J.R. & Gary

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Justine, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Fan

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    So, I recently re-watched Reunion Part 1 & 2 and it occurred to me how much they set Gary and J.R. up to have their own mini-feud, so much so that it really resembled Jock and Digger. There were even script repetitions from the mini-series - in Barbecue, Jock says Digger's "been a loser every day of his life" and J.R. says literally the exact same thing about Gary to Sue Ellen in Reunion Part 1.

    It almost feels like J.R. hates Gary as much as he hates Cliff Barnes and I don't think their relationship ever improved as the series went on. It went far beyond a brotherly rivalry but what I don't understand is why - Gary was clearly no match for J.R. and, when he returned to Southfork, Jock accepted his son back into the family fold. Why do you think J.R. couldn't do the same? Was he really threatened by Gary (if so, why), or was he bitter because Gary was Miss Ellie's favourite?

    *I haven't watched Knots Landing so if there were any nice family scenes between J.R. and Gary then I haven't seen them before.*




     
  2. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I’m sure the short answer is just to manufacture drama.

    JR wasn’t anyone’s favorite but Jock used him and Miss Ellie felt guilt about letting him go so young. That being said he hated everyone of them in someway even if he couldn’t admitted it. He was angry at them all, at the least. Why should he have to fight to control EO? Didn’t he do everything his father asked of him (think Gooper from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof). Why didn’t he get the house? His momma could have at least given JR the house if she was giving the ranch to Bobby. Didn’t he stay just like she asked? Why should he have to fight Bobby for EO? Bobby didn’t even like the oil business, he wanted to be a rancher. He just got in JR’s way because he could. Why should Miss Ellie call for Gary? Wasn’t it JR that always took care of everything and stood by her? I have no doubt if Miss Ellie wanted Ray run off he’d have done it, even if Jock said no. He’d have given anything to please his momma and she couldn’t even let him have the oil on a ranch his Grandaddy would have surely left him if he’d been older when he died. It’s not like he needed to destroy the land as in the movie Giant back in the 30’s. All this in his mind, he had to feel slighted. Bobby and Gary could marry trash and do what ever they wanted and JR had to marry the princess of Texas, create the world’s greatest oil company (without getting caught) and take care of his momma even when she didn’t have his back. Remember when she asked didn’t JR care about her happiness? I wanted him to say, “every bit as much as you care about my happiness” (I wanted to see this point play out in TNT for John Ross’s sister to tell Bobby she only cares about her brother’s happiness and if burning Southfork to the ground put a smile on his face she’d bring the gas can. If he wanted to sleep with every woman in Texas she’d line them up for STD testing. If he wanted Ewing Energies she hand it to him and no man, not ever her grandpa could make her fight her brother and if he got everything he wanted and was miserable for it, he’s hold him as he cried - the opposite of what JR got from his family). Do I get his hatred of Gary? He was a angry, horrible human being and I’m not sure what else his family expected.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Yes. He was bitter because Miss Ellie favored Gary and I don't think they ever really got into that in the way they could have. Maybe it was too serious or maybe that was an idea that they never completely figured out how to present. How to do that without making JR look overly vulnerable. It was something they laid all the foundation for; they gave the background for what had happened. Miss Ellie had a favorite son and Jock had a favorite son. That left JR out in the cold and you can imagine how that could have affected him while he was growing up. I think JR became what he felt he had to become.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Yes but does it make sense? Jock spoilt Bobby but he spent more time with JR (according to Miss Ellie) so it seems to me that JR got most of the quality time.
    Furthermore, watching the first seasons I never got the impression that Jock was more generous towards Bobby and he often relied on JR's judgment, especially in family matters.
     
  5. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Fan

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    Not a deep analysis, but JR didn't like sharing. Before Bobby married Pam and started working at the office he was out of town most of the time, then things changed and JR didn't like the intrusion on his territory. I feel he felt the same way about Gary in those episodes, he wasn't fond of having another brother around to encroach on his space. He liked to do whatever he wanted to do and having the attention off him did help with that, but the positive attention Gary and Bobby got for doing less than he did was irritating to him and he didn't like sitting back and just accepting that was how things were. He gave Gary a company that was doomed to fail because he could see far enough ahead that he wanted it to be "Gary's choice" to quit and leave town, not something he forced him to do. The same sort of went for when he was giving Bobby all the boring work in the miniseries, he was trying to make him want to go back to his old position but he knew telling Bobby to do just that would make Jock and Pam push harder in the other direction (which they did anyway).
     
  6. J. R.'s Piece

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    Nice family scenes?






    Gary got into JR's office, stole some secret files and forced JR to change his drilling plans in Knots Landing episode 2. JR later admitted to Abby on the day after Jock's Will was read that Gary had a lot of anger, frustration and hatred. If Gary ever was able to focus that, he would be capable of making JR's life miserable, according to JR.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  7. J. R.'s Piece

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    JR did loan Gary $100,000 once. That was just before Lucy got married to Mitch. At a time when Gary (who at the time sleeping with the wife of the man he was sponsoring at Alcoholics Anonymous) but had got himself involved with a stolen auto parts scam and needed $50000 to pay off Roy and Frank (and prevent them from doing him harm). Abby Cunningham went to JR, using the pretence that Gary and Valene might have to move back to Dallas if things went wrong. Although JR saw through this but still loaned Gary $100000, especially as JR was particularly interested in Sid Fairgate's (Gary's neighbour, friend and boss and Abby's brother) engine and JR admired Abby (and slept with her) and knew she wanted Gary.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  8. Kenny Coyote

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    Are you aware there is a Knots Landing forum here on SoapChat for people who watched it and like to discuss it? It's there for a reason. We're discussing JR and Gary as depicted in Dallas in this thread.
     
  9. J. R.'s Piece

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    JR answers that a bit here. Hope it helps:
     
  10. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    JR was most definitely Jock’s favourite, Jock knew he could rely on JR to get the job done, JR shared Jock’s ruthlessness, and Jock liked that.

    The dream season had Ellie say that Bobby was Jock’s fair haired boy, but this was a retcon, Jock was reluctant to allow Bobby control of Ewing Oil, he wanted it to be temporary so J.R. could return to his role, it was only because Ellie threatened Jock that he relented, Jock clashed with Bobby a fair few times but did acknowledge that he was capable of being a businessman.

    But J.R. was Jock’s favourite with Bobby a close second.
     
  11. J. R.'s Piece

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    Jock said to Digger Barnes in episode 5that Bobby was the best of the lot. And Jock has his heart problem when he was confronting JR over JR leaving Bobby out of business deals. He was also proud when Bobby got Ewing Oil a refinery, something that JR had failed to do. And Bobby himself was aware that he was Jock’s favourite, even using it as leverage over JR.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  12. Mustard

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    J.R. fears Gary's potential. He admitted this to Gary's then girlfriend Abby in the Season 4 Knots Landing episode "New Beginnings" which was a direct continuation of the Season 6 DVD Dallas episode "Jock's Will" that aired the same evening. J.R. wants Gary well away from Southfork and Ewing Oil, and will support Abby being with Gary if Abby helps in keeping Gary well away and if Abby is content to be a "Ewing Princess" rather than "Queen of the Ewings".

    J.R. always feels that he has the edge over Bobby in terms of business and Ewing Oil, so he embraces this rivalry. Bobby also embraces the whole Ewing family thing. In contrast, Gary thinks outside the box way too much, and is very complex, which makes J.R. nervous.
     
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  13. Mustard

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    Their upbringings are important, too. J.R. (born in 1936 or 1939, depending on source - I prefer 1936) spent some quality time with his father as a child before Jock went off to Britain in WW2, so J.R. was pining for his father's return, patiently waiting, while Miss Ellie wasn't around a young J.R. as much as she would have liked while Jock was around. When Jock left US soil to go to fight in WW2, Miss Ellie was pregnant with Gary, and Gary would have had a lot of kindness in his earliest years with Miss Ellie and without Jock around, hence Gary was more sensitive and used to kindness for a while, and then came the harsh father and the old school, causing insecurities and fears in Gary along with a stubbornness.

    Bobby was born in 1949, and spoiled rotten. He tended to see the best of both parents and was strong, while having a short temper. Bobby had less of the harsher times compared to J.R. and Gary.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  14. stevew

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    I get your point, but I’m inclined to think Bobby was his favorite. JR was his go to but he favored JR. If JR clashed with Jock like Bobby did he wouldn’t get away with it. I suppose at times at times it went back and forth between the two - thus the will. Originally it was based on Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and in that Goober (JR) did everything his daddy wanted and still Brick (Bobby) was favored, though he was really a looser. It’s an interesting topic that’s for sure.
     
  15. Kenny Coyote

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    You're mixing another show's perspective and their reasons for doing what they do with what Dallas did. Another show has it's vision for what they want to accomplish. On Dallas, there was no visible potential in Gary to fear.
     
  16. Mustard

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    J.R.'s fear of Gary's potential is on Dallas too. Explain the change in J.R.'s mood when he hears that Gary and Valene are going to be living in California instead of at Southfork. All glum when he thinks that Gary and Val will be living at Southfork, yet laughing out loud and wanting to send them gifts when he hears that they'll be living in California. And later J.R. going to Gary and asking for his voting shares. He wants Gary nowhere near Ewing Oil or Dallas.

    And ask yourself why J.R. is hostile to Gary anyway, if Gary is as useless as J.R. makes out with his words.

    And to get the full story, you need to see both shows. David Jacobs wrote Gary's early episodes on Dallas, and was one of the Executive Producers on Knots Landing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  17. Kenny Coyote

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    I just did two days ago. If you happened to miss it, it's the third post in this thread.


    No, I don't need to see Knot's Landing to get "the full story." I've watched all of Dallas and that is the full story of that show. It's a Dallas forum. They have a Knots Landing forum. They even have a TNT Dallas forum and even in that show, where the intent was to continue Dallas, they still couldn't get the story of what happened on Dallas accurate! They had all sorts of mistakes in that regarding "what the full story is." If someone that having some of the original people involved in it would guarantee the show be accurate in how they described what had already happened in Dallas, they'd have been wrong.

    Multitudes of posters have commented about how TNT Dallas didn't even get the characters right. That the personalities of the other characters were distorted, or caricatures of what they had been on the original. That they did that to the character of Cliff to where Cliff was unrecognizable.

    Different shows have different visions for characters and what they should to tell the story they want to tell. I can understand why they would have felt it necessary to portray Gary in a different way. I really can. It wouldn't be marketable to base a show on a guy who is an alcoholic who drank himself so silly that he would black out for weeks at a time and would wake up having been beaten and couldn't even remember who did it. A character who was a compulsive gambler who gambled all his money away over and over again. A man with such a childlike fear of responsibility and work that his M.O. was to just run away from it. A guy who got a 15 year old girl pregnant, and didn't even stick around to raise his daughter. Valene said JR "took" Lucy from her. Gary didn't stop that from happening. He knew where his daughter was - at Southfork. He didn't have the wherewithal to go to Southfork and talk to his parents, demand he get his daughter back so he and Valene could raise her.

    That character is not marketable as the lead of a TV series. So I understand why they'd want to change the character and make him into someone who you described as a man who "thinks outside the box way too much, and is very complex", someone who could be viewed as being a threat to his brothers if he ever decided he wanted to work there, and if Jock ever wanted to let him have any control over how his company was run. By changing the character to where he's who you described, that would give people a motivation to watch Knots Landing because then their lead character is marketable. Then he's a capable enough man to where there would be an audience for a show about him.
     
  18. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    JR flat-out explains it to Alan Beam when Alan declares his 'love' for Lucy and that he intends to marry her. It's one of those sequences of dialogue we see in shows like this that seems intended to explain a character's motivations directly to the audience in a way that wouldn't necessarily happen in a real conversation - in this case, Alan is standing in for us:

    (why did I start typing so early in the conversation?? too much work!)

    Alan (trying hard to sound sincere): "I mean it, JR. I love her, and I'm going to marry her, and you can't buy me off so don't event try."

    JR: "Buy you off?"

    Alan: "That's right. I'm not for sale, no matter how much you offer."

    JR: "Well I wouldn't dream of buying you off."

    Alan (disappointed): "You wouldn't?"

    JR: "Well, of course not. It does my heart good to see that Lucy has finally found herself a real man."

    Alan: "You mean you don't mind?"

    JR: "Well, I'm tickled pink! I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna set you up in your own law practice the day you get married, kind of a little wedding present."

    Alan: "Are you serious?"

    JR: "Now what do you think it'd cost to set you up right? About $250,000, something like that?"

    Alan: "Well, if you really want to do it up right, double it."

    JR: "Alan, you're a man after my own heart. Yes sir, a half a million dollars ought to set you up in the nicest new law office in Chicago."

    Alan: "Chicago?"

    JR: "Chicago!"

    Alan: "Now wait a minute, I like Dallas."
    (of course, Alan, we all do!)

    JR: "Alan, listen to me and listen real good. Lucy's inheritance and her trust are already set up. They are irrevocable. So it shouldn't make any difference to you whether you live in Chicago or Dallas. But it makes a great deal of difference to me."

    Alan: "I don't understand."

    JR: "All right. Lucy is her father's only tie to Southfork. And with her gone, he won't feel it necessary to try to come back in here and muscle in on my action. But if she stays, I'm gonna make certain that you never see her again. Now you understand that?"

    Alan: "Perfectly."
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  19. J. R.'s Piece

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    Oh, I just dictate the typing and check for errors. It is less hard work! Anyway, that Dallas episode, Power Play, aired on January 4th 1980, the night after the airing of the Knots Landing episode, Community Spirit. In Community Spirit, Gary tricks JR and forced his big brother to change his drilling plans. JR refers to that episode from his hospital bed in the second episode of the next season of Dallas, when he mentions Karen Fairgate to Gary. JR was attracted to Karen and this was used to get JR out of the office, while Gary got into it and stole JR’s secret files. So from watching the Knots Landing episode, JR seems to have an even stronger and recent motivation in ensuring that Gary is out of his way in Power Play.
    C409387D-FB1C-4D4E-9835-7C7FC0D4817C.jpeg

    On Dallas, four episodes after Power Play, in Second Thoughts, JR calls Gary and Valene as Lucy’s “scheming parents” and mentions that his brother Gary and his greedy wife will be swarming over him if Lucy stays in Dallas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  20. Mustard

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    Gary's faults are all there on Knots Landing, and how he gradually copes with them. Everything I said about the dynamic between J.R. and Gary is true. And as I said before, David Jacobs wrote early Gary episodes on Dallas and was then Executive Producer on Knots Landing. It's not like there were two completely different creative minds behind the different shows in regards to Gary.

    I also find it bizarre how you seek to paint J.R. as some sort of "anti-hero" instead of a villain, even an entertaining villain.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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