as Mandy´s toilet paper!"
     
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  18. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Addict

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    As I've learnt more regarding those behind the scenes scuffles for creative control of Dallas, it's kind of poetic that the very person who believed they were the right person for the job all along is the same person who turned Dallas into unwatchable television. At some point I would think actors after playing the same role for several seasons would have a good feel of how that character would react to certain situations.

    I've seen documentaries/specials from other television series (mostly comedies) where once the script was ready the entire writing team, executive producers and actors would complete a read through and adjust the script accordingly. Did this happen on Dallas or were the finished scripts delivered to the actors the week before for memorizing. We all know Dallas was shot on location and studio scenes completed back in Hollywood. Does this imply the actors just simply rolled up and spoke those scenes as required because filming would be rather disjointed.

    Finally. Why would Leonard treat Susan so unprofessionally when they appeared to be friends beginning from Petrolcelli?
     
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  19. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Active Member

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    Well it certainly seems from us looking in that any criticism - by anyone other than Larry simply wasn't tolerated. Execs felt the Dallas brand was strong enough to cope with anything - the show was King....but that was their biggest downfall. When they brought in a new Ellie, created the dream scenario, had Pam vanish with no ending, had Donna leave, had Ray get with Jenna they thought (naively) that viewers wouldn't care because they were gripped by the show no matter what happened or who left or who came in.
     
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  20. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Addict

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    But ratings don't lie. Dallas did suffer from the death of Bobby, but not as much as Dynasty did when it returned following the "Moldavian Massacre" cliffhanger. The reactions from friends (some watched Dallas exclusively, others Dynasty, some both) at the time of airing was the majority felt Dallas was more grounded, more realistic than the camp Dynasty it became. Friends watching Dynasty could excuse their often ridiculous stories but they expected Dallas to reflect more of our daily lives.

    The camp which filtered its way into Dallas during the Dream Season was a direct result from all those behind the scenes falling into the trap the viewers wanted what Dynasty was dishing up. If only those same creative types had a crystal ball and could foresee the fallout that was about to inflict itself on Dynasty when it returned the following season from that cliffhanger.

    After several seasons at the top it's game (despite the Donna Reed debacle), viewers were still accepting Dallas. I don't believe for one moment fans of Dallas had amassed their fan clubs begging for the return of Bobby (Patrick). The world had accepted his death after watching him flat-line. What came after that was the beginning of the end of Dallas. Larry in particular believed Dallas was suffering because of Patrick's departure. No. Dallas was suffering because the writers decided to camp it, believing this is what the viewers wished for. How wrong they were.

    Meanwhile on the sidelines Leonard believed Dallas was suffering because women suddenly had JR's measure, think, Angelica Nero, the cartoon character. If any woman on Dallas was a threat to JR it was Pam however the writers decided to dilute her presence by re-introducing Mark and having her search for rocks.

    Out of sheer desperation Larry was granted his wish and Patrick returned - the rest they say is history. If only the writers (upon learning of Patrick's imminent departure) sat down, nutted out a strong story arc (for 2 more years) involving a fight between the Ewing/Barnes family and ultimate control of Ewing Oil (with Jeremy Wendell in the shadows) we could have ended Dallas with 10 strong years at the top of its game.
     
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