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DVD TV Show Reviews
Dallas: The Complete Fourteenth Season
Review by Suzanne 2/6/11
I watched the entire run of "Dallas" back when it first aired.
It was a very good soap opera and because of its success, there were many good
primetime soap operas to follow, such as Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and Knots
Landing, and then later Melrose Place and 90210. Dallas was not the first
successful primetime soap opera, but it was one of them, and one of the best.
When the show first started, it was all about how Bobby brought
formerly-poor-girl Pam home after marrying her.
The first 7 years of the show were great. In my opinion, it started to lose
something when they killed off Bobby (played by Patrick Duffy). The greatness of
the show came in part from the struggle between good and evil, as represented by
J.R. and Bobby, so when Bobby left, it made a great wound in the show that never
healed. Season Eight was pretty bad. At the beginning of season nine, they had
the now-famous scene where Pam woke up, went into the shower, and found Bobby
alive and well. This made season 8 all a dream. Unfortunately they killed off
Pam at the end of that season, and it was also pretty devastating to the show.
It undoubtedly gave Bobby more to do, especially romantically, but for those of
us who pulled for Bobby and Pam, it was hard to enjoy the show after that. The
ratings started falling in season 8 and never recovered. It also didn't help
when Miss Ellie was recast after her portrayer died. The show's writing became
more and more realistic over the years.
I still watched the show, though, because I loved J.R., Bobby and the rest, even
when it was ridiculous or hard to watch. I thought J.R. being thrown in jail and
having to work in a chain gang was the low point of the series. He also takes up
with a girl so young that it seems way too indecent, even for him. Later, he
also goes into a mental institution, which is almost as bad as the prison story.
When they brought in J.R.'s illegitimate son, James, I hated it because he was a
terrible actor. The show was definitely at its best when J.R. was fighting with
either Cliff or Bobby. Sometimes J.R. would win, and sometimes he would lose
(but not for long). That was why it was fun to watch.
Season 14, which is now out on DVD, was the final season of the show. They were
clearly desperate to bring back viewers. They left Dallas for a while to have
episodes in Paris, which didn't really work. They had tons of guest stars like
Susan Lucci Barbara Eden, Joel Grey, and Lesley-Anne Down, but it really didn't
help. J.R. is particularly pathetic in the last episode of the series, and it
doesn't end well. I really hated that last episode because it looked like J.R.
shot himself, which is very out of character for him. However, they did some
sequel movies later on that showed that this was not the case, so that was
great. They were also very well written, good movies. I look forward to seeing
them come out on DVD as well.
It's great to finally have the final season to add to the whole collection. I
would say if you are going to buy the whole series, you should definitely get
this one. I'm not sure it's really worth it, otherwise. However, the last
episode is worth seeing because they tried to do something very unusual by
having a kind of "It's a Wonderful Life" episode with J.R.
The Dallas DVD's do not have any extras, which is a real shame. I would have
loved to have seen some specials and behind the scenes extras, and have the cast
discuss the show. I read that they are going to make a new Dallas and recast the
characters. I don't know how they are going to do it, but it sounds interesting.
Some of the original cast members will be in the show, so that will be great to
You can see Larry Hagman (J.R.) acting again in "Desperate Housewives". Patrick
Duffy (Bobby) is seen regularly on "The Bold and the Beautiful" on CBS.
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