Was There Ever A Time When You Were Glad One Of The Original Ensemble Left Dallas?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    If JR had such a deep love for his brother wouldn't JR's reaction to his brothers death be one of vengeful retribution to those responsible? The death of Bobby Ewing should have hung like a dark cloud over Southfork and Dallas. Rather than unleash on Sue Ellen who has spent a beautiful day shopping for shoes, his anger should have been directed at the Barnes family.

    JR's "redeeming qualities" often came to the fore when one of his schemes would inevitably backfire and put someone in harms way. He wasn't above using his own family as a means to an end. The time he used Miss Ellie to visit Southern Cross simply as a ruse to kidnap his own son for example.

    A great example of JR going to that dark place is when he overhears the conversation between Sue Ellen and Peter Richards at Southfork. As Sue Ellen and Peter drift out of scene and the camera pans up it focuses on JR standing on the balcony. The expression alone informs us nothing good was going to come it.

    It's a credit to Larry Hagman to drift his character between shades of light and dark but after the death of Bobby I had hoped the writers would take JR to a dark place, cruel even. As NEWS drifted through Dallas of Bobby's death wouldn't it be a natural reaction for those involved with the Ewing family, whether business or personal be one of unease?
     
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  2. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    To be honest, I was glad that the Duffster left "Dallas" that way because it was true to his character. Somehow it felt so real and over-the-top altogether that it made me cry when I first watched "Swan Song". In fact, I also thought at the time that Charlene would have a better career far away from her Lucy...too bad she didn´t. After all, I did wish Lucy the happiest of the endings and remarrying Mitch seemed to be a good idea back then.

    On the other side I felt that it was a mistake to write off both Ray and Donna, who had been the ideal couple for the viewer (at least moi!) since the initial full year. One thing that "Dynasty" did well a few times was the fact they dosified some of their characters, eg Jeff (in the first season), Sammy Jo, Claudia (when she was in/out of the sanitarium), and again, Jeff and Fallon thanks to sending them to "The Colbys". However, the ones who stayed as main stars eventually ended up arranging flowers as the most interesting storyline, or doing out-of-character things.

    It would have been good for the show to send Cliff away on holidays once in awhile. The proof of this is that the first absences of Miss Ellie and Clayton did wonders for the show: see the post-fire episodes for example, where the writers let the other characters breathe and be themselves. You can´t really be inspired year after year for a regular cast of ten to fifteen actors, it gets tiresome. Some characters should have left much earlier (Mitch did nothing in his second season) and Kristin should´ve stayed a bit longer, as well as Katherine. Too bad they were victims of the "curse of the shooting sister-in-law".
     
  3. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Every so often Sue Ellen would drop a catty remark. Unlike Dynasty where the cats (Alexis and Krystle) scenes were created just so they could sharpen their claws, Sue Ellen's snide remarks would often come out of left field and caught you off guard. More often than not they were cruel and vindictive, especially in those early years.
     
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  4. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Rather than holidays I would have followed through with Cliff becoming a Congressman or Senator after he leaves the OLM. He could have had frequent visits to Washington. Cliff could have been influential introducing laws to castrate Ewing Oil's progress, much to JR's displeasure.
     
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  5. Willywill316

    Willywill316 Soap Chat Newbie

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    I started watching old Dallas while new Dallas was on TV, so my opinion may be a bit skewed but I was happy when Lucy left. Don't get me wrong, Charlene was great and easy to look at, but the writers didn't know what to do with her, and I can't honestly say they ever put her in a relationship where I thought she was with "THE GUY". So instead of wasting the character they just sent her on her way to Atlanta.
     
  6. Maryann

    Maryann Soap Chat Fan

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    I totally agree with you, I was also glad when Lucy left. CT is beautiful but not that great of an actress and the storylines for Lucy were sometimes boring and stupid. The best and only great storyline she got was with Mickey and that didn't last and after that the writers were back to what do we do with Lucy. Then when she returned from Atlanta she was given again dumb repetitive storyline falling for the wrong guy.
     
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  7. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Active Member

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    This may be controversial, so I hope no one is offended, but... as sad as Jim Davis' death was, I think Jock's death was good for Dallas. It propelled so many storylines for seasons 5-7 and the show could have become stale a lot sooner without those in my opinion.
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    It's not offensive; I get your meaning. There were some great storylines that were fueled by the fact the family's loss of Jock. I just wish it hadn't happened so early in the show's run. Jim Davis brought a lot to the show and there was still a lot left for him to contribute to it. He was always an asset to the show. It's a damn shame that Jim Davis died so young - just in his early 70's. Ideally Jim Davis would have lived to a ripe old age and Dallas would simply have scripted the character of Jock to die several years later than he did - if they'd reached a point where they felt they had done everything they could with the character.

    I don't watch a lot of TV bit from what I have seen of the types of TV shows they have these days, it's suffering badly from the lack of any characters who have the qualities Jock Ewing possessed as well as the qualities Jim Davis himself had. It's almost as if the lead male characters of today's television have been feminized. That's a harsh thing to say but I don't know of any better way to put it.

    I don't know that the people in charge of casting the actors for today's TV shows necessarily are trying to look for more less masculine men, after all, what would be the objective? Still, sometimes it seems that way. Who would you name a young actor who people might consider today's equivalent of Jim Davis or Clint Eastwood, or John Wayne? I can't name one who is even somewhat similar. Can you?

    These men, especially Eastwood and Wayne, made a ton of money for Hollywood. They were both huge box office attractions - icons even. There's no logical reason for the movie and TV industries not to be looking to hire young actors who are cut from the same cloth, is there? It makes no sense artistically or from a business perspective. Maybe the problem is they honestly can't find any. Could that be it?
     
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  9. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I'm not offended at all. Jim's death and ultimately the story evolving from Jock's death were the best years of Dallas. It's also a credit to the producers of both Lorimar Dallas and TNT Dallas they kept his memory alive.
     
  10. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    An honest opinion and I agree with you. Far too many TV Series today have sanitized male characters. Why is it the writers/producers are afraid to portray men as strong leaders? Jock was tough but when it came to his family, Miss Ellie in particular, he was a softy. I'd also want someone of Jock's stature in my corner at pub fight...and Donna!
     
  11. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    You're right about a bunch of things here. Jock was sensitive towards Miss Ellie, especially when she was in trouble. When she had breast cancer he was visiting her so much at the hospital that Bobby and JR were afraid he wasn't sleeping at all! Miss Ellie was a very tough woman so it's only natural she married a tough man. The fact that their marriage was such a happy and successful marriage ad it lasted 40 years, until Jock died, is a testament that they were good to each other.

    Regarding the main subject at hand, are you sure that what's causing this problem is writers and producers are afraid to portray men as strong, as tough, as rugged, and as leaders? What about that is scary? Hell, it's not scary, it's inspiring!

    When it comes to that rugged, independent, highly driven man with lots of ambition, courage and toughness, I think of the roles that men like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne usually played. They were very believable in those types of roles and they were massive box office attractions as a result. Are writers/producers afraid of hiring an actor who could turn out to be another huge box office attraction and become not just a star but an icon? I would hope they're not afraid of that; I think they'd be ecstatic over such a find.

    Maybe "find" is the key word. Maybe casting agents can't find an actor who has a rugged masculine image and therefore would be believable in a Jock Ewing type role. I asked why don't they just hire some young actors who are cut from the same cloth as men like Jim Davis or Clint Eastwood or John Wayne? I can't imagine they're afraid to since the result for those men was the companies those actors worked for made a ton of money off them - particularly Eastwood and John Wayne. So since the desire to find the next Eastwood or John Wayne ought to be there, and finding the next Jim Davis could mean that he'd play the next Jock Ewing which means there'd be "a next Dallas" which in itself would be awesome, why aren't they hiring those types of men?

    There's only one answer I can think of right now that's somewhat believable (since being afraid of discovering the next American icon is irrational to say the least). I'm wondering if they just can't find any young actors who are cut from the same cloth as a man like Jim Davis. As I stated before, the men I've seen on modern TV shows tend to somehow be feminized! When I say that, I mean they're not rugged, they're not tough and they're not someone who you'd want in your corner in a bar fight. They're overly emotional, they're insecure and they're afraid of almost everything. They look like they've never bee in a fight in their lives.

    If it's true that casting agents can't find any young actors who are cut from the same cloth as the actors I named, what is the cause for that? Is it that men who fit that description just aren't gravitated towards the acting business in this era? Possibly, but I doubt it. Why wouldn't they be gravitated towards an industry where you can become famous do something fun for money, and make a ton of money doing it?

    Usually the expression "They don't make 'em like that anymore" is more figurative than literal. I suppose it would be in this case too After all, evolution doesn't occur fast enough for them to "not make men like that anymore." So it's not genetic. If not, then it's environmentally caused. Is it that we live in a sick society that is failing to produce tough, confident, ambitious, wise and rugged men? I don't know the answer to that. After all, they say art imitates life.

    So if you and I agree that we don't see characters like Jock Ewing on TV anymore and that whole type of rugged, independent, inspiring man is gone from our TV screens is it because art is imitating life once again? That's a scary thought. Still, if that's true, and I stress "if" because I'm just supposing this may be the case, but if it's true, what exactly is the sickness in our society that's causing men to be feminized and what can be done to correct the problem so that we once again have a healthy society?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  12. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Clint Eastwood himself likes Tom Cruise.

    But it's true that the heroes of most TV shows today are all women -- mostly unlikeable women, with males in the roles of villains or as the heroines' incompetent sidekicks.
     
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  13. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    They would probably be a box office flop. Who goes to the box office now has no relation to who went to the box office in the 60s and 70s. For better or worse, late 70s movies like Jaws and Star Wars changed the movie-going crowd and swapped older ages for way younger--mostly teenagers and early 20s. That is why Oscar contenders which studios know will be mostly seen by adults come out in the quieter months in the early spring and fall and avoid the big blockbuster crowds of the summer, because there is nary an adult to be found there.
     
  14. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Active Member

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    I also was not a fan of Lucy’s. The character had a lot of potential, but they were stymied with an actress with limited range. CT couldn’t play the vixen effectively, so they turned Lucy into a good girl. BORING.

    I was also happy when Ray left, but only because I couldn’t STAND what he became after marrying Jenna. If he had stayed with Donna, I would have missed him more.
     
  15. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I agree with @Rove

    By the 1984-85 year it seemed that Bobby was in some existential crisis, there was no where else for him to go by then, short of him marrying Jenna then divorcing her to remarry Pam a few seasons down the line but that would have gotten old too quickly.

    Bobby had to die to put Pam against JR, the real yin and yang of the series, without Bobby, the show survived and produced the best material in some years by that point, it was like 1978 all over again, only now it was 1985/86 and the show had been rejuvenated,and for this reason I would say by season 8 dvd Bobby has outstayed his welcome
     
  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I can't see the producers of Dallas voluntarily getting rid of one of their most popular characters, Bobby, especially considering how well they were doing. They were always one of the top two most watched shows in season 4 through 8. They lost Patrick Duffy so in season 9 the ratings went down considerably from a 20.97 to an 18.8 and Dallas never was in the top 2 again. The ratings for season 10, were roughly the same as for season 10 (dropping just slightly from 18.8 to 18.6) since Patrick Duffy returned, but the credibility of the series was hurt badly in the process.

    21 is a great rating. Why try to fix something that isn't broken? Remember people's reactions when Victoria Principal left permanently? You never want to lose one of your top stars when you're doing so well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
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  17. Ollie james

    Ollie james Soap Chat Member

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    Lucy was the character i missed the least nothing against Charlene she just never worked for me. I wished Bobby had stayed dead rather than return as he had. I liked Patrick in the role alot more in the TNT seasons than i did in his second stint on the original show. I would have prefered to see Mark stay in the show after Bobbys death and letting Susan Howard go was a bad move in my opinion.
     
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  18. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Well, for obvious reasons, I was glad to see Sue Ellen go because they didn´t know what else to do with her, her last season was terrible (except that scene with her telling Jeremy Wendell off and the balloon scene at the end of JR´s wedding episode). Besides, the fashion choices for her were absolutely atrocious, though I did like to see her in jeans for a change!

    So I wouldn´t have minded that she left at the end of OR Season 10 with John Ross.
     

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