Presence Of Cell Phones In TNT Dallas

Discussion in 'Dallas TNT' started by Kenny Coyote, May 2, 2019.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    This isn't really a critique on TNT Dallas but just a question about how you all think the presence of cellphones has changed TV dramas in general, including TNT Dallas. Clearly cellphones wouldn't make the list of the top 10 or even top 20 things that hurt TNT Dallas, but I'd like to know what you all think about the way cellphones have changed all TV drams, including Dallas (if you even consider the Cidre project Dallas).

    The main impact of cellphones in TV dramas has been that they make a lot of the types of situations which used to work very well in drams or soaps, no longer work. Cellphones pretty much make anyone available at any time. You can call them or if you're in a place where you can't call, you can text. So since they allow information to spread much faster and in situations where before there would have been no way to immediately contact someone, they ruin a lot of suspense filled situations.

    Where suspense could build until a person was near a phone or until that person became available to speak to directly, now if something big happens, such as a crisis, you no longer have the anticipation of: "When are they going to be to tell him or her what just happened"? You no longer have the anticipation of "Will they be able to find out an impending disaster is potentially going to happen in time to do something to prevent it"?

    Cellphones are handy and they're not going away anytime soon, but specifically for the purposes of TV dramas or movies in the suspense or drama genres, cellphones have hurt the storytelling process. It's just too easy now to reach anyone at almost any time with a cellphone to be able to keep the suspense going in certain types of situations.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Then it's a writer's challenge to integrate the cellphones in an effective and exciting way.
    But it's not just the phones, think of all the cameras, computers...everything is traceable, which makes it much harder to tell a mystery/crime story (because it affects all genres).
    The Good Wife didn't just happen to have cellphones and whatnot, they actually based many of their plotlines on new technology.
     
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  3. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    If you've got a great production team and equally great writers it shouldn't have any impact of current dramas. It just means they have to be more creative in their writing. It certainly hasn't affected shows like LINE OF DUTY, RAY DONOVAN, HOMELANDS, SENSE8, BREAKING BAD, '24', DEXTER, SUITS, THE SHIELD, SONS OF ANARCHY as well as many other British dramas like HAPPY VALLEY, THE BODYGUARD, BROADCHURCH.

    I've recently watched the whole of LAW & ORDER from 1990-2010 and back, in the beginning, the characters were relying on public phone boxes, then pagers long before the had any mobile phones, I don't believe the introduction of mobile phones had any impact on the stories they were telling, if anything it was interesting watching the characters switch over to the use of mobile phones.
     
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  4. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Yes, that's another angle to view it and it has made for some great drama.
     
  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    And all the information that the characters receive through various electronic devices isn't necessarily helpful i.e. it can also complicate the plotlines.
     
  6. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    I'm so glad you brought this up.

    In TNT, John Ross and JR visit Sue Ellen to support her after the campaign doesn't work out.

    John Ross receives a message from Pamela, saying 'Meet me at my place tonight'. This is sent at 1.44. Less than half a millisecond later another message comes in 'My terms' at 1.46. The timing of it has always bothered me. Trivial I know but still.
     
  7. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Member

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    You are correct. I’m a big fan of Clint Eastwood, and he has a couple of movies that would have to be done differently. The original Dirty Harry had a sequence built around running Harry all over town with pay phones.
    The Gauntlet has frequent use of the telephone, and uncertainty the rest of the time.
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I'm big Eastwood fan too! I love the Dirty Harry movies - I have the set of all 5 of them. If I recall, there is an extra disc that has special features regarding the original such as the impact on society Dirty Harry as possibly the first massively popular antihero was created. There were people actually claiming he was fascist. I'd tell 'em to lighten up! It's a story and one hell of a good movie.

    Yes, the presence of cellphones in society would certainly have changed the race from pay phone booth to pay phone booth al over town. Cellphones are handy, and they're a tremendous way to save money on the long distance costs I'd otherwise incur since I have friends in various parts of the country - Las Vegas, Nashville, Myrtle Beach, etc. We wouldn't be able to have the length of conversations we do if we were being charged by the minute, so I'm grateful they exist. it's just too bad what they've done to suspense in dramatic movies and TV shows.

    BTW, how did you like Gran Torino? I loved it! That and Million Dollar Baby were two of his more recent movies that I liked very much. I have bought Flags Of Our Fathers on DD but haven't yet watched it. Have you sen that na did so, did you enjoy it?

    I'm so glad he's still healthy and productive at 86 years old. I used to think John Wayne was the biggest American icon there will ever be, for movie stars. I think Clint has surpassed him though. he acts and he directs extremely well too. He's got more diversity than Wayne had, and I like John Wayne's movies, for the most part. Clint is on a higher level though in my opinion.

    You're fairly new to our forum, aren't you? I hope you're enjoying it :)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  9. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I've had much the same thoughts during my current re-watch of Cagney & Lacey. The ability for instant contact would have made a big difference in some of those episodes, too.
     
  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I can understand why it bothers you. You say it's trivial, but maybe it's the fact that they were too sloppy with their work to get the time right that bothers you. If you already were having issues with the series before that episode took place, then it doesn't necessarily take a big mistake on the part of the director to be "the straw that broke the camel's back" if you will.

    Out of curiosity, what did she mean by "my terms"? Apparently she's expecting him to meet her where and when she wants. She didn't ask "Would you meet me tonight..." She's telling him instead of asking so that already makes it her terms, doesn't it? I find the "my terms" message a little redundant.

    While we're on the subject, in your opinion, do you think people overuse texting? I realize that sometimes a person might be in a place, say a doctor's or dentist's office, where you're not supposed to have your cellphone on. So, sending a text makes it less obvious that your phone is on than talking on it would. But most times, when I see people on TV shows texting, they're in a place where they could just as easily call as type a text message. I find it easier to talk than type, don't you? So I really don't get he fascination with people wanting to use their phones as typewriters, or more accurately, as telegraph machines.
     
  11. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    There's something about this I've wondered about, so maybe you know the answer. When police traced a phone call from a land line, they attached some type of bug to the telephone line to trace calls and/or listen in on calls. So, when they trace cellphones, since there is no actual telephone line to attach the bug to, how do they go about tracing cellphone calls? Thanks!
     
  12. southfork88

    southfork88 Soap Chat Addict

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    The scene in which a defeated John Ross listens to the vocal message of J.R., now dead, is for me truly poignant and excellently recited by Josh.
     
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  13. Elizabeth Ewins

    Elizabeth Ewins Soap Chat Member

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    Its times like this that I miss the older shows without the technology.They didn't have their faces in a phone and you could see them and connect with them as charactors. And charactors actually faced other charactors and looked into their faces and talked! That is so much more satisfying than a charactor being plugged into the virtual world and talking into a phone to another charactor. Its just so emotionally more remote. The original dallas at its worst was better than TNT dallas at its best.
     
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