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Dallas had a different vibe

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Herofan, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 11 Years

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    And @Laurie Marr makes another excellent point. We could have an entire discussion on Dallas being a Shakespearean tragedy.

    The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head

    Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things

    Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished

    For never was a story of more woe

    Than this of Juliet and her Romeo

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
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  2. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    I think that family dynamics does play a part here. Because Dallas had a family at the center of the drama. It was about Jock & Ellie and their sons and in laws and grandkids.
    If you compare it to Knots Landing it was more about the community, about 4 couples who happened to live next doors to each other. Still since one of those couples were a Ewing couple the characters from Dallas could cross over since they did have family ties that bound them.
    If you compare it to Dynasty it had a broken family at the center since Blake and Alexis were divorced.
    If you compare it to Falcon Crest the family was more fragmented sort of like the new Dallas. Because it was about a broken family since Angela and Douglas were divorced. Then there was Angela's nephew and his family.

    So out of those shows Dallas was the only show that focused on one family. Or well two if you count the Barnes.

    Then as others have already pointed out, Dallas did have a mixture of genres, melodrama (soap opera), western and I think at times a bit of comedy too, as Dallas could be hilariously funny too. Especially a couple of seasons into it. There's a lot of humor. In the beginning it also has that gritty 70s realism to it. Later on it's more 80s glam. There's also a mixture of a saga with characters that are larger than life and a sense of grounded characters that are multilayered. So even when they do horrible things you understand what drives them to act that way.
     
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  3. Bill Dilks

    Bill Dilks Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 19 Years

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    This hits it RIGHT ON THE HEAD for me. A prime time modern western family saga.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Point made: This has nothing to do with soap. He's a modern western saga star. It think if you walked up to Jim Davis and called him a soap actor he'd belt you right in the mouth, as Jock would've done to Jacob McCandles.

    upload_2020-2-4_17-49-10.jpeg upload_2020-2-4_17-49-20.jpeg ... and the best of the lot... upload_2020-2-4_17-49-44.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
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  4. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 1 Year

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    I agree 100%. There could not have been a better actor for Jock’s friend than Morgan Woodward. I certainly considered them in the same category. I wish they would have included Punk more. I wish he could have been involved in some major storylines more than what he was.

    I also loved Steve Forrest. He did a great job playing the part. If he hadn’t played that part, he would have been a great addition otherwise. It would have been interesting to have him, Jock, and Punk together in the earlier seasons.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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  5. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    So do I...and playing the role of Jason Ewing. If John had lived longer I'm sure Dallas producers would have loved the opportunity to offer John Wayne a role.
     
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  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    Every-time I hear someone make the comparison between Dallas and Shakespeare I go straight to Bobby and Pam, our Romeo and Juliet. Now just pause for a moment and think of his alternative scenario. What if Patrick had not decided to leave Dallas. What if we had some other cliffhanger instead of Bobby dying in Swan Song. Now jump forward to Fall of the House of Ewing. As Pam gives Bobby the news she can have a baby she crashes into that tanker. The following season we learn in After the Fall/Ewing Rise Pam died.

    That would have been a real kick in the teeth.
     
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  7. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    What do you think caused that change in direction from the style of the 70s to the "glam" style of the 80s - not just in Dallas but overall? Movies and music from the 80s have a style to them that's distinctly different from the style of the previous decade. What do you think was responsible for such an abrupt change from the 70s mindset to where people in the 80s decided to abandon the 70s style and and choose to pursue that glam oriented style?
     
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  8. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Like it or not, DYNASTY did affect DALLAS -- DYNASTY impacted street fashion like no other series in TV history, including middle class shows. So the other wealthiest family on TV, the Ewings, couldn't very well be outdressed by Blair and Tuti from FACTS OF LIFE.

    So DALLAS had to start getting with the couture program by about 1983.
     
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  9. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    Good question. It's a bit difficult for me to answer since I wasn't alive in the 1970s and I was a child in the 1980s. But I think it probably had to do with that society changed and in the 1980s the middle class thrieved. So people in general aspired to look glamourous. There was the big hairs, shoulderpads etc.
    Also Ronald Reagan was President in the USA and brought with him a movie star quality.
     
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  10. Bill Dilks

    Bill Dilks Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 19 Years

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    One thought I have on this is:

    If your were in your 20's during the 1970's, it's likely your parents or other family grew up through the great depression and or WWII, or close enough to it that it dictated your way of life by default. And that had a major impact on the lower and middle classes that followed the depression and war years...like George Bailey said in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE...living life by saving 3 cents and a length of pipe. Spend-thrifty living was generally the way it was for the 50's parents, as it's what they were used to. 1950's stability was new. Sure, a TV and a car, but saving was the most important thing you could do...not wasting money on frills.

    I won't try to place the 60's anti-establishment vietnam/hippy/love/weirdo upheaval culture.

    As the 1970's came along, the children of the thrifty parents began to see and explore beyond that, not having experienced the need and want during the depression or war years. The late 70's saw an economic slowdown. Then the early 80's saw unparalleled growth, opportunity. The 20-somethings grew into the prosperity of the 80's with desires for what they never had, and the ability to get the glamour and toys far beyond what their parents ever dreamed, and that seemed to become a priority.

    (This is not a perfect dissertation by any stretch, but it gives a general idea of what I'm thinking about here)
     
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  11. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    One thing I think was a big factor in making the glam look popular in the 80s was MTV. Before, aside from concerts, people listened to music on the radio or from listening to the singles and albums they bought from record stores. MTV changed that big time - instead of just hearing music in the radio or your stereo, you could actually listen to and watch them on their MTV videos. A new band in particular had to think of its visual image just as much as their music for the first time ever. Musicians started trying to outdo each other to see who could look more glamorous.

    Along with that, they produced their albums with a sound that went together with their new glam images. Not every single video on MTV featured a glam look - some artists stayed away from it, such as Bruce Springsteen. In general though most bands and solo artists were now just as, or more concerned with how they looked in their new video than with how they sounded. It favored photogenic artists and hurt the ones who were good musicians but were not very good looking. Music in the 70s and before had always been about the sound and then with MTV, visual image - a glamorous one - became just important in rock and pop as as sound during the 80s.
     
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  12. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 11 Years

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    I'd like to invite you all to do something. Read this page of posts again.

    There are some people on this board who are deeply intelligent, thoughtful people. Reading the posts on this page is evidence of that.
     
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  13. Bill Dilks

    Bill Dilks Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 19 Years

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    Agree 100%, and that it was an outgrowth of the 70's. MTV would not have been big 10 years earlier with a glam approach. I don't think they led the "way". They were on the cutting edge of that "way" as it evolved.

    People knock disco, but there was stylish club scene preceeding the 80's, with clubs barring patrons wearing jeans and sneakers. Look at the first disco scene with Pam, Bobby, & Lucy...no grunge clothing there (tho' Texas has always been forgiving of the 'boys wearing jeans and the hat).
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
  14. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    If only Tootie could have shown up on “Dallas”, the same way that little Stephanie from “All in the Family” showed up on “Knots Landing”.
     
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  15. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    The thing that amazes me is, as you put it, "an outgrowth of the 70s", which the 80s was, just as any decade is an outgrowth of the previous decade, is how much the look and attitude of the 80s was so markedly different from the 70s. It was such a big change, evidenced by the glam style that you noticed whether watching Dallas or Dynasty, MTV, or listening to 80s music. I think MTV pushed the "glam" aspect far past what it would have been had there not been an MTV. Music was concerned with visual image to an extent far beyond what it had been, and you can probably think of 80s bands that seemed more concerned with their image than their actual music.

    If MTV had been able to begin in the early 70s I agree that the videos wouldn't have taken as extreme of a glam approach. I think it would still have made musicians more image oriented than they had been, but not to the extent they took it in the 80s. There must have been something else driving it in that glamour oriented direction. @Karin Schill and you both made a good point about the economy of the 80s, how the middle class thrived under the Reagan administration. In the 70s people were getting over the Vietnam war, Watergate, and in a stagnant economy. Then in the 80s, Vietnam and Watergate were further behind, we had a president who was genuinely liked, and the economy was booming. It was like a malaise lifted and people began to be much more optimistic. The future looked bright. That reflected in the style of the decade and it was very distinct.

    I don't think we've had a decade as easily visually recognizable as the 80s was - someone could show you TV show from the 80s and even if it was something you'd never seen before, you could tell it was from the 80s. You can hear music from the 80s, even a song you haven't heard before but the music and especially the production will have a distinct 80s sound. The 2010s were not nearly as distinct from the 2000s as the 80s were from the 70s.

    Do you think the 2020s will have their own distinct style like the 70s and 80s both did, or that we'll see more of the same as we did in the last 20 years, where the decades were far less distinct from each other?
     
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  16. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 1 Year

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    I just watched an episode of the 80s Magnum P.I. where he entered a rich woman’s mansion. Concerning my comments about Dallas having a different vibe and other comments about the Ewings being closed off and living in their own world, I thought of how it was such a different atmosphere than when someone came to Southfork.

    At Southfork, it seemed it was “all eyes on” the visitor. It seemed like the visitor was entering another world or something. It just never seemed homey and relaxed at Southfork to me
     
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  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    It depended on the visitor. If it was someone like Mitch, with his money phobia, then yes, it seems the way you described.

    Lucy's friends seemed comfortable there. Harv Smithfield seemed at ease. Punk and Mavis also seemed at ease when they were there. Did they ever show Punk and Mavis's house?

    Everyone at Southfork made Jenna and Charlie feel right at home and they seem comfortable there too. People who didn't grow up in a wealthy family or hadn't become well-off like Harv had, felt a little overwhelmed there. Clayton did at first too, but can you imagine selling your house and then moving into the house where your new wife's adult sons live? The house her former husband had built?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  18. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 1 Year

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    You are right. I’m not sure it’s about whether the visitor felt comfortable. It’s difficult to explain. I just don’t think I would have felt comfortable staying for very long at Southfork.
    Even though it was a large house, i think it would have felt small. Everything just seemed so formal. You never saw anyone just kicked back and watching tv. I’m sure there are exceptions, but it wasn’t the norm. Did Southfork even have a tv once the Den was no longer used?
     
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  19. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 18 Years

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    Yeah, but they only watched themselves on it. Like when JR was talking about his cut-rate gas thing. Oh, and I think Pam once caught Lucy watching a quiz show in her bedroom -- evidence of how low Lucy had fallen after her kidnap/rape/abortion/divorce grand slam.
     
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  20. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    When the TNT series started, The NY Times had an interesting article/commentary about the original series. The author commented about how the Ewings lived in this claustrophobic, dark-paneled house and how their main concern seemed to be about keeping outsiders from infiltrating.
     
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