If It Ain't Broke...

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

  1. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    There was no mistaken Barbara Carrera's beauty. Perhaps if the writers had played on her heritage and she had come to Dallas to investigate possible finance for off-shore drilling in Central America. Her clothes should also have been toned down and the writers should have further explored her hinted at relationship with Grace. Now that may have been a game changer for Dallas.
     
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  2. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    And the subtle way Barbara was re-introduced was a stroke of genius. Watch how the director and photographer use depth of field in this scene to reveal the rightful Miss Ellie. Just brilliant.

     
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  3. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    If anything, re-casting the part of Miss Ellie with Donna Reed was the act of desperation. Bringing the rightful Miss Ellie back to Southfork was simply correcting a mistake.

    The way they went about it was awful, of course, but few people bought into Reed's portrayal of Miss Ellie. Her version was far too different from the character as established by BBG.

    Unfortunately, the series was basically a series of mistakes from that point on. From the glitz of the dream season, to the dream resolution itself, to the mishandling of Pam's exit, to the campy tone of the final three seasons, the producers seemed hell bent on destroying the show from within. And those series of mistakes began with the hiring of Donna Reed.

    On a side note, Reed was part of a season that was rather uneventful overall. However, I always thought it was a shame that she was the one who took down Jock's portrait. That scene would have been much more poignant had it been BBG since she had actually worked with Jim Davis. Having Reed in the role during a pivotal moment such as that caused the scene to fall flat. The same can be said for her lackluster sobbing "no, no Bobby" during Bobby's "death bed" scene.
     
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  4. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I still imagine how powerful those two events would have been if played by Barbara Bel Geddes, the removal of Jock's portrait in particular. The natural chemistry emanating from the small screen between Jim Davis and Barbara Bel Geddes when they played their scenes actually felt like a real couple...a couple that had been married for many years. It's rarely seen on television today.
     
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  5. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    It's exactly how I felt upon first viewing the return season without Patrick/Bobby. It's probably just me but I expected a seismic shift after the tragic death of the Prince of Southfork. It was the dark Prince JR I was really looking forward to watch. How was he going to react? With no Jock or Bobby to restrain him I thought for sure he would destroy the Barnes family. But it all came to nothing. I still believe there was a huge opportunity missed after "Swan Song."
     
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  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I've always considered those mistakes occurred at a much earlier time. When the series returned with the opening episode, Killer At Large (where Afton discovers Bobby had been shot) I got this weird vibe, and still do, when watching Dallas. It appears to worsen as the series progresses with no site of Miss Ellie. Here is her son in hospital and Clayton is making all sorts of excuses to keep mamma away. Of course I didn't know at the time what was happening behind the scenes but the Miss Ellie I knew wouldn't have kept away from her injured son. Then there was the introduction of a character I won't mention, I'll just say wrong actress for the part. Something seriously had gone astray between the seasons but those mistakes just ballooned as the series and years followed.
     
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  7. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Addict

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    Things might have been different if they had known from the beginning that BBG's absence would only be temporary. Faced with the alternative of killing her off I still think that recasting was the right decision but changing her from an earthy ranch girl to a regal fashionista was not. Given the overall Dynasty-esque look of the they were adopting I think that choice was probably out of Donna Reed's hands.
     
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  8. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I'm not so sure it was totally out of Reed's hands. According to her husband, she wanted to change the character to fit her image of an oil baron's wife.

    Reed's husband dismissively said that all BBG's Miss Ellie did was "raise a coffee mug," which was BS. And it was all the more funny in light of Reed's wooden, ineffectual portrayal. She was just sort of there with her fancy dresses and well coiffed hair. I'm not a fan of recasts, but they can work. Keenan Wynn looked nothing like David Wayne, but I still found his performance suitable because he didn't change Digger's traits. If he had started wearing suits and saying what a swell guy Jock was, he would have bombed too.
     
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Some people really done like Jenilee Harrison. I'm one of those viewers who isn't bothered by her at all.

    Not that that's who you meant. ;)
     
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  10. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Member

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    Not true. The ratings drop between 85-86 (the dream season) and 86-87 (Bobby’s return) was the smallest drop between seasons the show had ever seen, since the ratings started dropping after the show’s peak in 1981. The overall rating between 85-86 and 86-87 was virtually identical. You can attribute Duffy’s return or better storytelling to this. Then, after Victoria Principal left, the show’s ratings drop resumed, and accelerated.
     
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