What didn't help the dream explanation

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Grangehill1, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    okay so we know the dream scenario didn't go down well. But does anybody think there may have been other reasons that the show started to faulter at the start of season ten?

    Could things have been done to make the unbelievable storyline more digestible for viewers? Yes they could but to me it seemed the top brass went the other way and made some big changes which together with the dream lost viewers

    1. The change of film stock. From suddenly looking very glossy and expensive the show now looked awful and fuzzy

    2. The fashions. From everyone looking sleek and most of the women's hair all stylish, suddenly in season ten hair styles went out the window and the women looked ridiculous. I remember this at the time! So it's not something I've noticed over time. I distinctly remember how polished everyone looked in season 9 to the sudden mess they all looked in season 10

    3. The incidental music. John Parker returned on mass with his terrible scores. Again I remember at the time his music was awful. How he ever got work .

    4. Some of the performances, specifically Susan Howard. Where was the feisty energetic Donna? Her scenes are painful to watch. She's suddenly speaking at one word an hour.

    What do you think? If they'd kept the same film stick and fashions etc for season ten as season 9 then we might have accepted the dream better? There was too much change for this season
     
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  2. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
     
  3. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Fan

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    Christopher and john Ross also aged an entire year from when we last saw them?!
     
  4. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Active Member

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    Dallas had been having problems before the dream revelation, and the trashing of some storylines post the dream season were just not popular with fans.

    Donna Reed was never accepted as Miss Ellie before the dream season, Katherine was written out of the show with no conclusion to her storylines, then suddenly she's responsible behind the scenes for Jenna's murder trial & Bobby's death. Then the death didn't happen and Katherine being behind Jenna being framed for murder was completely forgotten.

    The Angelica Nero character & plot were just not Dallas, they belonged to other soaps. Dallas was never this OTT until she arrived.

    Jenna's woe is me storylines, Charlie's constant whining.

    As for the picture quality, watching the show in the UK it was never a great picture anyway so it's difficult to comment on that - I remember (Sir) Terry Wogan always saying they all looked green haha.
     
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  5. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    Good points but I would argue more than any other era or between season break, the look, quality and acting of the show (forget all of the storylines and plot points) was the most massive between Blast From The Past and Return To Camelot.

    You only need to look at the DVDs to see how awful picture quality from season 9 onwards was.

    Perhaps if they'd taken more care in the asthetic continuity of the show (hair and make up as well) we may have swallowed the dream explanation better
     
  6. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Active Member

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    The quality between the mini series & season 5 is huge just is style and substance - once Dallas became a global hit you can see the money spent on screen with costumes, locations etc. Again, the picture quality differed in whichever country you were watching in - something to do with American TVs having more (or less) lines than other countries - so the quality of the picture was never great.

    With the DVDs yes the quality can be seen, but again I think every season looks different except season 2-4, it all depended on who was doing lighting and photography.

    Season 13/14 look exceptionally fresh, alas the show was dying on it's feet by then, but it looked fantastic, just a great shame they never filmed at Southfork during this period.
     
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  7. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    The quality betwee the mini series and season 5? But that's a five year gap!

    Blast from the past to return to Camelot was a few months and essentially consecutive episodes. EVERY actress had different hair (before it was only one or two), Susan Howard suddenly forgets how to act with energy, the film stock is cheaper thus making everybody pink.

    If these things had been addressed we may have bought the dream idea better
     
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  8. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Active Member

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    Not to mention J.Rs hair colour...black to grey in a few short months!:eek::eek::eek:
     
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    All these things have been discussed over the years, but since this entire site was wiped clean less than a year ago, let's do it again:

    Logically, the dream should have been Bobby's, with him comatose in the hospital. And, probably, the dream explanation (which was a huge controversy at the time, although they now claim it was less divisive than it was) shouldn't have been used at all, the show taking one episode to explain Bobby's revival and then getting on with Season 10's new plotlines... They could have done it.

    But otherwise, if we had to have the dream as they fed it to us...

    1. The optics... What happened in 1986 was that Lorimar was bought out by Telepictures, and they decided to cut post-production costs by eliminating traditional film labwork. The show was still, technically, shot on 35mm film as network rules dictated for their nighttime dramas, but Lorimar started using this new, crappy computerized process where the film pieces were dubbed down to 1 inch video prior to editing, leaving no negative and no film master (the film pieces were supposedly tossed) the blurry, awful video picture now the only version of the episodes in existence. Everyone was shocked that this was going out over the airwaves, but the bottom-line guys thought the devolution in quality was worth the reduction in post-production expense. (Former site member @al paige explained this to us in 2004).

    The Season 10 DVDs, as flawed as they are, look 300% better than when they originally aired in 1986, believe it or not. With today's digital technology, with things like color-regrading and line doubling and edge-enhancement, these episodes have been improved significantly even if they can never be quite brought up to top quality.

    2. The fashions... It depends on what you prefer. In Season 9 (per DVD count) when Bobby was dead, the mid-'80s haute couture rage, started by DYNASTY and Princess Diana, was at its peak during the 1985/86 season. Travilla even won an Emmy for his DALLAS fashions, beating out Nolan Miller of DYNASTY... But, for me, the show looked overdone and cluttered yet somehow drab (as did all the shows that year, except for KNOTS) the Southfork sets became as overdressed as the women -- all those pleats, all those extra pieces of furniture. As someone here once pointed out, reflecting perhaps most of our observations about the look of that season, you were constantly afraid somebody was going to trip and fall... When executive producer Philip Capice left and Lenny Katzman returned with Duffy for Season 10 (per DVD count) the clothes -- which seemed a bit much for DALLAS -- were still glamorous but were pulled back quite a bit... I don't think they started looking like "a mess" but looking a lot more "normal" for the Ewings. The year Bobby was "dead" the cast constantly looked like they were headed out to attend the Oscars.

    3. John Parker, the composer, was reportedly Katzman's best friend. So once Katzman was back and now in full control of the show, back came Parker (who'd been gone for four years, I assume fired by Capice but I don't know). Actually, Parker was a talented composer when he was writing scores inspired by Native American influences; he'd written some terrific scores for shows like GUNSMOKE and even some of his earliest DALLAS compositions (like the first "Barbecue") which were more disciplined. But he was used so much during Season 2 (per DVD count) when the show was still not entirely serialized, as those scores quickly became so cornpone and jarring, that I think it weakened that first full year, and I was glad when they started bringing in other musicians (like, of course, Bruce Broughton) to water down Parker's impact, eventually eliminating him entirely.

    I mean, can we imagine the year-long battle over Jock's will with Parker's insane, jazzy contributions popping up every other episode???

    4. Donna was depressed again when Season 10 (per DVD count) started because she and Ray were suddenly veering towards divorce again. So the sudden shift in the narrative, wiping out everyone's storylines, had to affect the performances one way or the other.

    That said, except for Pam's "I had a terrible, 31-episode dream, Bobby!" speech (which admittedly should never have been used) that opened Season 10, the storylines from Season 10 were the snappiest the show had given us in ages, and the year has one of the greatest re-watch values, despite the visual flaws described above. It balanced drama with self-satire better than the show ever had or ever would again.

    Season 9 (per DVD count) had better clothes, but those outfits were just too extreme. And, storywise, although Season 9 started out like it was going to be a rawer, more experimental DALLAS, the new writers quickly began to reveal they had no idea where they wanted their plotlines to go, everyone suddenly became "too nice" to really fit who those characters had been, the dialogue became too maudlin, etc.

    Once Katzman and David Paulsen came back to DALLAS with Patrick Duffy, the stories were much stronger (at least for a while, then Paulsen left and the show spiraled into the kind of off-note, campy stuff Katzman had once blamed competing shows for doing).

    But, yes, the blurry look, the too-perfunctory dream resolution, and the return of John Parker's screeching saxophone were a problem. And made the use of the pasted-together-with-chewing-gum dream scenario even harder to swallow without choking several times.


    "Bobby, I think John Parker's behind the wheel of that car -- and he's tossing 35mm film pieces out of the window and he's headed right to us!!"
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  10. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Addict

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    I'm still saying a dream is a dream no matter who dreamed it. Anything else would have been more acceptable. A one-episode explanation and let's get on with it is all it would have taken.
     
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  11. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Great points Grangehill. I disagree about Susan though. That was due to the writing, not to her talent, because she didn´t know she was going to be axed. Of course she was pissed off about the dream decision that dumped Tony´s adoption too, but she probably didn´t let it to affect her.

    The fashion was hideous in the post-dream season: Jamie looked like Jennifer Beals on "Flashdance" (ok, a bit sluttier...), Pam seemed to have bought her clothes at The Store again, Sue Ellen didn´t notice that Mr. David had gone crazy, and Donna was wearing the leftovers of Jenna´s store, and Jenna, well, she just lost her sense of fashion along with Bobby...

    [​IMG]

    "Yes Bobby, say it. I´m ugly, ugly, ugly...
    that´s why you´ll marry Pam!"​
     
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  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I wish the camera had zoomed in on this magazine that Pam "had been reading" just before she fell asleep.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Champian

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    In one of the early episodes of this season, (the first or second one) there are some scenes in which the background music is so loud you can barely catch what the actors are saying.

    I agree. I thought the storylines in season 10 (Wes Parmalee, BD Calhoun, Valentine Lingerie, etc) were stronger most of those in season 9 (Dimitri Marinos, Pam's emerald mine, Jenna's depression, etc).
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
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  14. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Fan

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    Yes, the show was starting to be shaky even before Bobby "died."

    I am sure she is a very, very nice and smart woman, but DAMN (and there actually was a thread about this)!......how could Howard NOT know she was being axed?!?!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
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