Dallas Actors Quote - VP "First 5 years of Dallas was Wonderful"!

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Pammy P, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Pammy P

    Pammy P Soap Chat Active Member

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    A quote by the lovely Victoria Principal on the interview I think she shared with Dallas Fanzine.

    Was she right? 1978 to 1983, the show was at its best!

    Mini Series
    Who shot JR

    Do you all agree?

    For me it ended in 1987 "the fall of the house of Ewing" - when VP closed the door on Southfork for the last time. IMO, she and Bobby were the backbone of the show, Barnes v Ewing - with JR v Cliff. So I enjoyed it 1978 - 1987.

    We all know it should have been Bobby & Pam's show, but the great Larry Hagman turned JR into an international superstar/character and it was then "his show"......but it was still

    Barnes v Ewing the whole point of the show Dallas.

    I hated JR with Cally, Bobby with April, the new generation of Ewing wives, it was not the same when Swelling & Pammy were not at the Southfork Dinner table.
     
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  2. Treeviewer

    Treeviewer Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    There's no doubt that there was a steady decline so whether you say the first five, the first six or the first ten really only depends on your personal level of tolerance.
     
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  3. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    I think it was intended to be Bobby and Pam's show and I loved those first few years of establishing relationships, feuds etc. But I read a quote recently which said that 'Bobby and Pam started the ball rolling, but JR and Sue Ellen's relationship kept it rolling' (will find site later and quote if necessary!). I think it would have been hard to stop this because they were just so damn watchable and Larry WAS JR Ewing. JR and Sue Ellen are the show to me and for me it was never the same without Sue Ellen. If that means I'm missing the original point, then so be it ;) I totally respect what Pam and Bobby mean though.

    I agree with you that Ewing v Barnes was the whole point and it's so sad to me to this day that they brought in new wives and the whole dynamic changed. I liked April and Cally a lot, but Cally especially just wasn't a Ewing wife. All that James Beaumont nonsense should never have happened. I think with different writing we could have got the endings we and the characters deserved.
     
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  4. Barbara Belle Of The Ball

    Barbara Belle Of The Ball Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The first 6 seasons original numbering were by far the best so yes VP is correct
    Dallas 1979 - 83 were when the show really took off in UK with it being at its height during the summer of 1980 and the speculation that went with the shooting of JR
    That was never topped and it was the best time to be a Dallas fan
    it was everywhere whether you liked it or not and it was in the press on a daily basis with LH the most bankable celebrity on the planet
    by the mid 80s that had shifted to Victoria P who was the hottest and most talked about Dallas star

    the second rate generation of actors (use the term loosely here) on the show post dream sucked.
     
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  5. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    It must have been amazing to be part of that cast during it's heyday. Nothing else like it, or since! :):spinning:
     
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  6. Zach

    Zach Soap Chat Active Member

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    Dallas was great until Bobby's death and steadily rising from the very beginning, reaching its (first) climax in the shooting of JR.
    That following year was not its best though (that horrible generic score they had to use during the post Who Shot JR time made things even worse).

    I think season six (DVD) and the fight for Ewing Oil was the best structured and most exciting season and VP was fantastic that year. She had a lot to do and could really show what a great actress she is. Comparing Pam this year and Pam in season 4, she seems like a totally differnet person.
     
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  7. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Do you think she started to lose interest, once she realised what direction the show was going in? (ie away from her storyline and more towards JR?)
     
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  8. Natalia Patterson

    Natalia Patterson Soap Chat Active Member

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    I have to some what disagree with Pam and Bobby being the back bone of the show. I think that each character bought something to the show. There would definitely have not been a show without JR. He was the most interesting character out of all. But all in all I don't think that Dallas would have been as successful as it was without each one of these outstanding characters who contributed to the show.
     
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  9. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Agreed. I think their story formed the beginning and the backbone, but as time went on, it became about a mix of things. The fundamental Ewing Barnes storyline was the foundation and I would have liked to have seen the focus remain on that - which it could have done with Cliff and JR even in the absence of Pam. But overall it is a mix that made the show interesting. I loved that foundation - that it was built on two rival families - but Pam didn't hold my interest for long enough. Many of the other main characters are far more interesting in my opinion (up until Season 13 of course...).

    My belief through my own study of the show and articles that I have read has always been that of course Victoria would think the first five years were the best - because the storyline was still focussed on her primarily. From what I've seen and heard, in over 35 years of loving Dallas, she believed it was her show and found it difficult (as any actor may do in a similar situation), when that limelight shifted to others.

    1979-1983 were indeed fantastic, but so too were the years 1984-1988. Once Sue Ellen leaves, that for me is when it went downhill, because JR subsequently lost his direction (and marbles).
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  10. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Victoria is correct.

    My view is that Seasons 1-6 (DVD) is Dallas at its best. It was almost continuous brilliance throughout this whole period. The only criticisms of this period that I have are changing Pam's biological father from Digger to Hutch (completely ridiculous), and Season 4 wasn't quite as good as Seasons 1-3 and 5-6, but that was probably down to Jim Davis' health getting so bad by Episodes 10-15 of Season 4 and the Dallas writers/showrunners not really knowing what to do straight away in terms of storylines because of that. Once they decided on Jock's death, intensifying the J.R. vs. Cliff feud to its peak, and then the whole Battle for Ewing Oil, Dallas had arguably its best period ever.

    Season 7 was the very start of the decline, with the Peter Richards storyline (which also made Lucy look dumb), but other than that, Season 7 was just as strong as previous seasons. In Season 8, signs of decline become a regular thing as old storylines that were previously done in a small number of episodes from Seasons 2-3, are redone and made to last for most of Season 8 (Jenna, Renaldo, Charlie's father). However, Season 8 ended with one of the greatest Dallas episodes (Swansong), ending with Bobby's death shortly after he had gotten back with Pam.

    I personally find Season 9 to be a breath of fresh air, especially the first half of the season when characters are showing all sorts of grief about Bobby being dead, thus showing sides of their personalities we had rarely seen before. They bring Bobby back from the dead in Season 10, but the most annoying thing is how a whole season's worth of storylines have been completely written off, with events taking completely different paths in Season 10. That jars for a long time in Season 10, but the B.D. Calhoun and Nancy Scottfield trying to shut down Ewing Oil storylines are great. Ewing Oil getting shut down and Pam driving into the oil tanker at the season's end is the end of everything that really matters in terms of Dallas.

    Season 11 is a strange hybrid. It has no Pam and no Ewing Oil so the old dynamic is now gone, but a lot of the old structure is still there. The bad things that will plague future Dallas seasons are now making a serious presence. Season 11 is also the Nicholas Pearce season, which again makes it stand out on its own. Seasons 12-14 are a mess. Watching all the episodes from these seasons in order is like watching a car crash in slow motion. It is torture. I did it once, never again.

    J.R. Returns did a pretty good job in clearing up a lot of the mess from the late Dallas seasons, but then they went and undid it all again in War of the Ewings. Incredibly, the new Dallas of 2012-2014 was even worse than Seasons 12-14 of original Dallas, which is damning.

    So yes, Victoria Principal is entirely correct. Dallas from 1978-1983 was Dallas at the peak of its powers. Victoria also got out of Dallas at the perfect time, and her time on the show is remembered for all its successes and very little of its failures. After Pam left, the scale of Dallas' decline was astonishing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  11. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    I agree with Victoria on this one. The first several seasons were brilliant until the arrival of Jamie Ewing (Jenilee Harrison) and Donna Reed replacing Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie. I will politely disagree with other posters when it's inferred Victoria may have been upset when the focus of Dallas shifted from Pam to other characters. The story of Bobby and Pam was the backbone to Dallas. How dare a Ewing marry a Barnes! These two warring families had an unhealthy appetite for each other so it was going to be interesting to see how Pam survived living with them. In those first several seasons every character was essential to the success of Dallas. Of course the character of J.R., was the standout however he was only as strong as long as Bobby, Pam, Miss Ellie and Sue Ellen were there for him to bounce off. Once those characters left (or returned from the dead) his power had diminished.
     
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  12. KayLloyd

    KayLloyd Soap Chat Fan

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    I agree with Victoria, those were definitely the best years of Dallas. The show really suffered when the decision was made to break up Bobby and Pam. Their marriage was the whole foundation of the show, and with their divorce, the show just wasn't the same. Their reunion did not happen soon enough.
     
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  13. Piggy It's Kermit Outside

    Piggy It's Kermit Outside Soap Chat Star

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    I think that the "Dallas" formula developed as years went by. The first 2 full seasons the story was completely an ensemble story: even Lucy had revelance because she was the reminder of the missing brother, Gary. Once he was shipped with Valene to the spin-off, Lucy lost importance and Charlene herself seemed to get bored until the Mickey storyline. Though, to Charlene´s credit, she was pregnant with her daughter during the second "Mitch Year". Considering that she divorced her husband not too long after that, she really did a great job in Seasons 5 & 6, even with Peter, because, let´s admit it, he was a kind of match to what Lucy represented in the show (the stubborn, slightly dumb blonde!). I think that Lucy should have even married Peter and then he might have revealed to Sue Ellen that she was his true love. At least, that´s what the "Dienasty" writers would have done, IMHO (and then forget the Peter character and have Lucy raped, again, probably; that was the Carrington world...). :re:

    The original seasons 3 & 4 milked the "Who Shot JR?" phenomenon, and I doubt that, with the infamous strikes, those unexpectedly high ratings, the promotion tours around the world, and the stars sponsoring several well-known brands, the producers really could focus in writing the best stories. As some of you have said above, they did their best when handled Jim Davis´ death rendering tribute to both actor and character. Season 5 was a new beginning, and maybe the birth of the supersoap as we know it now: very long seasons, movie guest stars, twists and turns in every episode, lavish Balls and BBQ´s, that was the second Golden Era of the show, that would have lasted until Season 7 if it hadn´t been for...:tv1:

    ...The Donna Reed debacle.:eek: I´d even say that hiring such a non-actress as Prissy Presley :dancer:hurt the show but made people talk about it again. But despite Reed´s presence (or lack of), Season 7 was "Dallas" all gone "Dienasty", which of course climaxed in the Dream Season, with disastrous consequences ratings-wise. When we talk about this year, we sometimes forget how many things the Capice team had to deal with: BBG´s (very) unexpected return and Reed´s (very) mishandled firing (including the court case), VP´s health problems that led to Pam´s kidnap and a quick re-writing of that part of the season, to explain her almost total absence in 3 episodes, and then Howard Keel´s heart condition, which actually I didn´t really know until I read Barbara Curran´s book, because Clayton´s absence never was truly felt. And down came the ratings and Hagman blaming Capice for those. IMO, Duffy should have never returned and "Swan Song" (or "Blast from the Past") would have been the perfect ending.
    :rip:

    Anything after that (=the post-shower seasons) lacked the "Dallas" touch in every sense. The photography became blurry, the dream excuse was developed in the sloppiest possible way (what about Dusty´s return and Katherine´s appearance in the episode "Deliverance"?), and strong characters like Miss Ellie, Pam, Ray, Donna and even Bobby became a caricature of themselves. I´d rather have 7 seasons only than 5 more years of lame, recycled storylines.
    :crazy:
     
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  14. Via The Void

    Via The Void Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I'm in agreement with Victoria here.

    She clearly knew the right time to leave the show.

    And when she did the best years of Dallas were behind it.

    Sad but true. :(
     
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  15. TomParks2016

    TomParks2016 Soap Chat Fan

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    I honestly believe had Duffy not returned Victoria would have stuck around a bit longer, but when he returned she was knocked down the ladder and bailed.
     
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  16. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Dusty's return was explained as his "death" being a mistaken news report, which assumed that there was only 1 person on board when they found a body, when there were actually 2 people on board. You can do this with a storyline when a character's apparent death happens off screen. As for Katherine, yes we saw her dead, but Katherine's death was a part of Pam's dream, so she never died in the universe where Pam woke up.

    One bit of the post-dream rewrite that doesn't add up is what exactly happened to that angry woman in the car waiting outside Pam's house? She seemingly lost interest and disappeared. Maybe she thought better of it and went home, eh.

    And they were recycling storylines even in Season 8 (DVD), so they were running out of ideas. In a Season 2 episode, Jenna (played by Morgan Fairchild) confirmed that Charlie wasn't Bobby's daughter. In two Season 3 episodes, Jenna (played by Francine Tacker) had talked of having just put Charlie on a plane to Italy and that Renaldo was becoming quite a good father. Fast forward to Season 8 when Jenna is a regular played by Priscilla Presley, and the whole stuff about who is Charlie's father goes on and on, contradicting Season 2, with Bobby even being revealed as Charlie's legal father. Also, Charlie had never heard of Renaldo when he was first mentioned to her, contradicting Season 3 entirely.

    Something else too, in the first 7 seasons (DVD), there is no hint of Jock Ewing having had a brother. In Season 8, we first hear about Jason Ewing and Jason's kids, Jack and Jamie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
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  17. Piggy It's Kermit Outside

    Piggy It's Kermit Outside Soap Chat Star

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    Mustard, I refer to Dusty´s appearance just before the "Swan Song" episode, when they give a party at OBC to welcome Jenna and celebrate their victory (ep. "Deliverance"). I agree with you that Dusty´s "death" on original Season 2 was a mistaken news report because there were 2 people on board. Even Dusty saying to Clayton that he was going to divorce Linda happened before Bobby´s death scene...
     
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  18. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Ah, right. I understand. When they brought in the dream revelation and reset everything back to Swansong, they didn't really explain Dusty's absence, the angry woman in the car outside Pam's house disappearing, nor Ray and Donna's place changing. A person in Pam's dream by the name of Ben Stivers was also uncannily like Wes Parmalee.
     
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  19. Via The Void

    Via The Void Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Dallas was a one of a kind soap.

    I watched it from start to finish but if I had to have a cut off point during the series run where the quality of the show nose dived, I'd stop watching when Bobby's red Mercedes SL with Pam driving it crashed into the oil tanker. ;)
     
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  20. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Fan

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    I'm in the minority, but I find the first couple of seasons a bit too slow and I only ever tune in when I'm doing a full rewatch. I enjoy 3-11 the best. 10 was bad because they didn't allow Jenna to just naturally leave the show when her storyline was over, they had to write her in even when she didn't really need to be there (Priscilla's contract?? Idk). There were bits and pieces in each season I didn't like, but I find I can very comfortably keep watching all the way until Sue Ellen leaves and even then, it doesn't get really boring or stupid for me until season 13 and 14 when there are more newbies than originals on the show.
    The final few seasons do feel like a different show, but so do the first couple. The stand alone episodes were such hit and miss stories for me that I almost never go back and watch them.
    I enjoyed the TV movies too.
     
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