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Do You Consider Dallas To Be Art?

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

  1. johnmmil10

    johnmmil10 Soap Chat Active Member

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    I think this was filmed outside of the tank farm on Ira E Woods Ave in Grapevine, Texas. I think the dome and tanks at Magellan Midstream Partners are what we are seeing when they are changing the billboard.
    0A82428A-EAAF-46D5-8AF9-B7CB3D1EB336.jpeg
     
  2. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Addict EXP: 12 Years

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    @johnmmil10 You are truly amazing!

    You must be part Hound Dog.
     
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  3. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 13 Years

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    Well, no. Not for me. That isn’t the same for everyone. The only times I ever wanted to be friends with characters on a show occurred with Marty Hopkirk and The Sentimental Agent. Because Marty is dead, he could help me with a mind-reading act and the advantages of having a deceased ghost friend are enormous. And on Hollyoaks, some of the most likeable characters are murderers. So I really wouldn’t want to associate with them but enjoy their troubled lives onscreen.

    I prefer my favourite characters to have lots of layers and often be dropped into extreme situations out of their comfort zones. I don’t want a fantasy friendship with them. When I’m on social media platforms, I do encounter some people who only seem to like the nice characters and moan about every time someone seems to break some tiny moral code and as soon as someone gets up to fun villainy, they want them off the show. Joe McGann joined Hollyoaks last year as the never before seen supervillain surgeon father of the show’s original character. And he started having sex with his daughter in law, while his son was being held prisoner by a serial killer on a pig farm for four months. When his son was found, he tried to make sure that his son died in the hospital, because he is in love with his daughter in law. But he had a last minute pang of conscience and didn’t go through with and is instead attempting to use his son’s PTSD to steal his son’s wife away, having faked cards and letters that he supposedly sent to his son in the twenty years they haven’t seen each other. And for some reason, people online want the entertaining fellow off the show! Even though it has been suggested that he left his most recent wife to die and he also now has two other children that his son didn’t know about. He’s fun.

    But multiple murderer Warren Fox is extremely likeable and viewers do want him to succeed. And he usually does! The Executive Producer says that he is a villain and antihero and a good lover, who really wants to settle down. People post that he is a compelling mixture of good and bad, that they love him and want to marry him. He is a main leading permanent regular character, who gets meaty storylines. When he does naughty stuff, it is usually showing his understandable point of view. Not that you share it but in the sort of way that you can theoretically defend his position.


    And Warren gets funny stuff too. Trouble follows him around. Because he sort of flips between a range of moods, you can do scenes of him distraught over losing his baby (thanks to his girlfriend’s serial-killing daughter). You can show him having a heart to heart conversation with his foster brother, moments after you have seen him burning the wedding clothes of the fiancée that he murdered. Or throw him into heroic situations, have him conflicted over his actions, show him being loving. He previously tried to murder his son but they have made their peace. One of his murders was to save his friend. They will be exploring his childhood this stint, when he used to get regularly beaten up. The writers love to write stuff for him, for they love having him there. some of the most complex and twisted characters who do the more extreme ultimate sins are likeable. On Hollyoaks in particular, they can do likeable characters, push them to the extreme, then pull them back and redeem them, even when they commit the occasional murder. James Nightingale is very likeable. He gets some of the funniest lines and scenes and Gregory Finnegan has won Best Actor awards for his portrayal as the loveable but twisted lawyer. James was introduced as a villainous sort of character, who was hated by his own apparently nice father, Mac Nightingale. It turned out after a long time that Mac Nightingale was an unfaithful homophobic murderer and had been beating James physically ever since he was a child and eventually tried to kill him, which backfired and he got himself murdered instead. He had also forced James to sleep with a prostitute on his 16th birthday and then hidden the fact that James has fathered a son, Romeo. Mac also fathered a daughter, Juliet, with the same prostitute. James constantly faces the conflict of the darker elements of his persona with him wanting to be an essentially good man. He bonded with his half-sister recently, but within days left her mother to overdose on the floor without calling the emergency services. He recently shot the woman he thought murdered his boyfriend, only to find out that she was innocent. They try to round out the characters by giving them plausible and understandable reasons for their rather dramatic actions. And people want them to get away with rather a lot of them.
     
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  4. Dallas Fanatic

    Dallas Fanatic Soap Chat Member EXP: 5 Months

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    It wasn't "high-brow" television ala Mad Men or "This is Us" or other soapy shows about a family. The Sopranos was considered one of the best TV shows of all time about a family, but Dallas was the mother of all "disfunctional family shows". There wouldn't be a Sopranos or Six Feet Under or Big Love without Dallas. Of course, the writing and style of the show was for the times and would have to be tinkered and updated for today, which the reboot unsuccessfully attempted.

    What made Dallas stand above the rest was the casting and acting of the main principals, plus the stories about the family dynamic of these unique, well-defined characters. The casting was a perfect alignment of the stars and moon, which is usually the #1 ingredient of most long-running shows. Today, the "elites" might say that Dallas was just a trashy, cheesy show. They would dismiss its success as being nothing more than a show for the times, a show that was only successful because audiences were less discriminating of TV shows when there were only 3 channels. That is just rubbish. Dallas was beloved because of the dynamic chemistry of those actors. We cared about those characters because the characters cared about each other. Of course the stories were complete fantasy that we all wanted to escape to, and most of the storylines were preposterous. Just like we all want to escape to the fantasy of preposterous shows like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things and the Sopranos - we love those shows because we care about those characters.

    The reboot was filmed and structured differently to be consistent with the writing and the photography that is current with most 1-hour dramas these last 10 years. But the reboot was a missed opportunity because it focused more on silly intrigue surrounding characters that had nothing to do with the original series (i.e., intrigue in Mexico...really?) and extraneous characters that really had nothing to do with the Ewings or their legacy and history. The sad thing is that they could have used some of those storylines, but incorporate them with characters that were introduced in the original show. The best scenes of the original Dallas were those in the living room or dining room where the family always gathered for explosive conversations. The one episode in the reboot that was reminiscent of classic Dallas was the one that was directed by Patrick Duffy in the 2nd or 3rd season. So it could have been done. Such a missed opportunity. I have always wondered if the show would have been more successful if Cidre would have hired David Paulson and/or Frank Katzman as consultants on the show, just to educate them about the history of the storylines and to tighten up the continuity. You can placate old fans by incorporating some of the original stories, but the new fans won't even realize it because the stories have been updated so that the new fans don't have to know the intricate details of the original show.

    Anyway, I'm rambling.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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    Actually, from what I've heard and read over the past couple of years, Dallas seems to be regarded quite affectionately these days. Not in a "serious drama" sort of way, but as something that was a hugely fun phenomenon.
     
  6. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Although it's not impossible to do "Mad Men" style scenes or episodes in soap operas.
    But I think, in essence, the soap opera format doesn't intend to communicate their stories that way with the audience. No matter how well-written and well-produced it is, it is inherently formulaic. And maybe that's why these TV productions are stigmatized as "trash".
    But maybe it is that combination of schlock and awesomeness that makes these soap operas so spellbinding.
    Dallas' influence on the 1980s prime time soap craze is undeniable, but I'm not sure that no other serialized dysfunctional family drama could ever have happened without Dallas.
    It certainly wasn't the first dysfunctional family story, and in fact, not even the first TV show that did it.
    At the risk of starting a true/false argument, I humbly disagree. Dallas has its strengths, but I quite like the casts of the other prime soaps too.
     
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  7. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Addict EXP: 12 Years

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    Here's a little background to support @James from London 's observation:

    It's 1979 in America. At CBS they were trying to be the highbrow television network. And they were succeeding. The number one show on television was CBS's own hard hitting news show, 60 minutes. Followed close behind by the war drama/comedy series MASH.

    But wait! What's this? What is happening on Friday nights?

    The Dukes of Hazzard, The Incredible Hulk, and Dallas are leading the ratings! This is impossible! Those low-brow shows that feature American Rednecks jumping cars, a man who transforms into a monstrous hero, and an oil tycoon family. They can't be leading in the ratings! We are the network of hard- hitting television.

    So what did they do? They did everything possible to kill their cash cow. They refused to even give dressing rooms to the stars on these shows.

    Well, along comes the summer of "Who Shot J.R." and this changed everything.

    It was impossible to ignore the fact that Dallas was a phenomenon in it's own right, and the money earned from that show was paying a lot of bonuses to a lot of management.

    Larry Hagman took full advantage, J.R. style, and negotiated for huge salary increases and benefits. And you know the rest of the story.

    And to James's point. At the time, many people lamented the low intellect of some of these shows (I can say that because I myself had a Dukes of Hazzard lunch box and my friend had an Incredible Hulk lunch box).

    Looking back with a nostalgic feel, people yearn for those simpler times. Car chases, heroic monsters, oil tycoons who will stop at nothing to make a buck. Yes indeed, these shows, including Dallas, are now regarded quite affectionately. Especially by those who were around for the original run.
     
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  8. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Addict EXP: 12 Years

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    And this is exactly what happened to Dallas in the later years. What started out as a creative and imaginative show lost it's edge over time.

    Compare the last few seasons to the first few seasons.

    @Willie Oleson summed it up just right: Formulaic.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

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    Yes. I'm sure I've said this before, but I feel like the tension between the schlock and the awesome, the trash and the art, the formulaic and the inspired, the cartoonish and the poignant is where the appeal lies.
     
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  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

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    In the first half of the series, I never saw any "trash." Later on, especially the last four seasons, sure, but not in the first seven or eight.
     
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