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. Presea

    Presea Soap Chat Addict

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    Or sometimes I wonder if Mark had gotten successful treatment, but just decided not to tell Pam about it. After the dream season, I really think it would have been good if they had at least included a scene where Mark comes back to tell Pam that even though his treatment was successful, he chooses not to be in her life anymore since he doesn't know how much time he might even have, and that it would be better for him to not expect anything more from her and say goodbye right now instead. Yeah, I would have preferred it if Mark came back for good, but at least this would have properly ended his storyline and not left us confused by the Hong Kong scenes.
     
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  2. Presea

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    There could have really been two separate family dynamics going on that way. After showing a Ewing dinner scene, imagine it then cutting to a scene with everyone at the Graison mansion or Pam's house having dinner and discussing the exact same situation that the Ewings were. And I'm all for making Bobby miserable.
     
  3. KayLloyd

    KayLloyd Soap Chat Fan

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    Well, the flip side to that is that the majority of viewers did want to see Bobby and Pam together. They rooted for them from the beginning. The show suffered when Katzman made the mistake of breaking them up because the whole foundation of the show had been built around them standing together against the outside pressures from their families. I'd say that Bobby was plenty miserable when Clayton unfairly put him in the position of having to choose between saving his marriage and responsibility for his mother's mental well being, which actually belonged to Clayton.
     
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  4. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Bobby bringing home Pam after marrying her without inviting his family to the wedding or even telling them about it beforehand was the first scene in Dallas for a good reason. Watching Bobby and Pam's marriage try to survive amidst the Barnes-Ewing feud was the foundation upon which the show was built.

    When Bobby "died" at the end of season 8 it marked the last time Dallas would occupy one of the two top spots in the rankings for the most watched TV shows. The dream season saw Dallas fall to #6. Then they failed to take into account how damaging the integrity of the show wouldn't be worth bringing back Patrick Duffy and so season 10 fell to #11 in the rankings. So despite (or because of, depending upon how you look at it) bringing back Patrick Duffy, Season 10 was the first season since season 2 to see Dallas out of the top 10 ranked shows.

    Ideally they shouldn't have had Bobby die. That was their first big mistake. Their second and even bigger mistake was insulting the audience by saying nothing they had watched in the last season happened because it was all just a dream! How did they think they'd keep their credibility with a stunt like that? Apparently they didn't think credibility mattered much. That was where they hurt the show the worst.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  5. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    If only my dreams were so vivid, I could sleep forever :lolo:
     
  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I'll trade your 'flip' for another by saying we wouldn't have witnessed that delicious and scheming Katherine if Lenny had kept Bobby and Pam together.
     
  7. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Yes, me too. Bobby was the same with Ray. And I think Harv Smithfield's attitude was even worse than Bobby's, wanting Jock's will read immediately.

    They did, yes. Gary mentioned the restriction that Jock put on his inheritance, where Jock limited Gary for the first 4 years to only accessing the interest on his $10,000,00, whereas J.R., Bobby and Ray could do whatever with $10,000,000 straight off, as well as Lucy with $5,000,000. Gary also talked about how harshly Jock treated him for not living up to expectations, and Gary's attitude was a mixture of respect and resentment for Jock. At the time, Gary had recently been dumped by Val soon after she discovered Gary's affair with Abby. Abby was pretty similar to J.R. in character, and she was toughening Gary up in business and family life, making him more responsible and less afraid. J.R. was also in the episode, and Gary said to Abby about J.R. "He has all that power at Ewing Oil, and yet he's still scared that I'm going to take it all away from him".

    And it did survive, for many years. Yet even as early as Season 2 DVD, Pam left Southfork for a few episodes after J.R. tried to get Cliff convicted for the murder of Julie Grey, and Pam was reluctant to return to Southfork even as Bobby pleaded desperately. Starting in Season 4 DVD, I think Bobby and Pam's marriage had as many downs as ups, with Bobby's heavy involvement in Ewing Oil meaning that he had very little time for Pam, and later Pam's mental breakdown over her desperation for a baby in Season 5 DVD, and then even worse with the Battle for Ewing Oil in Season 6 DVD where Pam could see the devastating consequences very early on. Of course, their marriage would have survived even this had it not been for the subtle moves of Katherine behind the scenes in causing their divorce.

    After 1985, the ratings for US soaps in general declined. At the time, they thought Dallas slipping to 6th was a disaster, and that Bobby's death was the reason for it. In reality, it was a general decline in soaps' ratings after 1985, and hindsight showed that. Bobby's return from the dead didn't stop Dallas' ratings falling further and faster in subsequent years.

    I think something like Bobby's death was what Dallas needed. Dallas needed to move into a new era.

    It was all to do with ratings. 6th was a disaster at the time, yet within a year or two, 6th was luxury. There was also the power struggle between Philip Capice and Leonard Katzman, with Larry Hagman firmly on Katzman's side.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Yes, in the Battle for Ewing Oil Pam said words to the effect that she didn't have the stomach to watch Bobby and JR fight each other. That's one of the reasons why I don't know why people wanted to see Pam fight JR on season 9. She didn't have the guts to even watch Bobby fight JR so why would anyone think she'd have the guts to take the fight to JR in business? When Pam told Mark Graison "JR knows so much more about the oil business than me that it's frightening." Mark replied "He should! What's even more important is he spent his whole life wanting to be in the oil business - you didn't."

    Fighting JR herself would have been far more difficult than simply watching Bobby fight JR. Pam didn't have the guts for it, she couldn't even stand what it had done to Bobby which is the main reason she left him. How could we be expected to believe that suddenly Pam would be a different person who would enjoy fighting instead of hating it and how could anyone believe she had the qualifications to fight JR. People like Jordan Lee, Andy Bradley, Marilee Stone, and even Wendell had trouble with JR and often ended up on the losing end in deals with JR. Why would Pam do even close to as well as these people who did have the guts to fight and were also exponentially more qualified with decades of experience in the oil industry?

    Bobby's death was the reason for it, unless you don't think Bobby had any fans that left after he did and that none of the fans tuned out because now they could never see Bobby and Pam reunite (since they thought he was really dead). Bobby's return from the dead caused Dallas's ratings to fall even further because their dream season ruined their credibility and realism. It was an insult to the intelligence of every fan.

    I can't speak for other soaps since I didn't watch them, but if If you look at the time when Dallas drew it's highest ratings and compare it to season 9 and 10, you can see how Dallas was far more realistic in it's earlier years. The longer the show went on, the less realism there was. That was a major factor. Dallas had lost that gritty, realistic feel it had in its earlier years.

    Another big change was they showed JR losing the power and killer instinct he originally had which made him so formidable. He wanted to leave Sue Ellen and marry Mandy in season 8 and couldn't pull the trigger. He tried again in the next season, the dream season, and again, failed to divorce Sue Ellen and marry Mandy. When they tried it for a third time in three years and once again JR just didn't have the guts to pull the trigger and do what was necessary to marry a woman with whom he was happy, I'm sure a lot of Dallas fans started saying "This is ridiculous! Three seasons in a row he's wanted to divorce Sue Ellen and marry Mandy and all three times he couldn't find the guts and/or killer instinct to do what was necessary to accomplish it"!

    As time went on, JR continued getting weaker and weaker until by season 12 he was becoming the "buffoon JR." I don't know why the writers and show runner did this to JR. Larry Hagman's acting always remained top notch but he could only do so much with the scripts they gave him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  9. Mustard

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    In Season 6, Pam was thinking about her marriage to Bobby and the Battle for Ewing Oil was threatening it. Therefore, Pam wanted it to stop before it got out of hand (which it later did, and worse than anyone imagined). Pam also wasn't in the oil business at the time. By Season 9, Pam had been with Barnes-Wentworth Oil for well over a year, with even Harv Smithfield saying that she had a very good reputation in the oil business despite her lack of experience and that there was no chance of J.R. going to court on the case that Pam would ruin Ewing Oil by owning 30% of the company's shares through Christopher.

    I did say that I expected J.R. to dominate early on. Pam is a fast learner, though, especially when her own interests and those of her son are involved. And J.R. was always wary of Pam understanding his outlook, which she usually did. The dynamics are very different for Pam compared to Season 6.

    Pam didn't like Bobby becoming like J.R. in behaviour, that's true. She left Bobby because her mother died as a result of the Battle for Ewing Oil. And that was after Pam and Miss Ellie had tried, and failed, to break Jock's Will, in opposition to J.R. and Bobby.

    Pam isn't alone. She had Mark, Cliff and Jamie backing her up. Mark is extremely rich, Cliff is a former oilman of the year and anti-J.R. as always, and Jamie also has a lot of oil industry experience.

    It's not just Dallas, though. The ratings of all the big US soaps fell after 1985. It wasn't long before Knots Landing was the highest rated soap, even though Knots Landing's best ratings were in the past and they were previously behind Dallas and Dynasty. In hindsight, one can see that it's not about Bobby's death. Soaps were going out of fashion, slowly.

    My opinion is that Season 9 is better quality than Seasons 8 and 10.

    J.R. was never very good with his love life. His treated his wife horribly most of the time, and was always having affairs, with him not caring at all about most of the women he was having affairs with. Some rare exceptions are Mandy and Serena the prostitute. Nothing odd about that with J.R. J.R.'s character only started suffering with that Haleyville stuff in Season 12.
     
  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Right, Pam believed that with Bobby being in fierce competition with JR that Bobby was becoming like JR although we saw very little of that "new Bobby" as Ray was describing Bobby. Not just Pam but Ray said "We're seeing a whole new side of you that's real hard to get used to." Pam said similar things to Bobby such as "Where is the man I said my wedding vows to"? Pam didn't believe it was possible to fight JR and stay the same person or at least she didn't believe it regarding Bobby. Doesn't it stand to reason that if Pam didn't even think a man as strong as Bobby could fight JR without being corrupted, wouldn't she also want to avoid fighting JR on a regular basis at Ewing Oil, lest she risk corrupting herself and become exactly what she hates?

    You mentioned earlier that Harv Smithfield told JR that while Pam certainly didn't have the knowledge of running a massive oil company that JR had amassed throughout his entire life, they wouldn't be able to ind a judge who would say that Pam would be likely to ruin Ewing Oil,especially since JR had 30 percent which gave him a way of holding her to a stalemate in any decision he felt would be bad for Ewing Oil. That being said, those judges who were respectful of Pam's business reputation earned throughout her two years or so working part-time for Cliff at Barnes-Wentworth, would do a 180 degree turn on Pam if she did anything as foolish as tell the man who hates the Ewings more than any man in Dallas - Cliff Barnes - about business deals Ewing Oil was making, or God forbid, try to bring Cliff into the Ewing Oil Offices. Mark Graison didn't have the feuding history with the Ewings that Cliff did but as the owner of such a large oil company (Graisco), Pam letting Mark know about business deals JR wanted to make or was in the process of making would have been a massive conflict of interest and the judge would cease to allow Pam to manage Christopher's 30% of Ewing Oil unless of course she immediately ceased sharing Ewing Oil secrets with Cliff, Jamie, and/or Mark.

    I believe there is a more accurate reason for the decline of nighttime soaps. I'll use Dallas as the example since that's the one I'm familiar with. Watch some episodes from the seasons with Jock and then watch some episodes from seasons 9,10 or later. Dallas lost a tremendous amount of the gritty realism it had in the years with Jock. The stories became more convoluted and contrived, which of course led to a loss of realism and credibility. Even the clothes the women wore became more and more absurd looking, especially compared to the reasonably sensible clothes worn in the early seasons. Storylines got more and more outlandish such as Angelica Nero's plans for Jack to become the heir his "father Dimitri Marinos's fortune", the emerald mine, JR hiring B.D. Calhoun to blow up Saudi Arabian oilfields and the way that whole story was told, including the CIA finding out Alfred Scottfield had stolen top secret CIA documents from his job and shown them to a newspaper editor, yet the CIA didn't even have Alfred arrested!?!?

    As bad and as contrived and unrealistic as these storylines were, season 10's storyline of "Jock" returning was far beyond absurd. The man playing Jock didn't have even a somewhat similar build as Jock. Apparently he'd been burned about as bad as Pam was - so bad they had to completely reconstruct his face - a face without a single visible scar! His body was so well repaired that even well into his 70's(supposedly, since that's what Jock would have been) he beat out all other applicants for a job requiring hard physical labor all day long, every day. It was an absolute insult to all of us fans. Dallas never pulled those kinds of storylines in their classic years with Jock or even the next couple years - seasons 5 and 6 when Dallas was one of the two highest rated shows on TV.


    JR and Sue Ellen were very interesting and entertaining to watch with all of their ups and downs up until around season 7 or 8. It was around then, give or take a year, that not only was it very clear that JR and Sue Ellen were never going to find a way to fix their marriage. It was just far beyond repair.

    In season 8 JR met a woman who was different from any other woman he had ever cheated on Sue Ellen with. Unlike Serena, Mandy was not a call girl - which was certainly a deal breaker as far as Serena ever getting JR to ask her to marry him. Maybe the most important thing along with actually loving Mandy, which is something he didn't feel towards other women he cheated on Sue Ellen with, is that for the only time in his life, he didn't feel like moving on to another woman once "the chase" was over. He told Mandy what a wonderful feeling it was to not feel the need to chase someone else once he had bedded Mandy. This is also something JR had never told another woman. If there was ever a woman for JR to have a chance at a happy marriage with it was Mandy.

    Meanwhile the tension between JR and Sue Ellen and their constant arguments were getting painfully repetitive. The straw that broke the camel's back was that JR had 3 chances to divorce Sue Ellen and marry Mandy - seasons 8,9 and 10 and he blew every single one of them! As far as I'm concerned this was the beginning of JR not having the killer instinct he used to have to make things happen that he wanted to happen. He ws starting to lose his nerve, finding himself unable to pull the trigger - take any figure of speech you like. JR marrying Mandy would have been a sorely needed breath of fresh air in the JR relationship dynamic and Mandy was a far, far better fit as a Ewing than Cally could ever hope to be!
     
  11. Presea

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    I don't understand why so many people seem to be fascinated with the idea of JR marrying Mandy. She was boring and really had nothing in common with JR at all. If the writers had wanted to give me a breath of fresh air in the JR relationship dynamic, then they would have made JR get together with Katherine during the time he was divorced in season 5 (dvd), and then eventually marry her. Katherine had more in common with JR than all of the other women on Dallas put together, and it would have been a hundred times more entertaining to see them scheming and working together as a couple then be subjected to even more boring hot tub and princess-decorated bedroom scenes with Mandy constantly yelling "Oh, JR!" And what is all of this about being a "Ewing wife"? It sounds kind of snobby and class-structure oriented if am interpreting the meaning behind the phrase correctly. Whoever JR is with, it should be about wanting to be JR's wife, not a "Ewing wife."
     
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  12. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    I think we saw that Bobby quite a lot. For example, going crazy with J.R. over why J.R. was pumping so much oil with a variance, setting a TEC man up for cocaine so that he would end J.R.'s variance, and then setting up Walt Driscoll for a jail term. Frankly, I think Bobby acted worse than J.R. at this time. J.R. was clever enough, twice, to make profits for himself while posing as a "man of the people", first with the cheap gas stations and second with his trip to Cuba.

    She's referring to how he was kind, honest, had integrity etc. while J.R. was devious, nasty and ruthless. That changed, as Bobby became more like J.R.

    What she was saying is that their marriage was more important than what Bobby was doing at Ewing Oil, and that Bobby's attitude was damaging that.

    It's possible that Pam would take this path, correct. But she could also fight for what was Christopher's now that she was in the oil business with Barnes-Wentworth Oil and with plenty of support. Which is the best course for drama? Argument wise, Pam and Miss Ellie should have broken Jock's will and saved the disastrous consequences from happening, but the drama would have been much worse had that happened.

    I think J.R. loved Bobby as his opponent. Why? Because J.R. felt he had the edge over Bobby, because Bobby was predictable, easy to wind up and could always be relied upon to have those high morals. Pam unnerved J.R. more, calling her "a constant thorn in my side".

    You're telling me J.R.'s reason to be worried, as he automatically assumes that any potential obstacle in his way at Ewing Oil is hostile to him, and his anti-Barnes prejudice makes it even worse. I think Pam is much smarter than just spilling secrets everywhere.

    I think Seasons 1-6 was the peak of Dallas. I don't think Dallas' quality became below good until Season 11, and then poor from Season 12.

    The clothes situation just shows the difference between the 1970s and 1980s fashions. The first 3 seasons of Dallas had 1970s fashion, and then came things like Pam's perm which was big in the early 1980s. The 1980s was an OTT decade for fashions, perhaps cooling down slightly by the late 1980s.

    I liked the whole emerald mine storyline, personally.

    As for the whole B.D. Calhoun stuff, and the fallout from it, this sort of stuff actually happens in the world. This is the whole world of the intelligence agencies, big businessmen plotting and mercenaries who will do any job at a price. J.R. is an oilman who is desperate for the price of oil to go up in the USA, and there seems to be no legal way whatsoever. He realizes that blowing up Saudi oil fields will increase the market price of oil in the USA, so hires a mercenary to do just that. This sort of stuff happens in the real world.

    The CIA made a deal with J.R. to foil Calhoun, yet Nancy Scottfield was very determined. It was also a sensitive issue for the CIA, where, if it ever got out, would show a CIA agent's collusion in covering up what Ewing Oil did, hence the CIA's indecision with their repressive methods. Still, the Scottfields needed Jeremy Wendell's clout as well to succeed in getting the truth out into the open.

    Agreed, but J.R. was unable to make that step to end it with Sue Ellen and openly declare his love for Mandy. He just wasn't as good in his love life.

    When was J.R. ever like that in his love life, at least with the public perception of his love life? In business, it was different. He probably did love Mandy more than Sue Ellen by then, but he also loved the public image of the life he had with Sue Ellen even more and was unable to give it up properly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  13. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Katherine? Seriously? Can you really imagine JR marrying the woman who shot and almost blinded his brother, and then tried to poison Bobby? I can't imagine a more vile choice of a woman to marry. Even Pam hated her and Pam liked almost everyone. They were sisters but Katherine did her best to ensure Pam and Bobby divorced by writing that phony letter and reading it to Bobby. She tried to frame Cliff for Bobby's shooting. She had no loyalty to anyone, not even family.
     
  14. Mustard

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    Katherine's loyalty was to herself and to her dead parents that had been wronged (in Katherine's mind). Bobby not only turned her down but called her "sick" and was engaged to Jenna, while Pam said she never wanted to see Katherine again, while having a big chunk of the Wentworth fortune nevertheless.

    There's the motives for Katherine going crazy.
     
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  15. Presea

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    You must have missed it when I said it should have happened in season 5 (dvd). Of course it never would have worked after Katherine went crazy for Bobby and shot him. During season 5 (dvd), Katherine had no obsession with Bobby and actually had more scenes with JR. Plus, it would not have been in poor taste since JR was divorced during the time he met Katherine. It would have been the ideal time for the writers to start a relationship between the two of them. But putting aside any of the characters' actions, Katherine was the most similar to JR when it came to personality, vulnerability, belief in manipulation, and how they thought about their family situations of having their other siblings favored over them. And if you're going to call her vile, remember that JR was no angel himself. He isolated other men from Sue Ellen during season 5 in the same manner that Katherine did with the Bobby and Pam thing. JR needed someone who could think on his level. Dallas should have used relationship science more, because it has been proven that people with more in common with each are more compatible. Generally speaking, opposites do not attract, and unlike Katherine, Mandy was pretty much a total opposite to JR.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  16. Presea

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    You summed it up perfectly.
     
  17. Presea

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    Pam did not hate Katherine. Sure she was angry at her for the letter, but after she finds out that Katherine tried to kill Bobby, Pam is actually surprised to find that Katherine was really a disturbed individual. Pam showed no anger or a desire for vengeance against Katherine for Bobby's attempted murder, and that doesn't seem like how someone who hated a person would react. She went with Cliff to Houston to visit Katherine to try to talk to her, and during that scene, Pam even says: "She's still my sister." She didn't hate Katherine, but saying that she cared about her would be a stretch, and that is Katherine's fault for never even responding to Pam's attempts of trying to get to know her better and form a real bond. You can't care about someone you don't even know.
     
  18. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Whatever their differences were in those early seasons what was presented on screen was pure magic. Exit Phil and it was all Lenny and later Larry as Executive Producer. Funny how the show severely suffered under their leadership.
     
  19. Rove

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    I beg to differ. A recent viewing of Lorimar Dallas leads me to believe the writers were steering Pam to take the fight to JR. I'm not sure how much notice Patrick Duffy had given the producers but subtle hints were planted how tough Pam could be in standing up to JR. The time she stormed his office an ripped into him after discovering JR's involvement in sending Pam around the Caribbean searching for Mark. Pam confronting JR outside the Ewing building after Cliff's arrest for the attempted murder of Bobby.
    From the series premiere this was always about 'that Barnes woman' and her acceptance into the Ewing family. Eventually Jock, Miss Ellie, Lucy and to a lesser extent Sue Ellen accepted her. Not JR, not ever.
    After the reading of Bobby's Will I was looking forward to what the writers had in store for us. JR may have been devious but he would have been placed in an uncomfortable position knowing that if he pushed Pam too far he would have to answer to Mamma. JR may have desperately wanted Ewing Oil but Miss Ellie was about saving the family.
    Besides if the writers had been game and lit those fireworks between JR and Pam I believe Larry and Victoria would have relished those scenes. Every-time those two squared up it was electrifying to watch.

    Don't blame the character for the not having the guts, blame the writers for wimping out on developing Pam into a strong willed woman.
     
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  20. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    There is one word which best describes the downward spiral of our must watch television series, Soap. I see the likes of Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing etc as adult drama. When those same shows dip their collective toes into horrid daytime story lines that was the beginning of the end for me. Characters being alien-napped, supposed dead person was alive the whole time as it was just a dream, a massacre of such proportion it would now be labelled 'terrorist act' yet somehow most stood, brushed of their designer outfits and sipped another glass of chardonnay while munching on Osetrova Caviar.

    The demise of these shows was more to do with their attempts to out fox each other with even more incredulous story-telling.
     

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