Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Sep 22, 2016.
Do you hate her? You should say
I'll try to make it clearer
Fair enough but that couldn't really sustain a 26 episode season. It would have been like The Waltons.
I like the Dream Season 1985-1986, but I hate Mandy Winger character ... especially in this season.
Regardless on what went wrong with the series,other shows attributed to a small part of the decline. I understand that if a show is at it's best and strong it should not wane but the rise of the sitcoms and Murder She Wrote in the US probably shifted demographics slightly
Watering down JR certainly did not help. Having JR lose to every Tom, Dick or Harry starting with that stupid Hayleyville storyline. What was worst was that sheriff coming to JR's office and nothing happened. JR held all the cards since it was false imprisonment and that trial was a joke.
The addition of James Beaumont was awful in how JR just accepted James being his son with no proof and how he treated John Ross after ward.
Ever noticed how Haleyville and the way it was run was identical to that little town Jock took JR, Bobby, and Ray with him to for a hunting trip in "The Dove Hunt"? Now that I think of it, Haleyville was also a town that they mentioned that Jock had took them to during hunting trips. Just what was wrong with Jock!? Taking his sons to all of these crazy little towns that operate in their own twisted little world!
Typical Jock, really. Teach his sons how to hunt, and put his sons in trouble and demand that they show character to get out of it. J.R. will do it ruthlessly just like his daddy taught him, Bobby will do it because it's the Ewing thing to do and what his daddy expects, while Gary will refuse to do what his daddy expects and will be much more interested in animal welfare, poetry and the state of the environment.
The J.R. of Season 12 had gone soft, however. For once, he was completely dominated and nothing was in his control. They could have made a decent storyline out of that.
The whole hunting thing in season 12 (dvd) made me cringe. I hated how JR tried to make Gary sound like a wimp when the kids asked if he had ever gone on the hunting trips with them. And the scene with JR teaching a scared John Ross how to hunt really turned me off since I like animals.
An interesting point. I also read the rise of the sitcom (was it "The Cosby Show") in particular hurt the likes of Prime Time Soaps. But I'll also add the over-the-top Dynasty also hurt the entire genre. People were initially glued to the dazzling fashions and Alexis Carrington but that Moldavia shooting finale was the beginning of the end for night-time soaps. If there was ever a fine-line between what the viewer will or won't accept that was it. Dallas should have stuck to it's guns with exceptional adult contemporary writing. When Dynasty returned the following season and everyone (apart from some secondary characters) stood up as if nothing had happened it had become a joke. Funnier still was Joan Collins non-appearance due to her pay dispute.
Dallas could have survived that following season and beyond if only the writers had shown some metal. When Dynasty returned the ratings fell sharply compared to Dallas. I'll never accept the talk (those responsible behind the scenes) that Dallas was weaker because of Bobby's absence. Patrick had made the decision to leave and so the die was cast. The following season after Swan Song could have been more compelling if the writers took a different path. Adding Angelico Nero was a mistake in hindsight. That was the Dynasty effect I speak of.
In my top tv cliffhangers of all time the Dynasty 'massacre' is in my top 10 but not in the higher numbers because of the reasons you just quoted.
A great cliffhanger is only great if the resolution is just as great. As you said, only secondary characters were killed and if you put into perspective this resolution was as whacky as Bobby scrubbing himself with Irish Spring soap
Both shows and Falcon Crest went into daytime soap territory and with the culmination of a now apparent (alleged) sex predator's sitcom and a murder mystery series in which the old girl clearly bumped off everyone viewers decided to vote with their feet as it were
And viewers can be a fickle bunch. Thanks to Dallas the stakes were raised in how we related to fictional characters. The Ewing's were rich but that wealth was never thrust down our throat. Southfork gave us the impression it was a mansion, truth was it wasn't. They had succulent bar-b-ques which in reality were just a step up from my own annual Christmas Eve Bar-b-que. The real point of difference between Dallas and Dynasty was we could relate to the Ewing family. With Dynasty I felt like an outsider peering through the rich Carrington mansion window, watching something that was unattainable.
I'm bumping this thread.
I've been watching Dallas all the way through for only the second time, and I am near the end now. My personal belief is that Season 9 DVD after Bobby's death gave Dallas fresh life and a way into the future, and that the dream revelation was a big step back and a misguided attempt to search for a golden past that was already becoming stale before Bobby's death. Season 10 DVD still has a few good storylines and a sense of nostalgia at times, but the level of sexism is through the roof suddenly that season and it feels odd. When Pam goes, the vital cog in the machine that makes the feuds and dynamics work has gone.
Season 11 DVD still has many bits of vintage Dallas there, but what's left of the golden years is staler than ever by this point, although Season 11 DVD is the last time we see proper vintage J.R. Ewing, apart from his attempted takeover of Westar being thwarted by Jeremy Wendell, Sue Ellen and Kimberly Cryder. Still, J.R. got one over on Wendell before the season's end and got all of Ewing Oil's assets back in his possession (although not the Ewing Oil name, which went to Bobby). Season 12 DVD, ironically, has a fresher feel because of the introduction of the McKays and Cally and there is still just enough of the old days there, with the Southfork feel, to make it work to some extent. In Season 12 DVD, J.R. faced his humiliation in Haleyville, which obviously damaged his confidence a lot and I don't think he was ever quite the same again. Yet even worse was to come for J.R. in Season 13 DVD, a season for J.R. that was as unlucky as a steer at a Texas barbecue, a season he started by gambling Ewing Oil to the brink of financial destruction behind owner Bobby's back and ended by kicking and screaming in a psychiatric hospital after James tore up his release papers. In between, he got tired of his wife Cally after previously being happy with her for months, seethed as Cliff Barnes' political star rose again, and bumped into a past that he didn't know he had with son James. I also can't believe how often and how long that Miss Ellie has taken to staying away from Southfork in Seasons 13 and 14 DVD, which is very out of character.
The absolute nadir of Dallas, in my opinion, is the LeAnn De La Vega storyline in Season 14 DVD with Michelle Stevens taking over what was Ewing Oil. Really horrible. The late seasons might have a few feel good character moments, but the overall narrative of the show has become a mess without Pam there.
It's funny that DYNASTY's cliffhanger is blamed for DALLAS' decline in ratings (I am not sure how this works--I tried blaming some things I did on my sister when I was younger, but my parents were not as gullible as needed ). The DYNASTY cliffhanger, per the tabloids that made lots of hay out of it, showed viewers of that show that it was not very realistic, as if a character engaged to a Prince and another character getting a goofy southern twin were not already sure signs of that lack of realism BEFORE the cliffhanger. Come on!
That cliffhanger did not in the least affect DALLAS--if anything, it could have helped that show establish itself as the one more grounded in reality over its over-the-top prime time sibling. So when that opportunity arose, the DALLAS producers thought, "hey, how about we tell the viewers they watched a dream the whole previous season?"
And THAT somehow is not what killed the show's credibility--it was the DYNASTY cliffhanger.
THE COLBYS dunit. They destroyed everything!
Season Episodes Originally aired Nielsen ratings
First aired Last aired Rank Viewers
(in ratings points)
1 5 April 2, 1978 April 30, 1978 #44 N/A
2 24 September 23, 1978 March 30, 1979 #15 16.8
3 25 September 21, 1979 March 21, 1980 #6 19.1
4 23 November 7, 1980 May 1, 1981 #1 27.6
5 26 October 9, 1981 April 9, 1982 #1 23.2
6 28 October 1, 1982 May 6, 1983 #2 20.5
7 30 September 30, 1983 May 18, 1984 #1 21.5
8 30 September 28, 1984 May 17, 1985 #2 20.97
9 31 September 27, 1985 May 16, 1986 #6 18.8
10 29 September 26, 1986 May 15, 1987 #11 18.6
11 30 September 25, 1987 May 13, 1988 #21 15.2
12 26 October 28, 1988 May 19, 1989 #30 13.9
13 27 September 22, 1989 May 11, 1990 #43 N/A
14 23 November 2, 1990 May 3, 1991 #61 N/A
The Nielsen ratings for rank show that Dallas was in the top two most matched shows in seasons 4,5,6,7 and 8 (DVD count).
Season 9 was the first time it dropped out of the top two ranked shows in six years, with a rank of #six. Viewer rating was 18.8% which is the percentage of people in households with TV who watched it.
Season 10 (the season viewers found out everything they saw the previous season had only been Pam's dream) Rank fell to #11. Number of viewers were almost the same as the previous season though with an 18.6% viewer rating.
It's interesting to note that the number of people who watched season 9 (the season without Patrick Duffy) drops from 20.97 to 18.8 while the number of people who watched season 10 (when we were told nothing we saw in season 9 happened because it was all just a dream Pam had) stayed almost the same, dropping from 18.8 to 18.6 This indicates Bobby "dying" caused far more of the Dallas audience to stop watching than being told they had just watched a whole season that didn't count since it was all just a dream. I would have thought the explanation of season 9 being just a dream would have been more damaging than Bobby "dying" but it didn't hurt Dallas nearly as much. It also shows the popularity Patrick Duffy and the character of Bobby had with the Dallas audience.
There were some major losses to the show which help account for the big drop from season 10 to 11 including Victoria Principal and Deborah Shelton both leaving as well as the Ewings losing Ewing Oil to the government.
Thing is, the writers were probably under direction to change things up a bit. It would not have been believable for JR to continue to win EVERY time, year after year. Like many other execs, he got older, he got complacent, and there were now others hungrier than he. At some point he had to fall, which he did in the last few seasons.
The whole "James" thing was a mistake, in my opinion. There were other avenues they could have gone down.
Yes, at the time getting Bobby back was all that really mattered.
I would suggest something else. Sorry about the advertisement at the beginning and end of this youtube clip but I was astonished at its clarity.
You're just jealous because Dallas didn't have a UFO
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