Review of "Dallas: The Complete Fourteenth Season" From The TV MegaSite
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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 see.

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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Updated 2/6/11  


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