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Dallas Scenes That Didn't Make Sense

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

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    That''s interesting. Now that you mention it, Cliff did seem a lot more concerned with framing Jock than he was about the fact his father was dying. I never believed that Cliff's main motivation to go after the Ewings was revenge for Digger. There wasn't the type of closeness between Cliff and Digger that would make me think that Cliff loved his dad so much that he would forsake all happiness and spend his whole life fighting an opponent he could never beat as some sort of tribute to his dad.
     
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  2. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

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    Cliff never seemed to me a degenerate son, perhaps a degenerate brother and father, but not a degenerare son. And certainly Digget was a burden as father ...
     
  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

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    No, he was a good son. I was saying that I didn't ever see the level of closeness between Digger and Cliff that would lead Cliff to dedicate his whole life to avenging his father. Digger was a burden as a father. It would be embarrassing to be known as the son of the town alcoholic.
     
  4. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

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    At the election campaigns as a senator, however, Cliff brought Digger with him ... I saw this scene just yesterday.
     
  5. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Addict EXP: 1 Year

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    Great point, Kenny. Cliff's psychology and his innermost reasons for hating the Ewings has many layers to it.
    That in itself could be a whole thread. He was often just as corrupt as J.R. Maybe he secretly envied the Ewings and wanted to be J.R.
     
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  6. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme EXP: 16 Years

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    And don't forget, that despite his faults, Digger wasn't prepared to see Jock take the blame for something he didn't do. Consider how Cliff then appeared in the TNT series, totally bitter and unforgiving.

    Swami
     
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  7. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

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    Neurofibromatosis had completely devastated him.
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

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    I don't think that was the story they were telling because they never once mentioned to in TNT. They didn't even allude to it. In the original, when they did explain neurofibromitosis, it was explained as something that could cause death in infancy. If it was something that also caused mental deterioration, don't you think the doctor might have found that to be worth mentioning? Or that it would have been worth mentioning somewhere in the story of the series?

    They could have used that as an explanation in TNT but they chose not to, which tells me that wasn't the intent of their story. They were showing a man who had lost every woman he was ever involved with, who had no real friends, and had spent his entire life consumed with bitterness. My interpretation of TNT's story was: Let bitterness consume you and it will eventually turn you into a monster.

    That's a better story to tell. How many of you have ever met anyone with neurofibromitosis? You can't relate to it. Everyone has known someone who allowed themselves to become bitter to some degree. The more bitter they let themselves become, the worse it usually affects them. That's very relatable to an audience.

    We never got to see the progression of Cliff's mental state over the past twenty years. We saw him in the original as a bitter, vengeful, goofball and then 20 years later the whole transformation into a monster had already taken place.

    We saw him transforming towards that in the original. He'd gotten to the point where the one person who had put up with him no matter what he did and always helped him and always loved him, Pam, finally needed one favor from Cliff. Just one favor.

    Pam's greatest wish was to see the end of the Barnes-Ewing feud. She pleaded with Cliff to sell her his five percent of Ewing Oil. When it came right down to it, when Cliff had to make a decision between what mattered to him more - his love for his sister or his love for revenge - Pam lost. Cliff valued Pam less than he valued revenge. That was the next step towards Cliff transforming into a monster.

    When TNT began, twenty years later, Cliff had already completed the rest of his transformation.
     
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  9. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

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    You are right about everything, but a sane person does not decree death for his daughter and grandchildren.

    Cliff is now completely crazy and we can imagine that it is due to neurofibromatosis.
    Digger died of that disease, as well as being an alcoholic.

    Certainly Cidre and TNT have never heard of neurofibromatosis because they didn't know Dallas or even medicine.
     
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  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

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    There's no doubt Cliff had become irrational in TNT's Dallas. I just don't agree that the cause was medical.

    Suppose neither Cynthia Cidre nor her writers had ever watched any of the episodes where that disease was mentioned. That's very possible. Supposing they've never heard of it, the disease couldn't have been their motivation for how they characterized Cliff in their show. I'm much more inclined to think how they characterized Cliff was a natural progression of what we'd already seen going on with him. Take the change we already saw in him and add twenty more years of deterioration. His situation gets ugly.

    If you remember how Cliff was portrayed in the mini-series, he was already very bitter then, but hardly the nutjob he later became. He was conducting himself in a reasonable way at the beginning of the series. He was actually capable of having a conversation where he didn't say "JR."

    Nobody how goofy he started to act, and it got pretty bad, none of the characters in the original ever voiced the opinion that it was his neurofibromatosis getting worse. There is a lot of deterioration between the fairly reasonable man he was at the beginning and what we saw him become. The people who knew him best blamed his obsession with the Ewings and especially JR for what was happening to him. It wasn't medical; it was a problem with his mindset.
     
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  11. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme EXP: 16 Years

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    When you think of the scene with Cliff and Miss Ellie late on in the original series, where in effect the Ewings/Barnes feud is laid to rest, it makes you wonder how Cliff became even more bitter in the TNT series, as you say to a very irrational degree. In fact you could argue that Cliff's non-stop vendetta against the Ewings drove JR to greater length to slap him down.

    Swami
     
  12. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

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    See, there Cliff was behaving much more rationally. He seemed to have regained his senses. Why? His whole attitude had changed and he'd come to the realization that revenge was a waste of time. A medical condition would be highly unlikely to do that, but a psychological condition caused by a mindset changes when the mindset changes.

    Then, for whatever reason, he went back to vengeance, like an alcoholic who has quit drinking and then after a year or two of sobriety, starts drinking again. His condition dramatically goes back to his habit and Cliff's habit was being jealous and vengeful. The alcoholic doesn't resume drinking as he did when he first began; he starts drinking again where he left off! Then he gets worse or gets sober again. Cliff went right back to where he was and unfortunately for him stayed on that self destructive path upon which he'd placed himself. Cliff went in search of his own ruination and he found it.
     
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  13. Seaviewer

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    The real problem is that it required interpretation at all. It would only have taken a few lines of dialogue - or more elaborately a series of Knots-style flashback scenes - to provide a logical backstory.
     
  14. Jimmy Todd

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    A scene that never made sense to me waa in season 5 when Sue Ellen was living with John Ross in her own place. She has a bad encounter with one of her dates and is tempted to take a drink from her what appears to be fully stocked liquor cabinet. However, she's able to resist the urge at that time.
    What doesn't make sense is why a recovering alcoholic would keep liquor in her home in the first place. For guests? I would think that for the sake of her sobriety she would hand any thirsty visitor a nice, cold Snapple.
     
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  15. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    for some reason, on Dallas it seemed the first order of business when moving into any apartment or condo was to stock up a liquor cart or cabinet. Jenna #1 had one ready for Bobby before she even unpacked in her new place, and Julie Gray had one there for JR when she'd only been back in Dallas for a short time. The people in the Ewing orbit had their priorities straight in those days!
     
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  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

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    This looks like yet another decision to create drama just for the sake of it. Is it wise for a recovering alcoholic to keep liquor in her home, just to entertain guests? No! Does Sue Ellen having liquor in her home create a more dramatic situation where she's going to be more tempted to resume drinking? Of course!
     

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