What were writers attempting in the range war season?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Herofan, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,274
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +1,448
    Gender:
    Male
    They were hunting. The boys had a good time and learned a lot. They ate what they killed too.

    I loved it when they outsmarted Wendell and finally got him. It was one of the highlights of Dallas to me. He was a smart guy and a worthy competitor but he was still human and fallible. Sooner or later either the Ewings would have beaten Wendell or he would have beaten them. Still, William Smithers had a nice long run on Dallas. He played his part perfectly!

    "The Sting" in which the Ewings finally got Wendell was the last really great episode of Dallas for me.

    I'm not sure what you meant by this: "And then look, McKay is a good guy because we got George Kennedy to play him"

    Is it that you don't think George Kennedy is a good actor, or something else?

    BTW, From what I heard, Kennedy usually played bad guys. Gene Hackman is another who usually plays bad guys.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

    Message Count:
    2,687
    Trophy Points:
    4,535
    Occupation:
    Aspiring writer and factual webmaster
    Location:
    Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
    Ratings:
    +4,857
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
    A) The hunting: The way that part of the episode is depicted, it´s as if John Ross really MUST kill a deer to become a real man. Otherwise, he will be like "weak Uncle Gary who read poetry (oh yeah, in an alternate "Knots" universe...)". That was outdated and sexist (and probably even subtly homophobic) before it was aired, and much more now. "The Dove Hunt" doesn´t show a JR keen on hunting, but quite scared of any kind of violence or killing. That to me is a betrayal to the essence of the show. Katzman was trying that season to appeal the male audiences who had left their wives alone at the sofa when Bobby appeared in the shower or VP disappeared in flames. Again, a sexist, chauvinistic POV that ended up destroying "Dallas" slowly but relentlessly (see subsequent seasons to confirm that).

    B) I loved both Smithers and Kennedy, and played their roles very well, but Wendell was a pale shadow of himself when he returned to WestStar: he was just a pawn to the awful range war, and even a precedent of the Cider House logics of things (let´s twist and turn and twist again). I´m rewatching that season, and when Wendell is arrested, McKay suddenly becomes the most honest man on Earth. Come on, he had been dealing with mercenaries and corrupt businessmen until 5 minutes ago, and now the guy is good "just because"? This has nothing to do with the actors, but with Katzman´s sloppy and very lame writing for that season. Oh and again they contradicted themselves about McKay: he also would deal with abstract OPEC and would reveal he had been working for mobs like Johnny Dancer. Odd he wasn´t the one who sold the drugs to his son Tommy (Cider House would have loved this "delicious" twist!).

    And very especially, but very briefly, I´ll mention the tongue-in-cheek Hagman&Duffy Hour routine acting of everyone involved in that episode you like so much. They aren´t playing it straight as usual on "Dallas", they are cracking up because they know they are in for the bucks and the script just sucks. Oh those cynical times of the show... Just my opinion anyway.

    [​IMG]

    This I´d have liked to see instead:
    Wendell is outed by the Ewings who have pics of him in a gay panto.
    Then he gives up and gets ready for the jailhouse action.​
     
  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,274
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +1,448
    Gender:
    Male
    I interpreted as they were cracking up because they were so happy they'd finally beaten Wendell, a man who had been out to get them for a very long time. I was smiling and laughing during that as well.

    But we all have our own way of looking at things and that's fine. It keeps things interesting.
     
    • Cyber Hug Cyber Hug x 1
  4. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    5,933
    Trophy Points:
    6,136
    Occupation:
    INFJ
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +7,704
    Medals:
    7
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    Leonard Katzman speaks at 5:30:



    The arrest of Wendell was stupid, like a cartoon scene. The idea that JR and Bobby would take down so easily a man like Jeremy Wendell wasn't believable at all.

    And it only happened because Larry apparently tricked William Smithers into asking for a raise at a time when Lorimar-Telepictures was cutting back, so his role was essentially given to George Kennedy. The removal of Wendell from the show's later years was one of the worst things that happened to DALLAS near the end -- Jeremy was the only real threat to JR, and the series needed that menace.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,274
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +1,448
    Gender:
    Male
    Apparently you don't think Carter McKay was a real threat to JR. I'm wondering, is that because George Kennedy's acting wasn't good enough to accept him as a legit threat, or do you blame the scripts for Carter McKay not coming across as a real threat to JR?
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    5,933
    Trophy Points:
    6,136
    Occupation:
    INFJ
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +7,704
    Medals:
    7
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    I'd say it was the scripting for McKay. George Kennedy certainly turned beat-red enough to be terrifying,
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

    Message Count:
    2,687
    Trophy Points:
    4,535
    Occupation:
    Aspiring writer and factual webmaster
    Location:
    Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
    Ratings:
    +4,857
    Medals:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Member Since:
    September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
    IMO Kennedy was introduced partly because Kercheval wanted to play a more positive version of his Cliff after the reconciliation with Miss Ellie. GK was a big name in the league of supporting actors (which most times is stronger than the one for the leads) and got an Oscar as such for "Cool Hand Luke" (which was spoofed / homaged / tarnished just when he showed up on "Dallas" thru the awful Haleyville storyline and the chain gang...).

    With a well-thought story and Paulsen-esque dialogues, McKay would have been the last great character on "Dallas". Without them, he was constantly wasted and playing a caricature of a villain. Hagman had already worked with him before becoming J.R. and I´m sure he knew Kennedy would give much-needed prestige to the fading soap. Instead, they reduced Cliff´s part from Season 11 on, and gave McKay such no-no-notorious characters around him as the mercenaries, FakeWendell, Rose, Tommy, Tracy, Johnny Dancer/Danzig et al. Go figure...

     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,823
    Trophy Points:
    3,591
    Ratings:
    +896
    Medals:
    3
    Member Since:
    June 2001
    Wendell and McKay essentially filled the same function as the head of West Star and a thorn in JR's side. However, they were written very differently. Up until the range war, Wendell was an extremely intelligent person who was led by his brain rather than his emotions. In fact, he was a straight up emotionless sociopath, but it's what made him a great villain.

    McKay, on the other hand, was a much more emotional and temperamental character. George Kennedy was a fine actor, but I preferred the ice cold ruthlessness of Wendell.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

    Message Count:
    1,061
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Location:
    Italy
    Ratings:
    +1,416
    Member Since:
    2008
    IMO Wilson Cryder was the real new Jeremy Wendell, Carter McKay wasn't believable at all.
     

Share This Page