TNT Dallas - A Caricature Of The Original

Discussion in 'Dallas TNT' started by Kenny Coyote, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Risking one's life to save his child is very heroic as far as I'm concerned. I think that's about as noble a thing as a man or woman can do. It's my belief that nothing in life is cut and dried, such as everyone supposedly loving their children. I've known of parents who don't love their children, parents who resented their children from supposedly keeping them from doing what they wanted to be able to do, and who blamed their children for their own failures in life.

    You wrote "The best thing that could ever happen to a Dallas character is being ignored by JR." Do you mean that had JR ignored John Ross, then John Ross would have been luckier and better off? I don't - not by any means. I believe ignoring a child can, when taken to an extreme, be a form of emotional abuse. I've heard of studies that have shown roughly half of all drug addicts were abused by one or both parents. Many years ago I had a girlfriend who was ignored by her father so she ran away from home at 14 and then again at 17. She became a dancer at The Dollhouse for several years. So when I make a big deal about the importance of good parenting, it's because people I am or have been close to people who were affected in a devastating way because of bad parents who either didn't love them or had a very questionable way of showing it! No girls think to themselves "When I grow up I want to be a cocaine addict who takes off my clothes and dances for strangers"! Nobody thinks like that! When it ends up happening usually there is at least one bad parent in her background and often sexual abuse from a "family friend" or a relative.

    You wrote: "And the only reason JR was forgiven over and over and over again is because he was family, and I guess he did have his generous moments,.." Yeah, I'd say that it was generous to refuse to press charges against the woman who shot him three times! That was after having her thug break and enter into JR's home, refuse to leave when asked to at gunpoint, and then after disarming JR, assaulted him, putting both their lives in jeopardy. Nicholas Pearce chased JR out onto the balcony and only JR returned. He no longer had a gun or any other weapon but his wife shot him anyway. Despite all that he still cared about her enough that he didn't want to see her serve the prison sentence she surely would have had to serve, and he didn't want John Ross to have to go through the pain and the embarrassment of having a mother in prison who shot his dad because she was angry that JR was forced to kill him in self-defense.

    I agree that being family was certainly a big part of it. Bobby , for example, wouldn't have let anyone who wasn't his brother treat him the way JR sometimes treated him. JR did the same for Bobby. He let Bobby get away with punching him whenever Bobby was pissed off that he didn't get his way (Bobby's parents REALLY spoiled him) whenever Bobby was offended by something JR said to Pam, whenever JR looked like he was considering saying something that might possibly hurt Pam's feelings, etc. If anyone but his brother tried to get away with repeatedly bullying him, threatening to "take him apart", JR would have handled it in a very different manner. There were a couple of times where it looked like if someone hadn't been there to intervene, Bobby might have drowned JR in their swimming pool! I like to think he would have stopped short of actually killing JR though. Bobby loved his brother deep down, and Bobby also loved his parents too much to do that to them - to kill their first born son.

    Bobby got away with a lot - it wasn't just JR that got away with a lot. Remember when Bobby brought Christopher home that he was bringing him to JR because he believed Christopher to be JR's child? As soon as Pam saw the baby and started acting like she thought it was a baby who Bobby had adopted fr them, Bobby suddenly decided to keep the baby. Can you imagine if Christopher really had been JR's son just like Bobby had thought? Bobby was prepared to keep a little baby boy he thought belonged to JR for himself and Pam! That's the kind of thing Bobby was capable of doing. JR was capable of doing extreme things as well. When the Ewing boys were good they were very good and when they were bad they could be very bad.

    I think people tend to think that things were all one sided and that Bobby was good to JR and JR was bad to Bobby but in reality they both put up with a lot from each other.

    JR certainly did have a lot of flaws though, so that was one of the reasons I disliked so much that in TNT Dallas they changed JR's character into that of a man who was a failure as a father and even admitted that he was never much of father to John Ross. Why take one of his best qualities away when he already had so many flaws? Well, that's already been covered early in this thread. Basically they decided to go with caricatures instead of complex characters.

    I find it interesting that you're one of the posters who does like TNT Dallas, and here you are doing something somewhat similar to what Cidre did - taking JR's character and writing about him as if he's just a bad person instead of the complex character he was by taking one of his best qualities - being an excellent father - and treating that as if it's nothing special and then taking a heroic action of his - rescuing his son from such a dangerous man as Calhoun and saying it wasn't heroic. There he was, about to be shot (that's what he was thinking since Calhoun was aiming his gun right at him at point blank range) and instead of pleading for his life all he asked was "Don't let my son see his Daddy die."

    Since morality varies from person to person, I don't expect everyone to agree as to how good of a person JR Ewing was or how good of a person Bobby Ewing was. You asked: "How are you going to remember a man like JR?" I would remember him as a man who had an intense drive to make his father proud of him and later in life a man who wanted to emulate his father.

    Anything JR set his mind to doing, he went after 100% whether it was in being as good of a businessman as Jock was or being as good and as inspiring a father as Jock was. He thoroughly enjoyed life and lived it his way. While his competitors talked about him constantly, he rarely talked about them because he was busy having a good time.

    JR was almost always smiling. He was passionate about two things - family and Ewing Oil. Despite being passionate about family he seemed constitutionally unable to be faithful to his wife. It was his biggest shortcoming and he had many flaws. She knew he was unfaithful and she remained with him because she enjoyed the prestige of being Mrs. JR Ewing and the luxury of living in Southfork. Despite his shortcomings as a husband, and despite Sue Ellen's own illicit affairs and alcoholism, there were times when JR and Sue Ellen were very happy with each other. He never left her permanently for another woman. He would stray but always come back to her. They had a kind of magic together within their dysfunctional marriage. It was enigmatic.

    Things were much simpler for him at work. He was doing what he had wanted to do ever since he was a young boy - running Ewing Oil. He was a ruthless businessman and he was one of the most competent oilmen in the industry. Sometimes he got overly ambitious and reckless. Bobby helped reign him in when that happened. JR and Bobby were rivals but never enemies. JR would never let anyone hurt his little brother. JR said "Nobody touches a Ewing except another Ewing. There mother said the Ewings may argue with each other from time to time but when it came to dealing with a threat from outsiders, they always united and that made them unbeatable!
     
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  2. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    So acquiring Ewing Oil from JR at the end of the original series didn't satisfy his need for revenge? Like you said, he built Barnes Global into an empire. He was richer than the Ewings, and ultimately came out on top. What more did he need? Why was it worth the possibility of killing his own child and unborn grandchildren just to set up the Ewings? At the end of the original series, he made it clear his beef was with JR. Yet he sets up a scam marriage between his nephew and his daughter so Pamela can get a piece of Christopher's methane project. These were all plot driven decisions rather than character driven decisions. That's the consequence of writing backwards from a cliffhanger and simply "needing a villain."

    Is it really so wrong for a continuation to embrace its past? Particularly when it's used to make a point in the present? Sue Ellen used Kristen as an example to keep Emma in line.

    Original Dallas was built on the past and legacies. Although we never saw it on screen, the origins of the Barnes/Ewing feud influenced the show for over a decade.

    And I thought it was a terrible decisions to delete it, among other scenes. Especially when you consider the utter nonsense that was kept in. It was scenes like the one between Sue Ellen and Emma that made me believe I was watching a proper continuation of Dallas. Same with the kitchen argument between John Ross and Sue Ellen, which they surprisingly left in. Sadly, much of the show was spent running as far from the original as possible with brothels, drug cartels, and a group of outsider families driving many of the storylines.

    Yes, let's do a continuation of a show and treat it's fictional reality with blatant disregard. That makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Could you give one or two examples that give you that impression?

    When you refer to "these Ewings" are you referring to the Ewings that we grew to know and love in the 1980s or the Ewings whom she presented to us in TNT Dallas?

    She may have known what made those caricatures whom she created tick, but I never saw any indication that she ever knew or understood the characters who made Dallas the most successful dramatic television series of all time.

    That's bad enough but there was something else that she understood even less if that's possible - and it's the most important thing of all. Cidre never understood what made the original Dallas work and when I say "work" I mean the fans grabbed ahold of it and made Dallas become more than just a successful TV show; they made Dallas a phenomenon!

    Cidre couldn't put Dallas back together because she didn't have the blueprint. She didn't understand what made Dallas a phenomenon in the first place. The first night her project aired seven million people tuned in, ready to embrace what should have been the next chapter in the saga of the Ewings. The fans were there. They were ready. They just weren't given the show they tuned in to see.
     
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    I think he wanted to destroy the Ewings just because he could. Maybe I'm wrong but I thought it was the very root of this character.
    And I also remember that this sequel was advertised (for lack of a better word) as a grittier version of Dallas. But when I think of the classic soaps (and all those violent and over-the-top storylines) I'm not sure if I agree with that.
    You can't expect Bobby and Sue Ellen to do every storyline.
    And all the new characters were relevant to John Ross and Christopher and this was their story.
    And then I think of Jock and Ray and those cattle auctions...I found it deliciously "Texas".
    You can't be serious. It's our instinct to protect the children, it's designed by nature to secure continuation (even the continuation of Dallas!)
    Of course that doesn't mean we're not allowed to show gratitude, but it doesn't deserve a medal (unless you're saving someone else's child, I guess).
    They forgave or tolerated him so he could screw them over in the next episode.
    Karen MacKenzie called, she wants her rose-coloured glasses back.
    I'm not saying that he was more complex than on O.Dallas, but I found his relationship with the old and grown-up Ewings fascinating to watch. The essence of these characters and their story arcs was beautifully done - and I really mean that - so I totally absolutely 100% disagree with the statement that this was a caricature.
     
  5. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    It was the root of his character for a long time, and then he made peace with everybody except for JR.

    There certainly was intent to make Cliff a grittier character, and I might have accepted it if there had been a plausible explanation for it. Instead, they chose not to address his out of character behavior. He was simply depicted as this maniac killer so hell bent on revenge that he convinced his daughter to marry her cousin and caused the death of her unborn children.

    Was it their story? I often felt it was more about the Rylands, the Ramos family, and the drug cartel's stories with John Ross and Christopher simply their pawns. Hell, Cidre killed Christopher off in the season 3 finale! Three seasons in, and the show was already down a next generation character. IMO, the show needed more of the next generation, not less.

    Absolutely! And if you're referring to them doing the Cattle Barons Ball instead on the new series, I didn't really have a problem with it. They weren't really in the oil business at that time anyway, but they were still ranching. The problem was that it was part of a broader issue where Cidre conveniently "forgot" events and places from the original show. She was much more inclined to use real events and places, rather than the show's fictional versions. Braddock became part of Dallas, the Petroleum Club replaced the Oil Barons Club, and Exxon was mentioned more than West Star. To new viewers and casual fans alike, I'm sure this is all just minutia. However, it was all part of an erosion of the show's fictional reality.

    As I've said before, there were times when the new show managed to feel like a proper continuation. The interactions between the original characters was mostly done right and a treat to watch. Even the funeral episode was done well, as far as the memories shared from the Ewings goes. But did anybody really believe that JR told Carmen what a great cook she was? Or how about him convincing Drew to join the army? I know the purpose of their eulogies was to make it seem like the Ramos's had been around for decades, but their eulogies were silly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
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  6. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Some posters just want to validate JR any way they can; it's like all those SueEllenphiles a few years ago.
     
  7. Michael Torrance

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    That's exactly what it was--and Cidre had confirmed that in planning season 4 Christopher would be dead.
    I think with the original trio of characters available, they had a chance to create a nice continuation of the next generation mixed in with some new characters. Instead Cidre tried to make her square peg characters fit into Southfork's round hole.
     
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  8. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh yes 2012 was a great year to be a Dallas fan. :spinning:At least until november 23rd...:rip:
    Dallas without JR was sadly never the same. So a part of me can't help but wishing that the show would have been brought back a few years earlier. But you know what they say, better late than never! ;)
     
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  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    That would have changed everything…how's John Ross going to adapt to this new chapter? I want to know!
     
  10. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    It would've been revealed that JR's daughter was also his child he had with Pamela... delicious!
     
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  11. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Really? OMG!
    Did that happen when Pam started to work for Cliff, sitting behind a desk all day long trying to hide her pregnancy?
     
  12. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    After her tragic accident, Pam clearly started hooking to afford her reconstructive surgery.

    Clearly, JR took advantage of this situation. Pam gave birth to a child and then died because of reasons.
     
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  13. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Tommie you could be onto something here. Cynthia did state the mother of this long forgotten daughter of JR Ewing was long dead.....this has me intrigued. It could also explain why JR was desperately seeking out Pam and ended up in Abu Dhabi.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  14. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    I dunno
    Plus why the Rotten Rat hated JR again.

    It is truly a stunning turn of events here x
     
  15. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    This is the uber-explanation of a plot. I wanted to make clear that this is where the "winner" label goes!
     
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  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I've never heard of her.

    I do know what rose-colored glasses are - JR had a pair. However, you wrote that in response to me describing JR as sometimes getting "overly ambitious and reckless." You do understand that's not a compliment, don't you?

    I don't. Bobby and Sue Ellen didn't do every storyline in the original either. However, they also weren't relegated to smaller roles to make room for stories about the maid and her children. Of course, in the original the maid had no children, at least not living at Southfork, despite TNT Dallas claiming that Elena had grown up on Southfork with John Ross and Christopher. Is that an example of something you like about TNT Dallas - rewriting history and making the maid's daughter featured as much or more than Bobby or Sue Ellen?

    Why do you suppose, that of all people, the Ramoses who didn't even exist in original Dallas, were given such big roles and their characters given so much TV time? Is it because they're Mexican? Cidre obviously has some sort of fascination with Mexicans. I don't get it. She can make a show 100% about Mexicans if she wants, as far as I'm concerned, but just don't name it Dallas. When you are told by the show that people who didn't exist in the original actually did exist in the original and grew up with John Ross and Christopher, do you like that? How do you feel about it? I find it insulting and highly unnecessary. There were plenty of people who did exist in the original who could have been used and were not used. Lucas, Margaret, and Cally's son would have given us a total of five characters with Ewing blood even if their last names weren't all Ewing. To me, that's how you tell a story about the next generation of Ewings - you include the sons and daughters of Ewings who were just children in the original and show us the type of people they've gown up to be.

    Regarding "...this was their story" in regards to John Ross and Christopher, I only partially agree. Yes, the story was supposed to be partially about them, but it should have also been about the Ewings who were also of that age who I named two paragraphs above this one. In addition it was the story of JR, Bobby, and Sue Ellen and what they are doing in their old age. Including all the generations of Ewings necessitates an ensemble full of Ewings and Dallas was an ensemble show. It wasn't primarily about just one or two Ewings.

    All the generations of Ewings had their roles and they were all important roles. It's a shame that Jim Davis died fairly early in Dallas and then Larry Hagman died fairly early in TNT Dallas but while they were alive, they were important! Just because they were old didn't diminish their importance. Barbara Bel Geddes lived well after original Dallas had ended. She was older than most of the characters, but she was very well liked by the fans and she had an important role, as the matriarch of the family to play. A wise producer would utilize all the generations of the family to their utmost. Characters who aren't Ewings can be added as they're needed, but first make sure you're including as much of the Ewing family as you can.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
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  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    In the context of "JR Ewing" that is a compliment, or at least the understatement of the year.
    I'm not saying that's how it was supposed to be, I just happened to like the Ramos characters, and being entertained is more important than knowing that the continuation is 100% correct (imho).
    But you can't see that if you're too busy noticing all the thing that aren't there.
    My advice: watch it again, but this time without the O.Dallas checklist.
    We know that they exist, but their adult versions would be just as new to us as the Ramos and Ryland characters. There is no guarantee that they would have been more entertaining.
    Let's not forget that casting is one of the most important aspects, the actors have contributed to the success of the classic soaps.
    And I really, really liked the cast of TNT Dallas.
    Hm, I don't find the Texas/Mexico connection so far-fetched.
    Most of their actions involved John Ross and Christopher's storylines, so I still disagree with you.
     
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  18. Michael Torrance

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    Actually, her Mexican characters are quite offensive as Mexicans--they are walking negative stereotypes. The problem with the Ramos characters was not that they were Mexican, but that they were one-dimensional caricatures and obvious parasites to the genre of the prime time soap that Dallas was. More and more, like true parasites, they destroyed the essence of the host, destroying all elements of the genre and only left their own disease behind: drug cartels and convoys of illegal cargo trucks and thugs and what not.
     
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  19. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    You're so right about that! I have noticed something similar for years now, decades even, but especially prevalent ever since around the Breaking Bad era of TV: If a character is Spanish speaking, it's going to be either ignorant, a criminal, or both. It doesn't matter whether they're Mexican, Colombian, or Cuban. They are going to be portrayed in a bad light and I'm really getting sick of it! I understand that a lot of cocaine comes from Colombia and a lot of black tar heroin comes from Mexico but my God, these countries are made up of mostly very decent people - it's just like anywhere else regarding that. A lot of coffee comes from Colombia too but you'd never know it by any of the TV shows I've seen in the last decade and how they portray South American people or latino people in general.

    It's amazing to me that in this PC era (which frankly I think has gone way overboard in a lot of ways) somehow it doesn't seem to apply to portrayal of latinos. Can you imagine the uproar it would cause if TV shows portrayed black (or African-American if you prefer) people with the kind of negative stereotyping that hispanic people get?

    I don't know what Cidre's fascination with Mexicans is because it's not like she just happened to add some characters that happened to be Mexican to the show; it was plain as day that these characters who had absolutely nothing to do with original Dallas were just being pushed SO hard on the audience. I felt like they were just being rammed down our throats. If she did it because she likes Mexicans, she wouldn't have made the characters so offensive regarding the stereotypes as you astutely pointed out. So did she do it because she hates Mexicans? I honestly don't know. Maybe she has some Mexican ancestry and that's it, but if that's the case, I would think that with the incredibly offensive stereotypes she pushed so hard that she'd be embarrassed to show her TNT creation to her family if her family are are indeed Mexican or even hispanic in any way.
     
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  20. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Yes, the adult versions of JR and Cally's son, Margaret Krebbs, and Lucas Krebbs would be new to us - just as new as the Ramos and Ryland characters. There's a huge difference though. Dallas was a show about the Ewing family - not the Ramoses or the Rylands. So it makes all the sense in the world to introduce Lucas, Margaret, and JR and Cally's son because they all have Ewing blood. Dallas was first and foremost about the Ewings. Nobody would argue against that. Therefore adding those characters I just named was of primary importance and relevance regarding characters who were going to be new to us as adults.
     
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