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If It Ain't Broke...

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by ClassyCo, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    A fairly cliche comment, wouldn't you say? But does it hold to some great truth?

    Was there any point within the original Dallas story where there was an attempt to fix something that wasn't broken? If so, where do you believe those 'points' were?
     
  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Star

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    When Donna Reed stepped off that plane.
     
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  3. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    Contrary to popular opinion, I actually liked Donna Reed's performance as Miss Ellie. While she wasn't the original Mama that we had grown use to seeing with the seasoned cast, she provided a fresh perspective that, while it didn't give Miss Ellie any more depth, provided something of interest. (To me, anyways.) Along with that, too, I always felt that Reed possessed more the "look" of a Ewing matriarch, especially when you here the stories of how Jock and Digger fought for her. Now, I love Bel Geddes, but she wasn't the looker Reed was in her younger days, nor did she age as well, either. In saying all this, I do often find myself pulling for the underdog, and Reed was definitely the underdog here. The odds were against her from the get-go. She was fired, treated shabbily, and casually tossed aside. What a shame.
     
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  4. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Star

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    And God bless.
     
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  5. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Bringing Bobby back? The show was still #6 in the ratings before this. It would’ve carried on fine once Angelica’s over the top ostrich feathers and Matt’s emerald nonsense had left the building. Without such a huge stretch of believeability and betrayal of the viewers of a dream and a loved character mourned. And VP might have stayed longer perhaps? Who knows. Pam would’ve had to keep Christopher’s shares in Ewing Oil to keep up the tension at Ewing Oil though
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  6. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    Many side with the "dream" as being the downturn to Dallas. Some, on the other hand, feel that Season 10 (per DVD count) fixed it, while Pam's departure was the final nail in the coffin.
     
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  7. Swami
    Amused

    Swami Soap Chat Star

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    Bringing in Angelica Nero and her Eurovision Song Contest goons.

    Swami
     
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  8. Angela Channing
    Cloud_9

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    I love this post and completely agree.

    I've never thought recasting Miss Ellie with Donna Reed was a mistake, in fact, I think it was more of a mistake to switch back to Barbara because it reduced the credibility of the show and gave the impression of desperation.
     
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  9. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Addict

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    The whole exercise with the switcharoo hurt the credibility of Dallas I'll agree but the resurrection of Bobby Ewing was a desperate times call for desperate measures that killed the credibility of Dallas in my opinion. I could never take the show seriously after this point.
     
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  10. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    I agree. In the long run, it may have been better had they kept Reed.
    Yes, the cast changes did hurt the show for sure. Bobby's resurrection was definitely more desperate, though, I'll agree there. That was one story line I don't think the majority was expecting from a show of Dallas stature.
     
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  11. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Member

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    The show was ranked #6 for the whole season, during 86-86. However, that overall rating was based on the strength of the ratings during the earlier part of the season, plus the season finale. By the latter half the season, the show had dropped out of the top 10 and some weeks wasn’t even in the top 15. The ratings were significantly off during the last half of the season, and it was clear that the audience was disappearing.
     
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  12. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Like I said nice the silly emeralds and Marino’s silliness has finished it could have improved and gone on well. The first half the season had good ratings and worked fine without bobby
     
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  13. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Oh dear. For me once BBG was Miss Ellie again I never really gave Donna Reed a second thought. It was like Dallas had come home again
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017 at 8:20 PM
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  14. Snarky's Ghost

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    Just, no.
     
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  15. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Active Member

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    Changing Ellie hurt the show, Pam's dream broke the show & Pam, Sue Ellen & Donna leaving/Cally. Michelle, James & Vanessa arriving killed the show.
     
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  16. Willie Oleson
    No Mood

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    Yes, that was an obvious "fix".
    Several people here have described how the show could have survived without Bobby, by focussing on the JR-Pam feud.
    But was that because Bobby wasn't in it?
    I like Angelica & The Eurovision Troopers, but the story dragged on.
    I think it's safe to say that most viewers preferred BBG, so that was a fix because it was broke. But I don't think they hired Donna Reed because they thought she would be a better Miss Ellie (correct me if I'm wrong).
     
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  17. Mustard
    Bitching

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    Donna Reed's Miss Ellie looked more like a typical oil baron's wife, but the point of Barbara Bel Geddes' Miss Ellie is that it's her love of the land, her ranching upbringing and casual clothes that is her passion and has never left her despite her becoming an oil baron's wife.

    In my view:

    Season 8 DVD showed the relationship between Philip Capice and Leonard Katzman hitting breaking point, and a decline in quality compared to previous seasons. Donna Reed's presence, and the lack of emotional range in her portrayal of Miss Ellie, sums up a lot of the malaise. Nevertheless, the season finale is an all-time classic.

    Season 9 DVD (the dream season) is a return to form and showing Dallas what its future should be. We see sides to characters that we have seldom seen before after Bobby's death, Mark returns, Cliff and Jamie are a good team, Jack is a great character yet should have been more involved at Ewing Oil, and the potential was there to have Pam create alliances to defend herself at Ewing Oil. I also liked the Emerald Mine in Colombia and Angelica Nero in Martinique storylines.

    Season 10 DVD is mostly a decline, particularly in terms of some characters' personalities and the overboard amount of sexism, but there are still a couple of excellent storylines, namely the B. D. Calhoun storyline to blow up Saudi oil fields for J.R., and the Nancy Scotfield trying to shut down Ewing Oil storyline. Of course for many people, the dream revelation at the start of the season and the resetting of a year's worth of storylines, was too much to take anyway. People invested feelings in Bobby's death for a year, and were now told that it never happened. Ewing Oil getting shut down by the Justice Department, combined with Pam's car crash at the end of the season and Victoria Principal having gone after this, does symbolize the end.

    Season 11 DVD still has a lot of the old structure, but without Pam it doesn't link up well anymore.

    Season 12-14 DVD had J.R. weakened considerably, and things go from bad to worse.

    The audience disappeared far faster in the following seasons. With hindsight, 1985 was when US soaps peaked in the ratings as a general trend, but there were people behind the scenes at Dallas eager to settle scores with Philip Capice for Leonard Katzman's reduced role on Dallas, and there was no benefit of hindsight regarding the ratings in 1986, just a decline on the year before.
     
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  18. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I agree. What was broken was that with BBG ill there was no Miss Ellie. Whether Donna Reed was a good fix is an entirely different argument.
     
  19. Rove

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    Those first several seasons of Dallas did (in my view) change the way we viewed television. It did become must watch event television. And just about everyone was watching it. The purists may have snubbed their collective noses that a show like Dallas (a primetime soap) was a roaring success however, it's rare for a TV series to have that attraction to both male and female viewers.
     
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  20. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Addict

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    Count me in that crowd. I just thought it was a natural progression Dallas should have taken.
     
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