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Would Later Seasons Have Worked Earlier

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Herofan, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Member

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    I’ve read that most feel the last few seasons were not good, and I agree, but would they have worked early with a few tweaks. The range war season seems ridiculous, but in the first couple of seasons, Bobby was kidnapped, Lucy ran off or was kidnapped, Pam had a mystery husband, and they fought some red necks in the Dove Hunt, just to name a few incidents. So, were the later scripts really that horrible, or did they just come along at the wrong time when it no longer seemed like Dallas?
     
  2. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Fan

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    Not really answering the question but I think the difference between the "bad" (boring, stupid, repetitive, predictable etc.) episodes early on and those later in the series was the length of time they lasted. Before the show was serialized you knew the issue of the episode was going to be resolved by the time the credits rolled so even if it was of lesser interest it was much less of a burden on the audience than committing to caring about a dull or silly plot. You kind of hope that with the end of a bad episode comes a better one next, but if the plot is unfolding over several episodes that possibility is much less. I think the show actually gains a lot when it becomes serialized and things take a longer time to develop but the downside is there are storylines that just don't hold attention and you're forced to sit through them. So when it was good it was really good and the quality was consistently above average, but when it wasn't so good the timing didn't help things.
     
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  3. pete lashmar

    pete lashmar Soap Chat Fan

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    You could swap the tanker stories around very easily and they'd still fit in with the earlier and later seasons - 1 actually sinking and 1 re-routed fraudulently.
     
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  4. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    I dunno
    I mean, a lot of the storylines could've worked if the execution was better, but of course there are stories that just wouldn't work at all (ie the Haleyville mess). The basic premise of the Ewing son being kidnapped might be similar, but that's about where the similarity ends.
     
  5. Herofan

    Herofan Soap Chat Member

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    Good points. I hadn’t thought of that, but maybe a one episode Haleyville or range war episode wouldn’t have been as bad as several episodes.
     
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  6. Jabari Lamar

    Jabari Lamar Soap Chat Member

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    I think the Haleyville storyline still would have worked, it’s just a matter of execution and the resolution. At the base, the story is similar to the one in season 2 where we find out that J.R. and Ray used to go cruising in small towns, picking up local women for one night stands, and that’s what J.R. was doing here with Callie. And just like in that earlier episode, sometimes that behavior comes back to bite him. Or that other episode where Jock and the boys went hunting in a small town and ran into those guys who tried to kill them. So the problem wasn’t really the story it was how it was handled. The early J.R. would have not just tried to let all that go after he got back home. He would want his revenge, at least on Callie’s brothers, the sheriff, and the warden of the prison he was in, if not the whole damn town. I could see J.R. buying all the land in Haleyville just to evict everyone and have it paved over for a large shopping center or something, or maybe buying up the local water rights, and letting the town dry up and burn.


    And this is the case with a lot of the reviled stories from later seasons. The problems weren’t the always the plots, sometimes it was just the execution, particularly because they got rid of a lot of the veterans in favor of younger actors who weren’t as good. Like, c’mon, who didn’t want to see Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden together on screen again? The idea of bringing her on for a story where she plays an ex-mistress of J.R.’s who comes to town for revenge is fine, it’s just that the revenge plot was stealing Ewing Oil out from under him, which was already lame because they’d been hot-shoting ownership of the company too much by then, and then after she succeeds she leaves it to Michelle Stevens, some young gold-digger with zero business experience. All that was just stupid. And I’ll always maintain that the idea of James Beaumont was a good one, giving J.R. an adult son that he could have storylines involving the oil business with, since John Ross was too young (if Dallas had been a daytime soap, they would have just quickly aged John Ross to adulthood, like they often do with kids), it’s just that Sasha Mitchell was not the best man for that role.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  7. Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland

    Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    In addition to the points made above, the show hadn't found its footing (or a huge audience) at the time of those silly early shows, so there wasn't as much to lose, and as long as they didn't completely tank altogether, they had until the end of a fairly long season of episodes to get it together.

    For some reason, they went back to that formula right after the Who Shot JR mania with Trouble at Ewing 23. That episode just needed Edison Faraday Haynes and Willie Gust jumping out from under an oil derrick along with Bobby's kidnappers to make it complete.

    (those shows are great fodder for 'ABC of Dallas' though!)
     
  8. Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland

    Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    (argh, I keep quoting myself instead of editing!)
     

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