The All-New DALLAS!

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Agent Richard07, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    As an unabashed Dallas fan, I have the entire original series and movies on DVD at home and can answer some questions people have asked:

    I'm pretty sure Bobby, Sue Ellen, JR, and most of the Ewings from the old series know the truth about Christopher - that he is Sue Ellen's biological nephew and that his biological parents are Kristin Shepard and Jeff Faraday (the guy who Bobby "bought" Christopher from.)

    2) The new series is more of a continuation a la what was done with Doctor Who in the 2005 revival. Lots of stuff is still being retained in continuity, but much is being glossed over or ignored. Examples:

    John Ross in the pilot goes to great length to remind us he's J.R.'s firstborn son when in actuality, he isn't. Sasha Mitchell played J.R.'s firstborn (though illegitimate) son James Beaumont in the final two season of the original show.

    2) No mention is made of April, Bobby's second wife (who was murdered right in front of him on their honeymoon), or Cally (J.R.'s second wife) or the baby they had. Nor is any mention made of Jenna (Priscilla Presley) Ray's wife, or her daughter Charlie and her son (by Bobby), Lucas. Nor is any mention made of Ray's daughter Margaret from his marriage to Donna Culver. Maybe we'll see these kids grown up eventually?

    The new series also is ignoring the two reunion movies from the '90s. Probably because the second, "War of the Ewings" sucked, and also because "J.R. Returns" undid a lot of the drama that the end of the series put in place (and from which this new series is picking up from.) Examples: J.R. manipulates Cliff in to selling Ewing Oil back to Bobby (and Sue Ellen) in "J.R. Returns"; we get an answer as to what happened to J.R. following the end of the series; and by the end of the first film, J.R., Bobby, Sue Ellen, John Ross, and Christopher are all living at Southfork again, with Bobby and Sue Ellen running Ewing Oil and J.R. running WestStar Oil.

    Not true. The same actress who played "Fake Pam" (the one Bobby dated briefly) returned a year later as "Actual" Pam when Cliff Barnes was searching for her. He found her and she told him never to tell Bobby. Afterward, we learned she was dying from her new doctor/husband.

    I miss that too. I also hate that the theme is entirely synthesized and not performed by an actual orchestra. Sigh.

    The dream season began because they killed off Bobby in the 1985 season finale. On Knots, Gary (J.R., Bobby and Ray's brother) who had a drinking problem started drinking again. The producers on Knots liked this storyline and where it led the rest of the series so much that after Bobby's return from the dead, they decided not to acknowledge it. Gary never appeared on Dallas again, but they would reference him occasionally (Lucy's second marriage to Mitch, and J.R.'s funeral in J.R. Returns.)

    Lastly, the big scene where J.R. takes the painting of Jock down from the wall in Ewing Oil is from the 1987 season finale, when Jeremy Wendell (then the president of WestStar) managed to manipulate the government into shutting Ewing Oil down, leaving him free to buy the building. J.R. makes a poignant point to his son about how Ewing Oil is more than just a company; it's literally family to them, as symbolized by the painting of Jock.

    As for the new series, I love it. It's not quite what I was expecting, but then if it had just been a clone of the old show, I'd have mostly been disappointed. I do wish we had a more similar opening credits sequence (the old one was always more of an "announcement" than just a theme song...) and apart from little niggling details they got wrong (Southfork is in Braddock County, not Dallas, Christopher spent a lot of his childhood living with Pam at her house when she and Bobby were separated), I have been quite enjoying the new show.

    A friend was able to hook me up with a sampler DVD of the first four episodes. I've seen them all now, and can say that 1) We will find out who sent the email to Elena soon and 2) We'll be seeing at least one more familiar face show up soon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  2. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I was wondering when you'd pop your head in.

    It was fun to see him and Duffy go on to do Step by Step.

    But like I said, a lot can happen in 14 years. There's no reason why something couldn't have simply changed. That's unless something is revealed in the next two episodes that we don't know about yet. If they were ignoring the movies, I'd think that they'd deal with J.R. supposedly shooting himself in the finale.
     
  3. Crusher Disciple

    Crusher Disciple Admiral Admiral

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    Does Lucy have any kids?
     
  4. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Not just together on Step By Step, but to play characters with the exact same relationship to one another! :lol:

    I don't know. I have to search for it, but I definitely recall reading somewhere (TV GUide? Entertainment Weekly?) that the new series was deliberately ignoring the reunion movies.

    In J.R. Returns, Cliff sells Ewing Oil to Bobby and Sue Ellen so he can follow Afton to Waco so he could hopefully find her and meet his/their daughter. The new series establishes that Cliff still owns Ewing Oil (John Ross refers to the situation as Ewing Oil still being run by "that idiot Cliff Barnes!")
    Too, neither Bobby nor Sue Ellen are shown to be in any way associated with Ewing Oil in the new series.

    Lastly: the pilot of the new series makes no mention of the final gunshot heard in the original series finale. All we know is that J.R. has been catatonically depressed. We don't know for how long, but the implication is that it's been for a while. Granted, it can't have been for the entire intervening 20 years since "Conundrum" aired, because J.R. recognizes Ann at the Cattle Baron's Ball, so he had to have been ok for some time to get to know her before Bobby married her.

    So I stand by my earlier statement - the new series is taking the Doctor Who route and acknowledging the previous series as much as it needs to but obviously not every last minute detail. It'd be nice if the new show did, but there are enough obvious differences and plot threads that contradict what we've already seen that it's patently obvious that things like the reunion movies are not in the continuity of the new show.

    EDIT: Found the blurb about the reunion movies being ignored:

    Link

    There you have it. And it's kind of sad, because I actually like J.R. Returns a lot; it's clever and fun. But I understand now how it completely changes the landscape of the characters and their relationships with one another and would make the new series much more difficult to do otherwise. I like enough of what I've seen so far to give Cynthia Cidre and her team the benefit of the doubt and keep watching.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  5. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    They never said. No mention of Mitch or any other possible husband. All we know is she shows up for Christopher's wedding with Ray (who is seemingly back in Texas from Europe, minus Jenna, Charlie and Lucas.)
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    If you want to compare the continuity to Doctor Who, some of us were still unsure if the new show was a selective reboot or an honest carry on, well into season two because so much information was being drip fed to us.

    As the fanbase asks questions, the writers room will be pushed in unthought of directions.
     
  7. wissaboo

    wissaboo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    maybe you can answer me this, didn't the cattle barons ball used to be a fancy evening gown and tux kind of thing? I was shocked how casually everyone was dressed.
     
  8. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    No. The mainstay of the original series was that they always went to the Oil Baron's Ball, presumably for the power players in the Big Oil Industry.

    Being that neither J.R. or Bobby are part of the oil industry anymore, (yet, anyway, that we know) and Bobby is primarily running Southfork Ranch, it makes sense that they'd be at the Cattle Baron's Ball instead. They never went to a Cattle Baron's Ball on the old show, so we have no frame of reference about what the appropriate attire would be for such an event.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  9. Crusher Disciple

    Crusher Disciple Admiral Admiral

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    That is black tie in Texas. :confused:
     
  10. wissaboo

    wissaboo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    good catch
     
  11. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    That's too bad. I'm not a fan of having installments of any series ignored. And I don't see why they need to be ignored anyway. They aren't any better or worse than what we got in the series and I don't see how they stand in the way of any current development.
     
  12. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But they DID go to something called the Cattleman's Club on the old show, but If I remember right, that was just a resturant/bar/nightclub type of thing.

    I take it this "Cattle Barons Ball" is something different?
     
  13. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I read an article just yesterday suggesting that he was catatonic for about a decade, but now I can't find it.
     
  14. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Well, again - a lot of what the reunion movies did was to tie up loose ends and give the series a more pleasant ending to J.R. and his scheming. In order to tell the story they're telling on the new show, they'd have to go to the trouble of undoing that. Personally, I like the approach they're taking with the new show, writing-wise and am ok with them ignoring J.R. Returns and The War of the Ewings. I've got the DVDs, so I can watch them any time I want.

    Also: Anyone who's interested in the show should check out the prequel film Dallas: The Early Years, which focuses on Jock, Digger Barnes, and Miss Ellie. I finally got around to watching it about six months ago and was incredibly satisfied with how good a standalone tale it is, while also remaining true to all the little snippets of continuity the series proper gave us about the Barnes-Ewing feud. It's also just a plain old fun movie and the twist at the end is awesome.

    Yeah, the Cattleman's Club was a restaurant, like the Oil Baron's Club restaurant where many scenes were set. The Cattle Baron's Ball, if it's anything like the Oil Baron's Ball on the old show, will be a yearly event for the characters.

    I'd love to read that article. I also read somewhere that Ann was a friend of Sue Ellen's, which eventually led to Ann's meeting Bobby. That all obviously would have had to have taken place in the 20 years between the end of the original series and now. Too, it would have either had to have happened before Sue Ellen left Dallas at the end of the 11th season of the show, or if and when she eventually came back to Dallas.

    Do we even know if Sue Ellen is single in the new series? John Ross tells us in the original series later seasons that Sue Ellen eventually married Don Lockwood (Ian McShane) - the Hollywood director she initially left Dallas with. One would think if Don was in Dallas with her, he would have been her date for the Cattle Baron's Ball. Being that he's no where to be found in the new series, it begs the question - are they divorced? Still married? Did he die? Is he off shooting a film?
     
  15. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Given all the drama that happens in these people's lives, they probably got divorced, remarried, then he went off and shot a film and died in the jungle.
     
  16. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    :lol: I wouldn't be surprised. :lol:
     
  17. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I saw the Early Years movie when it was first on the air; it was actually the best Dallas story ever, in my opinion.
     
  18. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    ^Dale Midkiff may have been chewing scenery through the whole thing as Jock, but it was good stuff!
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Got around to watching the second episode, really enjoy the series and hope to see it stick around.
     
  20. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Yeah, they got J.R. just right. About the only thing I didn't care for was his reaction when John Ross tells him about Christopher, and his harsh words about his adopted nephew. On the old show, it absolutely was par for the course for J.R. to take every pot shot, every political angle he could to make himself the "good" guy or the victim whenever he had to defend himself, (he regularly would refer to his half-brother Ray Krebbs as a "half-breed") and he sure as hell took every chance he could to bully Cliff Barnes and Pam, but he never took it out on or held any malice toward John Ross or Christopher when they were kids. I get that they're both adults now, but it was a bit disconcerting to see J.R. say such a nasty thing about his brother's son. :shrug:

    One of my favorite J.R. one-liners was when his son James showed up at Southfork for dinner with April's sister Michelle, who J.R. was noticeably irritated with. Upon sitting down to dinner, Michelle sits in Miss Ellie's seat, which J.R. will have none of. He directs her to another chair.

    J.R.
    You can sit over there, in Pam's old seat.
    (under his breath)
    Couldn't stand her, either.

    :lol: