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I just finished the first episode of Dallas

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Ked, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Star

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    It feels weird, posting a Dallas thread on a Dynasty forum, though I suppose its alright, since I will be comparing it to Dynasty a lot.

    So far, my initial reaction is...

    "What a BORING pilot."

    Ugh, it took sooo long to get from Point A to Point B, it really felt like a chore getting through the whole episode. Granted, there were some worthwhile things, but I'll save those for later. For now, I just wanna rant about what I didn't like.

    First off, the look of the show. MAN, you can tell it was the '70s. Everything was brown and drab and so gosh darn ugly. Even all the stuff that was supposed to be "rich" and "opulent" was bland as could be. The exterior of the Ewing mansion did look impressive, I will admit (all nice and white), but it also felt staid in a general kind of way. Like it had no character, unlike the Carrington's mansion, which was beautiful to behold, both the interior and exterior. Filoli looked like it could be the setting for a fairy tale castle.

    And like I complained about above, the pacing was just slooooow. It felt like it took forever for the newlyweds to drive up to Southfork. Once they did, it felt like the show was finally getting started... and then it slowed down again. Blah. At least when Dynasty started out, I remember everything feeling intense, like all what we were watching held some importance. Like the scene when Matthew convinced Claudia to come back home with him and Lindsay. That's one of the most powerful scenes I remember from the pilot.

    Of course, Dallas did have some good things to offer: JR. I can see why this character quickly became the most popular, since he feels like a good driving force. Only thing is, he seems to lack motivation at this point. So his brother married the sister of his rival. So what? I didn't feel like a relationship was properly set up so I couldn't get invested in the dynamics, so JR just came off as being immature as he tried to break up Pam and Bobby. Dynasty did this much better with Fallon resenting her father marrying his secretary. Course then again, that dynamic is much simpler (Daddy's Little Princess believes Daddy has married a Gold-Digger) so they probably had an easier time.

    I was deeply disappointed by Lucy Ewing. When her character is first introduced, I liked the way how they revealed that she was having an affair with Ray - what's his job on the ranch, again? I didn't catch that part - but the actress they got for her is *dreadful*. I'm uncomfortably reminded of Claire Yarlett (Bliss from The Colbys). Of course, maybe the actress is just starting out and hasn't come into her own yet, but right now, she comes off as a pale imitation of Fallon - which is ironic, since Fallon didn't even exist at this point! And the way how she got Ray to call her "Pam"... makes me wish we still had that one barfing emoji.

    Another complaint: Sue Ellen hardly has a role in this episode. I didn't realize this at first, but she was the one character I was looking forward to seeing the most. As the wife of the famed JR, I was curious to see how her story would start out, how her relationship with her husband would be established in the first episode... and I get nothing. :lol:

    Jock Ewing was kinda fun, though. I liked how he called JR out about trying to pay off Pam ("You've got to learn subtlety!"), although its kinda hard to understand what he's saying a few times, thanks to the actor's accent.

    One notable bright spot: Digger's reaction to Pam marrying Bobby Ewing. At first he has no clue... till Pam's brother (what's his name again?) clues him in. And that face... :lolo:

    Also, I just gotta say, the actress for Pam (Victoria Principal, right?) is *very* beautiful. She comes across as a brunette version of Linda Evans, though she also reminded me of Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) when she had that pony tail. X)

    I gotta give them props for the end, how JR tried to set Pam up, but she turned the tables when its revealed to the audience that she knows about Ray's affair with Lucy - who again comes across as quite the little idiot (for just coming out and telling Pam), and she wasn't even in this scene!

    Oh yes, and its so weird seeing Patrick Duffy so *young*. I grew up watching him in the '90s show "Step by Step", so I'm used to him being a "Dad" figure. Here he's baby-faced with an afro... a hideous afro. :lol:




    So... yeah. I watched the pilot for Dallas, and... okay, I'll just say it: I'm reluctant to continue. Do I *have* to watch the rest, guys? I know people rave about this show, but how long do I have to wait before it starts to get good? Will it really be worth it?
     
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  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    No you don't have to keep watching. If your reaction to the first episode is that bad, then you may not have the genetic predisposition for DALLAS.

    And, yeah, Charlene's bad. We know. She gets a little better, though, as time goes on.

    I rather like the clunky, wintry '70s vibe of the opening "miniseries" -- there's an appeal to that. (What some people call "ugly" about the '70s look, I just call "real-looking").

    DYNASTY's pilot was more polished, but both pilots benefited from that '70s melancholy vibe, in my opinion. But the DALLAS Ewings are white-trash made good (although Miss Ellie appears to have had a wee bit of New England finishing school in her youth) rather than the high society, well-bred Carrington world.

    What's so funny is that it "flips" after a while. The nouveau riche Ewings begin to feel more like Old Money, and the worldly and sophisticated Carringtons begin to feel like trashy New Money.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  3. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Star

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    In that case, I'll give it a go. The first season has got only 5 episodes, so I'll watch the remaining 4, and we'll see how things go from there. :)
     
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  4. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    If you expect Dallas to be as good as Dynasty's early seasons, it will happen much later or, in my eyes, never. I think the mini-series and the first full season had no sense of how to do an arc, but frankly no TV show (unless specifically based on a book and was of limited run) had any idea that was even possible in prime time. Dallas had figured it out for sure by the time Dynasty premiered, but early Dynasty still has a "and this, my dear, is how it should be done" quality about it. But think also of early Melrose Place (terrible) and later, and how much one would miss judging a show on its early episodes.
     
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  5. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Star

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    I never watched Melrose Place. :lol: I've seen dozens of clips, though. Certainly looks like it was the Guilty Pleasure of the Century! :D

    But I already decided to continue with Dallas. I'll watch the rest of season 1, then I'll decide things from there. :)
     
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  6. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    this becomes more interesting only in retrospect, when the show develops Dynasty-itis (forgetting its own past) and turns this into incest :D
     
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  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    The fifth episode, "Barbecue", is really good. It kind of starts to gel about there.
     
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  8. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Oh, DALLAS' Season 6 and 7are as good as anything DYNASTY ever did at its best.
     
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  9. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Star

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    Good to know! :D

    ....bad to know. :confused:
     
  10. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    I know this is getting weird (talking about Dallas in the Dynasty forum) but while I agree the show starts to take off here, they bring it back to the ground so quickly with that "no harm done" resolution. Was it that they did not know if there would be more episodes, I wonder.
     
  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Yeah, after they shot the 4 episode pilot (which is essentially what it was) they had no idea if DALLAS would picked up for a full season.
     
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  12. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 14 Years

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    Well done Ked, i didn't expect that so fast! :D
    For me Dallas took up somewhere near the end of Season 2, but then it's getting better and better. And better. Give it a while. It was the first one of them all. The vibe of it will completly change.
    Hang on. It will be a fun ride. :)
     
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  13. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I wonder how that's going to work out...it's not like Dynasty at all.
     
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  14. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Star

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    No, I've spotted a few similarities so far: beautiful young woman (Krystle/Pam) marries into a wealthy family (Carringtons/Ewings) that doesn't want her to be there; said wealthy family consists of spoiled slutty young girl (Fallon/Lucy), idealistic young man (Steven/Bobby), and a ruthless business shark (Blake/JR). The new bride also has an old flame being pushed on her (Matthew/Ray).
     
  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Yeah....I guess so.
     
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  16. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Star

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    You can find similar algorithms the writers used. The algorithm which alternated between alcoholic Sue Ellen and sober Sue Ellen, for instance, must be the same one that kept turning Steven from gay to straight and vice versa. I just wish Dynasty was able to go all "meta" like those inspired writers of Dallas. I mean, hello, the store Pam worked at was called "The Store."
     
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  17. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 3 Years

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    Ked I did warn you about the first 5 episodes. Unlike Dynasty, those first 5 episodes of Dallas are considered stand-a-lone stories. I still struggle not to hit the fast forward button at times when viewing it. Try not to judge Dallas too harshly or compare it too much with Dynasty since Dallas began in 1978, still hung over from those drab browns. I recall reading an interview with Michael Preece about the early days of Dallas and he did say money was scarce. While Cloyce Box did allow the production crew to film on his ranch he wouldn't allow anyone inside so 4800 Park Lane became infamous as the interior of Southfork as we knew it.

    I'll also add that Dynasty had one thing going for it, Aaron Spelling. His success with other shows ensured Dynasty was given a splash of money. When Dallas began in April 1978, CBS had no clue of the massive hit it would become.
     
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  18. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Star

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    Heh, thanks for the info. I'll try to be more patient with the following 4 eps. X)
     
  19. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 14 Years

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    Episode 5 is where things really start to come together.

    Episode 6 startles with the change of tone -- for the better. They clearly looked at what they had and took a stab at improving it, and it worked. The second season will still have some stand-alone episodes, however. Once you get to the end of Season 2 and then on to Season 3, it keeps getting better, but if you still don't like it by then, drop it.

    The first 5 episodes are NOT enough to figure out what the show is like. It changes and improves drastically.
     
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  20. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    DALLAS is great if you enjoy it for what it is, but if you're going to look for DYNASTY in DALLAS...well, personally I don't think it was there (or vice versa), despite the similar plotlines.
    But, it's your party Ked, can't wait to read your other reviews:)
     
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