Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Sarah, Oct 28, 2016.
Or some rip-off of "It's a Wonderful Life".
It kinda highlighted how far Dallas had fallen, hard to believe that over a decade earlier Dallas presented us with the innovative "Who Shot JR" storyline.
Far be it from me to defend "Conundrum" but I'm sure it was intended as a deliberate homage to It's a Wonderful Life not merely a rip-off while the whodunit structure of "Who Shot JR" is also a cliché in it's own way.
i agree. for me there's like 3 versions of Dallas you can choose from.
It's how I now justify my viewing of Dallas. One day I may complete my DVD collection of Lorimar Dallas, the reunion movies and TNT Dallas. I however have reservations putting my hard earned money into the coffers that dished up that nonsense. Maybe my expectations were set too high for TNT Dallas. I had hoped it would go some way in correcting my love/hate relationship I have with a TV show spanning nearly 40 years.
TNT Dallas had so much going for it. The three main players were still active; Larry, Patrick and Linda. It easily had a rich history to draw from. Prior to TNT Dallas returning I read the producers/writers were told to ignore the reunion movies. Upon reflection I would have advised them to ignore just about everything after "Swan Song", but that's more to do with the inexcusable characters and weak story arcs added to the back-half of Dallas.
Given the reality laden garbage that exists on commercial/cable/satellite television today I'm surprised at least one commercial network hasn't spotted the need for a quality family drama series. Comedy programs appear to be on the wane, and I'm over any type of cop/lawyer show.
Dallas outstayed it's welcome by 1991 and it shows in Conundrum, it does seem out of place in the early 90s, especially since it started in the late 70s!
Dallas should've ended in 1987 regardless if Bobby was there or not at least Dallas would've avoided further mistakes after the dream season.
I'm glad that Sarah started this thread, and especially glad to see the responses because I may be the only one who actually liked Conumdrum.
And while I usually agree with all of you, it's even more fun and interesting when we have a friendly disagreement.
During the original run in the 80's, EVERYBODY was talking about J.R. His money, his power. He was the man we loved to hate.
But Conundrum showed that it wasn't only the money and power that drove J.R. It was his relationships with those around him. Those he loved and those he hated. In the end, when he didn't have those sparring partners any more, he lost a lot of the spark that drove him.
To put a finer point on it: J.R. needed the rivalry with Cliff. He savored the fight. When the rivalry was over, much of the fun went out of J.R.'s life. J.R. needed the back and forth with Sue Ellen. Once she moved on, J.R. wasn't the same.
Conundrum showed that while J.R. at first seemed to have the world on a string, money and power couldn't buy happiness once he was left behind by those around him.
Like I said, this is even more fun when we disagree, so feel free to come back with your opinions. I enjoy the friendly back and forth.
I'll politely argue it was Cliff Barnes and his alcoholic father that kept the rivalry with the Ewing family going. The Ewing family were happy to let sleeping dogs lie but every chance Cliff and Digger got they would poke the beast that was the Ewing family. JR simply retaliated by setting in motion a revenge plan to put Cliff back on his arse...and still Cliff didn't learn.
I understand this was the backbone of Dallas but in real life a sane person would have licked their wounds and made their way to Dallas International Airport and grabbed the first available flight.
As usual, Rove makes a very good point.
I think that J.R. truly enjoyed the rivalry. There's an exchange where Cliff asks, "Why did you do it, J.R.?" and J.R. responds with joy in his voice, "Because you needed slapping down, Cliff!"
That's the Magnificant Bastard at his best.
And this where Conundrum makes me laugh a little bit. That Cliff would end up as Vice President of the United States if only he had given up his feud with J.R.
Conundrum is...well...a conundrum.
I have no problem with the show imitating a wonderful life (which itself is an imitation of A Christmas Carol), but it shouldn't have been used as the finale.
Had it been used much earlier in the final season we could have seen J.R react to it - would he change, would he treat people any differently or would he be even more determined with his own plans? That could have given us a great opportunity to see how the man really ticked.
The finale for me would have been far more wrapped up. They could have shown Conundrum earlier in the season, and double banked the filming so that Linda etc were still in the finale it could have had a much more satisfying end.
More original and popular characters also needed to feature for it to be truly satisfying. For me there needed to be a death - probably Miss Ellie, with the family and friends coming back to pay their respects. For me though, the final shot should have been Bobby and Pam driving down the highway just as they were when the show started.
A shame we never saw VP back, but I completely understand how she felt betrayed by Pam's story after she left.
JR could have been Christmas Caroled and shown past,present and future. The ghost of Southfork Past could be Kristin,present could be Pam and future be Terry,his son with Cally.
That way they could have shown an Ellie funeral too
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