Would Dallas Have Been Better Off To Not Bring Patrick Duffy Back?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Fan

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    I see why they wanted to bring Patrick Duffy back. The conflict between JR and Bobby was interesting. But I don't think it was enough to warrant going through such an insult to the audience as telling them nothing they saw in the previous season happened because it was all a dream. That just killed the credibility of the show and it never recovered. It sort of turned the show into a joke.

    If you look at it from a ratings standpoint, the season where they brought Patrick Duffy back got lower ratings than the season before it - the one where he was considered to be dead. So killing the show's credibility and having less viewers than the season before tells me it was a mistake to bring him back.
     
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  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I think the actual numbers between the two seasons were the same (not the ranking, though) but, yes, it destroyed the show's credibility forever. (Some defenders of the dream scenario try to selectively rationalize that DALLAS never had any credibility, but the critics had grudgingly come to admit over the half dozen years which followed 'Who Shot JR?' that DALLAS was indeed a legitimate drama -- all of which was destroyed totally with the use of the dream to revive Bobby).

    And then the show slid into the kind of DYNASTic "camp" they'd been so critical of for DALLAS' closing seasons. But Katzman, like many producers, seemed more interested in his own control over DALLAS than quality.

    I feel they could have gone on without Bobby if need be, although I agree Peter Dunne (who produced the muddled dream season) and his team of writers had to go.

    If they did bring back Bobby, then his resurrection required a better explanation, obviously. Some people complain that the witness protection program is a "bad" idea, but it beats all the other options, and there are ways to do it quickly.

    But if you had to use a dream scenario, logically make it comatose Bobby's dream (instead of dumping it on his wife the producers disliked).
     
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  3. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    I dunno. I got over it. I think any big fan just accepted it, although I was only 10 when it happened. :D
     
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  4. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Addict

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    Depends what you mean by "better off".

    Not in terms of longevity I suspect but certainly in credibility.
     
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  5. Jon Ewing Jr.

    Jon Ewing Jr. Soap Chat Member

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    I wish he had never been killed off to start with but after it was done they should have rode it out.
     
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  6. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Fan

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    I liked the conflict between JR and Bobby. In fact my favorite storyline is the contest between Bobby and JR for control of Ewing Oil as per Jock's will. I loved it. I still remember when I was watching it live as a 14 year old boy how I laughed when JR unveiled his big surprise - JR Ewing Gas priced at a big discount over what all other gas stations were charging. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant plan by JR to win the contest. As fun as that was, it was incredibly sad to see Miss Ellie struggling in court while she read the very personal and beautiful letters Jock wrote to her while he had been in South America. Seeing her attempt to convince the judge that Jock was mentally incompetent and the toll that took on her as well as the toll it took on her to be relegated to fighting her own sons in court was heartbreaking. The contest for Ewing Oil was a storyline that ran through just about every emotion imaginable.

    So as much as I found the conflict between JR and Bobby fascinating to watch, I also feel they could have gone on without Bobby. Parts of the dream season were pretty good! The tension it developed when Pam originally decided to sell Christopher's share of Ewing Oil to Wendell and then watching her change of heart and the effect it had one everyone from Cliff to JR to Miss Ellie was excellent storytelling.

    I think the best way I can describe my feelings on the matters is: Bobby's absence from the show did leave a void that was tough but not necessarily impossible to fill given talented enough, creative enough writers. Having Bobby back on the show was nice but not worth the cost at which it came!
     
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  7. JR Ewing Fan

    JR Ewing Fan Soap Chat Member

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    I don't even remember. It's had to have been over a decade though.
    Dallas never should have killed Patrick off . Next to Larry he was the most important Dallas actor. Then they goofed up the dream season by making it too much like Dynasty. Should have set it up as JR vs Pam. They did it a little but they dropped that. They pretty much had no choice but to bring Patrick back. But they should have found another way. Any way would have been better than a dream.
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Fan

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    JR vs Pam? Do you mean Wentworth vs. Ewing Oil or Pam running Christopher's 30% of Ewing Oil and battling with JR over the direction the company should take? If so, I think Pam's own words give a pretty good idea of how that would have gone. She said to Mark Graison: "I don't have what it takes to keep going head to head with JR. JR knows so much more about the oil business than me it's frightening." Then Mark replied something like: "He should! JR spent his whole life wanting to be in the oil business - you didn't."
     
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    JR and Pam could have been a great battle, had not they not submerged it in all that Angelica Nero junk. Pam was nowhere near as experienced as JR, but neither was Bobby and he did well enough against his machievellian big brother.

    Had they not dropped the ball during the dream season, we could instead be here discussing: "should Pam have been arrested for punching JR at Ewing Oil?"
     
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  10. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I began watching Dallas after Bobby had come back so I never had a problem with the dream resolution since I knew that a whole season was a dream before I watched it. :)

    I did wonder why TV kept broadcasting that season in the reruns though as none of that ever happened but then when I watched the dream season I got so wrapped up in it that I wondered how they were going to solve Sue Ellen being blown up in the Ewing Oil building and then all of a sudden Pam woke up and I was like "already?"

    So well the dream season was a great season. But not as great as the season that came after it IMHO. ;)

    I know Dallas credibility suffered from the dream resolution and I remember when I first began watching Dallas all I ever heard was:
    '"isn't that the show where he came back in the shower?"
    "Isn't that the show where a whole season was just a dream?"
    "Dallas? Nah we've stopped watching that!"

    So it certainly didn't do the show any favors back when it happened. But in retrospect I think people care less about it.

    If anything I've seen people refer to it in positive terms, like it's a cult thing it happened.

    Like for instance on a Buffy & Angel posting list I used to post on in the early 2000's somebody had posted a question like:

    "In honor of Bobby Ewing coming back on Dallas, from which point of Buffy would you wish was just a dream?"
    and then there were different options people could vote on.

    So in retrospect I think it's a part of Dallas legacy just like "Who Shot JR" and it didn't make the show lose it's place in popular culture.

    It may have damaged whatever chances Dallas had of winning an Emmy Award though... :(
     
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  11. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Fan

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    If they had to bring patrick back, personally I would have preferred him to have been in a coma for a year or to come back as a look a like or something. I did not like how the dream wiped out imo Donna and rays best season, some fab scenes with Pam and jr and some great Sue Ellen stories. While I like bobby and Pam, I didnt think patrick was the most important actor other than Larry at all. Linda, Larry and Victoria could've carried the show very well and very easily after Patrick left, if it was written right. And Victoria possibly would've stayed longer had they not sidelined Pam the way they did after Patrick returned
     
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  12. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I've had plenty to say (type) on this subject over the years. Patrick (believing he had greener pastures to mow) decided to end his relationship with Dallas. The writers decided (bravely) to kill off two major characters; Bobby and Katherine, though secretly I was hoping Katherine survived the crash, faced a trial but ended up at Sue Ellen's favourite holiday destination, the sanitarium.
    Bobby's death was just the shot in the arm Dallas required to develop further chapters. After several excellent seasons sometimes a major characters death reinvigorates the show, much like Jock's death lingered throughout the telling of Dallas.

    So imagine my excitement during the off-season conjuring up scenarios in developing stories between the Ewing and Barnes families. I believed all hell would unleash. JR (that magnificent beast) was unshackled, no longer feeling the restraints of Bobby or Jock. In that opening return episode at Southfork we witness what was to come when JR unleashes on Sue Ellen in the presence of Clayton and Miss Ellie. This is the JR I loved to watch. Cruel and vindictive against a sniffling Sue Ellen.

    We then experience the reading of Bobby's Will. The looks exchanged between JR and Pam after Harv Smithfield informs them that Pam will have controlling interest of Christopher's share in Ewing Oil is exactly what I was hoping for. I've said it many times. From the opening episode, "Digger's Daughter" this show was truly about JR Ewing and that Barnes woman!

    The scene was set. Pam planted her fine derriere in Bobby's office after learning she had controlling interest in Christopher's share in Ewing Oil. JR wasn't having any of that. I appreciate other posters opinions that Pam would not have had JR's measure in business but look where she had come from. Pam could also have had the assistance of Donna. All the major characters we cared so much for, Miss Ellie, Clayton, JR, Sue Ellen, John Ross, Pam, Christopher, Ray, Donna, Jenna, Cliff, The Cartel and Jeremy Windell, that slithering piece of darkness just ready to pounce, would have been caught up in this battle for Ewing Oil.

    It was like the writers had crept into my consciousness and were going for it. But then Angelica Nero and her wardrobe arrived, undoing everything that Dallas was gearing towards, supreme control of Ewing Oil.

    On a side note I'd like to drop a big turd on those idiots behind the scenes for conjuring up the dream season, shame on you all for ruining what could have been regarded as one of the best series to appear on the small screen.
     
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  13. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Totally agree with you @Rove

    And for me and I think I can speak for most Dallas fans here, the loss of Pam in 1987 was a much bigger loss than the loss of Bobby, 2 years earlier.

    Bobby's departure was timed perfectly with his character, he seemed to have been stuck in some existential crisis, worn down almost, torn between the love of two women, then boom he dies.

    With Bobby out the way Pam would be forced to reluctantly step in to fight JR, this was what the series was slowly building up to: Pam vs JR.

    Bobby's return did nothing positive for Dallas, the final five years (1986-1991) would never recreate the magic that was the first six/seven years (1978-1984).
     
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  14. Presea

    Presea Soap Chat Addict

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    If Katherine is gonna survive here, then I'd have much rather seen her go up against JR, not be stuck in some stupid sanitarium. Pam was too nice, and Katherine and JR's dialogue with each other was fifty times more priceless than JR and Pam's was.
     
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  15. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    And Pam had more allies than JR. Though Cliff was never in JR's league he did have some experience in the oil business. I was hoping after Bobby's death the writers would have calmed Cliff down a little, allow him become the protective brother he should have been instead of Pam always looking out for her brother. Pam could also have sought the advice of Donna, drawing in another Allie who always had suspicions of JR's motives.

    If Miss Ellie thought the death of Jock was hell to deal with, Bobby's death was going to be the game changer.
     
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  16. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    The issue arises if the writers dared have Katherine survive, what scenario other than facing charges of murder could the writers have installed for her? My reasoning in placing Katherine in a mental institution was so at some point further down the track she could have been resurrected...in TNT Dallas perhaps.

    In any case when the writers decided to have Bobby recreate the exorcist move in that shower stall they still didn't know what to do with Katherine. Bobby was right. Katherine was still being chased for attempted murder. Bobby's return created so much mess.
     
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  17. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Active Member

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    Such a difficult subject really because Jack didn't take off due to Larry & Dack not getting on.

    I think in hindsight it was probably better to keep him dead, that said, the Dream Season was far too OTT from the grass roots of the series, so it needed taking back to a degree.

    Bosses must have thought long and hard about it - had Ray not been revealed as a Ewing Son maybe another son who looked like Bobby could have been brought in - but would viewers have accepted it?

    Would viewers have felt differently if it had been Bobby who had had the dream and not Pam - lying in an induced coma would have been more realistic.

    I always go back to the actual dream season though - a bad villain(ess), ridiculous plots (emerald mines/dopplegangers), Mandy Winger, ridiculous costumes/glossy look - the show was losing it's way, trying to complete rather than be true to itself. Having Pam dream it all just tipped it over the edge into fantasy rather than drama.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  18. JR Ewing Fan

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    I don't even remember. It's had to have been over a decade though.

    KL excepted Lisa Hartman playing 2 different characters. It would have been a stretch but still better than a dream,
     
  19. Kenny Coyote

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    Why include Mandy Winger in the rest of that? JR had a marriage that didn't work. He found someone he was happy with. What's strange about that?
     
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  20. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No way would that have been better. I really didn't like how they brought Ana Alicia back as Melissa's doupleganger on Falcon Crest rather than Melissa. It just didn't work. :(

    Patrick playing Bobby's evil twin or whatever wouldn't have worked on Dallas either as the audience loved the character of Bobby and the dynamics he brought to the show.

    Like for instance in that first season after Bobby returned the best part for me was getting to watch Bobby and Pam back together again after their long separation. So if he had been anybody but Bobby it wouldn't have been the same.
     
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