If You Had Been In Charge Of Deciding Whether To Rehire Patrick Duffy

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Dec 6, 2019.

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What Would You Have Said To Patrick Duffy When He Asked To Return For Season 10?

Poll closed Dec 13, 2019.
  1. No, we can't kill the credibility of the show just to bring Bobby back.

    94.7%
  2. Sure, the fans will be so happy Bobby is back that nothing else will matter to them!

    5.3%
  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    If the decision of whether or not to bring Patrick Duffy back to Dallas for season 10 was yours, what would you have chosen to do?

    Do you rehire Patrick Duffy so that Bobby can come back (whether you explain it with the dream explanation or something else equally ridiculous) because the fans will be so happy to see him return, or do you say: "No, we can't kill the credibility of the show by bringing back a character they saw die."

    I can understand why they did it; I really can. After JR, Bobby and Pam were approximately tied for "second most popular character." They also happened to be the most popular couple on the show. The story I've heard is that David Jacobs actually wanted to center Dallas around them instead of JR. He viewed Dallas as more of a romance style show, and thought they should be the centerpiece of the show.

    JR was going to be a smaller part of the show according to Jacobs' idea for the way he wanted the show to be. When the executives in charge of Dallas saw that JR was the most entertaining character on the show and that he was quickly gaining popularity with the fans as the character they were predominantly tuning in to watch, they realized they could still keep the Romeo and Juliet style story of Bobby and Pam while expanding Larry Hagman's role so that JR became the integral character and the character who got the most screen time.

    Since Bobby and Pam were the most popular couple on the show, do you hurt the credibility of the show to bring Bobby back, making it possible to reunite Bobby and Pam? Is the fan interest it would create to have them together again worth what it would do to the credibility of the show? You know Victoria Principal is planning to leave the show after season 10, so they won't be a couple for too long. Does that affect your decision?

    Bobby is the more versatile of the two - he can do more. He and Pam have their romance, but unlike Pam, Bobby can also be a central figure in the business oriented storylines - the ones that appeal most to the male demographic of your show. Bobby can interact with JR in ways that Mark won't be able to; Mark's not a Ewing, he's a Graison.

    Mark could potentially have storylines where his company Graisco competes for deals with Ewing Oil. The only problem with that is Mark never seems to work. We've never once seen him in his office or even seen Graisco's building from the outside. Mark seems so desperate to make Pam happy, that the only work we've even seem him do is sell Cliff one of Graisco's subsidiaries. Why'd he sell Cliff that company? To make Pam happy.

    So, yeah, I can understand why some will say that only Bobby is going to have the kind of head-to-head competition with JR that makes the business related storylines so good. With anyone else, it's strictly business, but with Bobby it's business and it's also personal at the same time. Who else but Bobby can compete against JR in one storyline, and then join together with JR to compete against some outside threat in the next storyline?

    If you're like me you say:"All that's great, but the thing is, Bobby died. We made our bed and now we're gonna have to lie in it. I'm not gonna kill our show's credibility by resurrecting Bobby from the dead, and wiping out a whole season by saying it was just a dream...that's what I'd do if I was trying to turn our show into a joke!"
     
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  2. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator

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    The Dream season was a great season of Dallas and demonstrated that the show could survive without Bobby. I liked how Pam was given a more significant role to fill the void that he left. Pam became the main family rival to JR instead of Bobby and that gave the show a fresh and interesting Dynamic. When Bobby returned I can't think of any great storylines that he was involved in so I don't really see the point in rehiring him.
     
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  3. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Season 10 was incomparably superior to season 9, but not just because of Patrick Duffy's return. Angelica Nero and her Eurovision Song Contest goons ruined season 9.

    Still, I wouldn't have disagreed with the decision to bring Patrick Duffy back.

    Swami
     
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  4. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    Never should have “killed” him off. Send him out of the country to expand Ewing Oil, but don’t kill him off. What were they thinking?
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

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    To me, there's a lot of grey area here. I could go either way --- and Patrick himself has admitted that a lot of people who were happy to have Bobby back weren't necessarily accepting of The Dream scenario.

    Which is true. People did not groan when they heard Patrick was coming back to the show, nor when he appeared in the shower at the end of Season 9 (per DVD count). They were excited because they knew DALLAS would find a way to make it work.

    Heh.

    Once he stepped out of the shower that fall, that groan happened: the one-minute explanation left viewers cold (to say the least) even though the rest of that season was terrific.

    In other words, Bobby could have been revived, but they needed to take an entire episode -- not a brief scene -- to rationalize his resurrection. Audiences had been too emotional about Bobby's death to undo it in such a perfunctory fashion.

    [​IMG]

    Patrick asked for Bobby to die because he had no plans to come back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  6. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan

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    I don’t believe they knew that Victoria was seriously going to leave in 1987 when they rehired Patrick in 1986. She claims that, but she was negotiating for another season at an increased salary for 1987-88.

    I would have taken Patrick back. The ratings fell way off in the latter half of the dream season. While the show ranked #6 overall for the season, by the second half of the season, the weekly rankings were around #14/15. Something had to be done.
     
  7. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    In retrospect the death of a major character is a great opportunity to explore new storytelling. Bobby's death - much like Jock's - was just what the doctor had ordered to re-energize Dallas and move the series forward. Once again there was going to to be a fight for Ewing Oil however this time with a slightly different flavour...Ewing vs Barnes. As the characters assemble to hear the reading of Bobby's Will we're left with that sinking feeling things are not going to end well. The exchanged looks between JR and Pam at the end of that episode had this viewer excited on what was to come....already I had forgotten about Bobby (Patrick)....

    ....but of course we knew what was to come. A rush of new characters who looked like they had been rejected from the Carrington mansion due to poor taste in clothing. The strength in a series like Dallas is a laser like focus on the Ewing family, Southfork and Ewing Oil. Leaving Pam in control of Christopher's share of that company was a step in the right direction...returning Bobby from the dead was unwanted, killed the credibility Dallas had accomplished and only achieved to satisfy the whims of a few...behind the scenes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Watching "Return to Camelot" for the first time was one of the best TV experiences I've ever had and more than made up for the preceding Dream Season. And the rest of the season continued in that vein. So, all in all, I'm good with what went down.
     
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  9. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    How do you figure it was another "fight for Ewing Oil"? The first time - the contest between Bobby and JR - was a one of a kind contest for Ewing oil whereas per Jock's will, the company would be split in half, and whichever brother ended up with the higher profit at the end of the year would win the company.

    In this case, nobody had left a will dividing Ewing Oil in two pieces. There was not going to be any contest to see who ended up with a bigger profit after a year, or some other specific time frame. Now sure, this was going to be a challenge, but almost the exact opposite of the first one because on this one the challenge was for JR and Pam to be able to work together.

    They were co-presidents, and as such had the same job - to do what was best of Ewing Oil. Their big challenge would be cooperating and basically getting along with each other. Neither gets a prize for outshining the other. If a rival such as West Star tries to take over their company, Pam and JR have to rely on each other - not fight with each other, which of course would make West Star's job that much easier.

    If a contest was being set-up, Pam and JR's "contest" was that of c0-existing and working together productively. In other words, the opposite of fighting with each other. That's what the company needed, it was what was fair for John Ross, and what was fair for Christopher.

    If Pam had gone into it with the attitude that her job was fighting JR, instead of working well together, it would hurt the company badly and would be the worst possible betrayal of Bobby's wishes - to leave a thriving Ewing Oil in which Christopher could follow in his footsteps, just as John Ross would follow in JR's footsteps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  10. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    No, I would have really upped the JR vs Pam dynamic.

    But the shows credibility was already in tatters due to the bizarre Angelica plot and the badly handled Pam vs JR story.

    That season was the opportunity to really follow through on Pam and Jr's feud.

    The problem they had was that Dallas was a rather unique show in that those core characters kept the show ticking. Bobby enabled Pam to be at Southfork. That family dynamic was always the most fun.

    I lost definitely would not have brought back Mark either. This was an opportunity to bring in new dynamics and new characters.

    One thing they could have done was have Pam and Bobby marry in the season, so Pam was back at Southfork when Bobby died.

    Then we see her in the midst of the Ewings grief. It would all kick off when JR reads out Katherines diary at the dinner table , revealing she was trying to kill Pam.

    That is a catalyst to really up the feud.
     
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  11. thomaswak

    thomaswak Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    The dream season had great plot lines. I felt that it was betrayal to erase it from history. And the dream idea was so stupid, that it almost killed the show and the genre.
    So no, even if Bobby was popular, even if I liked Bobby, even if Patrick Duffy wanted to come back, the character should have stayed dead.

    And if he really had to come back for rating purpose, a lame and far fetched "Fake death/protection program" would have been easier to swallow (about that, I had a big crush for Patrick Duffy at the time)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
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  12. Snarky's Ghost

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    Yes, flawed as it is, it's the only way to do it and minimize the damage.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
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  13. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Kenny you've applied this argument before but you continue to look at JR through rose colored glasses. JR would never settle having that Barnes woman anywhere Ewing Oil. You might think JR always had Ewing Oil interests at heart but he constantly took risks, mortgaging Southfork being one.

    Pam on the other hand would walk into Ewing Oil with her eyes wide open. While JR may have had the business brains Pam would have the support of family and friends. Bobby's death was a great opportunity for the writers to explore new angles with characters we had come to love/hate. Would we see JR return to a dark and sinister mood. I for one had hoped so as I was beginning to grow tired of his winning smile.

    All the characters; Miss Ellie, Clayton, Sue Ellen, Jenna, Charlie, Ray, Donna, Cliff...gosh even the Cartel would be affected by Bobby's death..but it was the major two; JR and Pam which I had hoped the writers would explore further. The story was already in play.
     
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  14. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Personally I think the credibility of Dallas suffered when it was decided an entire season was wiped from existence. That one hurt the most. But it was the previous season with the switch-a-roo of Miss Ellie which caused harm to Dallas. This was the first wobble. Followed soon after by the arrival of Jamie Ewing and Mandy Winger and the quick exit of Afton. Suddenly Dallas was adrift.
     
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  15. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Yes, I've applied the argument before. How many times do you think you've explained that you think it was harmful and a mistake to have Donna Reed fill in for Miss Ellie for a season?

    If it's relevant to the discussion, if I see someone extolling the virtues of an epic contest between Pam and JR where a university education in business, top executive level oil business experience, tremendous aptitude for and a love of the business are all entirely in favor of JR, who thinks it's going to be even slightly competitive? It would make any such "contest" between them about as competitive as a high school level football team playing the NFL Superbowl champions.

    I'm more than aware that JR took risks, including mortgaging Ewing Oil, but the situation here is that JR and Pam are co-presidents of Ewing Oil, so how does that translate to it being "a fight for Ewing Oil"? What I see is an awkward, uncomfortable partnership, which by the way, is the last thing Bobby would have wanted for Pam, since she made it very clear she didn't "have the stomach" to even watch Bobby compete with JR during their contest. Now she's going to actually be in what she couldn't even stand to watch? I don't think so.

    Pam pleaded with Bobby to turn away from Ewing Oil, saying she just wanted a "normal life" and that money didn't mean that much to her. Well, putting Pam, in the situation of having to work at the highest level of Ewing Oil, with a man who despises her and who she despises, is about the last thing Bobby would have wanted for her.

    This time there isn't a will splitting Ewing Oil in half, with either JR or Pam gaining majority control of Ewing Oil spending on which makes more profit in a year. It's not a "fight for Ewing Oil" in that sense." But it is a potentially very stressful, uncomfortable situation for Pam in a business where she's massively overmatched in every single aspect by JR. You really have to love the oil business or any other business to work in it at that level. There's no scenario in which this turns out well for Pam.

    Pam knew that and sold Christopher' shares to JR, rightfully so. It spared her the nightmare of working an incredibly stressful, demanding job and doing it with a man she can't stand. The money she made from the sale secured Christopher's future, especially since she also had all that Wentworth money. It would be irrational to put herself through hell in a situation that was certain to end badly for her. Especially when her son's financial future was already secure; he'd inherit at least a billion dollars. Pam did the rational, intelligent thing by selling the shares to JR for a fortune which she'd save in an account for Christopher. Dallas made an intelligent decision here with having Pam doing what she did. Pam made the wise decision in choosing to go for an enjoyable life instead of one where she would have been throughly miserable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  16. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    At the time i loved it, that Bobby was back.
    With hindsight it lost any credibility that Pat D came crawling back after a lack lustre year in the wilderness of DER commercials, dressed as a goat in Alice in Wonderland and finding a new Pamela (Sue Martin) in very mediocre TV.
    Now i think it was a mistake but Pat and Larry got to play together again.

    Most people I knew stopped watching then. I loved the first 12 episodes of the dream season and I liked Pam and Mark together too.

    I also agree with @Rove - replacing a sick BBG was a jump the shark moment and signs that there was trouble ahead!!
     
  17. Snarky's Ghost

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    Yes, it was the first crack in the veneer which said something was wrong behind the camera.

    35 years later, I still can't believe they did it.
     
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  18. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    It's not that JR might have, or may have the business acumen there compared to Pam; it wasn't a question.

    Support of family and friends doesn't help when she's the co-president of Ewing Oil, when she and JR are in the office together and they suddenly find out that, say, West Star is going after them hard, with the intention of breaking them. What wonderful contributions would Pam have to offer? "Oh, well, this never came up when I was running the aerobics studio Bobby bought for me. I have no idea what strategy we should use to ward them off, so how about I call Cliff"!

    If Dallas were a comedy, sure, but in a drama like Dallas, you can do something like that sparingly at most. What happens the next time something comes up where Pam needs to have quick, decisive answer? "Oh, I don't know, but Mark would know what to do! (calls Mark) Oh JR, bad news. They said Mark left the office early to play polo for the rest of the day. Can I give you an answer on that tomorrow"?

    I think Pam's complete lack of the needed qualities to be an effective, decisive co-president of Ewing Oil would manifest themselves early on in any "fight" between Pam and JR at Ewing Oil in some not only highly destructive, but embarrassing ways.
     
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  19. Snarky's Ghost

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    Oh, really? Larry did the math himself and determined that over 14 seasons, JR lost more money for Ewing Oil than he made. You don't think Pam could beat that?
     
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  20. Michael Torrance

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    I think the effects of Duffy's/Bobby's departure and the ludicrous, credibility-killing, audience-insulting shower scene have been discussed a lot. However, whenever this situation is discussed, I don't see a lot of attention on the fact that the show did not deal with one departure, but two: Patrick Duffy left, but so did Leonard Katzman. I believe if the latter had stayed in place, he possibly could have created stronger storylines for the Pam/J.R. dynamic and the show overall. But with that departure and the elimination of a core character, it was a difficult situation. When Katzman returned, he engaged in a little wish fulfillment on screen: what if he and Duffy had not walked out to break free from the Dallas legacy as they wanted (and found out could not), and Capice had never become head honcho in season 9? What if it were all a bad dream?
     
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