Almost 7 million watched the June 13th, 2012 premiere and .............

Chris2

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I'd be hard-pressed to point out the "focus character" in PEYTON PLACE, FALCON CREST or THE YELLOW ROSE.
On Peyton Place, it was Allison and the show declined after she left. On Falcon Crest, it was Chase and the show declined after he left (though you don’t miss him as much at first because he was so self-righteous and annoying). On The Yellow Rose, it was Chance. Two of these three characters are outsiders, coming into the main setting and shaking things up, similar to Pam (and Krystle). The the third is a young female protagonist, similar to Pam.
 

James from London

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On Peyton Place, it was Allison
Hmm, I'm re-watching PP now and I'm thinking maybe it's Dr Rossi, the outsider with an overview of everyone's lives, or even Betty, who has a foot in both the ordinary and rich worlds, yet doesn't truly belong to either. Allison's hugely important, of course, but kind of ethereal -- she's almost the "out of focus" character.
 

Willie Oleson

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Or even Constance MacKenzie, who was in the middle of all the deceit and secrets. And her bookstore was kind of the heart & soul of Peyton Place.
I could also make a case for Rodney because being a Harrington was both a privilege and a curse.

I'm re-watching PP now
Great!
 

ChrisSumner

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1. Casting was bad. None of the new actors had enough charisma to lead a series.
2. It was a soap opera, but had no cliffhangers, no romance and no "tune in tomorrow" factor to keep viewers tuning in.
3. There was no character development. If you want people to keep watching your show you need bold characters that they care about so they'll keep watching. Everyone and everything was so bland. The only reason the original characters were still interesting is because the actors knew them so well they could go beyond what's on the page.

The most sad thing about the Dallas reboot is that it proved people WANTED it, but you had people in charge who were ashamed to be writing a soap. I do wonder how things would've worked out with someone who understood soaps writing it.
 

Willie Oleson

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It was a soap opera, but had no cliffhangers, no romance and no "tune in tomorrow" factor to keep viewers tuning in
But there's more spectacle and "gasp!" moments in the non-season finale episodes. How do you top something like the methane rig explosion? The death of the Ewing babies, the Southfork fire + overdose sex?
Personally, I'm happy to sacrifice the traditional save-the-best-for-last cliff hanger for all these many edge-of-your-seat moments.
Come to think of it, EMPIRE's season finales aren't always their most spectacular episodes, but they had fantastic season premieres!

This was already happening in series like Footballer's Wives, Desperate Housewives, The Sopranos etc.
Back in the eighties they could get away with the occasional boring episode or plodding plot line but in 2012 it would be totally boo'd and hissed at.
There was no character development
Sorry Chris but I think character development is a little overrated. How often did it happen in the classic soaps, and how much was it appreciated when it did happen?
The dislike for characters like Chase Gioberti, Diana Fairgate or Paige Matheson never fails to amaze me.
 

Karin Schill

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But I think character driven drama is what made the original Dallas work so well. The only reason why those original cliffhangers were so effective was because you cared about the characters.

With Dallas TNT, too much was happening at once so it felt unrealistic. Bad stuff kept happening but never got any good pay off or follow up. As a result I stopped caring about the characters and just sat there and rolled my eyes at yet another plot twist, because I knew it would be swept under the rug and it would be like it never happened at all two episodes from there. There was no pay off from the dramatic set ups and cliffhangers.
 

Willie Oleson

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But I think character driven drama is what made the original Dallas work so well
I think the greatness is in the scenes and I also think modern Dallas could achieve the same with less.
The amount of time spent with those characters certainly helps to maintain a character-viewer "relationship" but it's not required. Otherwise a 90 minutes movie could never be effective.
The only reason why those original cliffhangers were so effective was because you cared about the characters.
Surely the mayhem in those cliffhangers scenes had something to do with it? Several of them were based on the disaster movie genre and a big part of the fun comes from the disaster itself.
But there's also something paradoxical about these typical cliffhangers. As you say "we cared" so maybe we hoped that they would survive whatever disaster was going on, and at the same time it felt a little underwhelming that they usually survived the most dangerous and horrific events.
It's sort of a no-win situation, when you think of it. But at least the spectacle itself delivers the thrills.
Bad stuff kept happening but never got any good pay off or follow up
I wouldn't say that their motives and choices didn't have any consequences at all!
because I knew it would be swept under the rug and it would be like it never happened at all two episodes from there.
Which is actually one of the most infamous soap opera staples. I guess the difference is two episodes or twenty episodes from there, but in essence it's exactly the same situation.
The writers of the classic soaps had mastered the forgive & forget technique in order to avoid too much payoff.
If it wasn't crazy enough that they'd all live at Southfork, they even kept living at Southfork despite ALL stuff that had happened between various characters.
This is not to criticize the soaps because I understand it's the only way to keep 'em going (which is what I want them to do) but when you watch soaps you simply have to factor in a certain lack of plausibility. But that's OK because it's not a story in the traditional sense of the word.
With Dallas TNT, too much was happening at once so it felt unrealistic.
"TV is the new cinema" and I think modern viewers expect every episode to be a gem. And that leaves little room for the more leisurely narrative of the classic soaps.
We need to talk/honey is there something you need to tell me/I can feel something's troubling you/why won't you share your pain with me (et cetera) doesn't belong in modern prime time soap anymore. They have to do it and they have to show it, but without losing the emotional impact thereof.
And that's why we get scenes like this:
1627735163462.png
 

stevew

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But I think character driven drama is what made the original Dallas work so well. The only reason why those original cliffhangers were so effective was because you cared about the characters.

With Dallas TNT, too much was happening at once so it felt unrealistic. Bad stuff kept happening but never got any good pay off or follow up. As a result I stopped caring about the characters and just sat there and rolled my eyes at yet another plot twist, because I knew it would be swept under the rug and it would be like it never happened at all two episodes from there. There was no pay off from the dramatic set ups and cliffhangers.
That's an excellent point. For those of us who suck around, at least for me, I kept thinking it will pay off, it'll work out. They seemed determined to not let that happen.
 

stevew

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What's that pay off you keep talking about? You make it seem as if nothing happened.
No I'm well aware stuff happened - just not the stuff I wanted to see happen. There were no couples, no family dinners, there was no family at all it felt like to me. The pay off? Here's an example:

Best scene in the series, John Ross and Sue Ellen fighting in the kitchen, she's drunk again (which is NOT were I wanted to see them take her again, but as they did). The follow up, Bobby gets her out because John Ross is a bad guy and puts her in a house with bad memories and alcohol and she nearly kills her self - but Bobby's not the bad guy for doing all that. I kept waiting for him to be help accountable for his sins but never once. What would have been real pay off for me would have been Sue Ellen begging John Ross to get her out and John Ross telling her he's not returning to her drinking like when he was a kid, it's not happening. He was a weak kid but now he's not. That would have been pay off, John Ross and Sue Ellen confronting their problems - because they shouldn't just go away because the writer doesn't want to go there or is too lazy to do so or just has no clue. The problem was there from day one with John Ross - lets see it. Instead what do I get? Bobby making John Ross out to be the bad guy while his stupidity near gets his momma killed. Jock would have taken Bobby out to the woodshed in John Ross's place and JR would have hired someone to set Bobby up and put him in with her. Instead we get what? NOTHING. So I'm not saying nothing happened, it's just nothing that needed to happen happened.

They key wasn't to repeat the original - but why be Dallas if it's not about the Ewing FAMILY, and the house is all jacked up and the characters aren't more than teen age drama queens - and that includes the adults? I know many people wouldn't agree but Christopher blowing up in that car feel like it was some sort of payment to me. He'd been a self righteous prick since day one. I would have felt different if he was JR who never justified what he did - he just did it. But Chris was driving off into the sun set with a woman who had slept with his drunk cousin (if he'd have been a woman we'd be yelling rape), she'd black mailed if father over a crime he did NOT commit, she cavorted with drug dealers who got people killed (including her brother), she never did pay Sue Ellen one dime on a loan she took while she was the woman's son's girlfriend, she helped out a man who killed his babies - literally murdered his unborn children. So for the first time I was like - that's right. Either go all the way (JR) or walk around like you've got some moral high ground and get blown to bits. Like my daddy always said, "Be careful who you hand around with."

Other then that, a lot of action but nothing more than spinning it's wheels - no real results. Unless the opening of season 4 would have been that Christopher wasn't in the car, I felt like finally something has happened. But Ryland is a bad guy (drug dealing, momma locking up in a drugged stated, kidnapping his own daughter) - oh no he's not, he's a CIA informant. Ann's a bad ass who knows how to shoot - nope point blank rang she misses. Bobby's a good guy who's also smart - well until he can't figure out to slant drill on South Fork and then keeps using the oil against John Ross because some how methane (another fossil fuel) is the future, even though they can't fund that future. I kept getting 2 + 2 = 9 and the pay off would have been getting 4. Dance with the devil you better be JR not a child playing house or you get blow up. Deal with drug dealers, get used by the CIA, drug your momma, you better get sent back to jail. Be a bad ass you better shoot straight. Be the moral center of the show, you better say and do what's morally right or get slapped around.

Ok, so I'm ranting, but the frustrated is real. I wanted to like it and there were pieces I liked. But it let me down and I can't help feel that is why they lost fans and got canceled and no one else would pick them up. And I'd still like to see them give it another go, but the writer's left me astray with no pay off.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond and talk about it.
 

Rove

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I think NuDALLAS did have a focus character
Didn't the producers/showrunner state TNT Dallas would be about the next generation? If they wished to focus their story on John Ross and Christopher then fine...focus. My initial response when it was announced Josh and Jesse were playing John Ross and Christopher was scepticism. I thought, "Oh no. They've gone for rejects from Desperate Housewives.

Josh proved me wrong in that infamous kitchen scene with Linda. His range of emotions surprised me. "Okay," I thought. "Where has this been hiding?" But it was too little too late. While the character of John Ross appeared to be in the thick of it, it was just that, appeared. With all the secondary characters taking over John Ross, much like the Ewing family got lost in whiplash plots.

From interviews Josh really liked playing the role. Pity then the writers didn't "focus" their attention on what mattered here: the Ewing family. Keep the story tightly woven around the Ewing's; JR, Sue Ellen, John Ross, Bobby and Christopher. It's what made Lorimar Dallas immensely popular because the writers kept the attention on the family. It was always about Ewing Oil, Southfork and the family whether they were squabbling amongst themselves or protecting it from outsiders.

The first season of TNT Dallas should have focused primarily on the Ewing's. If this meant JR, John Ross, Sue Ellen, Bobby and Christopher were hogging most of the screen time so be it. I would have dedicated most of it towards the relationship between JR, John Ross and Sue Ellen. The kitchen scene exemplified the relationship John Ross had with his parents, that's what the writers should have focused on, John Ross torn between pleasing both JR and Sue Ellen especially as Larry's health was declining. In the mix of course was Bobby and Christopher. And I really wish the writers had focused more on the relationship between Christopher and Sue Ellen; after all she was his Aunt.

The return however of TNT Dallas had a fundamental flaw from the outset and as soon as viewers got a taste of it they left in droves. I'm not talking about a drip feed of viewers, I'm talking millions. Cidre made the error of retconning a family no one had heard about into the Ewing Universe. A fatal mistake. It shifted focus away from what really mattered, what we cared about...the Ewing's.

John-Ross-Christopher-Season-2-john-ross-iii-33194809-500-281.jpg
 
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stevew

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Didn't the producers/showrunner state TNT Dallas would be about the next generation? If they wished to focus their story on John Ross and Christopher then fine...focus. My initial response when it was announced Josh and Jesse were playing John Ross and Christopher was scepticism. I thought, "Oh no. They've gone for rejects from Desperate Housewives.

Josh proved me wrong in that infamous kitchen scene with Linda. His range of emotions surprised me. "Okay," I thought. "Where has this been hiding?" But it was too little too late. While the character of John Ross appeared to be in the thick of it, it was just that, appeared. With all the secondary characters taking over John Ross, much like the Ewing family got lost in whiplash plots.

From interviews Josh really liked playing the role. Pity then the writers didn't "focus" their attention on what mattered here: the Ewing family. Keep the story tightly woven around the Ewing's; JR, Sue Ellen, John Ross, Bobby and Christopher. It's what made Lorimar Dallas immensely popular because the writers kept the attention on the family. It was always about Ewing Oil, Southfork and the family whether they were squabbling amongst themselves or protecting it from outsiders.

The first season of TNT Dallas should have focused primarily on the Ewing's. If this meant JR, John Ross, Sue Ellen, Bobby and Christopher were hogging most of the screen time so be it. I would have dedicated most of it towards the relationship between JR, John Ross and Sue Ellen. The kitchen scene exemplified the relationship John Ross had with his parents, that's what the writers should have focused on, John Ross torn between pleasing both JR and Sue Ellen especially as Larry's health was declining. In the mix of course was Bobby and Christopher. And I really wish the writers had focused more on the relationship between Christopher and Sue Ellen; after all she was his Aunt.

The return however of TNT Dallas had a fundamental flaw from the outset and as soon as viewers got a taste of it they left in droves. I'm not talking about a drip feed of viewers, I'm talking millions. Cidre made the error of retconning a family no one had heard about into the Ewing Universe. A fatal mistake. It shifted focus away from what really mattered, what we cared about...the Ewing's.

Could not agree more. To me it was the equivalent of original not recognizing that JR was the break out character in making him all he became, when it came to John Ross's character. It was if Cliff, the insufferable little termite, how I felt about Chris, got way to much focus. And Daddy instead of being the strong Jock was just the weak Bobby. I think she should have spent more time in the early years checking it out for what made it great. Strong Daddy who could kick the ass of both boys when called upon to do so. Bad ass JR. Morally torn Bobby always trying to do what was right even it he got hurt. Those sorts of things. That's what I think would have still worked with TNT's version if they had attempted it - it certainly would be different than what we got, and probably closer to the drama's people have mentioned her that have succeeded, Succession, Empire.
 

the-lost-son

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For several reasons "the center of the story" was never clear for the series 3 years run. You'd expect a fight for Ewing Oil/Southfork/position in the Ewing family. But instead it was a little bit of everything as the 3 years were dropping a long without any focus.

Successful shows can be described in a few simple words:
Breaking Bad - How will this drug business end for all parties involved?
Dexter - Will Dexter get away with all his murders?
Revenge - will Emily Thorne got her payback?

and most importantly
Lorimar Dallas - Romeo/Juliet and their feuding families in Texas, Cain vs. Abel

I watched TNT Dallas back then vigorously, not because I truly liked it, but because I waited for the story to pick up and get some direction because the potential was there.
The drug storyline was symptomatic for this shortcoming - it came out of the blue and would have probably been forgotten in the fourth season.

The show had many shortcomings - the inconsistent writing, the disregard of the shows' history, pointless cameos... but that's just small potatoes if the baseline of the series remains unclear.
 

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You'd expect a fight for Ewing Oil/Southfork/position in the Ewing family.
You have nailed it with that comment because the trailer for TNT Dallas tells us what to expect...

It showed the important things; JR, Bobby, Sue Ellen, John Ross, Christopher and a glimpse of Ray and Lucy. And Bobby's opening dialogue is everything I could have hoped for. "All those fights over Ewing Oil and Southfork...."

How this trailer had me salivating my favourite series of all time was returning to the small screen.​
 

Willie Oleson

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Successful shows can be described in a few simple words:
No they cannot.

Breaking Bad - How will this drug business end for all parties involved?
Yes, that, and everything else including the wonderful The Fly episode. How can you reduce many hours of goodness to a simple tagline?
Maybe it simplifies the discussion but it doesn't reflect reality.
I feel there are two versions of TNT DALLAS: the series uncut (with or without deleted scenes) and the internet-discussion-version. It's really bizarre sometimes.
 

the-lost-son

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Yes, that, and everything else including the wonderful The Fly episode. How can you reduce many hours of goodness to a simple tagline?
Maybe it simplifies the discussion but it doesn't reflect reality.
The episode Fly was great, but polarizing. Loved by critics, disliked by some due to its lack of action and absence of the majority of the shows' characters.
It was an episode of the third season. Breaking bad had already become a cultural phenomenon when "Fly" aired.
Fans got along with this unusual episode because the concept had been established at that point.

As you probably know, the series hardly survived its first season. As the producers managed to portray a clear concept of their series until that point, they could "afford episodes like "Fly" (instead of alienating parts of the audience)

Something TNT Dallas could not.

No they cannot.
:) so let's agree to disagree
 
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Caproni

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I recall watching the TNT rendition of DALLAS when it originally premiered with my father. I hadn't seen the original show when I watched the TNT series, so I'd have to say that I did enjoy the newer show when I first watched it. Having seen the original since, I'd say that the TNT version wasn't nearly as good as the CBS original, but I'd argue that it had definite potential to have a lengthier run with a newer audience. (I mean, look at the CW reboot of DYNASTY. Almost no one's watching it on TV, but it's on like it's fourth season now.)

As a tidbit, I remember my father once saying that he liked the new DALLAS because "the stories moved quicker", or something to that effect.
 

Willie Oleson

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As the producers managed to portray a clear concept of their series until that point, they could "affordp Eisodes like "Fly"
I agree with you, this particular episode would have been a little too abstract so early on in this series.
But the off-beat vibe was already strongly represented in its first season (e.g. the 5 minutes talking pillow intervention).
Either way, my point wasn't about the Fly Episode or how it connects or doesn't connect to Dallas. I meant to say that Breaking Bad and many other series is more than just a concept.
And maybe that's also what allows a soap opera to be more than just a soap opera, if they're willing to make an effort.
It's all those many things that would get lost in translation if you'd put it on paper (or computer screen).

After I had watched the 2017 movie MOTHER! I read the reviews and the concept was explained to me. I thought, wow, that's really clever, but it didn't make me like the movie more.
I had taken it at face value and loved every minute of it. If anything, the explanation took a little bit away from that unique and personal experience.

As you probably know, the series hardly survived its first season
I didn't know that, and it surprises me. Or maybe not, considering that Dynasty hardly surived their first season.
so let's agree to disagree
Oh it's not just about disagreement. It's also the conversation itself and sharing opinions. It often helps me to understand my own thoughts.
Always look on the bright side of disagreement:lol:
What would have been real pay off for me would have been Sue Ellen begging John Ross to get her out and John Ross telling her he's not returning to her drinking like when he was a kid, it's not happening. He was a weak kid but now he's not. That would have been pay off, John Ross and Sue Ellen confronting their problems - because they shouldn't just go away because the writer doesn't want to go there or is too lazy to do so or just has no clue.
I think one the worst things they could have done is trying to "fix" that complicated relationship.
Reconciliations in soaps usually don't (and probably shouldn't) last very long. Great soap is like a dance between plot development (no matter how far-fetched) and character drama, and personally I feel that's what we got from Sue Ellen and John Ross.
1627919419981.png


Pity you didn't mention Sue Ellen acknowledging her disease after the Southfork fire. That wasn't only a payoff for TNT Dallas but also the entire journey of this iconic TV character.
First you got the thrill of the fire itself and right after that the emotional confrontations in the hospital.
Sometimes it works to give certain storylines closure - Knots Landing did that very well - but for the main cast it's more effective when a storyline morphes into the next one. It's a soap and it needs to go on and on.
 

Rove

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he liked the new DALLAS because "the stories moved quicker"
I don't mind if the story moves a little quicker, it's what most series today are built on. In its heyday Lorimar Dallas could potentially go over 30 episodes in a season, but they were different times. That said, I never tired of it. If Dallas today produced a 15 episode series it could easily be done but the writers need to ensure they have a strong story arc to flow thru a short season. It could make for a thrilling ride.
 
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