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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 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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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. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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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. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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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.
     
  7. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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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. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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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 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  10. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

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    J.R. = protagonist = antihero = often a villain ...
     
  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost 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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