Do You Consider Dallas To Be Art?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Sep 10, 2019 at 10:26 AM.

  1. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    If acting is an art, and I believe it is, did any of the actors on Dallas deliver art, even if for a brief scene? Not just great acting, but art, in anyone's opinion?
     
  2. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    "If acting is art", then by definition, all the actors on Dallas delivered art.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 6:24 AM
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    As long as the prices of two products are the same, and in this case the cost to the consumers was one hour of their time per week - just like with other network TV weekly dramas, why wouldn't there be a direct correlation between popularity and quality?

    No, not at all. There was no intent to imply that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 6:30 AM
  4. Laurie Marr

    Laurie Marr Soap Chat Active Member

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    Thomas Merton once said that “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

    I was enabled by Dallas to lose myself in myriad but ultimately trivial ways (my contributions to this site are ample evidence of this). That makes it great entertainment. My encounter has never been transformative nor would I expect it to be.
     
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  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Actually, so long as you're limiting it to American television of that specific period, and you really want to talk about 'good' and 'bad' in quantitative terms, then maybe there is.

    Personally, I don't find the subject of ratings all that interesting. Maybe because traditionally in this country they've never been that big a deal to the public (unlike, say, the pop charts). And American TV ratings seem even less relevant to me personally (and my own viewing experience) because it's so far away.

    I mean, the idea that DALLAS was automatically 'better' than DYNASTY and KNOTS LANDING on a particular week because it got higher ratings in America -- you could argue that that's factually true because that's what the numbers say -- but I personally don't find that a very interesting way of looking at it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 7:32 AM
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  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    As television drama (like film and most theatre) is a collaborative medium, I don't know if one actor can 'do' art on their own.
     
  7. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    the upside-down box of bulk spoons unquestionably raises the set to the level of high art
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    The way Filerman used the word, "trash" meant something with widespread appeal. He used the words "trash" and "commercial" interchangeably. They don't describe a lack of quality in the product, they mean something that appeals to (or hopefully would appeal to) a lot of people. That's how I understood it when I read the interview of his that was posted here. Did some of you have a different interpretation of what he meant?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 9:48 AM
  9. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    Not necessarily. I can paint a picture, but that doesn't make me Rembrandt. What I mean is, did any actor deliver a performance that crossed that line so that it was in that special category of "art," or was there a scene, no matter of short, that you might term "art?"
     
  10. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    [QUOte
    E="James from London, post: 180946, member: 22"]As television drama (like film and most theatre) is a collaborative medium, I don't know if one actor can 'do' art on their own.[/QUOTE]

    This is interesting. Something to think about. There's so many factors, actor, writer, director, lighting, makeup artist,etc.
     
  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    I suppose, without really analysing it at the time, what the word trash suggested to me was something of the lowest common denominator, titillating, lurid, sensationalist.
     
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  12. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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    Oh yeah. Totally Warholian.

    upload_2019-9-11_12-25-49.jpeg
     
  13. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    You aren't a professional painter though, are you? So, if acting is an art, as you asked, then what else would you call the result of professional actors, acting? It's my understanding that acting is art, in the category if performance art.

    Some of them are more skilled than others, but you could say the same about professional painters - they're not all equally skilled either.

    Of course, Dallas is a result of more than just the acting, so if hypothetically, the writing is not art, but it's still being acted out by professional actors, some of them very good actors, people could still disagree on whether the complete product is art. It's complicated, isn't it?

    Anyway, my answer, or my opinion, on "did any actor deliver a performance that crossed that line so that it was in that special category of "art," or was there a scene, no matter of short, that you might term "art?" My answer would be, since they're all professional actors, hopefully all of it crossed the line into art, or they shouldn't be professional actors.

    That doesn't mean all their acting is equally skilled. If you're asking me to say what I would consider some of the highest quality acting on the show, one scene would be at the end of the episode where they've just come back from South America, where they found out Jock had died. The very last scene, where Larry Hagman is completely alone, and he looks up at the night sky, is an example of a profound performance that didn't even necessitate dialogue. He did it all with the way he looked.

    Barara Bel Geddes had some excellent scenes while Miss Ellie was mourning Jock's death.

    Speaking of Jock, Jim Davis has a scene so profound, it's been given a name. People call it the "real power" speech. What actor could have done that any better?

    What actor could have played JR better, or Miss Ellie better? I can't imagine anyone doing a better job. Maybe that's why I don't like using the word "trash" to describe what they did. Who would have walked up to any of those actors, while they were still alive of course, and said, "I saw your performance on the season finale. That was some good trash!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 11:57 AM
  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    But "art" as in the art of acting (or writing or debating) has a different meaning, I think.
     
  15. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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    I think it depends on the person who looks at the painting to decide if you are or not a Rembrandt. After all, if you are, you are just following your vocation and expressing yourself in it. So you might be a Rembrandt. Besides, there are other factors to consider, as the quality of the canvas, the paint, etc. Then it really becomes a combination of factors, which would translate into a "collaborative medium" in acting in whatever medium.
    upload_2019-9-11_12-48-15.jpeg [​IMG][​IMG]

    Did I get moved by a specific actor or actress when I watched "Dallas"? The answer is yes, and many times, and still today. And if movies are the seventh art, why can´t be a TV drama an art too? Aren´t "6 Feet Under", "Mad Men", or "The Handmaid´s Tale" pieces of art? Then why not "Dallas"? There are many kinds of art within paint, sculpture, etc. Why shouldn´t a well-written, well-acted soap opera be a piece of art of its own kind? Aren´t "Star Wars" (A New Hope), "Gone with the Wind" or "Casablanca" pieces of art, yet terribly entertaining and fun?

    [​IMG]

    Wanna know what trash is? This IS trash!!​
     
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  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I'm not sure, but I believe the correct name for it is "performance art."
     
  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Excellent post, Toni!

    I agree with all of it. if I could add anything it's that I don't think it's fair to compare Dallas to a movie or Dallas to a painting. That's comparing apples to oranges. You have to compare apples to apples. If you're comparing soap operas to soap operas, and if it's your opinion that Dallas is the best of any of them, then as the best in its field (in your opinion), who is anybody to tell you it's not art?

    There are some objective standards by which we can judge a TV weekly drama, but most of the aspects of TV weekly dramas such as Dallas, are subjective standards, aren't they? So, there is no undisputed best one is there?

    If there enough objective standards through with which we can demonstrate which weekly TV drama is the best quality of any there has ever been could somebody please tell me what those objective standards are? They have to be measurable, quantifiable criteria.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there aren't enough objective criteria involved in TV dramas such as Dallas or The Sopranos, for anybody to be able to prove one is better than the other is there? That's why I don't put any stock in The Emmy awards, or any of those awards shows. It's not a fact that any of those award winners are the best. It can't be demonstrated with objective standards that any particular one is the best and deserves the award. Awards are given based on subjective criteria; awards are given based on mere opinion. It's not like winning The World Cup where a team has proven it is the best.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 12:26 PM
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  18. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    My understanding of performance art is a specific kind of performance where the performer uses their own body to express, um, stuff. Sort of in-between dancing and acting maybe. It's less concerned with conventional narrative story-telling than your average play or film or drama.

    THE SOPRANOS feels like art to me. It's not bound by formulaic television conventions the way DALLAS was.
     
  19. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    You're right. The term I was looking for was "performing arts." Performing arts aren't the same as performance arts. Acting, singing, playing a musical instrument and dancing are performing arts.
     
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  20. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    And if you act to create art, then it's not necessarily about doing a great or convincing performance.
    Because sometimes we don't even know yet how great it really is.

    A brilliant performance in a soap is much more like "what you see is what you get".

    But "brilliant" isn't good enough anymore, apparently.
     

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