Watching Season 12 (DVD) for the First Time

Discussion in 'Dallas Season Reviews' started by JROG, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 17: THE WAY WE WERE

    Silly title aside, our fave secretary Louella Lee Caraway delivers a script that does the show’s women justice, in obvious and subtle ways. The directing by Patrick Duffy, on the other hand, can be a little off at points when his pacing seems to be slow and he lets moments go on a bit too long. On the other hand, we have moments like Bruce Harvey amusing himself with his fingers while waiting for Sue Ellen that are quite precious.

    It’s the morning after, and the Ewing household reacts to how bizarre it is to have all these people there. While Cally is upstairs, showing J.R. just how much she loves him, Cliff makes a crack about it being 8.30 and J.R. not having come downstairs yet: "Who said this wouldn’t last?!" Even Miss Ellie seems to be amused.

    The episode mainly focuses on three stories: The falling out between J.R. and Bobby, Tommy’s secret purpose in Dallas, and Sue Ellen's sort of sudden near-obsession with getting in Don’s pants. And some stuff with April making up with Bobby then continuing her whorish ways with J.R.

    Bobby confronts J.R. over selling that land of Cliff’s or something. Narratively, this is hardly new ground: J.R.’s done something dastardly and Bobby's pissed. Interestingly, however, J.R. later on seems to set Bobby up to seem like the bad guy: He brings up a supposed agreement. Seeing it for a trick, Bobby tells him to shove it, but doesn’t correctly guess what kind of trick it is. Should be interesting to see where J.R. takes it from here.

    Tommy really is hot. Damn. Turns out his plan is to smuggle cocaine and become the next big Drug Lord. Carter and Tracey become incredibly stupid as a result: Carter funds Tommy’s ‘business’ and Tracey puts it in her name. To top it all off, Tommy tells J.R. he’ll never forgive his father because Carter is responsible for his mother’s death. Welp, the show is now not only ripping off movie titles, it’s ripping off its own storylines.

    The Don/Sue Ellen thing is… interesting. She makes attempt after attempt to get to know him and seduce him, which feels really fast, but quite fascinating. Don won’t open up but when Sue Ellen brings up Holly Harwood, he can’t resist bedding her. The freezeframe on the set is a nice touch.

    Meanwhile, despite very limited airtime, Lucy stands out during a nicely written Southfork dinner scene. "As a matter of fact, I’m about to make everything right," J.R. claims. "That’ll be the day" comes Lucy's response. "If there weren’t any ladies at the table, I’d tell you what you can do with your agreement," Bobby threatens. "Well, don’t let us stop you!" the Ewing heiress quips. J.R., of course, won’t quit: "I try to make things right, and he gets sarcastic." This proves too much for Lucy: "Excuse me while I go and throw up." Bless our fave secretary for making Lucy fun!

    @Barbara Fan @Ray&Donna @Balena @Richard Channing
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  2. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    LOL. You mean Clayton's heart trouble and "obsession" with Laurel Ellis wasn't a ripoff of Jock's heart attack and relationship with Julie? :D



    They really should have made Lucy more of an adversary to J.R., kind of subtle payback for her father.
     
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  3. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 18: THE SERPENT’S TOOTH

    Along with a wardrobe upgrade, Cally wants to learn about the oil business. J.R. all but laughs in her face as he says he can use Cally's 'devious' ways at a later point. It sounds kinda like he’s planning to pimp her out. Poor Cally is then stuck literally playing babysitter to John Ross and Christopher. Christopher feels left out now that John Ross is no longer an absolute shιt to Cally. Again, I’m not entirely pleased the kids are getting this much story, but Cally reaching out to Christopher was a little sweet.

    Lucy disappears the entire episode, no reason given, despite several dining room scenes she could’ve at least been in.

    The Jordan Lee thing is weird. Last episode’s appearance was surprising enough, but he shows up again in "The Serpent’s Tooth". I was initially excited when Cliff discussed Lee’s retiring with Bobby and Bobby then told Miss Ellie: A storyline is coming! Even more excited when Jordan paid Miss Ellie and Clayton a visit. But then he told them about going on a cruise and suddenly this sounds/feels like an exit story for Miss Ellie and Clayton, zapping all excitement and replacing it with dread.

    After having nasty TV movie set sex, Don takes Sue Ellen home. There’s a lovely shot of Sue Ellen wistfully looking at Don through her door’s glass and Don touching the glass. J.R. runs into Don and Bruce merely as a plot device to ignite his curiosity at what Sue Ellen and Don are doing. Amusingly, however, Don predicts this and pays J.R. a visit to hand him his resume and bio. I like Don. Of course, no storyline involving a writer is ever complete without the writer freaking out because someone read their first draft. Sue Ellen commits the grave sin in this instance. Granted, it really does suck when someone tries to read your first draft, let alone actually does it without permission. But dear Don up and quits on Sue Ellen. Knowing his contract isn’t up, Sue Ellen apologizes. It’s kinda sexy.

    Tracey is in a funk. She’s never been the most thrilling of characters, but mopey certainly doesn’t become her. I appreciate the attempt at character-based relationship trouble: Tracey's had her anger towards her father fueling her for years and now that it’s gone, she’s not entirely sure who she is. Once again, it’s the execution and plotting of it: She and McKay made up episodes ago. Now she remembers?! It’s all slightly off and, sadly, it’s clear why: Because the writers have decided it’s time for Bobby and April to happen and are therefore bending the narrative in un-organic ways to accommodate that.

    April celebrates her birthday alone, complete with cake for herself and duck slippers. It’s so pathetic, but kinda cute. When Bobby and Cliff find out it’s her birthday, they surprise her with a One-Man Band. The writing here is successful. The post-restaurant scene, especially, with the three of them discussing their shenanigans, manages to again evoke something likeable and sweet. Almost like they’re figuring out how to write this group.

    Having secured $200,000 from McKay, sexy Tommy manages to screw things up in his ever-so-brilliant plan to become a Drug Lord. He needs $300,000, not $200,000. Since McKay won’t cough up an extra 100K, Tommy turns to J.R., exchanging info about a Vienna deal McKay is working on. Didn’t DALLAS go to Vienna at some point? Glad to finally see what this is all about. When J.R. gets the tape a suited Tommy delivers, he announces this will get him back to Ewing Oil! Well, OK.
     
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  4. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 19: THREE HUNDRED

    I’m taking a moment to let it sink in: 300 episodes! Quite the accomplishment for a prime-time series. My DALLAS journey started in late 2004, so it’s taken slightly longer than the run of the actual series, but what a great journey it has been! Looking forward to the rest.

    As far as anniversary episodes go, this one somewhat disappoints. It’s the 300th episode, it’s even the title, but Miss Ellie, Clayton, Cliff, and Lucy all sit this one out. Instead, the focus is on J.R., Bobby, and all the newer people like April, Cally, and Tommy. Sorta says a lot about the direction things are going in, doesn’t it? I mean, Cliff gets nothing, but I’m sure glad we got to see Cally calling J.R.’s answering service. You’d think they could’ve done a little something with all these extremely important characters.

    Anyway – the episode is otherwise solid. I thought it was a very good idea to play the beat of Sue Ellen having second doubts about the movie because it’ll affect the members of the family that are not J.R. And, I’ll admit it, Tommy scaring the crap out of April was really great to watch; April's made us suffer for years, it’s good that someone’s doing it to her! That being said, Tommy, please get it together.

    Bobby and J.R. getting trapped in the elevator is a fun plot device. At this point, they had to find some way to get J.R. back to Ewing Oil. It’s clear where it was going from the very beginning, but at least the journey there was enjoyable. Bobby getting drunk and messing with J.R. was fun. Although his change of mind isn’t entirely believable, at this point you just want them to get it over with. Again, sorta sumps up the entire series.

    @Barbara Fan @Ray&Donna @Balena @Richard Channing @Toni A couple more reviews, if you're interested! :hat:
     
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  5. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Oh, gosh, I don't think I ever did quite make that connection. You're right.

    It certainly would've been fun if she was a constant thorn on his side, "avenging" her father. Alas.
     
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  6. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    300 for me was one of the most boring and dire epiosdes of the show and greater proof to me that JR and Bobby werent Dallas and that it was the ensemble show and the ensemble cast who made it work and a success. And for this one most of the core cast were awol and MIA and we were left with the dire newbies = not Dallas in my book.

    Not an episode i would ever rewatch now.
     
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  7. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Yeah, I would put "Three Hundred" on my list of the ten worst episodes ever, along with "Charlie", "Masquerade", and "High Noon for Calhoun"
     
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  8. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODES 20-21: APRIL SHOWERS & AND AWAY WE GO!

    There’s a little bit of fun to be had on "April Showers" when Cliff finds out J.R. is back in at Ewing Oil, but the main interest of the episode comes from Tommy McKay, who finally loses it enough to beat the poo out of April. I never expected to see something quite so intense and graphic on DALLAS, but I’m not complaining, even if it basically guarantees Tommy’s exit. I don’t understand why you’d bring in Tommy for just a handful of episodes only to turn him into a woman beater and then ship him off.

    My prediction came true on "And Away We Go!" (what a juvenile title) when Tommy grabs a bunch of pills and leaves town. Tracey mercifully ends things with Bobby and goes after Tommy, thus 'finally' clearing the way for Bobby and April. In anticipation of her upcoming promotion as the Resident Stud’s girlfriend, April has now taken to near baby-talk, and it is exactly as grating as it sounds. Thankfully, Bobby still resists.

    Sue Ellen asks Lucy to come to California to audition Mitch Coopers. It seems like she may get it on with one of the actors. Meanwhile, poor Sue Ellen is trapped in yet another I-think-Don-has-another-woman scenario.

    Miss Ellie shows up to literally be Callie's bitch.

    The less said about that ridiculous scheme of J.R.’s to get Gustav's cooperation, the better. All we need to know is they’re heading to cold-looking Vienna (hence the episode title).

    The only great stuff in the episode comes from Afton's unexpected and quite wonderful return. I realize now I didn’t appreciate her as much as I should’ve when she was around. Her discussing the end of her relationship with Cliff and bringing up Pam is such a welcome dose of the past. Surprisingly, it comes down to Cliff going to Vienna or staying with Afton and, this time, he chooses her. Oh, please don’t screw this up, show.

    PS. Yay for Steve Kanaly directing!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  9. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great review @JROG and nice to see Afton back

    BUT way too much of Tommy, April, Cally and further decline of the show.

    the writng is on the wall!
     
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  10. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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    Is in that scene when we see Joan Crawford´s portrait in one of the studio walls (how very witty from the wardrobe people, "shoulderpad connection" between Joan and Sue Ellen...)?
     
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  11. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    If only Tommy had been Charlie's love interest... :D

    Anything involving April in the post-Pam era is grating. :re:

    How desperate that would have made Lucy seem, when at this point she is getting such meager helpings of screen time.:p

    And Clayton is MIA? As the French would say, c'est triste. :brick:

    Yeah, the only overseas jaunt I ever enjoyed was Pam and Sue Ellen's trip to Hong Kong. At least that was ostensibly to search for Mark.

    The highlight of the season, for as long as it lasts. :spinning:

    "We can't afford you anymore, but feel free to come in and direct all of the actors we bought with your salary! :floor:
     
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  12. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Reading these reviews reinforces how removed Dallas had become....from itself. And to think there are another 2 seasons right?

    Sad :(
     
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