Discussion in 'World Cup of Soaps' started by Angela Channing, Jul 25, 2018.
Match 3- JR Ewing
Match 4- Gary Ewing
JR at his peak was the stand out character of all the 80s prime time soaps but this isn't about characters at their peak but an assessment of them over the entirety of them being in their series. In the later years of Dallas, JR became quite repetitive, more dull, a repeated loser and overall a caricature of the great man he originally was. He ended up losing so much even people like Little Miss Tight Skirt, Leane de la Vega and even a hick like Cally could beat him. Instead of being the strong person who could get any woman he wanted in bed, he spent his time chasing dullards like Vanessa and the ghastly Laurel Ellis and when he wasn't doing that, he was mooching around in a dressing gown in an asylum. The series ending with JR losing Ewing Oil to Cliff Barnes, drinking heavily and contemplating suicide was the natural progression for his declining character. Maggie on the other hand continued to grow as a character. Marrying Richard and becoming his conscience brought out another dimension in her and she became more feisty in her exchanges with Angela. Maggie remained interesting until the end and left the series on one of the most spectacular and shocking deaths ever. Maggie Gioberti is my winner.
For me, Karen was the most vital character in Knots Landing. Gary, Abby and Valene could leave but Karen had to be there for the show to work because she was the glue that held everything together. Gary was a great character but Karen was more vital. Karen MacKenzie is my winner.
Can a good nice character beat the baddie?
Got to be the Ewing boys for this one, Ol Jock would be pleased if they both made the final and had to slug it out against one another
Match 3: Well, I am going to be partisan in the first one: Maggie beat the last Dynasty standing character, and that counts more than any dirty trick J.R. played. Besides, in the early years, J.R. was literally someone I loved to hate. Given that I had first seen Larry Hagman in "I Dream of Jeanie," I was amazed by how he played the (metaphorical) bastard: J.R. Ewing.
Match 4: This is tough--I consider both problem characters for Knots, actually. Whenever I mention the lower key tone of Knots Landing, someone will always post a clip of Karen screaming like a meanad. And Gary with his inheritance (together with Galveston, but he was not a core character) was pushing the show to the direction of the other mega soaps of the 80s. But Karen was the sole character to appear in every episode of its fourteen seasons, starting with the pilot, so I will give it to Karen MacKenzie.
Match 3: JR
Match 4: Karen
Well, JR killed Abby, so...
Some characters are limited in their ability to generate discussion. But the more that's written about Gary here the more layered and enigmatic he becomes. No matter which era or actor, I've come to view him as one of soap's finest...
HAVE I STILL TIME TO VOTE FOR SUE ELLEN?????
My vote for the other match is:
JR Ewing (obviously)
Unless Sue Ellen is there, then I vote for Sue Ellen.
Match 3: Maggie Gioberti Channing
Match 4: Karen Cooper Fairgate MacKenzie
When it became Karen versus Gary in this round, I pictured something like this (starting about one minute in):
3. JR Ewing
4. Gary Ewing
I love that scene leading up to it. Who doesn't know a Mrs Ellis...
KAREN: "Well, uh, Mrs Ellis... Sid died."
MRS ELLIS: "Well when will he be back?"
He deserved to be hit just for wearing that hideous safari jacket.
1. Maggie Gioberti
2. Karen MacKenzie
Match 3 - Maggie Gioberti: J.R is arguably the face of 80's soaps (if not 80's television) but if we're going to get technical, Maggie has to win this match. Her character started strong, was played with finesse by Susan Sullivan throughout her run and went out with a bang in probably the most shocking death scene on any soap of the time. J.R was a great bastard and his schemes and put downs are quoted to this day. However, the character was knackered by the end of the series original run, entering parody territory in the show's twilight years (J.R in the penal camp ploughing a field is one scene that always springs to mind). Granted, she did have a shorter stint, but Maggie was consistently strong throughout whereas J.R faded near the end of his admittedly longer run.
Match 4 - Karen Fairgate: choosing between Knots characters can be like choosing your favourite child but as I've said earlier, Karen was the rock around which the show's drama gravitated. Gary is one of my favourite male characters on the show and he was an entertaining mess to watch but Karen felt much more vital to the show. I also think much of my love for Gary is in conjunction with his associations with Val and Abby whereas Karen could stand on her own two feet.
There's still time to vote in this week's matches. Choose your winner between JR Ewing and Maggie Gioberti and between Gary Ewing and Karen MacKenzie by midnight on Sunday when the polls close.
In case you're wondering why the cyber hug...
I've decided to give a cyber hug to everyone who votes for one of my pairs.
Quarter final, match 3: Maggie - Even though J.R. was the man everyone loved to hate (a Larry Hagman comment) in DALLAS I have to vote for Maggie. Although FC needed pivotal male characters; Chase, Richard, Lance and Chao-Li it is two of the show's leading females who are left flying the flag (unfortunately Melissa lost) and maybe that says something. Like others have said J.R. became increasingly like a cartoon character, in the twilight years of his show. Then there was the sad moment when he made the decision to apparently shoot himself (we later discovered it was his mirror image in 1996), when the oil and cattle featured for the last time, from a series standpoint in 1991.
You couldn't attach the word cartoon to Maggie Hartford Donovan Gioberti Channing. Even when the show went off the rails a bit Maggie stayed through to herself, despite having almost raided the winery during season 7. Do another spin to the camera there Maggie, just not the wine opening variant in the pool of Richard's mansion.
Quarter final, match 4: Gary - Karen had the most longevity in the cul-de-sac. However despite her rose tinted view of the world it is her neighbour Gary who gets my vote. He was Ellie's favourite son and knowing what we all know about Ellie this is a good enough reason, for my decision in voting for him.
Terri calls around to the Gioberti castle, to catch up with Maggie, (a scene from season 3, 1983 - '84):
Before Terri leaves the great house they have a funny cheerio exchange.
Maggie: "It was nice to see you!"
Terri: "Nice to be seen. Ta ta!"
Separate names with a comma.