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Dallas Character Donna and Sam Culver

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Presea, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Presea

    Presea Soap Chat Addict

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    We didn't really get to see these guys together a lot, but I have wondered about a few things regarding their relationship. And I'm not just talking about the fact that Sam was old as heck and that it looked creepy for him to be married to Donna. Donna said that Sam took her in after she lost her parents, and it always sounded like they had more of a father-daughter relationship from the way she talked about him. And Donna certainly didn't act the way she did around Ray when she was with Sam! In other words, I don't think they were in love. So based on all of this, I wonder why Sam and Donna got married in the first place? Couldn't they have just lived together without a marriage? Maybe the show did explain, but I just don't remember? If anyone can shed a little light on this or offer their thoughts, let me know.
     
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  2. Jessie

    Jessie Soap Chat Star EXP: 20 Years

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    Original article
    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/dallasd...s-episode-27-the-outsiders/amp/?client=safari

    I think they married as a partnership but Donna loved him, but she was not sexually fulfilled because of their age difference.

    Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 27 – ‘The Outsiders’

    Chris B.
    5 years ago

    [​IMG]

    Lady and the saddle tramp

    “The Outsiders” is an interesting meditation on politics and marriage. It was made more than three decades ago, but it feels refreshing in ways other “Dallas” episodes do not.

    For years, we’ve watched one real-life political wife after another humiliated by their philandering husbands. “The Outsiders” offers a role reversal: Donna Culver, the young bride of political elder Sam Culver, is the cheating spouse.

    Donna may not be a good wife, but she isn’t a bad person, either. She turns to Ray because she feels sexually unfulfilled. Donna is 28, while her husband is probably supposed to be in his 60s of 70s. (In real life, when “The Outsiders” debuted, Susan Howard and John McIntire, the actors who play Donna and Sam, were 35 and 71, respectively.)

    I like how “Dallas” doesn’t try to justify Donna’s indiscretion by making Sam a bad guy. In fact, the show goes out of its way to depict the marriage as loving, even if it isn’t physical. Sam and Donna are also partners in a way that feels wonderfully progressive: Sam, a onetime governor who still wields a lot of influence in state politics, boasts about how he makes no decision without first consulting Donna.

    (You might even say the Culvers’ marriage presages the real-life union of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Sam’s bragging about his wife’s intelligence and political savvy recalls Bill Clinton’s famous pledge in 1992 that voters who elected him would get “two for the price of one.”)

    Sam and Donna’s sense of partnership isn’t lost on Sue Ellen. When J.R. suggests Donna is probably physically neglected, Sue Ellen retorts, “If they never made love, J.R., she has much more than I have. He cares about her. He takes her advice and he listens to her.”

    “The Outsiders” concludes with Ray and Donna’s heart-wrenching farewell, but but my favorite moment in this episode comes in an earlier scene, when they sit in a bar and she asks him why “happy endings” seem so elusive.

    This conversation is nicely written by Leonard Katzman and beautifully performed by Steve Kanaly and Susan Howard, who is rivaled only by Patrick Duffy when it comes to delivering breathy, soul-searching dialogue.

    With this episode, Howard becomes a welcome addition to the “Dallas” constellation. Her performance leaves us wanting more, and fortunately, we won’t have to wait long for Donna’s return.

    Grade: A

    Season 2, Episode 22

    Airdate: March 16, 1979

    Audience: 14.2 million homes, ranking 28th in the weekly ratings

    Writer: Leonard Katzman

    Director: Dennis Donnelly

    Synopsis: When J.R. learns Ray is sleeping with Donna Culver, the young wife of political elder Sam Culver, he tries to blackmail her into persuading Sam to oust Cliff from his government perch. Instead, Donna ends the affair and comes clean to Sam, who forgives her and backs Cliff.

    Cast: Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Fern Fitzgerald (Marilee Stone), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Dawn Jeffory (Annie Driscoll), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Joan Lancaster (Linda Bradley), John McIntire (Governor Sam Culver), Jeanna Michaels (Connie), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Clint Ritchie (Bud Morgan), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing)

     
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  3. Presea

    Presea Soap Chat Addict

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    Thanks, Jessie. I think that this was my favorite episode from season 2 (dvd). Donna showed JR that she is one tough customer!
     
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  4. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    I agree that it's a great stand alone episode. I love some of the earlier Dallas episodes that are plot-centered. I must admit that I find it hard to understand Donna and Sam Culver as well. But I think the review by Chris B that Jessie reposted here sums them up in a really neat way. :)
     
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  5. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 2 Years

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    There may have been a difference years-wise but they had a really successful relationship, possibly more successful than her and Ray's and certainly healthier than most on the series. (Side note: This may be because Sam died shortly after Donna's introduction on the show:p) Sue Ellen said it best, when she and J.R. discussed it in their bedroom - "He cares about her, he takes her advice and he listens to her."
     
  6. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    The way I see it, and this will sound cynical, but they got married because they were using each other and it wouldn't have worked out for them without marriage. Each had something the other wanted. Sam wanted a hot young woman and got one with Donna. The flip side of the coin is that Donna was extremely ambitious about her political career. By marrying Sam she would get instant recognition, acceptance, and power overnight that would have taken her years and years of hard work had she not gotten together with Sam. Does that sound too cynical? This is Dallas, after all, and these are people who are hungry for power, hungry for money, and hungry for sex!
     
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  7. lbf522

    lbf522 Soap Chat Active Member

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    I remember when Donna was doing that biography of him and found information that was negative regarding him and Jock and went to Ellie with this. Ellie as angry which I understood. She was still dealing with her grief and did not need this thrown in her face.
     

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