Watching Season 12 (DVD) for the First Time

Discussion in 'Dallas Season Reviews' started by JROG, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 5: ROAD WORK

    Following the intense awfulness of the previous episode, scriptwriter Arthur Bernard Lewis manages to infuse this installment with a little bit of the magic of the previous eras, despite the truly (truly) atrocious J.R. storyline.

    The Jeremy Wendell/Sue Ellen interaction is quite interesting. Sue Ellen is out celebrating her secretary’s birthday (I mean, really, all the secretary stuff is becoming cliché by now), when Jeremy approaches and propositions Sue Ellen. Kelly has something to say about this (of course), but Sue Ellen decides Jeremy could be very useful…. The next time we see Sue Ellen, she’s been crying, but the show literally doesn’t bother telling us why. Is it because of the end of her marriage? Did she suddenly remember that Nicholas died? Or was she so excited to set up a dick appointment with Jeremy that she couldn’t control her tears? Ok, I kid, she doesn’t sleep with the corpse (yet) but they do share an intriguing restaurant scene.

    Miss Ellie quickly gets written out of the script by way of “she’s still sick.” On the plus side: no Cally or April in this episode! That’s got to be a blessing.

    For some reason, Bobby is still insisting that Cliff join him at Ewing Oil and Cliff, after rightly refusing initially, suddenly accepts. Show, are you going to bother telling us why? Then, Beth Toussaint shows up! She’s everyone’s favorite hooker con-woman, and I had no idea she was on the show. It turns out, she’s a pool hustler, so not much changed later on. Of course, she’s there to be Bobby's new squeeze. I laughed when she wondered whether Cliff and Bobby are a couple. One has to wonder/suspect whether she’ll be the one McKay has been searching for…

    Speaking of McKay, things quickly take a turn in that story when Clayton discovers that the river has been dammed up. He confronts McKay, telling him to fix it or he will (he was kinda sexy here) but it turns out that’s exactly what McKay wants: For the Ewings to make the first move. He gets turned on by this and creepily takes the Red Head upstairs to sleep with her.

    Casey and Lucy return from checking out his oil fields and spend their time making out in pools. When Lucy tells Casey she’s not ready to sleep with him yet, he calls her a “bitch” under his breath. They really are determined to assassinate Casey's character as much as they can. This could have been a situation where he is a little more genuine. None of this fits with the Casey we saw before, it’s a complete 180. I guess it doesn’t matter that much, since even the main characters are being butchered for the sake of plot.

    Which brings us to the J.R. stuff. To make it even more cliché and predictable, J.R. is forced to do road work, there’s a porno-looking but sadistic correctional officer, a black man who first tries to protect, then pushes J.R. away, and a fat correctional officer. Where have we seen all this before? Oh, in every movie. There’s also a metal punishment box that J.R. ends up in after trying to bribe Porn Officer. Who didn’t see that one coming? While the story does provide Hagman with the chance to use some of his I DREAM OF JEANNIE comical/physical skills, it’s just not worth it. The only mildly interesting part is when J.R. thinks he’s finally getting a chance to escape (looks like we’re done with the ‘prison’, yay!) only to be delivered right into Japhet's hands! Whatever, as long as this is wrapped up soon.

    DDD
     
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  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    This is the first year story editor David Paulsen was gone from the show since "Who Shot JR?" eight long years earlier (except for the dream season when Bobby was 'dead'), his leaving to go run the ninth and final season of narratively-challenged DYNASTY (which he indeed fixed, but too late to save it from the axe).

    Paulsen has said he'd already wanted to leave DALLAS, and one assumes it's because of the different, sillier tone that Leonard Katzman wanted the series to take on. When Paulsen's departure was official in 1988, Hagman made some snippy remark in the press that Paulsen's leaving was "probably good" for DALLAS because Paulsen "didn't have a sense of humor." So that seems to support the idea that decision to turn DALLAS towards self-satirical campiness was an official one, and Paulsen knew it was a bad idea (so he went over to un-campify DYNASTY, as it were).

    Why would anybody do this to DALLAS? Duffy had talked about their desire to do a Mad Magazine-style parody of DALLAS after the series ended, but they apparently decided not to wait.

    To their credit, years later Hagman admitted the last couple of DALLAS years "weren't up to par" and Duffy conceded that they "lost objectivity about what qualified as a good story" during the closing years.

    But if Paulsen saw the danger of getting too light and facetious (when DALLAS should have gotten darker and more ominous) then why didn't Katzman/Hagman/Duffy see that at the time?
     
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  3. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    She is very much in it for a few episodes and out of it for a few and I didnt like that at all!! :mad:

    Every cloud as the saying goes, make the most of it it doesnt last

    I truly disliked Haileyville but there is more to come - DIRE

    Talking of dire lol Thank goodness for Videos in the 80s, When this ended Id run upstairs and put on an early episode!
     
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  4. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Because they were getting paid mega bucks to turn up at work and have fun and be best buddies, drink champagne - the quality of the writing and acting of newbies went down hill
    S11 original was a very big jump the shark moment for me. And it suffered not having Victoria P in it
     
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  5. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Who? LOL.

    You don't enjoy a good mother-daughter employee-employer scene?

    She deserves better.

     
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  6. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 6: WAR AND LOVE AND THE WHOLE DAMNED THING

    Nice title for a decent episode (minus all J.R. stuff, of course).

    Cally sets out to prove she’s not completely useless by saving J.R.’s life. I laughed a lot when Japhet or Boaz (don’t remember which) knew that it was too soon for Cally to know she’s pregnant. You’d think they’re the kind to believe a woman if she said she’s pregnant the day after having sex. We are subjected to multiple scenes of J.R. wanting to escape and Cally trying to save him and Japhet and Boaz swearing they’ll kill him and then backing off, but I’ve got to admit – there’s something fun watching J.R. do all this manual labor (ridiculous as some of it, like the plowing, is), thanks to Hagman.

    The only other interesting moment comes when Cally tells J.R. he’s got to convince her brothers he wants to marry her and, if he doesn’t, she’s not sure she wants to try saving him! I did like her just a tad more after that.

    Sue Ellen and Jeremy spend the episode meeting in her office and discussing how they’ll get revenge against J.R. This, for some reason, includes Sue Ellen selling her Weststar stock back to Wendell, although I don’t understand how that works. In any case, at some point they engage in some awkward corpse flirting before Sue Ellen meets her stupidly named Attorney Gurney to finalize her divorce. Sue Ellen hopes she’s having a better day than J.R. is, and what would you know… J.R. is over at Sucksville, marrying Cally. Oh, Lord. It looks like he just married his underage daughter.

    Bobby and Cliff sign the papers and Cliff officially becomes part of Ewing Oil. I hope J.R.’s reaction to this won’t let us down. Bobby runs into Tracey and goes full on Casanova on our asses. I have to say, they have much more chemistry than Bobby and April ever had, and Tracey seems to have an actual personality. I’m sure they’ll ruin it.

    Lucy senses that Casey is pouty because she wouldn’t put out and tries to explain herself. Ever the optimist, Casey suggests she at least begin divorce proceedings against Mitch and then meets April for more of that hate-flirting they do, only this time he brings with him a big bottle of champagne and they actually do something: They discuss starting their own oil company.

    It’s so great to have Ray back on the credits and back on our screens. His presence, as well as the quickened pace, help this ranch storyline immensely. Also a high point of the episode is Miss Ellie's uncompromising decision to blow the damn dam up! I mean, she showed no hesitation. It reminded me of the "grab a whip and show your man what’s what" Miss Ellie of the past. Even before blowing it up, Ray and Bobby turn to her for re-assurance. Like the badass mob boss she is, Miss Ellie simply nods and boom they go! Of course, this plays right into McKay's plan and he causes a stampede on the Ewing ranch, leading Ray and Clayton to storm over at his, only to discover an army straight out of the Vietnam war standing by. Sadly, Miss Ellie doesn’t suggest blowing them up too. The wild tonal swings continue: McKay goes inside and you’d think he would be victorious, but instead he seems terribly upset and has a headache. Every time you think you’re making sense of the story, it pulls the rug right out from under you.

    The ending is pretty great. Creepy Fred Hughes steps up to both Bobby and Ray (apparently not realizing he probably can’t beat one of them, let alone both) and a fight ensues. Typical DALLAS scenario but, this time, one of Fred's men shoots one of the Ewing ranch hands (I think) and he dies. OK, I didn’t see that one coming.
     
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  7. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry I missed this @JROG as its not in the main Forum.

    Not the best episode, Hailleyville and Cally and clan are just PAINFUL!!

    yes, hated it and it made JR look like a middle aged perv, it really didnt sit well with me at all back in the day

    Nice to see Cowboy Ray back and a Miss Ellie in no mood for nonsense

    I didnt like Tracey at the time, but Id take her over simpering April any day

    Again, when this was shown on UK Id run upstairs and put in a S1-6 VHS video of the glory days!!

    Lovely review once more xx
     
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  8. Balena

    Balena Soap Chat Member

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    As usual, I enjoyed reading your review, JROG, and I absolutely agree about Tracey - she had a personality of her own and had good chemistry with Bobby. Until... well... no spoilers here, I know! ;)
     
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  9. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 7: SHOWDOWN AT THE EWING CORRAL

    Another enjoyable episode, made so even more by the fact that things finally move on from that dreaded Haleyville! It looks like we’re going to have to endure more fruitless efforts from J.R. to escape but the old goat finally manages it – he sets fire to the barn, steals a car, ends up at a gas station and he reaches Sly and orders her to send a chopper to pick him up. Meanwhile, back in Dallas, people are sorta kinda wondering where J.R. is, but don’t exactly prioritize it as a concern!

    Wendell tells Sue Ellen that he wants to make her his corpse bride. Somehow, Sue Ellen manages to not barf all over the table.


    Following Cliff’s arrival at Ewing Oil (that’s going to take some getting used to), Tracey pays Bobby a visit, regretting walking away from him earlier. You can’t really tell whether she’s sincere or if she’s playing Bobby, but that’s the fascinating part. Things progress in this story too. While they’re having dinner, McKay spots them and, of course, Tracey is the woman he’s been searching for. Oh, that must hurt. He follows them home, knowing full well Bobby is dicking her. Well, Bobby is sure back to his old ways, isn’t he? McKay, well-adjusted adult that he is, breaks into Tracey's loft and waits for her. Tracey appears to be extremely afraid of him and threatens to run away again.

    The rest of the episode is taken up by the ranch war. The show quickly establishes that the sheriff is useless and leaves it up to the Ewings to get justice for their dead ranch hand (I wish they had spent a little more time establishing him so that his death would matter more and not be a complete plot device, shocking as it was). McKay's men threaten the Ewing hands into quitting, they start blowing up stuff, taking down fences, and Miss Ellie drives (in that funny car of hers) over to McKay to go apeshit on him. I have to admit, I didn’t have any faith Miss Ellie would get involved in such a big way, and it’s made the story much, much better.

    J.R. arrives in Dallas (there’s a great shot of the helicopter through Sly’s legs) and Sly is stunned at his appearance. All J.R. wants is to go to the office first, where he finally learns that Cliff’s a part of Ewing Oil. Although the whole thing is quick, J.R.’s reaction is hilarious and everything I needed. Furious, he returns to Southfork, ready to confront Bobby, but everyone is wondering where the hell he’s been and tell him all about the ranch war. It’s so good to see J.R. back in the fold. J.R. avoids telling the family that he’s married his granddaughter, planning to ignore the whole thing, and the decision is made to send the kids into town. Clayton wants Miss Ellie gone too but, in a totally unexpected and amazing ending freezeframe, Miss Ellie proclaims that, "No matter what McKay does, there’s no power on this Earth that would ever take me off this ranch." What?! Yaaaas!
     
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  10. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, there are times I search for it on the main forum too and can't understand why I can't find it :rolleyes::D

    I've considered tagging people when there's a new post, but I don't want to be obnoxious.

    There's always the choice, if it suits you, to "Watch" the thread. I've found that's a good way to keep up with the threads I'm interested in.


    Perv is exactly right. It's way too much. But the episode is saved by Miss Ellie and Ray.


    Definitely!
     
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  11. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I loved the scene when Miss Ellie kicked ass at Mckays place (really Rays)

    re the car - I always wanted a VW Golf convertible and have many pics from the 80s of me posing beside ones when on hols in Spain or Tenerife and pretending it was mine
    Then... one of my friends actually got one and I went out with her, stuck under a bridge it dripped water on us and then it rained

    Suddenly I didnt want one anymore, at least not living in UK, Tenerife yes, Dallas yes but UK NO!!

    great scene, sock it to em Momma and she did!

    Another great review @JROG and feel free to tag me, id hate to miss it!
    BF xx
     
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  12. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I've always considered, after the death of Bobby, Dallas should have went down that dark path. It was the opportunity to fracture relationships that were already fragile after the contest for Ewing Oil. I wished to see an even darker side to JR, cruel even.

    At the heart of this was Miss Ellie, desperate to maintain what little family there was after the death of Jock and now Bobby. Anything....ANYTHING, would have been better than the nonsense served up during its laughable last seasons. Right now I'm currently watching Season 6 (per DVD release) and the episodes where Miss Ellie has thoughts of breaking Jock's Will. It's just so damn good watching how the writers weave the characters into a compelling story that gels.

    Just one thing I've noted during my current time watching Dallas. As Larry and Patrick's influence is becoming greater behind the scenes with directing episodes I've noted a certain weakness in those episodes compared to when others direct. I sometimes wonder if it's best that actors do what their employed to do...act.
     
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  13. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Active Member

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    As a Texan, I can tell you that a lot of thought went into this scene.

    In certain pockets of Texas, and Houston and Dallas in particular, there is so much wealth that no matter how nice of a car you arrive in, it won't impress people.

    You have to arrive by helicopter to truly make an entrance.

    Nice touch that in the reunion show, "Return to Southfork", Larry Hagman arrives in a helicopter.
     
  14. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 8: DECEPTION

    Thankfully, J.R. is out of that God-forsaken place (you know of what I speak) but, of course, there’s the little technicality that he’s a fugitive. Surely this will lead to thrilling drama down the line…

    April and Lucy finally get a clue about Casey: He’s broke and they’re the ones basically bankrolling the entire operation. You know, if he bothered being nice to people, they might not have been so willing to uncover his schemes.

    Sue Ellen finally gets involved with those Ewings again when she is told by Miss Ellie about the ranch war and finds out the kids were sent to Cliff instead of to her. She and Miss Ellie snarl at each other briefly before Sue Ellen heads off to Cliffland and the kids.

    Speaking of Cliff, there are a couple of very amusing J.R./Cliff scenes in this episode: In the first, J.R. arrives at the Ewing Oil offices and is confronted by Cliff’s giant portrait. Hagman’s comedy skills come in very handy here. Later on, Cliff can’t resist teasing J.R. It’s obvious J.R. wants to do something about this situation but, considering he’s involved in two other major stories, perhaps the timing is not right.

    I’ve got to say, Bobby meeting Tracey's daddy – none other than Carter McKay – and not realizing he’s McKay, and McKay wanting to buy Sections 40 and 50 was a lot of fun. But it doesn’t compare to the wonderful twist at the end, where we learn that the man behind this all is none other than Jeremy Wendell! Now that was a surprise!

    @Barbara Fan @Balena @Rove @Ray&Donna
     
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  15. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 9: COUNTER ATTACK

    Poor J.R. has nightmares about the Place that Shall Not Be Named. Cry me a river. I don't really know what to say about J.R. seeing a therapist except "yawn" and "he'd never do this," which probably covers it.

    After last episode’s thrilling reveal that Jeremy Wendell is behind McKay's attacks, you’d think we’d get a nice showdown. Instead, the show devolves into a very bad Rambo parody (even though it’s taking itself very, very seriously) and the whole thing is a yawn-fest. The only value I can find to it is that at least we’ve never seen something like this on the show before, therefore it is of some, miniscule, interest.

    More secretaries have birthdays. It’s become a joke by now.

    Randomly, Cliff runs into Tammy Miller, who’s looking for Bobby, and talks her into dating him. Not to be mean or anything, but anyone looking for Bobby probably wouldn’t agree to date Cliff instead.

    In this week’s installment of Getting a Clue, April and Lucy continue to test Casey out; they throw the bait and he bites each and every time.

    In possibly the only great moment of the episode, Wendell goes to Sue Ellen's office to further plan out their revenge and instead gets sent to hell.

    The good thing is that Wendell's involvement helps explain all the random weirdness from the past episodes (like Fred Hughes and his dynamic with McKay) and although it’s all so neatly resolved (Hughes is dead, Bobby and McKay's actions cancel each other out, so the police doesn’t feel like they should, you know, arrest anyone) there’s another fun little surprise when McKay promises Wendell he’s not done with revenge after all. Instead of plotting behind their backs, McKay walks up to the Ewings and tells them what he plans… I guess that’s a good tactic, since Miss Ellie sighs heavily and tells him she’ll sell him Sections 40!
     
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  16. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 10: THE STING

    Contrary to what the title suggests, this isn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Although the ranch war is wrapped up unconvincingly and implausibly (at least in legal terms), the story has a few more twists up its sleeve. For reasons plotty, Wendell must sell most of his Weststar stock to buy Section 40 but McKay will not cooperate any further unless Wendell gets his son out of a South American jail within three days. George Kennedy gives a breathtaking performance when Tommy calls from the hospital, but despite his incredible happiness that his son is back in the country, McKay doesn’t feel any particular need to visit him.

    Wendell is not having a good week (and it’s about to get worse). He shows up at Sue Ellen's with some bracelet and attempts to reconcile. "You make my skin crawl when you touch me," Sue Ellen replies. "I’d rather sleep with a carnival freak." Damn, Sue Ellen, tell us how you really feel!

    Shocking as Miss Ellie's decision to sell was, you could understand why she made it, and the potential for story was huge. Therefore, when the Ewings and McKay reveal that they’ve set Wendell up, have his confession, and he gets arrested and thrown in jail, it feels unexciting, anticlimactic, and a waste of potential. Too sudden. Why would they just end it like this? The DALLAS book seems to give the answer: Smithers asked for a raise and they wrote him out, throwing an entire season’s worth of story away.


    The show gets meta once again as they have Bobby and Ray lament how different and empty the show and family feel nowadays. Just as they’re doing this, they’re setting things up for Ray’s (second) exit. Um, maybe you want to do something different? When all is said and done, Ray’s goodbye scene later with the family (minus that awkwardly fake J.R. part) is really touching. "There’s a part of me that’s never going to leave here," Ray says before getting into his decidedly un-Ray-like limousine and driving off. It’s sad – I’ve been watching this man for almost 14 years. I wish they’d let him stay.

    April and Lucy, in their final installment of Get a Clue, confront Casey about his conman ways and they part ways for good. A shame – April is right: if Casey had handled things differently, and hadn’t changed his character, this could have worked out. I hate it when April is right. April jumps right into her next storyline, when she and J.R. agree to go into the oil business together, but what’s Lucy going to do now? Hmmm, maybe Tommy McKay.


    Since he has nothing else to do, Cliff tells Tammy that he only married Jamie to get his hands on her Ewing Oil shares.

    After reconciling with Tracey, McKay is surprised by none other than Kimberly Cryder! She bought Wendell's Weststar shares. This has potential as well, let’s see how the show wastes it.

    Sheriff Hanks shows up at Ewing Oil to tell J.R. never to show up at the Place that Shall Not Be Named Again. I mean, you probably couldn’t pay J.R. to go there, and indeed, he asks why he’d ever want to go back to that “stinkhole”! That’s exactly what we feel too, J.R. During dinner at Southfork, Cally shows up, ready to claim her geriatric husband. Poor Miss Ellie initially looks like she’s about to have a stroke! Bobby asks J.R. if this is true. "It was true in a kind of vague sense," he hilariously replies. And, for once, the show plays something for laughs that is actually funny, as the Ewings are hardly keeping themselves from laughing and Cally takes her place next to J.R….
     
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  17. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great reviews @JROG - enjoyed reading about them and reminding me what happened in the show as they arent episodes I really watch

    Bobby and the range war - I thought he was auditioning for the man from the milk tray ad in his black polo neck



    and Cally arriving at SF - oh dear, another big nail in the Dallas coffin, she sucked as an actress, and i hated the whole JR and Cally storyline - made him look like a child snatcher and perv. Lets just FWD her
     
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  18. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 11: THE TWO MRS. EWINGS

    Now that the show isn’t focusing on ridiculous hick towns or absurd ranch wars, we get a pretty enjoyable episode that resembles the old show we knew as closely as this era can.

    The show very smartly pairs Cally with Miss Ellie and uses the matriarch to introduce her into this new world: If Miss Ellie believes in Cally's innocence and love for J.R., then the audience can trust in it too. The show really tries, too: They write Cally as sympathetically as possible (crying over J.R.’s rejection, Miss Ellie taking her under her wing, Lucy giving her a makeover reminiscent of every telenovela scene about a poor girl marrying into a rich family and getting ridiculed ever, John Ross dismissing her), while not skimping on some really funny and truthful reactions from the rest of the family. Several people call Cally "J.R.’s child bride" and it feels good that the show is acknowledging the absurdity of the entire thing.

    There’s a sweetness to Cliff and Tammy I did not expect. The actress is proving better than I thought. Marilee’s return is a great surprise – she’s back doing what she always does: Slurping a man’s face off and being rude and insulting. She wants to make a deal with Cliff and Bobby, but J.R. oh-so-subtly hangs around while they discuss it and steals it for his and April's new oil company. Naturally, Bobby and Cliff don’t even suspect.

    McKay and Tracey are in Miami, visiting son/brother Tommy, whom we have yet to see (I hope he’s hot!). Tommy hasn’t forgiven McKay yet but Tracey, having gone back to loving McKay very quickly, assures him the time will come.

    Sue Ellen gets the idea to buy her own studio when Bruce Harvey visits with the profits from Mandy Winger’s film. Oh, I’m smelling another movie coming along….

    Meanwhile, Miss Ellie finds Lucy crying outside at the patio. Her divorce with Mitch is final and she laments her bad luck with men. It’s all very sad and pretty, but I doubt it’s going anywhere.

    The Oil Baron’s Ball is almost tacked on but remains a fun last few minutes for the show. Duffy gives good reaction when he finds out Cliff is dating Tammy, and Cliff is all like "oh, yeah, I forgot you know Tammy". Sue Ellen and Cally meeting each other and realizing they are both Mrs. Ewings is a fantastic moment. Cally just spits out all the nasty things J.R. said about Sue Ellen, while Miss Ellie bites her lip. When Sue Ellen (who looks great, by the way) marches towards J.R., you just know it’s going to be great. She loudly confronts him about the things he said and then punches him in the face!! How cathartic! J.R. has barely been pulled up off the ground, when the announcement is made that McKay is the new chairman of the board at Weststar! Boy, J.R. is not having a good week. Even Harv Smithfield yelled at him. Fun!
     
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  19. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    That is so spot on! It's like a parody of a stupid ad. lmao

    Super perv indeed!
     
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  20. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    One of the best episodes of that season despite Cally and April, the scene where Cally had been dressed by Lucy just showed how bad an actress CP was! Cringe worthy!!

    I enjoyed Miss Ellies chat with Lucy on the patio and the OBB - thats OIL barons ball Miss Crap Cidre!

    Sue Ellen has missed her true vocation, she could have been a mean boxer!
     
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