Dallas Character Who Does Pam Think She Is?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    The following is an excerpt from season 6's episode "Things Ain't Goin' Too Good At Southfork" complete with my commentary in brackets. Pam has just returned earlier than she planned from her vacation in France with Mark Graison, after receiving a phone call from Afton Cooper.


    (Bobby is feeding Christopher his dinner when Pam walks in)



    Bobby: Well, welcome home! Look who’s here! Mommy’s home!



    Pam: Bobby, why did you bring Christopher back here?



    Bobby: Well because I’m his father and I figured he was better off here with me, when you’re not around.



    Pam: Well, I’m taking him home with me now.



    Bobby: Well fine. Honey, I’d have thought I was trying to kidnap him or something.



    Pam: Well after that phone call I didn’t know what to think. I was afraid you might keep him.



    Bobby: Well who called you and told you told you something like that?



    Pam: Well it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that I was frightened.



    [Well it matters to Bobby! If someone made a phone call to your wife and said something to make her think that, wouldn’t you want to know who made the call? But since it only matters to Bobby and not to Pam, she treats it as a non-issue and doesn't answer his question.]



    Bobby: Alright, I just figured that Christopher was better off here with me than in a hotel room with a nurse.



    [Rightly so!]



    (Pam gives Theresa instructions in the background to get Christopher’s things together.)


    Bobby: Well how long has it been since I’ve seen you? A week? And you come roaring in here like I’m public enemy number one? It wasn’t me who ran off to France.



    [Excellent point. What if the roles were reversed and Bobby had flown to France with Katherine. Imagine the outburst Pam would have unleashed. But since it was Pam flying to France, on Mark’s private jet, it’s a non-issue as far as Pam is concerned. She’s so entitled! Yet Bobby remains fairly calm, despite it all. BTW, this is “the bad Bobby” – the bad guy Bobby became during the contest for Ewing Oil. He became so bad that Pam had to leave, according to her. If this calm, reasonable response is from “the bad Bobby”, who was “the good Bobby”? A saint?]



    Pam: What have you been doing since I left?



    Bobby: Boy, that must have been some phone call you got.



    Pam: What’s going on between you and Katherine?



    Bobby: What makes you think there’s anything going on between us? She’s your sister!



    Pam: That’s not an answer to my question!



    [As if Pam’s been answering Bobby’s questions. Pam’s self-centeredness is off the charts!]



    Bobby: It’s the only answer you deserve right now.



    Pam: What is Katherine to you?



    Bobby: You really want to know? Alright, alright, I’ll tell you. She’s everything that you should be but aren’t. She’s doing everything she can right now to help me. She really cares whether I win or lose. She listens to me. She really tries to understand. And you know what’s funny about all that? Rebecca was her mother too Pam, yet she doesn’t blame me for what happened to her. I guess what it comes down to is that right now Katherine’s just about the best friend I have in the whole world, and that’s it! Final! Period! Can you say the same thing about Mark Graison? Is he just a friend to you?


    [Katherine loved her mother, Rebecca, but doesn't blame Bobby for Rebecca's death. Katherine blames Cliff, since it was originally Cliff’s flight. Rebecca was only on the plane because Cliff got so drunk, he forgot about his flight. Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Still, does Pam blame Cliff for Rebecca’s death? Of course not. She’d never do something as irrational and cruel as to blame her own brother for her mother’s death - Pam’s blaming her husband instead.]




    Pam: I don’t know Bobby.



    Bobby: Well that about says it doesn’t it?



    Pam: This isn’t how I wanted things to work out at all.



    [Yet she bailed on Bobby in his hour of need and then went to France with Mark anyway, didn’t she?]



    Bobby: It makes it sound pretty final.



    Pam: I don’t want it to be.



    [How disingenuous can Pam get? Then why did she bail on Bobby during the first period of time in their marriage when he needed her, rather than the usual situation of her needing him? And why did Pam then almost immediately go on a vacation to France with Mark Graison?]



    Bobby: I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you get Christopher and take him back to the hotel, and maybe we’ll talk sometime.


    End Of Scene


    This entire situation and the aftermath brings to mind these words from “In My Darkest Hour” - lyrics by Dave Mustaine



    Don’t try to understand

    Knowing you, I’m probably wrong

    But oh, how I lived my life for you

    Still you turned away

    Now, as I die for you

    My flesh still crawls as I breathe your name

    All these years I thought I was wrong

    Now I know it was you

    Raise your head, raise your face, your eyes

    Tell me who think you are
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  2. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Soap Chat Member

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    Pam was one of my favorite characters, but I have to agree she was irrational and hypocritical in that scene with Bobby.
     
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  3. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    I love this commentcom, @Kenny Coyote.
    Pam is completely put of line here questioning Bobby after she went off to the French Riviera with Mark while still bring married. I'd also be pissed off if I was Bobby for leaving Christopher with a nanny instead of his father and relatives at SF
    Pam is still a moral character. She's just being hypocritical and not consistent in the expectations she has for others and herself. To quote one of my favorite movies, "Consistency is not really a human trait."
    Pam is being self-righteous, and if I look at my life there are plenty of times I've been self-righteous and should have told myself to shut up.
    Dallas at it's best, combining good drama with real people. It's a shame the Emmy voters took a supercilious attitude toward anything called a "soap." Dallas in this season deserved quite a few Emmys, especially for the writing.
     
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  4. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    I think they made Pam and Bobby hypocritical at times a few years into the show to create drama between them since they were too perfect of a couple otherwise.

    They had to have tension since it was a drama/soap, and there’s only so many times that their problems could be directly because of JR and Cliff and the family feud.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I think there are a number of ways they could have gone about it. Clearly, what they did worked extremely well.

    Had they gone with the concept: "Bobby and Pam will always stay together and their relationship will be the one constant solid thing in an otherwise turbulent environment" I think that could have been just as successful. Not that there isn't conflict in that type of scenario, but it's provided externally instead of internally. That's my favorite type of couple - the one that stays together while meeting formidable challenges together. Dallas already had the internally conflicted couple in JR and Sue Ellen, so I would have liked them to have taken the second approach with Bobby and Pam.

    Some people might think its boring if every single couple doesn't divorce or at least separate at some time, but I think it's repetitive when every couple does divorce or separate at some time.

    I guess it's all in the way you look at it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  6. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    I agree with @Kenny Coyote's point about having one stable couple. If every couple is divorcing, the separation loses its impact. It's also lazy writing if the only conflict the writers can ever come up with for couples is to split them up. A rock solid marriage can have plenty of dramA that isn't the same old thing.

    Referring to the topic of this post, was Pam being selfish by taking Christopher with her when she left SF. I'm all for the belief that a child, especially such a young one, needs his mother. However, she's leaving him with a nanny when he could still be in his own home with his father, grandmother, aunt, and uncles. She may need to get away, but does she need to disrupt Christopher's life? She could have left SF and still spent plenty of time with Christopher. She certainly wasn't taking him with her when she was put with Mark. I would not have blamed Bobby if, when she came back from France, he told her enough is enough. Our son is coming back to SF. If you want to spend time with him, your welcome anytime.
     
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  7. Laurie!

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    That storyline and Pam's behaviour annoyed me; however, Bobby did too at other times. For instance, when Morgan Fairchild's Jenna was jilted after her fling with a married man, Bobby went shopping with her, stayed out with her for evenings while Pam was alone with the Southfork vipers, had romantic picnics with her, etc. So Bobby was a tad bit hypocritical when the shoe was on the other foot.

    Same goes with Bobby's pissing and moaning about Pam not supporting him for the fight to win Ewing Oil...I'm pretty sure that Pam finding out that her mother was alive was just as important to her as Jock's company was to Bobby. Yet, where was Bobby's loving support when Pam was searching for Rebecca all by herself?
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Rebecca abandoned Pam when she was a baby, and then never visited or even wrote her a letter. Not "helping" to find Rebecca is kind of like not "helping" Digger when he asks for a ride to a bar and money for drinks.
     
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  9. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Pam and Bobby’s exchange after she returns from France demonstrates what I love about the show. Pam and Bobby aren’t these virtuous characters with no failings. They have flaws and blind spots and sometimes don’t behave the way they should. Just like the rest of us.
     
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  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Not having seen the other 80s primetime soaps, I'm wondering did the ones other than Dallas did tend to make their characters "virtuous characters with no failings"? Was Dallas the exception to that in the 80s?

    I just finished watching Netflix's "Bloodline." The story was interesting, but as for the characters, they were mostly characters with nothing but failings and few if any virtues. That gets old fast. With one exception, the characters in Bloodline were not only not "just like us" but they were unlike anyone I would ever want to associate with.

    I'm hoping that whole trend of shows like that is close to dead. Netflix seems intent on burning out people's interest in shows like that through massive overexposure. I was looking for a new show on Netflix to watch and all of their new series were about criminals and other lowlifes and losers. Why would I care about what happens to them? I really don't know who they're trying to appeal to with that. I think people are tired of those types of shows, which is one of the reasons Yellowstone kicked so much ass in the ratings over the summer. They were the most watched cable show of the summer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  11. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    yeah, Bobby was being a complete jerk in the Morgan Fairchild episode. Sure, she was dangling Charlie there in a way that Bobby felt she could be his (and the actress actually had some spark, unlike Jenna #3!), but there was no need for the picnics and missed lunches and late nights. Pam very rightly confronted him about it and he just blew her off like she was just an annoyance... (of course he was painted in a noble light again by the end of the episode, since they were self-contained in those days)

    I also agree about the search for Rebecca. That was obviously of supreme importance to Pam at the time, but all Bobby could muster was some kind of half-hearted "don't get your hopes up" every now and then.
     
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  12. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Not even Cliff helped Pam find her and Rebecca was his mother too. Could it be the main reason neither Cliff nor Bobby helped Pam to find Rebecca is she abandoned her family when Cliff was five years old and Pam was a baby? Then she allowed her children to think she was dead, by never visiting or contacting them. Why would anyone who loved Pam as much as Bobby did want to help bring such an awful woman back into Pam's life?
     
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  13. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Star

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    Pam only searched for MumBecca so she could avoid going to work at The Store and see that old parrot Liz Craig!! We all know how easily Pam skipped workhours throughout the show...

    [​IMG]

    Years later, Pam used her experience in "The Store"
    to run her own shop in Abu Dabhi...or wherever she was.​
     
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  14. Jon Ewing Jr.

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    Agreed. It was also so sorry of Pam not to stick behind Bobby during that contest, considering he stuck with her when she went to the crazy farm.
     
  15. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    If Bobby had had expectations for Pam as unrealistic as those that she had for him, their marriage would have ended far sooner than it did. Pam's expectations were unrealistic and her demands - that Bobby forsake his values just to conform to her values - that he forsake his happiness for hers - were entirely unreasonable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  16. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    Sure, Rebecca was horrible, but going back to the thread title, after the Hutch McKinney reveal Pam literally didn’t know who she was to some extent.

    Regardless of whether Rebecca was horrible or not, Bobby should have been far more supportive of her efforts to connect with her origin than he appeared to be. He basically gave her a longer-term version of the “the doctor gave you a sedative, now you just go to sleep, honey” routine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Good job on mentioning: "...going back to the thread title, after the Hutch McKinney reveal Pam literally didn’t know who she was to some extent."

    I think it's fair to add that, whichever way someone feels about Bobby not helping Pam find Rebecca, there is quite a difference between the attitude “I don’t agree with what you’re doing so I’m not going to actively help you do it”, and the attitude “I don’t agree with what you’re doing so I don’t think we should be married anymore.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  18. Lastkidpicked

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    The funny thing is that while Pam was so willing to let go of Bobby, she clung on to Mark so hard that even faking his own death couldn't get rid of her!

    Mark's plane explodes over the ocean.
    Pam: I'm hiring deep sea divers to find Mark.
    Deep sea diver: I don't know how to say this nicely. . . The fish will have eaten anything that, um. . . Well, the fish would eat biological things . . .
    Pam: It seems like you are putting me off!
    Deep sea diver: Well, um . . . everything would be fish food, including people. . . people who rhyme with Bark.
    Pam: Keep looking.

    Jerry: Mark wanted to seek treatment on his own, companionless, by himself, with nobody else, unaccompanied, in solitary, unassisted, unattached, and unescorted.
    Pam: I'll go be with him!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  19. Toni

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    In reality, Pam was just like J.R., the same coin but a different side: she was all into the chase...Wasn´t it ironic?
     
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  20. Laurie!

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    You can use that argument about every character on the show. Jock abandoned his first wife Amanda in a sanitarium, never told Miss Ellie about her existence until late in their marriage, had an affair that resulted in the birth of Ray (Jock never cared enough to find out about him), etc. So why exactly were Bobby's needs more important than Pam's?
     

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