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Skipping the Dream Season

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Miss Texas 1967, Jan 13, 2020.

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Would you consider skipping the dream season when rewatching the series?

  1. Yes

    39.4%
  2. No

    60.6%
  1. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Yes, the first part of the dream season was much better than what came later -- although you can still tell there's not any forward momentum and that it isn't really going anywhere.
     
  2. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 18 Years

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    I love that last paragraph especially, so spot on! However, I think that Leonard Katzman running the show on his own was the beginning of the end for "Dallas" (even more than bringing Bobby back), because there was no balance in his decisions, there was one and only boss (and he hired his own sons to stay up there...). IMO Katzman played a great part in the series becoming such a hit because of his ideas, his deep understanding of what made the characters tick, and of course the flawless casting, aside from (most of) the recastings.​

    upload_2020-1-16_18-51-12.jpeg

    Here are Mama and Phil Capice. Mama proving she can wear a fur coat even better than Ms. Dread.​

    Phil Capice wasn´t stuck with one idea only, for 8 years he changed a lot of things in the show, primarily for good, but his balance with Katzman, which ended badly, made everybody stay in their places and value what they were working for. They say Capice took the business side and Katzman the artistic and creative side. After 8 years of working on the same show, I understand that each of them started to make some big mistakes that people can´t forget (Donna Reed, the Dream solution, the eternal fight for Ewing Oil and for some, trying to turn the show into a sort of Texan "Dynasty").

    upload_2020-1-16_18-52-49.jpeg

    Larry wearing his Pink Panther glasses and Uncle Lenny​

    About J.R. becoming weak, I honestly think that Katzman was a hard-worker but also a bit of a control freak: if he ever watched the show again prior to his death, I wonder what he thought about the latter years, especially everything after the Haleyville saga. And then we have his many contradictions, besides this "J.R. is strong as always, but isn´t":

    - Bobby returns as a stronger character but he eventually becomes just a loving daddy (nothing against that).:spinning::spinning::spinning::spinning::spinning::spinning:
    - Sue Ellen gets into business and two years later sells everything and wastes a lot of money in an awful movie-of-the-week.
    - Lucy is brought back to play the same old losers´magnet but now is a brunette.
    - J.R. won´t be beat by Angelica Nero but hey: remember how many women put him on his knees later on? (Mrs. Scotfield was pivotal in the loss of Ewing Oil, Kimberly and Sue Ellen get him out of the WestStar boarding room, hillbilly Cally will end up in Southfork as his wife and will get big bucks in the divorce agreement, LeeAnn plays mind games with him and breaks his engagement with Grandma Beaumont, and Michelle also "buys" a place in the ranch and makes him and Cliff pay for the company much more than it´s worth).

    [​IMG]

    The Hateful Three

    Do you see a pattern here? As if he was changing his mind constantly? The show had to get benefits and keep itself up in the ratings. I do think he had every right to do it because he had put so much enthusiasm and creativity on the show for such a long time, but to sum it up, I think nobody should be blamed for the slow decline of the show (maybe evil CBS:p?). It slowly vanished into the air and was put in the limbo, until la Cider House resurrected it. "Knots" was the exception to the rule as in many other subjects and was good until its last episode despite some ups and downs. The other soaps even burnt much faster and casualties were numerous, but here we are all their fans, hooked on endless rewatchings (moi too, yes). Long live Supersoaps!

    upload_2020-1-16_19-6-24.png

    The Twilight Zone moment for Supersoaps fans!
    Disclaimer: the text above expresses my opinion which I would never consider as The Truth, and of course I do want to discuss with someone with an opinion different from mine, so please don´t shoot me immediately (you know who you are...).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  3. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    There is a direct link between JR becoming weak and the downfall of the series - and it's Sue Ellen.

    I know Linda decided to leave - but not only do I feel had the storylines been stronger/or different decisions been made that the show would have not declined how it did. I certainly know what I would have done, but in my opinion everything that happened from 1989 onwards was a direct result of losing JR's soul mate - it changed him indefinitely and not for the better. The introduction of SO MANY BAD characters and storylines came in the aftermath of Linda Gray leaving.

    I don't say it lightly - but I do wonder would it have been better to have Dallas end on a high note - with JR and Sue Ellen in power after securing West Star together. Absolutely nothing about what followed has ever made sense to me. The change in JR's character had such a knock on effect all round, it was like the writers literally had no idea what direction to take him in.

    "Without Sue Ellen, JR was much less".
     
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  4. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic EXP: 10 Years

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    Dallas had just went on too long by that point, even if Sue Ellen has stayed. How many more times could we have heard her say, “You bastard!” to JR?
     
  5. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    Linda didn’t decide to leave. She was axed. She would have stayed if she could
     
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  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    It never grows old on me.
     
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  7. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    Do you suppose they ever thought, maybe when JR and Sue Ellen were breaking up for the 7th or 8th time, that they were getting repetitive?
     
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  8. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 18 Years

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    Reportedly they did. I think it was Katzman who said that they did divorce them because they never thought the show would last as long as it did and, well, there aren´t so many things to do with a married couple. That was the excuse for so many breakups and reconciliations, aside from the usual "audiences want them together".
     
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  9. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    But that isn't the point. There was no reason why it HAD to get repetitive. They missed a trick (the writers). JR and Sue Ellen should have overcome their problems to become a super couple. Working together. Dallas would have lasted a lot longer. Sorry I don't have much time for the opinion that JR and Sue Ellen were solely one dimensional or that their relationship was just repetitive. There was SO MUCH potential there had the writers had the guts to do it and had certain powers that be not been so sexist in wanting to keep female characters in a certain bracket and not letting them expand or reach the potential they could have done. Even Larry Hagman said by the time we reached JR Returns that he would only do it if 'things were made right between JR and Sue Ellen'.

    Parting JR and Sue Ellen permanently ruined the character of JR and ultimately the show. One change of storyline (not introducing the ridiculous way that JR had to leave Sue Ellen to marry Kimberly) would have made all the difference. No more break ups, JR finally grows up and realises that his strongest ally is Sue Ellen. The writers were stupid and didn't appreciate what they had in front of them until it was too late.
     
  10. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    Sorry Uncle Lennie. RIDICULOUS - and totally unimaginative. Poor excuse.

    (I have a little secret that one of the writers told me that they'd wished I had 'been in the room with them'. Lil ol' me. Shucks.)
     
  11. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    It's a question. It has a point though. I'm wondering if the people running the show realized how repetitive that part of the show was getting.

    I agree.

    What is a "super couple"? Is it an incredibly happy couple? JR and Sue Ellen were a lot of things, but being happily married to each other for any extended period time wasn't one of them.
     
  12. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    This is a quote from a member that I hope they don't mind me borrowing. It really sums up a lot of what I'm saying:

    "You did a good job at describing how the dynamic runs between these two characters. JR gets passionate in the heat of the moment and loves the thrill ride of trying to win Sue Ellen back. (Granted, this time I think he really knows how much more important it is now to correct his mistakes.) And Sue Ellen knows how easily she can let herself fall back into him, and it is both enjoyable and worrisome to her. And how she still feels resentful enough to want to get back at him a little with her words. Honestly, I believe the writers made a mistake by not just letting them stay together instead of the whole Westar mess with Kimberly Cryder. Obviously, Katherine was not an option for JR anymore at this point in the story. But Sue Ellen had developed to the point where she was strong and smart enough to know how to deal with JR and not let him control her, and impressed him enough by showing she could fight on his level with how she took care of the Mandy Flinger incident. We did not need Cally the kid and Don Dorkwood.'

    It is a comment on a fan fiction - but also highlights that a lot of the viewers imaginations were much better than what we were forced to endure in the final few seasons.

    Massive opportunity missed.

     
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  13. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    No, I wouldn't skip it. I liked it and it happened that way. Too late to rewrite history now.
     
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  14. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    I have seriously considered skipping the Dream Season just to get the complete series in the can. If it doesn't effect the remainder of the story, then I don't necessarily see the point of watching an entire season's worth of episodes to erase it all from my mind as if it was really all the dream they wrote it off as.

    Season Nine, or Eight, however you address it, was the show's longest season in number of episodes. A total of thirty-one episodes aired that season, which I find terribly ironic. I know it wasn't the producers' initial intention to write off the year as a dream, but it just reads kind of funny to me that this longer season was the one we the audience were/are asked to toss away.

    I'm not entirely clued in on how the process went about deciding to bring Bobby back in that dream-induced shower, but I'd guess the writers and producers tacked on a couple of episodes there toward the end of the year. Maybe they didn't do that at all. I can't remember really. My memory here's a little fuzzy to say the least.

    I find it kind of disappointing that I'd spend thirty-one hours, roughly, of my time watching shows that I'm going to have to discard in the long run. I've seriously thought about watching Seasons Ten through Fourteen first, and then going back to this Dream Season to see what was thrown out to bring Bobby back to the forefront.

    Either way, I'll end up eventually watching Pam's dream, but I won't like it, I'm sure.
     
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  15. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Id watch the dream season flaws and all, over anything from S11-12 original and I have never ever watched the final season of Dallas after original showing. It wasnt Dallas - Dream season dallas still has all the cast I cared about (except Bobby off to a film career that never happened) and that was good enough for me.

    S11 and 12 were - with hindsight- not great - crap secondary cast that I didnt give a stuff about and half of them who couldnt act - No Victoria Principal who was the biggest loss to the show and the beginning of the end. Characters like Donna, Ray, Miss Ellie, Clayton, Sue Ellen side lined or written out.

    Dallas was an ensemble show with great original casting. Its why it became a world wide success, without them it suffered. Larry and Patrick were not Dallas and when Larry got too much power Dallas suffered in quality, scrips, storylines.

    Its also the reason why I couldnt stand TNT Dallas - no ensemble cast that I cared about and invested my time in. And bore no resemblance to a show I loved since 1978. dallas in name only and thats what i felt about final year of Dallas
     
  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    Thank you! That last paragraph gives you an idea of what I would have liked to have seen them do with the character of Sue Ellen so that it progressed instead of becoming stagnant. Seeing any character repeat her mistakes over and over again gets old.

    Running a show of that magnitude is appealing because you get to run things exactly the way you want. It great if you have a good vision for the way you want the storylines to go and have the competence and capability to pull it off all by yourself. You get all the credit when things go well. You also get all the blame when you make the wrong decisions. That's why I blame Leonard Katzman for bringing Patrick Duffy back. How can you blame someone else when Katzman is the one who had the final decision? That's what I asked someone who said Larry Hagman was to blame. Hagman could make suggestions, but Katzman had the final say, so how can you blame anyone but Katzman for approving that decision? The buck stops at the top. I never did get a reply to that. It's hard to argue that no, the buck doesn't stop at the top.

    Hindsight is 20/20, so it's easy to say this now, but it looks like running Dallas by himself was too much for Katzman to handle. Sometimes when people get so much success they start to think they can do no wrong. They get big heads and overestimate their abilities. I wasn't there, so I can only speculate, but that may have been what happened with him. It's one possibility.

    It would be interesting to know the specifics of what each guy contributed - which ideas came from Katzman and which ideas came from Capice. I'd love to have heard Phil Capice do DVD commentaries on some episodes so he could have talked about that some and given his side of things. Then have commentaries by Leonard Katzmann on the same episodes to get his side of things. I think that would have been fascinating if they'd done that. I didn't get much out of the Patrick Duffy/Linda Gray commentary they had. They seemed more concerned with being funny than providing much of any real value. It's annoying to listen to someone who is trying to be funny but isn't.

    He certainly did put a lot of enthusiasm and creativity for the show for a long time and it's nice that you acknowledge the positive things he contributed, rather than just blame him for the downfall of the show. Sometimes people tend to focus on the negatives more than the positives of Dallas. I can understand why it happens here, on a forum like this. It's probably more interesting to talk about what went wrong with Dallas and get people's opinions on what should have been done to prevent the decline in quality of the show than it is talk about how great Dallas was in season one through eight.

    When someone works at that high of a level for as long as Katzmann did, they can get burned out. Again, I wasn't there so I'm speculating, but based in what we saw in seasons 11-14, I believe that's what was happening to Leonard Katzman. If you do everything yourself sooner or later you're gonna burn out. Also, when you're the top guy, sometimes you become so involved that you see the trees, but you're not seeing the forest.

    What do you do when that happens? They needed to get some new people in there with some fresh ideas for the show - people who knew the show well, who had a real enthusiasm for Dallas and could also look at things with more objectivity. I really believe that's what needed to be done - getting some new, highly creative people in there to help keep the quality up to par for what the show was known for. I know some people think Dallas continued for too may seasons, but I don't think you can go too many seasons in a show like Dallas as long as you keep the level of quality high.

    In a soap opera style show like Dallas where it's a continuing story, as opposed to a show where there is a plot that has a definite beginning, middle and end to the story, you can't have too many seasons if they're good! Dallas could have continued successfully for as long or longer than it did as long as they had people with exciting ideas for new storylines for the characters. Creativity is the only limitation for the longevity of a show like Dallas. When the writers and producer run out of quality ideas for how the show should proceed, they've got to bring in some people who can look at the show in a more objective way and add fresh, exciting ideas. Otherwise the show will just get worse and lose more and more viewers until it gets cancelled.


    I like your attitude @Toni! I don't know why some people get upset if they see an opinion that differs from theirs. You and I don't agree on everything. I think April was the best new character in Dallas from that time onwards and was a valuable addition to the show. I think she was extremely likable. I know you don't agree, but that doesn't create a problem. It's just something that is bound to happen in a forum. The general idea of a forum is to exchange ideas and opinions. I find it interesting to get different perspectives on the show. I like to see good discussions get going and try to contribute to them in a way that's of some value to the rest of the forum members. I don't expect everyone to agree and it would get boring if that's all that happened! When people don't agree on the merits of an idea and they debate it, when each one is willing to counter the other's argument with ideas that back up their own argument, it leads to some of the most interesting content in the forum. It's a shame that some people take opposing views so personally. The objective is to have fun!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  17. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Addict EXP: 11 Years

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    Very insightful posts by everybody!

    One reason the dream season seems to evoke so much emotion is that by coincidence, it also happens at a time when the show changed direction.

    Consider this: Dream season or not, the show changed around that time and tthe focus moved away from Southfork Ranch and into regular soap opera plots.

    In the earlier years, many great story lines involved Southfork Ranch. Ray Krebbs was a well developed character and he was a good stand in for the audience. We could say, "I'm not sure I could imagine myself being J.R. or Sue Ellen, but I can certainly imagine myself as the ranch foreman, like Ray."

    The later years, it's as if they forgot entirely about the ranch, let alone Ray Krebbs. The storylines moved almost entirely to the office and they became more outlandish as time went on, just to hold our attention. And the show lost the feeling of "grit" that we enjoyed from the early seasons. (I borrowed that word from @Kenny Coyote I hope you don't mind.)

    So for some viewers like me, it is very easy to separate the early years from the later years by saying, "Before the dream season. . ." and "After the dream season. . . "
    And the dream season becomes sort of marker in time, whether that is fair or not.
     
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  18. Miss Texas 1967

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

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    I think this is a fascinating point in that when the dream was being written, filmed and then airing, until very late in the game it wasn't produced to have such a different feel to it that isn't replicated going forward, it was produced as the new norm for Dallas and then was all sort of scrapped in a hurry when people didn't like it, things in the background changed and Bobby returned. It's interesting to wonder what the show would have felt and looked like if the dream season tone had remained in the seasons following, if Bobby had never come back, there had been no dream explanation and things had been taken in that 'Dynasty inspired' direction.
     
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  19. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic EXP: 10 Years

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    But......what is the point of watching the dream season? Seriously? It amounts to nothing and is wretched.....
     
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  20. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    I agree. It's nice to see an interesting discussion take place with thoughtful posts from a variety of people.

    That change - away from Southfork Ranch and into regular soap opera plots robbed the show of its personality. What a bad decision that was. It looked like they were intentionally getting away from what had made them so successful.

    That "grit" that the earlier seasons had was gone. It was a rugged quality that made it distinct from the other shows on TV. Jim Davis' portrayal of Jock Ewing was the personification of grit. Some actors have it and some don't. You know it when you see it because it's authentic. It doesn't look like an act, like they're pretending to be that way. When I watch Dallas I don't see Jim Davis trying to be that way - that was just him! At least that's how it comes across. There's an authenticity to it, a certain way of being that is sorely missing in most new TV shows I've watched, or tried to watch. The men in so many of the new shows act so soft, almost feminine, that it's really off-putting. They don't seem to have a backbone. How can I identify with a guy who acts that way? I have got to be able to relate to at least some of the characters in a show at least a little bit! I guess it's part of the reason I don't watch a lot of TV.

    I don't want to get too off-topic here, but you had a thread about how modern technology like the internet and cell phones is changing the types of storylines they can have in a TV show. Maybe it's all the high-tech gadgets that are so prevalent today that is creating a different sort of people from the ones in my generation (generation X) and all the generations before mine as well. When we were growing up we played outdoors, we played sports, we did things that were physically demanding in some way, for a lot of the day. That doesn't happen much anymore because most are so into their video games and playing with their smartphones that they're almost entirely sedentary! That's not natural. It's not healthy. It's not too hard to realize that kids who are growing up these days in that highly unnatural, physically inactive way are going to have consequences on down the line.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020

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