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. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I hated how we never really saw how Bobby felt about the possibility of Pam being alive, after all, they never had any closure in the second go round, Pam took off and Bobby refused to go look for her.

    Then, two decades and two more marriages later, he faced with the possibility of finally getting closure with the woman he loved deeply for the best part of ten years and to see if it really was Pam, instead we get a gruff, one line response from Bobby when he says "I grieved for Pam a long time ago" no emotional chat with his son (whose world has probably crashed around him by this point), no lone tear escaping from his eye in private, no look of regret even, we got nothing, absolutely nothing, Cidre knew nothing about DALLAS or its characters, Bobby had many fault but being cold isn't one of them, on contrary he was friendly, caring and warm.
     
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  2. Snarky's Ghost

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    For sure.

    David Jacobs said a couple of years ago that Victoria didn't really have the best relationship with the DALLAS brass, and that while those things shouldn't work their way into the scripts, sometimes it does anyway.

    Also, in 1987, the producers knew there was a karmic connection between Bobby's revival (they were still being lambasted for the use of the dream a year later) and Pam's sudden exit. So they seemed to use Bobby's moping over his rejection and the family never mentioning her to not upset him as an excuse for the show to never mention her again, quite illogically.

    As I've said, I'd like Cliff to become more convinced than he was that there was something shifty about Katherine's whisking Pam off into the wild oblivion. And then later getting Bobby on board about it once he'd had time to lick his wounds.

    I mean, they seemed to sort of try to do that, but half-heartedly. And it didn't work.
     
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  3. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    From the moment Donna Reed stepped onto Southfork it appeared the captain had abandoned ship. Not one person was controlling the huge egos on set or behind the scenes. Dallas had begun as this unassuming little drama only to see it shoot through the stratosphere in just a few years. Instead of working as a collective group to ensure it continued for the benefit of all it would seem some were relishing that success was due entirely to them.
    This scenario reminds of the company I use to work for. If we had a successful year you could bet your house the branch managers and their minions would be slapping each others back however as tough times approached those same managers would attempt to shift that blame on anyone but themselves.
     
  4. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    I'm watching Season 9 (the Dream Season) right now. I'm enjoying this season as much as ever. I do get the impression that after this season was over, there was a backlash afterwards because of a perceived amount of strong women, like Pam working at Ewing Oil and going to the emerald mine in the Colombian jungle, Angelica Nero and her assistant Grace as sexy bad ass villains, Sue Ellen going from rock bottom as an alcoholic to recovering better than ever before and getting high self-esteem for probably the first time in her life, Donna getting stronger as a person with her relationship with children and repairing her marriage with Ray, as well as Jamie at one point falling out with Cliff but later getting back with him after he mends a lot of his ways and their marriage turns to love. I suppose it's balanced out slightly by Jenna's nervous breakdown over Bobby in the period after Jack had tried to get close to her, but in Season 10 there was suddenly a lot of sexism from the male characters in a way that had never been in Dallas before, and I even remember Pam putting herself down in a sexist negative sense. To me, this is a part of the power struggle going on backstage; which, as David Jacobs said, shouldn't be making its way into the scripts, yet sometimes does.

    The end of Season 8 seemed to have Philip Capice win the long-running power struggle against Leonard Katzman, as they could no longer work closely together, and Bobby's death coincided with this. However, Katzman was still there as "Creative Consultant" and occasional writer. I think the strong women in Season 9 became tied in with the power struggle between Capice and Katzman, as ratings were falling, and without the benefit of hindsight where this was an obvious trend for all US soaps after 1985. As a result, I think the strong women and the more international travel got blamed for the decline in ratings, as Capice's opponents smelt blood. After Katzman gets a big promotion and Capice leaves, it's all different. Bobby's return from the dead even reversed the whole season where Katzman's influence was at its lowest.
     
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  5. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    It's been many years since I've watched the 'Dream Season' as my Lorimar Dallas DVD series finishes with Bobby's death. I've never felt the need to purchase the remaining seasons only because how dreadful it all becomes. There was so much potential for Dallas after Bobby's death. The problem was the writers dropped the ball. I had no issue with the women of Dallas becoming stronger because it felt like a natural progression the story should have taken. The opening episode when JR rips into Sue Ellen (after her day of shopping) in full view of Miss Ellie and Clayton is exactly the type of high drama I expected.

    Rather than introduce new characters (Angelica and Grace), in my mind the writers should have re-focused their energies on the main players, Miss Ellie, Clayton, JR, Sue Ellen, Pam, Cliff, Ray, Donna and Jenna. Those new characters I speak of just dulled Bobby's death and his passing should have hung over the entire season. I wouldn't have minded if JR went on a real bender, taking out his anger on everything and everyone. I would have loved a scene where he gets drunk and smashes up his office. Perhaps a scene where he confronts Cliff, Pam and Jamie and threatens to wipe them off the face of this Earth.

    JR (Larry) had by now become the main star of Dallas. Without Bobby (Patrick) he had to carry the series. Larry was adept at displaying a range of emotions. Focus on him. I'm sure much of the world after witnessing Bobby's death had the same thoughts as I did. "What the hell is JR going to do next?"

    It's probably why I've never had the heart to buy the remaining series, I know the 'Dream Season' is just a waste since I know what becomes of it. Then, just as I settled on the idea why the writers did what they did, Pam (Victoria) is gone. Then the rot really sets in. Dallas had become a shadow of itself.
     
  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    That was the overall failure of TNT Dallas, all flash and no substance. From the 3 tortuous seasons the one and only thing I liked about it was the kitchen scene between John Ross and Sue Ellen.

    But Cynthia's version of Dallas wasn't about strong story arcs or lengthy dialogue. It was about how much she could squeeze in every episode. Plot driven series just don't last, especially in my household. Others have pointed out it's difficult to create something meaningful when you're given just a handful of episodes to produce. I don't buy that as I've seen commercials that offer much more substance in just minutes then the dribble Cynthia could write.

    With it's rich history to draw from that was the best they could offer. A real shame because that is the lasting legacy we have of a series spanning nearly 4 decades.
     
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  7. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Bobby's death did dominate a lot of the dream season.
     
  8. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

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    This was it though, for me there are really two big, major characters in DALLAS: Pam and JR, not discounting the other characters as DALLAS was an ensemble piece, but without these two characters, the show tanked, twice over! Bobby's death didn't leave such a big void, people were keen know what would happen next.
     
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  9. Maryann

    Maryann Soap Chat Fan

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    When I think back Dallas could have gone on and survived without Bobby if the writers was not so lazy and had more creativity. I loved Bobby and missed seeing him during the dream season but I could have accepted his death and watched it if Mark didn't come back and Angelica Nero had not been there.
     
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  10. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Fan

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    One of the biggest problems was that execs were chasing ratings and by doing that changed the formula that had made the show such a global success. Gone were the seasons with slow burning plots that drew the viewer in and then twisted them in the exact opposite way the viewer expected. In came characters that no one cared about, but doubled it up with storylines for them that people didn't care about. All soaps have peaks and troughs but by changing the dynamics so much Dallas became a show people didn't trust - there was no danger anymore - Bobby died and returned, Pam's survival was ridiculed and when they did kill a character - Jamie - no one cared because she was not a likeable character. Other characters were also sidelined for the new ones, Katherine being one of the biggest, we were seeing less and less of Ellie and when BBG was well enough to film they gave her half baked stories. There are some fantastic stories and plots between season 8 and 14 - but by then people had lost interest and TV drama had moved on.
     
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  11. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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  12. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    I cared enough to do a little dance :jump:
     
  13. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Correct. The core characters that made Dallas so successful were there especially since Barbara Bel Geddes returned to her rightful place as Miss Ellie (no disrespect to Donna Reed). I was anxious for Dallas to return post Bobby to see how it would play out. I thought for sure the Ewing/Barnes feud would explode to a level we hadn't seen before. Many options/paths were open to the writers. The reading of Bobby's Will for one had given me hope this was going to be about the fight between JR and Pam. Everything was on the table. Instead of ramping up the drama between these two warring families we get Angelica Nero, her cronies and stupid stories to boot.
     
  14. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Absolutely right. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Despite Dallas ending with such a powerful episode with 'Swan Song' we later learn that Dynasty had beaten Dallas for No. 1 position. Their season ending infamous episode, "Moldavian Massacre" had taken Dynasty to the point of no return, undoubtedly due to the most important characters surviving automatic machine gun fire. When Dynasty returned it had crossed a line for too many viewers. Dallas on the other hand had held its ground. It may not have achieved the No. 1 position again but it certainly didn't slip as quickly as Dynasty had. The problem I see is the producers/writers slipped into allowing Dynasty to influence Dallas believing that's what the viewers wanted. Wrong.
     
  15. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Fan

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    Oh definitely, it's reflected in the plots, costumes & new cast members, especially Angelica Nero - she's the epitome of what Dynasty was NOT Dallas. With Bobby gone they really should have concentrated on who was still there and capitalised on what the show had been from day one Ewings vs Barnes. The whole Marinos Shipping was a carbon copy type plot of the Moldavian Massacre and execs were absolutely foolish to even think of going there.

    What still, even after all these years, gets me about Dallas is how the writers really crafted the seasons, something that happened early on, sometimes tiny, would rear it's head again and have a massive impact towards the end of the season. Storylines were interwoven beautifully and viewers really did get the pay off - very rarely did they fail with that - but after the resurrection of Bobby it all went totally to pot.

    Just taking Bobby's own storyline with Pam & Jenna, yes Jenna's pregnancy just before his wedding to Pam was typical soap, but because of the dream season and the excruciating acting of Priscilla viewers really couldn't care less. Execs really should have weeded out characters like Jenna (and Charlie...oh my god I hate that kid), but instead lost Donna, Pam and others that it really couldn't afford to - and who the viewers loved.

    What we ended up with was Jenna accused of Murder in one season, dealing with the death of bobby in another & then dealing with a pregnancy in another whilst getting jiggy with Ray, whilst all the time the actress couldn't deal with the acting required and it ended up with me wanting to throttle the woman - for execs not to see what the viewers were was criminal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  16. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Well, when it came to the character of Pam there really wasn't anything the producers could do since Victoria had made the decision to leave. It was the crazy story the writers created in the faint hope Victoria would do an about face - it didn't happen. Letting Donna (Susan) go though was unforgivable in my books.
     

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