Discussion in 'Dallas TNT' started by James from London, Aug 11, 2018.
I enjoyed reading that. The best bit was the following;
2010s: He's back, aged 107, eyebrows based on Professor Dumbledore's, sex glint all model's own. He's still got it, drolly saying of a rival: "Time has not been kind to that face, but I do recall the smell of brimstone and crazy."
Of course they're talking about good 'ole JR. A real pity it took so long for the TNT version to hit our screens. From conception to pilot episode to an order of 10 episodes it was something like 2 years. JR still had that twinkle in his eye and a character like him had been sorely missed on television. A shame the finished product turned out to be a dog's breakfast because viewers were still interested in the Ewing family. I believe there is still an audience itching to catch up with televisions first family if only a continuation was handled properly.
I think the article only refers to season 1, so I wonder if the reviewer has changed his mind about Sue Ellen.
Not that I think that new Dallas has to be better, it just has to be good - and it was.
As for the family feud, brother vs. brother versus cousin vs. cousin:
New Dallas had the advantage of JR, Bobby, Cliff and Sue Ellen being a part of our history, whereas Jock, Digger and Miss Ellie had already lived that whole life before Old Dallas started.
And Dallas never had that sense of history that (for example) Dynasty had.
Therefore this whole generations thing felt much more significant on new Dallas, although one could argue that this was matter-of-fact rather than an idea created by the writers.
But I think they've handled it very properly.
An interesting take there Willie. If anything I thought Dallas displayed more history than Dynasty especially since we had the 3 hour, Dallas: The Early Years, which I really liked. As for the "generations thing" I honestly thought TNT Dallas could have exploited this further instead of using the character of Miss Ellie and Southfork to retrofit some ludicrous story to suit the writers of TNT Dallas.
I'll admit I lost faith in Dynasty after season 4 or 5 (cannot remember exactly) so I'm unfamiliar if they toyed with the idea of showcasing the backstory. Like some here on Soapchat I thought Dynasty is the kind of series screaming out for a prequel similar to what Richard has been creating with his trailers.
We know what that history was, but there wasn't much room for more.
Watching Dynasty, it doesn't take a lot of imagination how the tentacles of that dynasty-octopus could spread wider and wider, especially with (mostly) unused characters like Tom Carrington, Andrew Colby and the Morell and Scott families - and also the supporting characters (the Moldavians, the De Vilbis dynasty etc etc).
Where and when did it all begin? We still don't know, because there's always another door to be openend.
That's what I meant with sense of history.
I thought the reunion between JR and Cliff was rather lame.
Back when the show was still airing, I remember getting into a debate with someone who said that it didn't matter what direction the show took as long as it was good. I disagreed then and still do. I'll never understand why someone would want to bring a show back, only to write it in such a way that it has little resemblance to the source material. There were fleeting moments now and then when the history of original Dallas was palpable, but for the most part, it was written as a mediocre crime drama involving drug cartels instead of oil cartels.
And what happens if you don't follow the rules?
Such a strange path for the showrunner of TNT Dallas to take but given her history I can see her fascination with crime drama and drug cartels. As a continuation Dallas should write itself but the showrunner was simply the wrong choice in this regard. There is a lesson to be learned there kiddies.
This is my kind of chaos:
Everytime I see or think of that threesome I just want to vomit. What I loved about Lorimar Dallas was the rock solid (though bumpy at times) relationship between Jock and Miss Ellie. When Dallas began JR and Sue Ellen had been married for some years although trouble was brewing. Then there was the relationship between Pam and Bobby. Relationships in Lorimar Dallas meant something. In TNT Dallas relationships were created for plot driven purposes and meant nothing. There was no value in them therefore it devalued the continuation. I still stand by my thoughts that TNT Dallas would have stood half a chance if John Ross and Pamela Rebecca had met, fallen in love and married in Europe. John Ross calls Southfork and asks for the extended family to gather for an important announcement.
It would have been a great opening episode if we had the likes of JR, Sue Ellen, Bobby, Christopher, Lucy, Cliff and Afton in the Southfork living room. It also would have been a quiet nod to the original as a Ewing son brings to Southfork a Barnes woman. I can picture the reactions of both JR and Cliff as they offer each a glance and the dominating oil painting of Jock and Miss Ellie in the background.
You are getting cancelled. As simple as that.
Cidre didn't have the slightest clue of what the essence of Dallas was.
She created a mediocre drug and crime drama, but it simply just wasn't Dallas.
Yes, after 25 Episodes they at least got the opening credits right, but that wasn't enough to keep it on the air.
If you added up the moments that felt like a legitimate continuation of the original, you'd end up with about a two hour show (if you're lucky). The three defining moments from nuDallas were Pam finally getting the closure she deserved, JR's memorial, and the kitchen scene between Sue Ellen and John Ross. There was a little more going for it than that, but not much.
If people liked it for what it was, that's fine. But what it was had little to do with Lorimar Dallas.
Of all of the continuations I've seen (and there have been many), Dallas felt the least like the original show. Of course, most continuations have retained their original show runners.
And how about the feuds, Bobby vs. John Ross, the Rylands vs. the Ewings.
They still got a thirst for oil (e.g. fracking at Southfork), battle of the companies (Barnes Global, Ewing Energies).
Greed, adultery, betrayal, backstabbing, double-crossing, heartache, disillusionment...yes it looked different and the pacing was different, but it was still the essence of DALLAS.
The crime and cartel was intertwined with the other stories, it wasn't CSI Dallas.
And you can find plenty of gangster/cartel stuff on the classic soaps, yes even Knots Landing.
Lots of new characters, but together with the kids they were the new players of DALLAS.
The original show dabbled in gangster stuff and foreign intrigue with the likes of Angelica Nero, Nicholas Pierce, and Sheila Foley, and they were some of the show's weakest stories.
Original Dallas wasn't perfect, and I don't want to give the impression that it was. I just feel that new Dallas squandered the potential it had. Yes, there were feuds, oil, alternative energies, and some other quintessential soapy elements, but it didn't feel like those aspects were fully developed. The Ann-centric first half of season 2 was a difficult watch, and the drug cartel's presence in season 3 felt quite jarring for a show like Dallas. Even Patrick Duffy said the show wasn't as "pure" when the drug cartel became the main focus of the show.
He didn't object to the storyline entirely, and I don't agree with him 100%, but I still found this excerpt from him interesting:
Some fans cite the drug cartel storyline as an example of the new “Dallas” straying too far from its origins. What’s your take?
Patrick Duffy: "I don’t know if I agree with that. We see a lot of news about the influence of the drug trade in mid- to southern Texas. So I didn’t object to it. I thought it was a viable subject line. I think it might have been overemphasized. It might have been better as a tangential story instead of an absolute focus, and I think we expanded our cast a bit precipitously. I loved every regular cast member we added, but “Dallas” has always been about the Ewing family, and when you expand it too much and too soon, I don’t think the show stayed as “pure” as it might have been. But those are little things."
Another thing that's received criticism are the continuity mistakes, such as Miss Ellie giving half of Southfork to John Ross after having given Bobby all of it. Patrick also caught on to this, and seemed to semi-object to it. Patrick tends to downplay certain things like this while still acknowledging what's wrong with it. I think it's his way of trying to be diplomatic.
Can you give an example of something you objected to?
Patrick Duffy: "Well, the thing that I thought was devastating to the character of Bobby was in the reading of [J.R.’s] will when we find out Mama gave half of Southfork to John Ross."
Yeah, what’s up with that?
Patrick Duffy: "Yeah, well, that’s exactly what I said when I read it in the script! First, I called Cynthia and said, 'What the hell?' [Laughs] I thought, 'Nooo.' First of all, how did that stay hidden for 30 years? But it added such a tension in the storyline. It made me as an actor find different things to do. But I never would have entertained that if I had been in charge and somebody would’ve suggested it. I would have said, 'No, that can’t be. That wouldn’t happen. Mama wouldn’t do that. I’m sorry.' But it was the right thing to do."
But they weren't on NuDallas.
A lot of issues had already been covered on OldDallas, I was actually quite surprised that they managed to create a compelling addiction storyline for Sue Ellen, since O.Dallas had done that to death.
I honestly have no idea what that story should have been. But life goes on, things change, even a city like Dallas, and if you want a retro-80s show then maybe a remake would have been better for the Lorimar Dallas fans (that is, the ones who don't like NuDallas).
To each their own. I didn't particularly care for it.
Someone also mentioned Cliff being converted into a Bond villain willing to sacrifice his own daughter and grandchildren. I found that to be a stretch, to say the least. And Cynthia's reasoning was simply "we needed a villain after JR died." Well Cliff had been a villain to the Ewings on the original series, and was often a shit to Pam, but he never was a killer.
I actually agree about Sue Ellen. She slipped into JR's role of blackmailing people like the governor. And her addiction storyline was handled well and was poignant in light of her past.
I didn't want a retro look, but I wanted the themes and continuity from the original to be more fully developed. Instead, Cidre made new Dallas in the mold of other modern shows.
If I want to see something completely retro, I'll watch Roseanne/The Conners. The new show literally looks like it was in a time capsule from the 90s.
How do you continue from 14 years of soap with all sorts of crazy twists and turns?
It wasn't like part 4 of a novel or something like that.
It was a new beginning, a next generation Dallas. Ray and Jenna's story had already been told, you can't bring back Mark Graison again and let's see...what else was there?
And yet those short appearances by the "old-timers" gave the new Ewing universe a sense of authenticity.
But I would have liked to see Margaret and Lucas Krebbs, I'm sure there was a story for them too - especially after season 3.
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