View Full Version : Ready or not here the faux Miss Ellie comes
Well all, I see my time has grown short. Today I got kidnapped, rescued by my sons, step-son & handsome fiance, then married in a ceremony only the Ewings got to see. Soon I will be turned into a woman with better clothes & a boufant hairdo. UUUGGGHHH. I just hope that pricey new china arrives on time.
04-16-2004, 06:15 AM
Sorry Ms. Ellie but your replacement was far more appealing to the eye than the you in the moo-moo's
But I still love the way you would sip your coffee in the morning. And make pretend like you did all the cooking on Southfork when we kb=now you just held the knives for show. hahahah
Donna Reed's coming soon... http://images.bravenet.com/brpics/smilie/22_yikes.gif
then it'll be time to push the mute button whenever she's on. http://www.soapchat.net/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
I'll miss you Barbara, but thank goodness you'll
be back a season later. http://www.soapchat.net/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
04-16-2004, 08:24 AM
Donna Reed's Miss Ellie may have dressed better, but, in my opinion, she just couldn't hold a candle to the "real" Miss Ellie.
Yes, it is true Ewing Oil. Donna Reed was far more appealing to the eye than BBG. However, all that hairspray posed somewhat of a problem. When Miss Ellie & I would be performing our marital duty, I would reach up to kiss her & my hand would get stuck in that rats nest!
04-16-2004, 09:47 AM
No emotion, no expression , the sickly voice, I also used to turn down the sound and read the Ceefax captions. one critic said DR reminded him of Thunderbirds, had Lady Penelope hair and you could see someone pulling her strings, thank goodness it was only 20 episodes (too many for most) before the one and only Miss Ellie who could act and show more emotion with a raise of an eyebrow, a smile or a frown returned.
She had no rapport and it was embarassing to watch. One of the first cracks in Dallas.
One of the best days of 1985 was seeing a newspaper heading saying The real Miss Ellie to return to Dallas. and I breathed a sigh of relief. http://www.ultimatedallas.com/granny/Yeahh.gif
Donna Reed was one of Dallas's biggest mistakes. her performances were awful and she sucked in the part. Thankfully it was for less than one series then the rightfull Miss Ellie returned, everyone was happy, and the Ewings lived happily ever after.
or did they?
04-16-2004, 10:06 AM
It's unfortunate that Donna Reed is so disliked. Personally, She fell into the same trap that Wes Parm. would have encountered. Once people made the connection to the first actor's to portray the role they can never see anybody else taking on that role.
It's the main issue that encounters the James Bond role. Hence why there are those who always compare the Sean Connery.
For me, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnon are great James Bonds, but Timothy Dalton was not.
The trouble with Donna Reed is that her acting as Miss Ellie is so bad and wooden. Didn't the producers notice her wooden acting during her screen test ? Jane Wyman would have been better as Miss Ellie.
I agree with what a lot of you are saying about certain actors replacing characters we identify with other actors. Donna Reed was great in "It's a Wonderful Life" & that cooky show she was in during the 50's. However, this just wasn't the right part for her. I think Jane Wyman would have been good too but she was already doing Falcon Crest at that time. If I remember correctly, didn't Donna Reed die shortly after her stint on Dallas? I like a lot of you will be using my mute button often during that season. I will be glad when old bag lady dress wearing BBG returns to the fold.
04-16-2004, 12:41 PM
You're in for a treat if you get the chance again to see Donna as Miss Ellie, watch her performance with an open mind and try not to compare her to BBG but as an original interpretation of the character. You may surprise yourself and find that you like her in the role. In particular look out for the scenes when she discusses "Tumbleweed" with Jamie, Jock's painting with Donna and when she finally takes down the painting with Bobby and JR. These are 3 excellent scenes, it's a pity the writers shied away from writing good material for her shortly afterwards.
04-16-2004, 02:24 PM
yep, so qickly people here shout "donna is crap", cant act her way out of a paper-bag, well for once, just once, dont compare her to beloved barbara bel geddes - the one who - could say more with just an expression of smile - wlel so can any decent acctress, people make barbara bel geddes out to be the best actress on earth ever, reality check people, she did mostly theatre work and then dallas, since then shes never done anymore, she isn;t a household name, and majority of people old or young wont of heard of her.
Donna Reed was a good actress, i wont say shes incredible and marvellous, coz not everybody thinkd that, but dont, whatever you do, say shes a crap acctress, unless you can do better yourself, she was given a hard thing to do to replace another actress, not many would have the courage to do so.
Watch Donna's season with an open mind, and think maybe, just maybe, she wasn't the person everybody makes her out to be - if you love BBG fine, but that doesn;t mean you have to hate Donna, there is a medium somewhere, remember Donna didnt steal Barbara's job either, Barbara was a grown woman, who knew what she was doing, she decided to leave of her own accord, Donna didn't never got her the sack or took her job, it was the other way around.
Donna Reed simply was no good as the Ewing family matriarch. Her acting was terrible as Miss Ellie. She acted well in films etc. but as Miss Ellie she just wasn't right. I'm no actor so I can't act better than Donna Reed but she was an acclaimed actress and should have had the ability to have acted better. She just wasn't right for the role, not because we were used to BBG as Miss Ellie, but because Donna Reed really did act so wooden and stiff when playing the character of Miss Ellie. And I myself don't hate Donna Reed at all. It's sad that an actress who acted so well in films couldn't act as well in DALLAS.
I dont hate Donna Reed-- she was funny on her sitcom... but it was lose-lose for everybody with her as Miss Ellie. Instinct should have told her not to take the role, poor lady. It was never gonna work.
Come to think of it, are we SURE she was Miss Ellie #2? Maybe all that time they were just calling her "Mucelli", like that Tony Danza character where he played that housekeeper...?
Perhaps we had it wrong all along. Reed was just there to mop floors!
04-16-2004, 03:45 PM
Donna Reed was a good actress in most of her roles just not this one. There is only Miss Ellie (BBG)! At least I'm more open minded now and won't boycott this season like I did the first time it was shown!
You're right, though. It's still painful to watch...
Yes, it's painful on the ears!
She was ok as window dressing; essentially they just needed a prop in the role of Miss Ellie until BBG returned.
Hey, at least MisEllie was written out of today's first episode of that season. Was one less opportunity for us to suffer.
James from London
04-16-2004, 04:32 PM
Dan, I don't hate Donna Reed. Nor do I think Barbara Bel Geddes is the best actress on earth ever. Hell, I don't even think she was the best actress on DALLAS. I do, however, think she was far better suited to the role of Miss Ellie. It's not just that Reed was unconvincing as Ellie, during her DALLAS scenes she was unconvincing as a human being talking to other human beings! Her performance was so stilted and "other worldly". This doesn't make her a horrible person, anymore than BBG working mostly in the theatre or not being a household name somehow makes her a lesser actress.
As for your comment not to "say shes a crap acctress, unless you can do better yourself", I don't think that's fair. What if you complained about a substandard meal in a restaurant, and were told not to complain unless you think you can cook a better meal yourself?!
04-16-2004, 08:43 PM
If Donna Reed was playing a different character I'm sure everyone would have loved her.
I have only seen one episode with her (Swan Song) and I loved it. I'm sure like with any other recast, given another season she could have made the role her own. Any recast is difficult, so you have to give them time to fit the role.
I think Donna Reed made the role her own, and I'm glad she didn't do a carbon copy of Barbara's Ellie. Hell, I'm glad they didn't cast someone who looked like Barbara either.
It doesn't really matter who was cast everyone would still say she sucked.
I could have accepted Steve Forrest (Wes Parmalee) as the real Jock, but never Donna Reed as Miss Ellie. I think London James hit the nail on the head when he says she was 'unconvincing as a human being talking to other human beings'. Donna Reed didn't come across as a human being on DALLAS, but as a robot without feeling and all stiff and wooden in her movements. Remember when BBG as Miss Ellie would say with emotion 'HOW DARE YOU' ? She was convincing. But Donna Reed was not convincing in anything she said or did as Miss Ellie.
Sometimes recasting can work well, i.e. Mary Crosby was great as Kristin and much better than Kristin #1, and Priscilla Presley was great as Jenna and better than Jenna #2 and on the same par as Jenna #1.
If Jane Wyman was available at that time, I'm sure she would have played the role as Miss Ellie much better and more convincingly as the family matriarch as she demonstrated she could on Falcon Crest. I could have accepted Jane Wyman as Miss Ellie.
James from London
04-17-2004, 04:54 AM
I also loved Steve Forrest's portrayal and would have been very happy had he turned out to be Jock.
There was always something "zombified" about Donna Reed's line readings, as though Miss Ellie was permanently zonked out on pain killers, and not quite sure where she was.
04-17-2004, 06:11 AM
Donna Reed would have made a nice Rebecca Wentworth!
Other than that....... http://www.ultimatedallas.com/granny/Weak-Link.gif
04-17-2004, 06:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ChrisSumnerMatheson:
If Donna Reed was playing a different character I'm sure everyone would have loved her. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
apparently not so chris, everybody seems to think donna was a crap actress on DALLAS, she was stiff, wooden, and the latest one - unhuman, as well as being a robot.
Maybe my comment was unfair james, re: being able to act better than her yourself, but donna gets so badly criticised, not just criticised, but bashed, and hatred comes out from certain people - and i think thats a shame, u can dislike somebody, and easily not like them in DALLAS, but you don;t have to hate them, im sure if we all went round saying BBG was crap, then there wud be outrage.
People can say there is only one miss ellie, but sadly, history proves differently, like it or not there were 2 miss ellies, and i happen to like the 2nd one, i apreciate her time on dallas and enjoy her episodes, and think its a shame so many hate her, bless donna reed, she was a legend, and it was so sad she died when she did.
04-17-2004, 06:39 AM
I am not going to give a big speech about how I like Donna Reed best or anything (I’ve done that in the past and you can read my quote to see how I feel). I just wonder how many people sit down and dissect scenes with other actors the same way they do with Donna. If you watch Dallas, very few actors or actresses ever hit the mark all the time. Larry Hagman, Ken Kecheval, and yes even…I know its hard to believe…BBG have scenes where they seem totally out of touch with what is going on. One scene that always sticks out in my mind is the one where Ellie tells JR that Sue Ellen and the baby are in trouble and he must do something (around the season one finale). It’s a dark and powerfully staged scene but BBG falls flat and comes off wooden. I will say BBG can yell and some of her most powerful moments include semi-screaming. Speaking of yelling, there is one scene that I always though Donna did a really good job in and one that proves she could raise her voice and be powerful if given the right material. In the episode where Jamie leaves Southfork, Miss Ellie becomes furious at JR and storms into the living room yelling: “Why JR! What brought this on!” and she looks and sounds like she means it. The writers, however, silence her after that and turn the scene over to Larry and Howard Keel. Still, it’s a moment that should silence most Donna critics on her acting style. I would never say BBG was a “crap” actress as some have said about Donna, but I agree with Dan….BBG has been placed on this pedestal as the greatest actress around when she is not. I’m afraid that BBGs loyal followers would have crucified even Jane Wyman. BBG has become one of those people that its hard to criticize without having wrath rained down on your head. I think part of this is because BBG is seen as the grandmother of the Dallas cast and the glue that held the show together, much like Ellie was on the show. I think fans are getting the character confused with the actress. BBG was an actress, Dallas was a job, but she was not blindly devoted to the show and the other cast members. She has no qualms about leaving the show in the late 80’s over a money dispute because it was a job to her, and she doesn’t even talk about the show today much. She washed her hands of the part and did not look back. Sadly, her attitude towards the show has made Miss Ellie do the same…wander the world forever and never return to Southfork. I’m not starting a “Down with BBG” club here, Im just saying she is human and needs to be regarded as such, no Dallas deity that is irreplaceable.
Btw, I agree with Jenna also. Donna would have been great as Rebecca. I always thought that there was a strong resemblance between she and Victoria Principal.
James from London
04-17-2004, 08:00 AM
I agree, Cliff, that very few actors on DALLAS "hit the mark" every single time. Patrick Duffy, for example, gave a very emotionally committed performance during the first few years, then seemed to gradually grow bored. Victoria Principal was pretty plastic during the early days, but notably improved from Season 6 onwards. Larry Hagman of course was brilliant before eventually succumbing to self parody. Linda Gray was inconsistent - she could be stunning, but she also gave her share of bad performances over the years. Charlene Tilton ... well, at least she turned up for work! http://www.soapchat.net/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Of the main cast, I would say Jim Davis was the most convincing, but of course he was only around for the show's first three years. Susan Howard would get my vote for turning in the most consistently good performance, with the notable exception of end of the dream season - something very strange seems to get a hold of Donna who becomes inappropriately intense, even evangelical, in every scene!
I also have reservations about BBG's style. I agree, Cliff, that her habit of staring-off-into-the-middle-distance while talking to someone next to her feels somewhat affected (although I did love the "I gave you up too soon, JR" scene to which you refer). Also, her "Jock Ewing was a great man" speech at the first Oil Baron's Ball always bugged me as being too polished and overly rehearsed for someone who is supposedly speaking off the top of her head. Nor am I a fan of her "blubbering little girl" performances of later years. So I wouldn't say that I have BBG on a pedestal. However, I do think she had enormous presence and power on DALLAS, and her good scenes far outweigh her bad. However, I simply never believed any of Donna Reed's acting on DALLAS (including the "Why, JR?" scene). However, acting isn't exact science and it's all ultimately in the eye of the beholder.
Personally, I can't pretend to know what either actress who played Ellie was like in real life, so I can't begin to love or hate them, and, even though it's interesting to speculate, it ultimately makes no difference to how I feel about what they did onscreen.
I do NOT hate Donna Reed. The majority of people disliked her unconvincing ACTING in Dallas, not the person Donna Reed. For example, the majority of people like Larry Hagman's acting as JR, whilst there is possibly a minority who dislike his acting in DALLAS.
But you have to ask WHY does Donna Reed get criticized by so many people that she was rubbish on Dallas ? The answer is obvious. Her acting was really terrible on the show. Sure, there may be a scene here or there when she acted a bit better than normal just like there may be a few scenes where BBG didn't act as well as she normally did as Miss Ellie. Many people like Larry Hagman's acting on Dallas because he REALLY was good as JR Ewing. There is no conspiracy or even 'hate' campaign against Donna Reed. I am talking about the quality of her acting on DALLAS and NOT about her as a person. I'm sure she was a very nice person in real life and I would never hate someone I never met because of their bad acting.
Who said BBG is the greatest actress around ? BBG was just convincing and good at making us BELIEVE she was Ellie Ewing/Farlow, just like Jim Davis was convincing at making us believe he was Jock Ewing whereas in real life he was a good actor.
If an actor or actress can make YOU believe they are the character they are playing, they have been good at their acting. If not, they have been bad at their acting. Sadly, Donna Reed was unable to convince the majority of viewers she was Ellie Ewing Farlow but Mary Crosby was indeed able to convince us she was Kristin, even though she wasn't the origianal Kristin. Same with Steve Forrest. He was able to make most viewers believe he really was (or could be) Jock Ewing, even though the writers ultimately decided the character of Jock was not coming back after all.
London James, yes BBG did have presence on screen and so did Jim Davis. I've always been impressed with BBG's superb acting throughout season 5. She excelled herself in that season. There are so many scenes but one that comes to mind is her performance in Court and her conflict bewteen her love for Jock and admitting to the world he was mentally incompetent when writing his will.
Hear Hear Steve! http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons/35.gif
I never hated Donna Reed personally I'm sure
she was a very nice woman in real life, it's just that she couldn't live up to the character
of Miss Ellie. Producers would have been better
off giving her another role on the show that way
she wouldn't have been an all-too easy target for criticism.
04-17-2004, 08:56 AM
Cliff_Barnes being the 5th gear of the Donna Reed as Ellie force puts it all into perspective. The woman done her level best to portray a role, played by someone else for 6 years. She got a raw deal at the end of the day, when all is said and done.
After Pam fell from the top level of the barn and lost her baby Jock said to her, with Bobby watching on: -
"Little lady us Ewings are not an easy family to get on with, as you found out. We have had our own way for so long, that maybe it has stood in the way of us being just people. I know you have no reason to really care but I want to keep my family together!"
04-17-2004, 10:42 AM
I think the level of negative reaction to Donna Reed on "Dallas" (no wonder she died virtually seconds after walking from the studio--- symbolic of the doomed situation that she'd had there) is a combination of the fact that she was the only CORE cast member to be re-cast [which IS different, emotionally, on an audience, than when an fringe character is re-cast] and the fact that her performance was simply not very good on this particular program.
It was a fatal combination.
And so it has stuck with the fans longer...
Gee, I really didn't realize that there was such a negative vibe about Donna Reed playing Miss Ellie. I remember when it happened & I know people were not too happy. I guess they should have had her & Clayton go on a 'round the world tour until BBG got better & if she didn't then have her die in a plane crash. Maybe the Lady Jesssica could have been piloting! http://www.ultimatedallas.com/granny/Yeahh.gif
I liked the idea of Reed popping out of the trunk as Miss Ellie after Jessica kidnapped her.
Of course, months of heat exhaustion would have explained the trim physique, quivery voice (low potassium, now on the verge of perpetually fainting) and perm-fried hair-poof.
By the time Bobby was dead, the effects had simply warn off.
Donna Reed seemed somewhat intimidated or tentative in this role (she usually did not in the past). I think a lot of the stories that have come out from "behind the scenes" accounts (Larry wanting his mama to fill in for the role, Donna being upset about the "monster lighting", and the generally vanilla material for Miss Ellie's character that year) must have had a psychological effect on her performance. Moreover, was she beginning to slow down physically with her health problems by this point (she died less than a year after "Swan Song"). It was simply a down note to end her excellent career.
04-21-2004, 11:53 AM
Actually, I never hated Donna Reed either. I think with me it was more of the fact that I was so used to seeing BBG's Miss Ellie that it was difficult to see anyone else in that role. I think it's like that for alot of people with recasts on any soaps. If Donna Reed was the original Miss Ellie and BBG came on as her replacement, it would probably be hard for me to adjust to BBG.
That's very egalitarian of you, but that's not to say that their acting levels were of comparable quality... at least not on "Dallas".
How true, Miss MBBP.
Also, even Mavis's acting was of better quality than Donna Reed's on DALLAS !
James from London
04-21-2004, 02:14 PM
Well I thought Alice Hirson did a great job as Mavis!
And she has a lemon butter sauce that's just divine!
Well, I think Mavis' cooking is fine but she can't hold a fork to my red hot chili and my BBQ ribs. I don't know if you all have notice but my sweet little JR has been putting on a few pounds here and there. Clayton always had a bit of a pouch(as did I, that's why my imposter wore bag dresses). Well, I must go I have to make some cheese & garlic biscuits for Bobby, and lemon bars for Ray & Donna.
04-24-2004, 06:24 AM
She'll be arriving this Monday on Soapnet. It'll be interesting to see the discussions to come once she appears on screen again.
Well tomorrow is the big day! I will be making my debut. With my big hair and glamours clothing. I think once I get into Southfork I should redecorate. That house is in serious need of a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makeover! I just hope that bag dress wearing, Haircuttery hairdo bag of bones has my new china ordered and in. I think I will also make sure that all my "daughters" get new hair tips too. Donna will look great as a poodle!
Toodles until tomorrow! http://www.ultimatedallas.com/granny/Thankyou.gif
Today was the beginning of the end of this season. The Faux Ellie has made her unpleasant debut! I cringed in all her scenes because it was like pulling my own teeth out watching this horrible portrayl of our beloved Miss Ellie!
When I first watched the run on TNN I didn't really noticed Reed's awful portrayl of Ellie, b/c I wasn't a die hard fan, but since it's last run on TNN and now that I've seen every episode, I've had some time to think it over and see just how amazing BBG was in that role and watching this....this horrible sight is just making me want to vomit....I don't know how I'll make it through this season with Donna Reed. The first 7 episodes of this season were great and now...now it's just downhill from here!! I think I'm the minority, but I can't wait for the dream season! PLEASE HURRY THIS SEASON ALONG FAST! For the sake of BBG "Ellie" fans! HURRY!
I just wanted to reply to my own message by saying that I do not hate Donna Reed. I thought she was a talented actress, but this role was NOT NOT for her! I did enjoy her in It's A Wonderful Life, never did see her Donna Reed show though. But I'm sure she was a lovely woman etc....just saying that nobody could fill the shoes of BBG, because I think we all had grown attached to BBG as Ellie and it's hard to let go thats all. So not bashing Donna Reed personally, just her acting on "DALLAS" thats all. http://www.soapchat.net/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
E-man couldn't agree with you more! Donna Reed was a fine actress in her own right, it's just she's terrible in Dallas. Maybe she was really ill at that time but watching today was like . . .Can You Say Nails Across A Chalkboard!
04-26-2004, 04:26 PM
It was so hard watching the scenes
with the faux Miss Ellie. Especially the part in today's episode where Jamie ask Miss Ellie , 'what should I call you Miss Ellie or Aunt Ellie' and Donna Reed reply's 'either one' (I'm paraphrasing) and Jamie says 'well I like Miss Ellie.' I don't know that just didnt seem right..plus the acting was so blah!
Now that it is so far away from ..."Dallas's" first run....and......also now that I feel that Barbara BelGeddes is just as far away from the role of Miss Ellie ............I think I feel less negative towards Donna Reed's introduction as Miss Ellie today on SOAPNET.
Actually....I didn't think she did a bad job at all and I even enjoyed the diversity that she brings to the character.
Just my opinion.
You can't hurt me nor hate me any more than you did that day.
04-26-2004, 06:14 PM
I certainly watched today with an open mind because it has been about 5 years since I've seen Donna Reed's episodes, and I have to say Donna was neither good nor bad, she was just "middle of the road." Her delivery of her lines is just so plain, BBG always had much better line delivery and a better way of emphasizing certain things. She just has this sparkle about her and was very good with body language. Donna Reed, on the other hand, is just there. I don't think she's AS awful as most people make her out to be, but I think she has such a bad rap among Dallas fans because her interpretation of Miss Ellie feels lifeless and void of emotion and expression. I know it's only been one episode, but having vague memories of this season in my head I know this is only a taste of what's to come. New Coke indeed, lol!
Oh, and were you all bursting out laughing when Miss Ellie said today "I think Jock and Jason were the same size!" I may not believe the "monster lighting" conspiracy, but had Donna said that "size" line was written to embarrass her I'd believe it, lol!
Gosh, how I miss Barbara!!!
I'm counting the days when Donna Reed will be
gone and Barbara will be back. Watching Donna I'm sure she tried her best with the role
but sorry she just can't pull off the role of
04-26-2004, 06:39 PM
I will reserve my judgement on Donna Reed until I have seen her in more than 3 episodes....I don't remember the first run with her in it...I attribute that to other commitments in the 1980's......I think that I should at least give her a shot.....On the one hand, though, she dressed better than BBG.....
BBG is wonderful.I like Donna Reed but so far I am not really impressed.like gravy 47 said,I'll see if my opinion changes as I see more episodes.
I think Donna Reed has to go because she is a Miss Ellie imposter and that I really dont like her as Miss Ellie at all
04-27-2004, 12:19 PM
Watched yesterday's arrival as Donna Reed as Ellie, ugh.
Nothing against Donna Reed, but we are so used to Barbara Bel Geddes it was and still is so hard to accept anyone in the role of Ellie. Donna seems to call everyone "dear" and doesn't have much emotion in her voice. She does dress much better than Barbara, but this is also the season "Travilla" took over the wardrobe, maybe Barbara would have been spiffed up too.
It was also hard seeing Clayton, a new resident to SF with Donna, also a new SF resident. The season would have been much better if Barbara were still there as this is probably the last really good year.
04-27-2004, 01:31 PM
She horrible I'm dreading every minute of her presense. Donna Reed is a good actress but te role Of Ms. Ellie has already been to established to change her now. First of all she keeps using the dear in such a fashion tell it seems fake. I mean dont get me wrong the dressing up the charaxcter is ok but atleast give her the texan attitude and lifestlye. We will never see Donna Reed in the Kitchen rolling up her sleeve, in her garden working or ryding her bike......things that Ms. Elie was use to doing. Also does anyone else notices how the rest of the cast seems to not fit in with her and their acting with Ms. Ellie this season seems fake as you could tell it was acting....BBG worked that role and the other cast played off of her quite. I tell I'll admit one thing even though I hate bobby's leaving and the whole blasted 8th season but hell atleast our beloved BBG will return so until she does i'm going to be counting the episodes down cause Donna Reed is a good example of why recasting never worked on Dallas which is also why the writers never did it for the characters of Jock, and Pam!
04-27-2004, 01:31 PM
I don't think this is the last really good year, I'd have to give that nod to season 9. In fact, I think season 9 is much better than season 7.
And am I the only one who hates seeing Cliff get the upperhand? Or how about Sue Ellen ordering J.R. to leave Jaimie alone and speaking to him like he's two by barking "Is that understood?" If this had been early Dallas Cliff would still be struggling from his encounter with J.R. and Sue Ellen would be just as suspicious of Jamie as J.R. is. My how things have changed! Combined with Donna Reed as Miss Ellie, this season is easily the weakest link of the first seven seasons. Things get even worse in season 8, and the show doesn't improve until season 9, when it becomes restored to its previous glory. It's all downhill after that, though. Just my opinion.
Well it is painful to watch Donna Reed. She's way to glamourous to play Miss Ellie. Her verbiage is even wrong. Miss Ellie would never make some of the crazy statements the faux one makes. The wardrobe people went all out for her while they gave bag dresses to BBG. Donna Reed: http://www.ultimatedallas.com/granny/Weak-Link.gif
04-27-2004, 05:50 PM
Yes, Sid, I agree - the SE we see on Saturday nights would have been jealous of Jamie & conspired with JR to get rid of her......she would have been someone who came to the ranch to "steal her piece of the Ewing pie"!
I really don't care for this SE.....too nicey-nice all the time.
I wanna see a cat fight!!
Fans of Jim Davis were already livid that the show would attempt to disregard him by replacing him with Clayton, and Clayton is a new resident. Jamie is a new resident, and Jenna is living at Southfork? All these strangers bunking up at Southfork; it's too jarring. We are already having Jamie forced on us, and now trying to get used to a new Miss Ellie? Not to mention the bad camera----last season was the last best season, although I thought the dream season was good.
I actually think Donna Reed portrays a true Texas woman. They are reserved and have a quiet demeanor.....unlike Barbara Bel Geddes. However, it's the totality of everything that's missing and different this season.
A new Miss Ellie just emphasizes and draws attention to the fact that : Jock's gone, Mark's gone, Afton's gone, Bradford May's gone, Pam and Sue Ellen don't have love-interests this season, and we get all these other boring stories instead.
04-27-2004, 08:53 PM
I agree with most of what has been said about season 7, but I thought season 8 was even worse because it was too much like a daytime soap, or a mach Dynasty. Dallas becomes glamourous, Dallas becomes nicey-nice, Dallas travels the world, Dallas pulls out the look-alike card, Dallas exploits handicap people, blah, blah, blah. Yuck, I'm sorry but season 8 was repulsive, and it would still be repulsive even if it wasn't a dream!
Also, I find it interesting that season 9 has a bad rap around here as everybody seems to think the end is up after season 6! Season 9, while a little on the OTT side with the BD Calhoun storyline, at least felt more like Dallas and returned the show to its western roots. The real Miss Ellie AND Bobby were back, and I loved how at the end Jeremy Wendell ended up with Ewing Oil. The "touch that painting and I'll kill you where you stand!" scene between J.R. and Jeremy remains one of my favorites, and also what follows with J.R. telling John Ross that Jock is Ewing Oil. Once Ewing Oil was lost, Jock's portrait was removed from the building, and Pam had her accident, Dallas as we knew it was truly over and this would have been the perfect time to end the series. What followed in seasons 10-13 was truly awful and not Dallas. Just my opinion.
I liked seasons 10 and 11 because Linda Gray was still there. Remember how damaged Linda Gray's hair looked in Season 9 (that bad perm), by the time of Season 10 and 11, her hair had grown out and was healthy again. Linda had never looked more beautiful.
I remember the seasons by Linda Gray's hairstyles at the time!
I thought Season 8 was a relief because you had the original Miss Ellie back, if nothing else. I enjoyed Angelica's outfits, and, as long as they insisted on having Travilla, for a second season no less....they might as well get their money's worth out of that designer.
I also liked the fact that Martha Scott was back. Season 8 is definitely not necessarily my favorite, but I never missed an episode, if nothing else, to see Angelica's clothes, which I thought were far more entertaining, and extensive, than anything Joan Collins would wear! I'm serious, you couldn't take your eyes off Barbara Carrera, wondering what sort of get-up she'd turn up in next! Lot's of campy good fun. Besides, it was only for one season. I'm sure it wasn't like they were going to keep Barbara Carrera around any longer than that.
Speaking of Barbara Carerra, and her clothes: Has anyone catalogued every outfit she wore? I know their was that gigantic hat with the huge brim, Angelica wore to the Ro-day-oh.
Then I remember the hooded thing that she stuck the knife into. I think there were a series of berets.
We need to critique her outfits.
04-27-2004, 11:04 PM
I'm loving this season and Donna Reed is making it better! Sure I miss Barbara, but I think she's doing fine in the role...doing her own thing and not doing a cheap copy of Barbara. She has so much class and she is perfect with Clayton.
Everything about this season is working for me. It needed these new fresh people like Mandy, Jamie, nuMiss Ellie, Wendell, etc., and the storylines are working for me...even Lucy's odd one.
04-28-2004, 02:03 PM
Also, the center shot of Donna Reed (in front of the wall bookcase in Bobby's office) in the opening credits is really bad, she looks extremely akward and she has a frown, very unflattering to her.
Luckily, they change it during the season to a very good one of her laughing at the SF dining room table.
Travilla costumed the women during season 8 as well, but Ellie was back to her sack dresses when BBG returned. I wonder if BBG wanted to part of the glamour stuff.
Steve Forrest as a potential Jock was way worse than Donna Reed as Ellie, IMHO.
BBG "was" Miss Ellie, and her fashions probably go more to her style. BBG was a great actress on the screen but mostly on stage. She never really played roles where her clothes were all beautiful. Donna Reec on the other hand wore clothes that were glamourous. Even in the late 30's or early 40's when she was in some of those stupid Andy Hardy movies she was dressed beautifully. I guess the shows wardwrobe people dressed the women as the audience expected them. BBG would have looked ridiculous in some of the dresses Donna Reed wore, likewise Donna Reed would have looked dumb in a bag dress. just mho
Gee, seems like Donna Reed as Miss Ellie sure sparks a lot of comments. Well, BBG got the final revenge----she's still alive! http://www.soapchat.net/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
05-02-2004, 11:55 AM
Yes, but Donna's work lives on in the memories of her fans and those that appreciate her special talent.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by guest 21:
Gee, seems like Donna Reed as Miss Ellie sure sparks a lot of comments. Well, BBG got the final revenge----she's still alive! http://www.soapchat.net/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
That's an ugly comment.
Besides, I don't see how revenge for BBG comes into it. Reed didn't do anything wrong except take a role clearly marked DO NOT OPEN.
John Ross IV
05-04-2004, 10:58 AM
Guest 21, I think what you said was awful! BBG got no revenge, except maybe taking a part back that was hers. And for someone to make it seem that way, well maybe we should all be bashing you instead of DR's Ellie.....
John Ross IV
05-04-2004, 11:20 AM
I was just thinking about DR's performance and some scenes really jumped out at me. When she was talking about Amanda, she seemed to capture just the right amount of empathy and disdain (after all this is her husband's first wife and a huge secret he kept from her which caused her some worry), and when she tells Sue Ellen that her beating up herself over not being there for John Ross is unhealthy, and when she tells JR that something needs to be done about Sue Ellen, and lastly and best, her reaction to Bobby's dying. The look on her face is pefect. Her baby has just dyed and she looks like someone punched her in the stomach. I loved that she played this scene in a real vain. No over the top hysterics (as much as I love the reaction, paging Miss Principal here) or blubbering (BBG seemed ridiculous when she ran out crying after finding out Ewing Oil, a company she has had nothing but heartache over was being investigated) here, just a really good reaction to a devastating event. She played the shock of a sudden death well. Look at that scene and you will see why she won and Academy Award!!!
05-04-2004, 01:50 PM
here john ross iv
i love that end scene where bobby dies in the hospital, donna reed was an excellent actress and that is one of her best dallas scenes, i am glad we got to see her play the mother in that story rather than BBG, because it was nice to see her reaction, i too sometimes thought BBG's crying was ott, i know she was only acting what was on the page, but i think she sometimes over acted and she made it seem so dramatic, wheras Donna Reed's performance in bobbys deathbed episode seemed very very real.
She deserved all the acolades she got.
I forgot about the death bed scene. Donna Reed was very good in it. I did notice today, since many people are mentioning it, that in the opening credits Donna looks terrible. I don't think that was intentional---maybe they only had limited film when they put that montage together.
God, what are you people seeing?? Donna Reed was as plastic in Bobby's deathbed scene as she was in the taking-down-Jock's-portrait scene and everything else from "Dallas". She was a piece of statue, God bless her!
I thought her opening credit shots, curiously enough, were very pretty--- so we really are living in different universes!
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John Ross IV:
I was just thinking about DR's performance and some scenes really jumped out at me ....... her reaction to Bobby's dying. The look on her face is pefect. Her baby has just dyed [sic] and she looks like someone punched her in the stomach. I loved that she played this scene in a real vain. No over the top hysterics (as much as I love the reaction, paging Miss Principal here) or blubbering (BBG seemed ridiculous when she ran out crying after finding out Ewing Oil, a company she has had nothing but heartache over was being investigated) here, just a really good reaction to a devastating event. She played the shock of a sudden death well. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Oh how I couldn't disagree more (as I expressed just above in my previous post).
For one thing, BBG "blubbering" over the feds investigating Ewing Oil is reasonable because, even though the company HAD been a pain in the ass, so would a crackdown by the government, obviously!! It was years of schemes by JR finally catching up to the Ewings!
And as far as Victoria being over-the-top with her Bobby's deathbed performance, let's face it: there's a place for bravura and there's a place for subtle understatement; Principal's exquisite cracking-up was the "orgasm" of the scene.
Donna Reed wasn't downplaying anything. She was glazed over and and just the right uppity flavor of comatose.
WHAT was the poor woman doing there?!
Yea Miss billibOObs, I do agree with you .
I do find Donna Reed as Ellie to be robotic (very stiff) in her movements as well as coming across as self-conscious and lacking any charisma on "Dallas". Strangely, only her smiling face in the opening titles seems "un-like" Ms Reed as Ellie.
And, of course, they began to write Miss Ellie to fit Donna Reed's prissier persona.
Can you imagine BBG blustering out of the courtroom, hanky to face, wimpering "oh that poor dear girl" in the middle of Jenna's silly little murder trial? Hardly.
John Ross IV
05-05-2004, 02:36 PM
Maybe you have never had to watch someone you love pass away, but I have and let me tell you, the way DR played it is the way it tends to happen...You don't fall apart, you don't scream, you don't "blubber" and I do use that word to describe some of BBG's hysterics...you are in shock, you can't believe what is happening....And to me, that is what DR's performance says....Of course, everyone reads things differently, so maybe you see reality and truthful acting as glazed over and comatose....I see it as a great choices by a great actress....
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by John Ross IV:
Maybe you have never had to watch someone you love pass away, but I have and let me tell you, the way DR played it is the way it tends to happen...You don't fall apart, you don't scream, you don't "blubber" and I do use that word to describe some of BBG's hysterics...you are in shock, you can't believe what is happening....And to me, that is what DR's performance says....Of course, everyone reads things differently, so maybe you see reality and truthful acting as glazed over and comatose....I see it as a great choices by a great actress.... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Clearly your life experiences outstrip mine...
If I'd only REALIZED that Donna Reed's lousy performances were actually SO DEEP that I wasn't capable of "going there" as a viewer!
Thanks for helpin' me out!
John Ross IV
05-05-2004, 03:38 PM
Now Now, Miss MBBP, no need to get snarky!!! I wasn't trying to "Outstrip" your experience, just giving you the reasoning that I felt the way I did since you basically said I had to be crazy to feel this way...hey, it's only my opinion, but I connected very well with DR's performance....BBG is a great actress and I am by no means saying she couldn't play Ellie. But too often I think people here get caught up in sentatmentality where she if concerned.
And as for recasting, I have always felt that if the story is strong, a recast will not matter...Several daytime soaps have recast major parts and had little problem because they have kept the story up and the fans have followed along....wonder if Dallas had done the same if we'd be having this discussion????
Barbara will always be the one and only Miss Ellie for me no other actress no matter how talented could have made the role her own.
snark snark!! http://www.soapchat.net/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif
John Ross IV
05-06-2004, 03:06 PM
Some of you thought Victoria Principal was over the top in Bobby's deathbed scene? I thought it was one of her best performances on the show (and I never thought she could play the emotional stuff very well).
05-07-2004, 01:21 PM
I think screaming and crying is actually easiest thing for at least slightly capable actor. I actually read that such scenes are easiest to make. It wasn't awful, it wasn't great.
Well, Victoria excelled herself in that scene...she really did.
James from London
05-07-2004, 02:46 PM
Wendell, I think screaming and crying are easy to do - badly! They are often the most obvious choice for an actor, ("I'm upset so I'll cry" or "I'm angry so I'll shout") but not necessarily the most interesting to watch. For instance, I was personally less moved by the big scene in Season 4 when Miss Ellie (BBG) smashes all the crockery in the kitchen when the realisation of Jock's death hits her, than I was by the quieter scenes leading up to that scene. For instance, when she visits Jock's horse. ("You miss him too, don't you?")
But these things are so subjective. Sometimes, (heck, MOST of the time) I was unconvinced by VP's more emotional outbursts, but there were some scenes (in Season 7 especially) where she gets it spot on: her reaction to James Cromwell's confession that the search for Mark had all been a hoax (that slap followed by "JR EWING?!?"); the scene in which Bobby proposes ("I thought I'd lost you forever!"); the moment where she cradles him after he has been run over; her cry when he dies.
I must admit I was never troubled by Donna Reed's performance in Bobby's deathbed scene. It's fine - she doesn't too much or too little for my taste - yet, somehow, her reaction doesn't feel as important as Pam or Jenna's. I don't think this is Donna Reed's fault (at least not directly). This is such a personal scene: Even though we're watching a scene from DALLAS, on some level we are also watching a cast of actors say good-bye to one of their own after seven years: "Good-bye, Bobby ... good-bye, Patrick". It's almost impossible to separate the actors from their characters at that point, which is why Donna Reed is at a disadvantage. At this point, she still feels like a stranger to (most of) us. Had Barbara Bel Geddes been in that scene, she would have at least warranted her own close up, instead of sharing a two-shot with Howard Keel.
Personally, I am most moved by Victoria Principal/Pam and Steve Kanaly/Ray in that scene. Even Larry Hagman/JR makes less of an impression on me.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wendell2002:
I think screaming and crying is actually easiest thing for at least slightly capable actor. I actually read that such scenes are easiest to make. It wasn't awful, it wasn't great. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
"Screaming and crying" depends on how they're done. "Early Pam", when VP was less polished an actress, was at her most convincing when she was spewing venom-- when you thought she might hit somebody... Being nice or crying, as in Digger's deathbed scene [in which she was so-so-okay], she was more clearly giving a performance.
After season 4, in my opinion, Principal just got better and better, and by the time she let out her tortured wail as Bobby flatlined, the crescendo of their entire relationship [and perhaps the series?] there was nothing "easy" about the way she did it. It was textured and effectively done as if Pam were trying NOT to fall apart. Which is why it worked.
Was it a tad grandiose? Sure. But that CAN be pulled off-- and I think in this case, she managed too (and I dont always defend the VP!)
Re: fake Ellie... I still wish they'd had "DR/Ellie" somehow miss her cab for the hospital, since, as her line at the party earlier in the episode indicated ("this star in fading fast", bitchily written for her, by LK, no doubt) the brass knew she was history already.
James from London
05-07-2004, 03:31 PM
According to Barbara Curran's book, (methinks that phrase is gonna get old pretty soon!) Leigh McCloskey's return to DALLAS [for this epiosde] gave him the chance to work with the second Miss Ellie. McCloskey thought BBG and DR "both were wonderful actresses. Barbara was like Jim Davis - part of the original cast, and there was a great warmth towards Barbara. Donna always felt outside of things. I also felt that way. It was a tight group. They were both wonderful actresses, but there was a feeling behind the scenes that was different. Donna and I got along well, and I also got along with Barbara. I liked both of them. It was difficult for Donna because she had to play such an important character."
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