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Times when you agreed with the villain.....

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by TJames03, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Yes, and clearly, Gary was more than welcome to come visit anytime for as long as he wanted. Val was too, but Gary especially, since he was Ellie's favorite son. So if he'd truly loved Lucy, he should have been coming to visit often or move in to take over raising her. If Gary and Val had come back to Southfork when Lucy was maybe 3 or 4 years old, Valene could have said something like, "We know you want her here for her own well being and you're afraid Garry's gambling and drinking would endanger Lucy. I'll admit Gary has never given you reason to believe he's responsible enough to raise a child. As for me, I was 15 when I to pregnant with her. So we haven't given you any reason to think we're ready to be parents. So let us move in and show you what good parents we will make for Lucy. We'll live here as long as it takes to convince you we'e mature enough and responsible enough to raise her on our own."

    If Valene had said something like that, Ellie certainly would have said yes to that. Besides, any reason to have Gary back was enough for Ellie to say yes. So Lucy had every reason to think they just didn't want her. I realize they didn't get along with JR, but if they're any kind of decent parents at all, their love for Lucy would have been a lot stronger than their dislike for JR. But they didn't do anything like that. They almost never even came to visit Lucy and when they did visit, or when Gary came to visit by himself, he never stayed long.

    When Sue Ellen had post part depression and didn't want to take care of John Ross, Lucy said to Miss Ellie "Parents don't always want their children. My parents didn't want me"! That tells me they rarely visited her.
     
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  2. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Blizzard Channing

    Blizzard Channing Soap Chat Star

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    I think that's a very simplified view of how viewers respond to characters, especially complex, multi-layered character like Dallas had. Of course JR was a villain, but viewers love a villain. It's why JR on Dallas, and Alexis on Dynasty, fast became the stars of their shows and central to most of the stories. Villains are usually more interesting than the goody two shoes characters, and when written well we can understand their motives, even if we don't agree with them, and want them to succeed because we revel in their dastardly deeds. And it helps when that villain also seems to be reveling in their own dastardly deeds, the more they enjoy it the more we enjoy watching them. We watch a drama for drama, and often it's the villains that are central to much of the drama. It's really not as simple as the good guys and the bad guys, and let's all root for the good guys cause they're good.

    When we did our Soapchat 'Soapland battle' for our favourite villain in all the soaps JR won with a landslide victory.

    http://www.soapchat.net/threads/the-villains-the-result.3412/page-3

    JR came in at number 11 on Rolling Stone's 40 greatest TV villains of all time:

    https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-...-of-all-time-26500/benjamin-linus-lost-27465/

    So, you know, I think it's pretty widely accepted that JR was a villain!
     
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  4. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    Some really scary people in this world.
     
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  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    It depends on the viewer. We all have our own way of seeing things. To think every one loves a villain, I'll take a line from your post:

    When a villain does his job well, he makes them angry, he makes them hate him. The more despised the villain is, the more satisfaction the audience gets from seeing the hero prevail.

    The heroic character is going to have a hard time being seen as heroic if the villain can't do his job and make the audience hate him. Why? Because if the villain is liked by they audience then whenever the two characters have a confrontation, maybe a fight, maybe each trying to outdo the other in business, the audience is going to be indifferent if the hero and villain are approximately equally well liked. Where is the drama if the audience doesn't care which character prevails?

    Remember when JR mortgaged Southfork because Cliff had abused his power at The OLM and shut down every single Ewing Oil well? The only place left to drill was overseas. Getting the Asian oil lease couldn't be done by mortgaging some of Ewing Oil's wells, because they were all shut down. The only collateral JR had was Southfork. When Jock and Miss Ellie found out Southfork was mortgaged, it was an emotional scene because the audience liked them so much. We hated the idea of them losing their ranch, which as Jock said, couldn't be rebuilt in 6 lifetimes.

    If they hadn't had the caliber of actors they did in Barbara Bel Geddes and Jim Davis, if they hadn't been able to get the audience to like them, then it wouldn't matter to the audience if they lost their ranch. The actor playing Vaughan Leland did his job very well. The more dishonest and uncaring he came across, the more sympathy the audience felt for Jock and Miss Ellie. That's exactly what made it so satisfying when Vaughan Leland lost his money on the Asian oil deal. He went to Jock and begged him for some help, some restitution. Jock had the perfect reply: "It seems to me that I came to you not to long ago asking for an extension on my loan. A deal is a deal you said. I believed it then and I believe it now."

    That's how I see it. I realize not everybody will see that example the same way, but that's fine. Everyone sees the show from his or her own perspective, with their own personal experiences influencing the way they relate and to what degree they're able to relate to various characters. That's good. It keeps the discussions here interesting.
     
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  6. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    I can't speak for everyone but I'm pretty sure that many people rooted for Bobby and Pam. Remember those characters?
    You always bring up JR vs Cliff, but Cliff could be just as despicable as JR, therefore - imho - that's not the most ideal example to illustrate a good vs evil battle.
    There were other characters on that show, and indeed, many of them hated JR.
    However, the fact that Ewing Oil was sort of an extension of the Ewing family, JR represented the good camp by default.
    An attack on Ewing Oil was in essence also an attack on the family.
    Hence why Jeremy Wendell is considered a bad guy eventhough he was just a greedy business man like all the other greedy business men, including the Ewings.

    Anyway, to answer the original question: I agreed with JR every time he insulted Jamie Ewing.
     
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  7. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Me too. Katherine's vendetta against Bobby and Pam was a great example of good vs. evil. There was a thread where someone mentioned "fan favorite Katherine." I questioned that "fan favorite" description because I saw her as evil. So I asked were they rooting for Katherine to get what she wanted when she was trying to break up Bobby and Pam. They weren't. I asked if they were rooting for Katherine in her attempts to kill Bobby. They weren't. Neither was I. But I never considered her a fan favorite; I considered her to be evil and delusional.
     
  8. Blizzard Channing

    Blizzard Channing Soap Chat Star

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    And that's why she was a fan favourite. You don't have to be rooting for a character to enjoy their antics. Katherine was a fascinating character, and whether you wanted her to succeed in her endeavours or not, most fans would agree that she brought great drama and intrigue to the show. I think the majority or viewers want to be entertained more than they want to pick a side to root for. And villains are very entertaining to watch. JR is a perfect example.
     
  9. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Maybe this is just a matter of semantics. After all, we know that there have to be bad people on the show for there to be drama. If everyone on Dallas were completely good, ethical, kind-hearted, etc it would have been a dull show.

    I hate Cliff but I appreciate Ken Kercheval's amazing ability to portray him in the way he did. I've always thought that a good hero needs a great villain to bring out the best in him, to bring out the most dramatic, exciting situations. After all, it's because Cliff was so resilient in the way he kept coming back for more and more punishment (and occasionally Cliff won) because he was so completely driven to break the Ewings, especially Jock and JR. Jock because of what Digger said Jock did to him, and JR because he was the Ewing usually responsible for fighting Cliff's attempts to destroy Ewing Oil, so JR had caused Cliff the most painful defeats.

    I don't Cliff or especially Katherine fan favorites because the audience doesn't actually want Katherine to succeed in her goals. They want Katherine to fail. They don't want Cliff to succeed in his goals either - to destroy the Ewings both personally and in business.

    They appreciate the acting performances which bring those characters to the TV screen, they understand they're necessary to make the show as good as it was, but they don't want to see those characters succeed in their goals. They appreciate William Smithers' portrayal of Wendell but they don't actually like Wendell. They don't want him to succeed in wiping out all the independent oil companies. They want to see Wendell fail to do that. They'd also admit Wendell has a cold, insensitive personality.

    To me a fan favorite is somebody the audience admires, wants to see doing well, accomplishing their goals and becoming happy as a result. Katherine, Cliff, and Wendell don't fit that description. You can acknowledge a character is good for the show and still hate the character.

    The audience wants to be entertained, and they'll be more entertained if they are rooting for one side to win than if they are indifferent to which side succeeds. If you love the Ewings and hate Cliff, it's a lot more entertaining to see Cliff and Jamie fail to prove in court they're entitled to two thirds of Ewing Oil than if you like both sides equally and it doesn't matter to you whether Cliff and Jamie gain two thirds of Ewing Oil or not.

    The psychology of it is similar to sports. If you're watching your country compete in the finals of the Olympic hockey tournament it's a lot more exciting than if you're watching two countries you know little about compete in the finals and you are indifferent to who wins.

    Picking a side to root for in Dallas whether it's who wins a court case or whether Pam ends up with Bobby or Mark Graison is a result of having more of an emotional investment in some characters than in others. Most people on this forum had more of an emotional investment in Pam than Jenna, so to them it mattered a lot which one of the two women Bobby ended up with. Pam and Jenna had different personalities and different values so it's natural that some people would gravitate more towards one and others would gravitate towards the other.
     
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  10. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

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    J.R. = protagonist = antihero = often a villain ...
     
  11. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

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    Viewers' needs to pick sides -- and then the sides they pick, and why -- can certainly be terribly revealing. Like the deluge of fan members here over a decade ago who saw JR and Sue Ellen's marriage as a romantic ideal, saw Sue Ellen as a blameless and sensuous saint, and didn't even blame JR for their marital woes (because he was the cash cow) and only blamed JR's slew of mistresses -- and the actresses who played them.

    I think that's healthy.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  12. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Agreed - Wentworth was Katherine’s. As far as I could tell Rebecca added nothing of her own to running any of it. I could see some money but not sharing it as she did. Katherine was robbed.

    Yes Miss Ellie can’t fight against the oil being drilled or giving it to her brother to honor her father and then leave it to anyone but JR and John Ross. I could see giving lots to her other children and maybe setting up a foundation to protect the land and oil per her father’s wishes, but 1/2 of the house to Clayton or all of it to Bobby went against everything the Southfork’s supposedly stood for. And Clayton selling the Southern Cross in the first place - what the hell kinda ranchers were these?
     
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  13. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    If he worked the ranch I could see her giving him half the business, holding out hope Gary would come back for 1/2 or something like that. But that’s a far cry from the land, Oil and most importantly to grown children she wanted living with her - the house.
     
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  14. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    So many good discussions in this thread! I'm going to have to chime in on a few:

    Yes, and as other have pointed out here, Katherine was basically screwed, in multiple ways. She was Herbert Wentworth's only child, and grew up believe that she was also her mother's only child, and therefor his sole legitimate heir. Then her father dies, and suddenly she finds out that her mother has two other children, who then come into their lives, and her mother gives one of them control over one of Herbert's companies, and then he embezzles from that company. Then later her mother uses more of her father's money to buy a new company specifically for that other child to run, and dedicates herself to using Herbert's money to back her son's feud against The Ewings, which had nothing to do with Herbert or Katherine. Then her mother dies in a plane crash, which was a result of that feud, and has the gall to split Herbert's fortune with those other siblings, whom Herbert never even knew about and had no connection to, IIRC she also even left some money to Afton! Every single penny was rightfully Katherine's, Cliff and Pam didn't deserve shit. Under the circumstances, it's almost understandable why she turned out the way she did, and became so intent on destroying Cliff and Pam by any means necessary.


    Yes, that too. I understand the symbolism behind it, she wanted Clayton, her husband, to feel like Southfork was was his home as much as hers, but as presented on the show it wasn't really necessary, and it could lead to potential ownership problems down the road, unless there was a specific provision in the sale that stipulated that upon Clayton's death is share would go back to Miss Ellie, or her heir(s) if she passed before him.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  15. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    Exactly, it was out of character. But then so was when she and Clayton left Southfork to go on their non-stop world cruise. Of course I understand the real world reason, being that Barbara Bel Geddes has once again left the show so they had to write the character out, but didn't want to try recasting again or kill her off (in case she ever changed her mind and wanted to come back again), but Miss Ellie would never leave Southfork. Even the McKay rang-war couldn't drive her off of the ranch, she was ready to die there.
     
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  16. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    Agreed, and yes this could mainly be an argument of semantics, but I think it's because antihero has the word "hero" in it, so it's hard to think of J.R. that way. He was my favorite character, and the reason I stuck with the show right throught to the end, even as his character got somewhat watered down by bad writing, but he was a clearly a villain. Sure he had his good moments, where he would occasionally be shown to care for others (including Bobby and Sue Ellen, whom he was often at odds with), but he was mostly a bad guy who did bad things. The fact that many of us liked J.R. didn't make him any less of a villain, any more so than fans of Star Wars who like Darth Vader, or Tony Soprano from The Sopranos.

    When I think of an antihero, I think of someone who does bad things for good reasons. Putting this in a context of comic-books, Batman and The Punisher are both vigilantes and therefore technically criminals. But Batman beats up and captures bad guys and then turns them over to the proper authorities, thus he's considered a hero, while The Punisher muders bad guys, and thus he is an anti-hero. Going back to TV protagonists, I think Walter White from Breaking Bad could more accurately be called an antihero, as his villainous acts started from a desire to take care of his family after his impending death. While J.R. was simply greedy and selfish. And while some of his actions (Double-crossing, cheating, lying, etc.) could be attributed to simply trying to win in the cut-throat oil business, many of his other actions, including the adultery and rapes, had no justification beyond his own desires. And even the idea that he drew that line at murder, I look at that more as a sign of the times. That probably would have been considered a step too far for a TV show protagonist in the 80's, but not so now. I think if Dallas were created today, J.R. probably wouldn't be above an occasional murder, similar to Frank Underwood or Lucious Lyon.

    And even then, while J.R. never directly killed anyone, he certainly was shown to not be above taking actions which would likely lead to people's death, such as hiring a mercenario to blow up Saudi Arabian oil wells, and financing a coup in a foreign country. Not to mention how he seemed to relish in the attempted suicides of Cliff Barnes and Edgar Randolph, both of which were caused by his actions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  17. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    Yeah, I don't know what show those folks were watching, but I never got the impression that Val and Gary were welcome to come visit Lucy at Southfork "anytime they wanted." At least not pre-Knots Landing. Or that they were both invited to move to Southfork to raise Lucy there when she was little.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  18. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    Don't agree with all of this, but then I know from your fanfiction how you basically believe Dallas continuations should be all about following J.R.'s legacy. I've already said I agree that she would not have given half to Clayton, but in-story, it makes perfect sense why Miss Ellie would have left Southfork to Bobby. Yes, the Southworth tradition may have said that the ranch is passed on to the first born child, and Ellie only got it because it was believed that Garrison was dead, and that's why she considered giving it all to him when he turned up alive, but in this case she just couldn't trust it to J.R, because she couldn't trust that he would abide by Aaron's wishes that there never be any oil drilling on Southfork. And she was right! J.R. totally would have drilled Section 40 the first chance he got. So in this case, the first born had to get passed over, and since Gary wasn't living at Southfork, Bobby was the natural choice. And a property like that, which is both a business (the ranch itself) and a residence (the mansion) needs a sole owner (outside of a married couple), it's too much trouble to try to split it equally between siblings, because of the potential for conflict down the road.
     
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  19. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    -double post-
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  20. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    While I kind of understand where that comes from, the truth is that J.R. and Sue Ellen were the very definition of a "toxic relationship", who brought out the worst in each other, not some fairy tale love story.
     
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  21. James from London

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    Back in the day, I remember really wanting Katherine to succeed in her plan to marry Bobby and then to move on to Southfork. But I wasn't rooting for her and Bobby to be happy. I wasn't rooting for anyone to be happy. I was rooting for conflict and excitingness.
     
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