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Lack of interaction between Miss Ellie and James

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Miss Texas 1967, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 5 Years

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    I've just rewatched up to season 13 and am about to start season 14 where I know James remains in the show but Miss Ellie is "away" and BBG never comes back. My question is, does anyone know whether there a particular reason why we never got a James/Miss Ellie scene? Obviously Miss Ellie never went to California to visit on screen (or off?) with Bobby and Betsy in Knots Landing and her relationship with Lucas was strained by Jenna's awkwardness with Bobby and Ray so it's not the first instance of a lack of interaction with her grandchildren, but James was living at Southfork and the most we ever got was a scene with Miss Ellie and Clayton discussing meeting James off screen. It's very strange, they set it up as if Miss Ellie and Clayton were coming back from their mystery solving trip earlier in the season to a surprise, not just with the oil tanker crash but also JR's illegitimate first son, but that goes nowhere. Was it just lazy writing? Budget cuts to the point where there were a lack of big family scenes? It seemed weird to have a new main character join the family but never interact with his new grandmother.
     
  2. Bobby Southworth

    Bobby Southworth Soap Chat Member EXP: 3 Months

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    Yes. There should have been more of a reaction and some scenes together between Miss Ellie and James. I'm not sure why this was overlooked by the creative team. I think probably
    because Miss Ellie was too much in the background at that point, and it's unfortunate. It probably was contractual, budget cuts, and Barbara and Howard already had their plots slated. Maybe Sasha and the James character were a later addition to season 13, and like I said, some plot lines were already laid out.

    I suppose it also could have just been lazy writing. There were other instances in later seasons when characters didn't seem to have a proper response to situations. For instance, Bobby and most of the family when it came to Pam's car crash and disappearance. Sue Ellen's lack of grief over Nicholas Pearce. I guess in later days perhaps it became more plot driven than character based? It's hard to know for sure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  3. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    I found it odd too. I assume they never had a scene due to different shooting schedules and no crossing story-lines in Season 13. It would have been nice to have Ellie and James having a breakfast conversation on the Southfork patio one morning. Not meeting the matriarch of the Ewing family onscreen, in her final season, was a mistake.

    I can't remember if James ever met Clayton in Season 14. I assume he did and I just forgot. I know Clayton met Michelle when she came to collect April's belongings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  4. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 5 Years

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    The thing is, the actors not being on set at the same time seems just bad planning and a lack of forethought. If the writers had written a scene with the two of them, they'd need to be there to film it. If no scene was written then it's not that far removed to think perhaps they weren't on set at the same time. It's kind of weird though because it's not like Miss Ellie exclusively had scenes with Clayton and not the family and it's not like James had no family scenes, they were both living at Southfork.

    As for the lack of reaction and quick forgetting of storylines, I hadn't thought about it that way before but it's true. The fact that Sue Ellen doesn't even seem to shed a tear over Nicholas until his father shows up is more than a little strange, we at least got to see her mourn Kristin in a scene with Dusty.
     
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  5. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    If you were Clayton, wouldn't you be glad if you forgot you ever met James?

    Swami
     
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  6. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    I found the entire storyline a slap in the face and totally unrealistic in that JR didn't even question it. He questioned enough about John Ross or any other 'outsider' he saw come into the family. The writing had got really lazy by then - it wasn't Dallas.

    He was an unnecessary and 'what do we do now' addition to the cast. I never believed he was JR's son. Maybe Miss Ellie didn't either ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  7. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    I believe it's very possible that JR could have had a son from a woman he knew before Sue Ellen. I just don't think the character was believable as JR's son as written or as it was acted! I don't think he added any value to the series.

    The way I feel about how drastically the series had been allowed to drift from anything that should be called Dallas in season 14, I can understand why you'd say "it wasn't Dallas." Technically I do consider it Dallas (unlike TNT Dallas) but so much of the content of season 14, probably all of it, is stuff that doesn't belong in the show and wouldn't have even come close to making it into the show in earlier years.

    I just can't see Capice or Katzman in 1980 or 1984 getting a season 14 script from the writers and saying "This is quality writing. Let's use it"!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  8. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    I just find it all so bloody insulting and unnecessary. JR and Sue Ellen are my favourite couple - this need that some seem to have to have him populate the nation at every possible opportunity is just showing a lack of imagination. Keep something sacred at least. Especially with the focus put on John Ross 3rd's conception and birth. It was a big deal. Having James sullied that.We're expected to believe he had James, got Leanne de la Vega pregnant, then a daughter is supposed to allegedly appear in TNT. Give me a break.

    They had run out of ideas. That's just how I feel about it anyway. And yes he was bloody awful. I never did and never will accept the blow in Beaumonts! Insulting viewers intelligence is an understatement.
     
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  9. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wasnt BBG lucky IMHO!
    By then Dallas had dumbed down and wasnt really "Proper Dallas" with a great cast, the second last season was full of nonenties and pretty awful acting from the bland and boring - The writing was on the wall and BBG had a lucky escape and James and his Mother coming out of the wood work was scraping the barrell and further prrof of the decline - like we were supposed to care?? Not me!!
     
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  10. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    JR was at the very least forty when John Ross was born and even in the first episodes we see JR fooling around on his wife of eight years. I think the concept of JR having children from earlier relations was a good one and I found it odd it took them until Season 13 to really explore it. Just imagine all the women he was with when he was in his twenties and thirties. It would have been great to see Sue Ellen fight for John Ross' Ewing birthright as she was the original Mrs. JR Ewing.

    I do agree about the TNT daughter concept. That was lazy.
     
  11. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    @Michelle Stevens Have to agree to disagree on that one. Many men and women make it to 40 without having children, yet still being with lots of people.

    It was insulting to me as JR and Sue Ellen's biggest fan and I will shout it from the rooftops that the writers simply HAD NO IDEA what to do next, so introduced this unbelievable element, moreso in that he and his dreadful mother didn't show up until YEARS later and JR asked for no proof whatsoever.

    I'm not very objective when it comes to them and my feelings on it are deeply personal, but I hated the whole storyline. I reiterate that to me it's just lack of imagination. I absolutely hated the idea. Just give us ONE thing that is solely Sue Ellen's with JR. One thing. It's not asking too much, especially for those of us that root for them. That's my thoughts on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  12. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    It's all good! I love your passion! :hugs:
     
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  13. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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  14. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Fan EXP: 1 Year

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    Was James simply Dallas’ version of “cousin Oliver?” Lol
     
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  15. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Of all the awful characters brought in during the last few seasons, I think James Beaumont and Rose McKay are the absolute worst, even worse than Granny Beaumont.

    Swami
     
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  16. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    But JR cheated on Sue Ellen all the time! What's so sacred about that?? And doesn't that make other offspring likely?

    Admittedly, they didn't execute it very well by that point in the show. And Ellie not interacting with James shows how sloppy the writing was by then. But Paulsen was gone.
     
  17. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    Barbara Bel Geddes had it in her contract that she never had to have dialogue with talentless underwear models.
     
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  18. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    In my continuation of Dallas the character would be long dead. I'd give Sue Ellen the delicious throwaway line James was killed by his evil uncle, Frank Lambert ;)...in front of Bobby.

    I would however have Cally's child return.
     
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  19. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Paulsen was gone by the time James arrived. Writer Howard Lakin said that Lenny Katzman found the passing down of generational legacy from male to male very moving, but saw women as arm trophies. So Miss Ellie's reaction to and relationship with her newly-discovered grandson might not have crossed Katzman's mind.

    I mean, just look how they marginalized her in the closing seasons, when they should have beefed up her role.
     
  20. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    Supposing he really thought that way, when right near the end of season 11 a couple of "arm trophies" get the better of Katzman's protagonist, the objective there couldn't have been to make the women look clever. It would have been to show how dumb JR was, as well as tell the audience how stupid they'd been to bother watching the show.
     

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