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Plot lines that only work before cell phones and internet

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Lastkidpicked, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 11 Years

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    We need @Swami to jump in and fill in the blanks in my memory, but here is what I recall from those days:

    Soapnet was a cable TV channel and they bought the rights to re-broadcast Dallas. They aired the series each weekday. What that meant was we were all watching each episode at the same time. This was great, because we would think, "They found Kristin floating in the pool! I can't wait to log in and see what everybody thinks about this!"

    And we would log into the site, which had recaps of the show. And you could see the episode summary in case you missed anything. Then you would click a link and be taken to a sister site that held the actual forums. And like I said, they were showing one episode per day, so we were all watching the same episode at the same time and this place was jumping!

    Want a little story about your good buddy, the Last Kid Picked?

    I was always a day behind, because I didn't have a computer back then. So I would watch an episode in the evening, then after work the next day I would stop at the library to use a computer to log in. And I would savor each racap, reading it slowly like a good novel. And then go over to the forums to see what everybody had to say, jumping in on the discussion myself.

    If you want a good "feel" for the fun and clever writing from the glory days, here is an excerpt from @James from London

    Imagine we all watched Swan Song on the same day, and then read James' summary of the episode:

    Sue Ellen's hair, which has grown progressively bigger and wilder throughout this instalment, reaches its Echo and the Bunnymen zenith on the evening following Lucy's wedding. Having remained sober throughout the day, she paces restlessly in her room before caving in and heading for the bottle of vodka stashed in her dresser. Before she can take more than a sip, she is interrupted by a knock on the door. It's JR. This is the first time the couple have spoken to one another on screen since she resumed drinking four weeks ago, and is the only time that JR's customary malevolence surfaces in this episode. A threat of physical violence aside, this scene contains all the ingredients of one of the classic JR/Sue Ellen confrontations of the early years: name calling ("We both know you're a lush"), insults ("that Winger tramp") and ultimatums ("Save yourself another trip to the sanatarium"). "All through the wedding," JR begins, "everybody spent more time lookin' at you than they're lookin' at Lucy ... They all wanted to see if you could make it through the ceremony without passin' out." This observation again underlines how Lucy's big day functions more as a framing device for other people's story-lines than as an event in its own right. "I'm gonna stop drinking just like I did before," vows Sue Ellen yet again, but JR ain't buying it: "Don't bother with that story on my account, honey ... Face it, Sue Ellen. You're a drunk." "Joan of Arc would have been a drunk if she'd have been married to you." "But she isn't. And you are. I don't want a drunk for a wife." I love that line. So cruel it's comical, it's right up there with "Whoever it is has got to be more interesting than the slut I'm lookin' at right now" and "You're a tramp, a drunk and an unfit mother." "End this marriage now," he continues. "Why?" Sue Ellen snaps. "So you can be with that Winger tramp?" She will revive this insult when she and Mandy come face to face in the first episode of Season 9. "Why don't you leave me and John Ross and Southfork and inflict yourself on somebody else?" he suggests. "You're gonna leave on your own or you're gonna be driven off, but one way or another, you're outta here because this marriage is over ... I'll get Teresa to bring you up another bottle of vodka."


    Some days I enjoyed the summary even more than the episode itself!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  2. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 12 Years

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    Since this is a technology based thread, the biggest storyline that would be altered 100% is the Wes Parmalee storyline because of the advent of DNA testing. In fact, that wouldn't even be a storyline now because there is no question of whether he is the father of JR, Bobby and Ray once the DNA test is done.
    .
     
  3. Taylor Bennett Jr.

    Taylor Bennett Jr. Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 1 Year

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    I don't remember if it was mentioned earlier in the thread (maybe even I did it!), but in the Red File Part 1, Dan Marsh, who's wiretapped Julie Grey's phone line, hears her leaving a message on Cliff's answering machine. Dan gives this info to JR, who tips off Harry McSween. Harry takes the machine to headquarters (it's not clear how he was able to grab it so quickly - did they get a warrant?) and he and his partner hear Cliff's incriminating-sounding message, then arrest Cliff.

    I feel like this couldn't have happened so quickly without the physical machine for Harry to grab. Maybe it's possible that Dan Marsh 2020 has the ability to 'wiretap' Julie's cell phone and break into hew voice mailbox (or JR would hire some overseas hackers or something)... but how could Harry get legal, 'arrestable' access to that voicemail so efficiently?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
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  4. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 11 Years

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    You bring up a good point about Harry McSween. Almost all of his storylines worked well because it was BEFORE dashcams, body cams, and cell phone cameras.

    He was able to slip around quietly behind the scenes because back then, nobody was really tracking him.
     
  5. Srqmom

    Srqmom Soap Chat Member

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    Without cell phones they had to track each other down, usually at restaurants, but then they’d see each other to talk or just spy.
    It was funny to see when J.R. and Bobby started “using “ computers in their offices and it was so simple for J.R. to bug the old office phones.
     

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