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The Kennedys: Decline and Fall review – like Dallas, but with extra cheese

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by James from London, May 31, 2017.

  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 18 Years

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  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    "...Actually, there is something of Dallas about this. In characters, plot even. Different parts of America maybe, and different politics, Kennedys and Ewings, fact and fiction, history and soap, otherwise ... no, stay with me on this. So Hyannis Port is Southfork, and Rose is Miss Ellie, the matriarch. Then there are the brothers, passing the power baton, getting shot. Bobby is Bobby, I guess, which would make Ted JR. But that’s the wrong way round. And is Jack – JFK – perhaps more like a JR character? Also shot in Dallas. Who shot JR? But this is post-presidency, so JFK is no longer around. And Joan is definitely the Sue Ellen character ...

    All right, so it might not be a perfect fit, in that way. Wait, though (I’m not giving up on this), because in other ways The Kennedys: Decline and Fall is just like Dallas. In its high melodrama, high-gloss tackiness, caricature performances, long meaningful looks..."


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  3. Tatianna

    Tatianna Soap Chat Fan

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    • Personally speaking, I've always thought the Ewing's were created in the image of the Kennedy's. As @Snarky's Ghost mentioned, Hyannis Port is Southfork, and never more obvious as when the Mini Series showcased "The Box Ranch" as the Ewing ranch and all the Ewing sons and their wives had small houses behind the "big house" patterned after the infamous Kennedy Compound. Joe and Rose lived in the "big house" and each of the Kennedy sons and daughters had their own houses within the confines of the Compound. (My in-laws were neighbors and close friends of the Kennedy family, both socially and professionally) Jock was definitely created in the image of Joe, to a much lesser degree and Miss Ellie was created in the image of Rose, once again to a lesser degree and far less formal in dress and personality. I see "composite" characters from this point forth. I see J.R. as being somewhat created in the image of JFK, with the strong emphasis on power, extra marital affairs, efforts to please his father and gain "daddy's"approval, plus having a wife with "just the right image" for a man of statue, just as J.R., was during the Mini Series.(J.R.'s brief mention as having been in the Military loosely fit in with JFK's service to the Country) I see Bobby Ewing and Cliff Barnes as a composite of Bobby Kennedy, from the perspective of Cliff being a lawyer and Bobby briefly pursuing political office.l I relate Gary Ewing to Ted Kennedy, as the alcoholic and the womanizing screw-up who disappointed and humiliated the family for years before finally getting "clean". I see Sue Ellen as a composite of Pat Kennedy Lawford and Joan Bennett Kennedy as the wife who could not deal with spousal infidelity leading to alcoholism and feelings of emotional neglect. (Sue Ellen was written to be the daughter of an alcoholic father and Joan Bennett Kennedy was the daughter of an alcoholic father. Also, the Ewing's attempted to conceal Sue Ellen's drinking as the Kennedy's attempted to conceal the drinking of both Joan Kennedy and Pat Kennedy Lawford,)
    Jock Ewing was from humble beginnings as was Joe Kennedy, both being self made men. While Joe built his wealth through
    diversified business ventures, some very shady and suspect, Jock gained his wealth with oil and suspect dealings with Digger Barnes.
    The series was set in Dallas, Texas, for a specific reason, and it sure was not to legitimize Ewing Oil as the family business.
     
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  4. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    That's an interesting article and it does seem like the Ewings were partly inspired by the Kennedy's. I think I have read before somewhere that Cliff Barnes political asprirations early on were supposed to be inspired by Teddy Kennedy.

    I've actually just watched the Kennedy's series that the article referred to "After Camelot". I liked it. Even though it got silly towards the end when they glossed over the last 15 years and aged John-John so much that he no longer looked like he could be Katie Holmes son. Over all I thought Katie Holmes did a good job as Jackie. I found her better in this part in the beginning than I did in the first part that was filmed five years earlier.

    Then as for Matthew Perry once I had gotten past my initial reaction to seeing Chandler in that role I think he was actually really good too.

    So well the Kennedy's drama documentary mini-series was an enjoyable piece of drama and is Dallas, even though Dallas is lots better of course! ;)
     
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  5. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    Agreed. John is John, Bobby is Bobby. As Chandler might say, "could it BE more obvious?". Gary is ... well, "Nothing's Ever Perfect".
     
  6. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Gary is Ted Shackleford. And that's Teddy Kennedy (who's married to a Joan) the ne'er-do-well drunk who wound up lasting longer than his brothers who were too busy getting shot.
     
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  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 18 Years

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    In the last episode of Knots I watched (Season 8), Jean Hackney referred to Jill Bennett's fall down a mountain as Peter Hollister's own personal Chappaquiddick.
     
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