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Missed Opportunities

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    What's something you wish they would have done in Dallas that you consider a missed opportunity?

    Instead of stripping the character of his competency and making him start to lose over and over, they could have had JR mature and become a better man. Because he knows how to be devious and is so good at it, he could still be be that way in certain situations that necessitated it in order to protect the family, but otherwise would have been wiser, more mature and ethical man. He might have been seen as the head of the family, in sort of a Jock type role as he got older.

    JR was often referred to in advertisements as "the man you love to hate." Here they already had a tremendously successful character, but once they decided they had done all they can with JR as that guy, they took the character in a negative direction and made him a loser. That was a mistake and a missed opportunity.

    When you've got a character that's so successful, but that the audience feels ambivalent about because they love him and hate him simultaneously, why not turn him good so that all these people who want to like him but feel like they shouldn't can now feel good about liking him? JR would have been more popular than ever! There's nothing people love more than seeing a story of a guy who has been a bad guy but now has found redemption by overcoming his negative aspects after a difficult struggle.

    He's still a dangerous guy because he knows to to be that way, he knows how to hurt people, yet he makes the choice to not be that way unless he's protecting himself and his family in certain situations that require it. That makes a fascinating character. If you don't hurt people because you're incapable of hurting anyone, that's not virtuous - that's just weakness. It's like a little bunny rabbit - it's not virtuous; it's incapable of hurting anyone even if it wants to. There is no choice involved. It's harmless because that's all it can be. It's having that capacity to be a monster but choosing to not use it that is virtuous. They had the opportunity to do that with JR and missed it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  2. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Add all you’ve said to him growing up and staying and respecting Sue Ellen and you’ve sold me.
     
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    I think that could have worked very well as long as they didn't wait too long to do it. That goes for what I originally suggested as well. Somewhere around season 7, maybe 8 at the most, would have been the time to do it and would have prevented the repetition of seeing their constant break-ups and reconciliations. By season 10 or 11, JR had cheated on Sue Ellen so many times that I don't know if the audience would have bought idea that somehow he's changed after showing he was incapable of being faithful for 10 or 11 years of Dallas. If they'd timed it right and had JR make the change approximately around half way through the series, then, yeah I think it would have worked well

    It works well for the character of Sue Ellen too because it shows that she saw JR's true potential, that when she married him she was in love with JR and especially in love with the idea of the man he was capable of becoming. It would make Sue Ellen look great to have been willing to persevere through all the troubled times of their marriage because she believed so strongly that JR would eventually realize the full potential she had originally seen in him.
     
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  4. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 11 Years

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    I think I know what they were going for here. When Dallas premiered, Ewing Oil was already a big and successful oil company. The Ewings were already rich and powerful. I actually like the idea of, "Let's take Ewing Oil away and watch J.R. build up a new empire". It was a good idea.

    The execution is where things fell apart. J.R. lost his edge and was shown to be weak. The better way to go is as Kenny suggests, allow J.R. to mature naturally and become a better person.
     
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  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    I think they took the easy way out by having the show change in such a negative way. It's easy to create drama by having lots of terrible things happen but you can't sustain that without destroying the thing you've built. The challenging direction to take would have been to decide to build instead of destroy.
     
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  6. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    Has anyone else come up with some thoughts about what they consider "missed opportunities"?

    Do you think JR should have had a friend - someone who thought like he did and sometimes collaborated on dirty deals with him? I think Richard Crenna would have been excellent for that role. He was close enough in age to be believable and he certainly had the ability to play that type of character.

    The role Crenna had in Body Heat was proof of that. There was a great scene in Body Heat where Crenna's character is explaining to William Hurt's character that most people aren't willing to do what it takes to become wealthy. Hurt replies: "You mean willing to to do the preparation - the groundwork"? Crenna laughs and says: "No, I mean the ability to do what's necessary - whatever is necessary."
     
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  7. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat TV Fanatic EXP: 8 Years

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    I agree - part of maturing would be working with like minded people. I think it would have been great to see him with 2 best friends, a friendship from years ago he kept hidden, like they made of Carlos DelSol on TNT and a new deal with someone like Richard Channing tying the two shows together. Much like Jock had with his friends, especially Punk. I could see him also trying to get John Ross to marry an Anderson grandchild.

    Jack already fit the role of a Bobby type character. He could have started seeing Wendell’s daughter. They should have searched out a top shelf (yes very expensive) actress to provide some family drama as JR matured into Jock and Cliff burned out. Maybe Jock had another brother and there’s another Ewing cousin.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  8. lbf522

    lbf522 Soap Chat Active Member

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    It did bother me that JR did not have anyone in his corner and his only friend was Ray Krebs before the writers ruined it and made Ray a mindless hothead like Bobby and a hypocrite. I can do with JR being an introvert but I hated that everyone hating on him and never anyone in his corner.
     
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  9. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 11 Months

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    Same here. I wish they had made JR physically tougher. There were times when Bobby and Ray played tough guy with JR that I was hoping he would punch them out.

    As for missed opportunities, I think they could have given Punk a larger role. I always thought punk was a great character.
     
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  10. lbf522

    lbf522 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Yes I would have liked to have seen more of Punk as well and get some insight into Jock's past. Yes there were times I would have loved JR would smack Bobby or Ray down.
     
  11. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Sue Ellen was almost constantly in his corner and would have stayed there if he hadn't treated her the way he did.

    She also had a mean right hook ;)
     
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  12. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    I guess I'm not the only one who would have liked them to have Punk play a bigger role. One thing they could have done is have Punk be a father figure for Ray after Jock died, especially when Ray was having so much trouble with his self-esteem right after Jock died, with the failure of his last real estate deal.

    Punk and Mavis should have had some children. Maybe one could be a friend of JR - that friend he never had. With the names that the older guys had, Jock and Punk, do you think it would've been too over the top to have Punk say to Jock one day: "Hey Jock, my son's come back into town and you haven't ever met him! Jock, meet my son - Stud Anderson!

    What do ya think? Would Jock be upset someone had an even more macho name than him? Ha ha ha!
     
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  13. lbf522

    lbf522 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Well we never met the children of the other cartel members. That might have been interesting to see that. Its like we never met members of Jock's family and when we did it was his nephew and niece. We did meet Ellie's brother Garrison though.
     
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  14. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 1 Year

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    JR had plenty of people in his corner. Many times. But eventually he would run them off.

    Remember what Bobby told him when he was caught with Ray’s country singing girlfriend? “JR, you have a knack at turning every good friend you ever had into an enemy.”
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  15. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 9 Months

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    Instead of the "It's A Wonderful Life" riff they passed off as the series finale, there could have been a plot where JR gets what he wants, complete control of Ewing Oil. However, in the final scene of the series, it hits him that he has lost everyone in his life. He doesn't attempt suicide or have a contrived epiphany. Instead the writers could have done something a little more subtle. JR is aware what he's doing will alienate everyone, and he doesn't necessarily regret it but is not happy either. The final shot is JR alone.
     
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  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    I like that.

    It reminds me of his reaction in the season after Bobby died where he's in his office and I think maybe Harv is with him (before Bobby's will has been read) and JR says something like: So I win control of Ewing Oil by default. That's no victory at all. None of this means a damn thing without Bobby here.

    You might enjoy watching that again, since it has a similar feel to it as what you thought of, although not the same thing. It must be one of the first 2 or 3 episodes of season 9.

    It's a good scene and highlights that what he really enjoyed and still wanted was to compete, to have a challenge - it's not the destination that ultimately appeals to him, it's the journey there and having Bobby with him.
     
  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    That was somewhat disingenuous of Bobby to criticize JR for getting involved with a woman Ray was seeing, wasn't it? What is it, "Do as I say, not as I do"?
     
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  18. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member EXP: 1 Year

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    If you’re referring to Bobby, Pam and Ray, at least Ray and Pam had broken up by then. JR slept with a good friends girlfriend.
     
  19. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    Ray took Pam out on a date to a Southfork party and Bobby made a move on her - that's how they met.
     
  20. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 9 Months

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    Good call, Kenny. I thought the first part of the Dream Season was really good with some top notch acting. I even found Anjelica somewhat interesting at first until her story became silly.
     
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