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"Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer!" (J.R Ewing)
Graham Watson4 May 2006
Dallas has to be one of the greatest ever TV shows, because it had all of the attributes for entertainment. It had great characters, good writers and story lines that ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime. Oh how easy it was to run an an oil company! Watching Dallas was pure fantasy, it's simply what makes TV fun and relaxing, take out an hour from the real world and enjoy, for people who saw the show they know what I mean!

So there we were introduced to the Ewing's who were in a bitter feud with the Barnes. However it was the biggest mismatch since George Foreman pounded Joe Frazier into the canvas 6 times in two rounds in the 1973 heavyweight title fight. The Ewing's led by JR body-slammed Cliff Barnes around for the first two seasons. In reality it was not a fair contest, a multimillion dollar family with connections up against a small town lawyer were always going to come out on top! However, that was to change as the series progressed. Of course the show quickly centered on JR (played by Larry Hagman) and the writers created a character that people would really hate; he had no problem playing fast and lose with other peoples lives.

So what did JR do that upset so many people! Swindled and cheated the cartel on more than one occasion, blackmailed politician's and government officials into helping him with his crooked deals, had the police set people up on phony charges as he had much of Braddock and Dallas police dept in his payroll. However JR wasn't satisfied with just tormenting the powerful, his family were not spared either, he was instrumental in trying to break up both Bobby, Garry and his mothers marriage's on numerous occasions. Cheated on his wife so many times that he turned her into an alcoholic and had her committed to a sanitarium. Government regulations were also no obstacle to his ambitions. He defied a State department embargo and illegally sold oil to Cuba, instigated a military coup in some oil rich country in Asia and risked a middle east war by hiring mercenaries to blow up Saudi Arabian oil fields to jack up the price of oil, and finally had a run in with the CIA and the Justice Department.

It was not just Cliff Barnes he wreaked havoc on, other people were fair game too. He betrayed, conned and left many of his subordinates, business associates and former lovers twisting in the wind, either in jail, broke or on the run from the police. As a consequence of his meddling, reputations were ruined family relationships were left in tatters and ambitions shattered as he turned his back or double crossed some of his closest confidants. It doesn't get any better than this! Not surprisingly the phrase "I'll get you JR if it's the last thing I'll do" or "you'll pay for this JR" both became fairly regular clichés as they all vowed revenge! As I write this I can count at least 5 attempts on JR's life as they tried to get even.

Many would say that the golden years of Dallas were the 1978-82 seasons. That's probably true, all the characters were developed through those seasons and I think Dallas had it's highest ratings. However my personal favorites were the 1987-1990 (the last series was poor)! In 1986 with the series tottering on the edge, the writers took a chance and despite ridicule brought back the character Bobby by making the previous season all a dream. It was a risk but they resuscitated a series by binning the most boring and tired looking season in 1985/86 (and that's according to Larry Hagman too) as never happening and therefore having a fresh start to the series.

To start with not everything went JRs way he lost Ewing oil, Sue Ellen started to get her act together and fight back on equal terms, Pam left the series and Bobby became a more aggressive character without her. It was a brave attempt by the creators to revive the series and they certainly pulled it off, Dallas never would have lasted as long if they had not done it! They filmed in locations such as Austria, France , Russia and gave a higher profile to the skin crawling Jeremy Wendell head of Weststar and after his exit he was followed by the lager than life Carter Mackay, who kept up the pressure on JR and the Ewing's far more than the cartel.

Some of the story lines introduced scenarios from movies such as COOL HAND Luke when JR was sentenced to hard time on a chain gang , or ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST when JR in bizarre scheme bribed a judge to commit him into a puzzle house to find out information from Clayton's mentally ill sister. Even Bobby was not spared, on his trip to Paris his wife April was kidnapped very much a story similar to the 1987 movie FRANTIC.

With the proliferation of satellite and cable TV the major networks sensitive to their advertising revenue delved into trash TV and the half hour sitcoms which are cheap to make. Just over the horizon audience participation shows i.e. Opra, Rikki Lake and Springer and dopey half hour sit-come's were awaiting and if you were to fast forward looming ahead were the so called reality TV shows of the late 1990's.

Dallas was the first of the glam soaps and the second last to be canceled (1991). Was it all more entertaining than what's on today, well you be the judge!
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Once In A Lifetime
jrewingfan14 August 2005
Dallas is a once in a lifetime show and experience. From 1978 to 1991 the series ran on CBS. Larry Hagman was by far the standout actor. His portrayal of J.R. Ewing is without comparison. Hagman takes the role and chews it up. This series was so much better than any other prime time soap. Dynasty jumped the shark with its alien arc, Dallas never went that route. All of its plot lines were very feasible and probable. The death of Jim Davis (Jock Ewing) drove storyline for many, many more years. I am saddened at the recent death of Barbara Bel Geddes, (Miss Ellie). For anyone looking for a good, drama driven, emotion filled TV series this is the show for you. I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the DVD release of the remaining seasons. I have worn out Seasons 1 and 2, and just received Season 3. Once In A Lifetime and Classic. Enjoy!!
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There will be only one Dallas!
Syl1 November 2006
I can't believe that Dallas is being made into a film starring John Travolta as J.R. Ewing. There will only be one J.R. Ewing and that's Larry Hagman. I don't care if he is too ill to play him but I can't imagine another J.R. Ewing. I remember watching Dallas on Friday nights after another southern show, Dukes of Hazzard. I always thought Dallas was great show always entertaining with a stellar cast besides Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Victoria Principal, Barbara Bel Geddes, George Kennedy, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy, Priscilla Presley, Charlene Tilton, etc. This was one show that was quite entertaining to watch on Friday nights. Sure, it was silly sometimes but you can't beat Dallas not with the original cast. It was quite a show of the 1980s.
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Good story
nablaquadro10 January 2007
When Dallas was aired for the first times in the 80s I was a child and I couldn't appreciate it yet. Since last September, when a satellite channel proposed again this Soap Opera, I had a small crush of it. I became fond of J.R.'s intrigues, his rivalry with Bobby and Cliff Barnes, the beautiful Pamela and nice Miss Ellie.

Dallas' strength is the plot. Not completely concerned about love and betrayals (typical but annoying), the Ewing Oil battles can move even the male audience transforming the Soap in a TV-series. Jim Davis' death (the mythical Jock, R.I.P.) put a lot of fuel in the "engines" with the legacy questions and relations getting worse. J.R.'s Machiavellian plans filled the script of amusing and caustic irony, always enjoyable.

The recitative level wasn't so great; all the actors, actually, had their height in this series, but the general quality is decent. Except for Ken Kercheval and Steve Kanaly, which proved to be good actors giving a great shape to their characters, challenging J.R. at any cost. Special mention to Charlene Tilton, which is really beautiful and should have had greater relief in the story.

Ending too late, in 1991 (2-3 years too many), the story was slowly plagued by script tricks and poorly credible deaths or departures, compromising its heritage made of several Emmys and 1 Golden Globe won.

6,5 / 10
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Greatest TV soap ever by a long way
sophieahmed21 January 2012
Dallas was and still is a TV phenomenon. It took the model of the tired old American soap and turned it into something fresh, fascinating and compelling watched by millions of people around the world. It used for the first time the device of the cliffhanger at the end of the season to keep people coming back for more. Personally I believe the 1981-1984 central seasons were its high point with the titanic struggle between JR and Bobby for control of Ewing Oil plus other strong story lines.

What was the secret of its success and longevity? I believe this is down to 3 factors.

1. The story lines cleverly combined subjects that would appeal to a mass audience - love and sex, glamour, money and power, family problems, and controversial subjects for the time e.g. Sue Ellen's alcoholism that attracted interest and raised awareness.

2. Excellent writing with top notch scripts.

3. Superb acting from the key cast team. I have to single out Larry Hagman's performance as JR, I have never seen any performance to match it in any TV drama. He completely got under JR's skin and while he showed us what a monster the man was, he also made us aware of his redeeming features (particularly his strong sense of family) so that we never quite lost empathy for him. Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Ken Kercheval also gave remarkable performances as Bobby the 'good' brother who was never boring, Sue Ellen the wronged wife who eventually found a life of her own and Cliff, JR's neurotic, bungling rival who rarely managed to best him.
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The granddaddy of 'em all!
hnt_dnl11 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
When you think influential television shows, DALLAS should be near or at the top of your list. It is on mine! DALLAS was the first really great nighttime soap opera. In reality, it started the genre. There were later shows that followed and were even at times more popular (the spin off KNOTS LANDING, the stylish and classy DYNASTY, the forgotten stepchild FALCON CREST), but DALLAS was the first.

DALLAS is the tale of the rich, powerful oil family the Ewings, who reside in Braddock County, Texas, right outside of Big D. The patriarch is John Ross "Jock" Ewing, an old school oil baron who did it the hard way, wildcatting and working in the oil fields. The matriarch is Eleanor Southworth, "Miss Ellie" Ewing, the heart and soul of the family. The land that contains the Ewing's ranch and home is from her side of the family, but she and Jock own it jointly b/c Jock saved the family land when they were about to lose it back in the day. So at first, it was a marriage of convenience, but they quickly fell in love and had 3 sons: Gary, Bobby, and the eldest John Ross Ewing Jr., or as we all know him: JR!

For me, JR Ewing is one of the top 2 or 3 characters in all of TV history. Played by the great Larry Hagman, there has never been or ever will be another character like JR. Hagman imbibed JR with a no-nonsense, larger-than-life, unapologetic style that can never be copied. The best TV villain ever! Hagman had a great supporting cast that complimented him: Patrick Duffy (the saintly younger brother Bobby), Linda Gray (JR's alcoholic, self-destructive, but SEXY wife Sue Ellen), Victoria Principal (Bobby's wife Pamela Barnes Ewing, the daughter of Jock's old rival Digger Barnes), Ken Kercheval (Pam's brother and JR's biggest rival Cliff Barnes), Steve Kanaly (Jock's illegitimate son and ranch foreman Ray Krebbs), Susan Howard (Ray's wife and political activist Donna Culver Krebbs), Lucy Ewing (prodigal son Gary's daughter and a spitfire of a young lady) and the aforementioned legends Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie) and Jim Davis (Jock).

The style and set design, in addition to the great characters, of DALLAS is what really draws you in: the beautiful Dallas spots, the expansive Texas scenery, the restaurants, offices, etc. Also, the fashion is great: chic, classy for the females and cowboy boots and suits for the males! And of course, DALLAS had the ultimate cliffhanger: Who shot JR! Perhaps the most memorable cliffhanger (and maybe the real first one) in all of TV history. I remember it as a kid and it still resonates with me today. But let's face it: the greatness of DALLAS can be summed up with two letters: J and R!
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Sex! Oil! Family! Everything Television should be!!
MickeyTo16 September 1999
Dallas garners its own chapter in the history of television for several reasons. In its heyday this show was very popular! (The Who Shot JR episode remains one of the most watched programs of all time.) Dallas defined the 80's as the 'ME' generation, big hair and Republican values! JR Ewing takes his place as one of fictions most notorious villains. And the show itself conquered new territory. It was trashy television ... with bite!

The story centers around the Ewing family. Their lives center around oil and power (two things that mixed well in the 1980's). Their nemisis is the family Barnes, bitter rivals continuously looking for their fair share of an empire that they claim they helped to build.

The series opens up as Bobby Ewing brings home his new wife Pamela, first daughter to the Barnes family. The soap opera takes off and the sparks fly.

Over a 13 year run the show deals with all sorts of issues. Alcoholism (Sue Ellen is fabulous when she is sloppy!), infidelity, (JR sleeps with just about anyone with a skirt), drugs, impotence, politics, down syndrome, sibling rivalry, neurofibromatosis, breast cancer, divorce, child custody, homosexuality and physical abuse. And what's so great is that it deals with none of these topics well.

Dallas is not a show to be taken seriously, at least not on a cerebral level. If you want serious drama, watch Hill Street Blues. If you want something preachy, watch Facts of Life. Dallas is best watched with brain waves turned down to their lowest level, with a grain of salt and with an ear for catty drama!

Best storyline: Sue Ellen's drinking causes her to have the baby prematurely. No one knows for sure who the baby's real father is (Cliff or JR) - but Pam had better find out soon as she has just learned that she and Cliff are carrying a gene that could kill any children they intend to have. Complicated? Yes. But you gotta love it!
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The show that re-defined prime time soaps
k_dizzle_scarface_nizzle17 November 2004
This show literally changed prime-time television for the better. The show centers around the lives, loves and scandals of the Ewings, a family of oil-rich barons who reside in-where else?-Dallas. When the

show started on CBS in the spring of 1978, the show centered around the "Romeo & Juliet" love story of Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and Pamela Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal), the daughter of the Ewings' arch enemy Digger Barnes. Story lines, and ratings. changed for the better when DALLAS refocused on the devilish dealings of Bobby's oldest brother John Ross "JR" Ewing, Jr. (Larry Hagman. DALLAS reached the peak of its' popularity when JR was shot in the spring of 1980. For years, the show would remain at the top of the ratings until it started getting competition first from ABC's "Dynasty" and then NBC's "The Cosby Show". DALLAS' ratings was never the same after 1986 when Pam dreamed the entire 1985-1986 season. The show ran until 1991, when low ratings virtually killed it. It also spun off the longest-running prime-time soap ever, KNOTS LANDING.
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A groundbreaker, in so many ways
"Dallas" created some HUGE TV moments ... J.R. Ewing's shooting, the "Dream Season" and Bobby returning in the shower ...

Beyond that, though, I especially loved the writing of "Dallas," particularly in the working of J.R.'s various schemes, both at the Ewing Oil offices and offsite. He was just-plain the master manipulator, and while I don't encourage anyone to aspire to this kind of mastery(!), it sure was FUN to watch him in action! Yikes! The way he executed those deals seemed to set the show apart from rivals like "Dynasty."

I enjoyed the way the show evolved in the later seasons. In the last two seasons, in particular, there seemed to be this sophisticated edge that avoided insulting the viewer (as sometimes the campiness of "Dynasty" could). While "Dynasty" was busy being flashy (and hey, I liked that, too -- I was a teen when it originally aired, after all), "Dallas" was playing the game just a bit cooler, calmer, a touch more complicated. Plus, Jeannie aside, Larry Hagman was BORN to do that role. Meow!
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Kind Of a very long "Godfather" TV-saga.
tomasg-6981426 August 2016
Well, I just want to publish my very own personal review about this global smash hit. And keep it that way.

Liked it A lot when it was on screen here in Sweden during the years about 1981-1993(?). (Some 2-3 year delay from U.S prime time.) That was a usual standard for American TV shows for European watchers by then.... (National television was Russian style in Sweden too, you know.) Got curious when my mother got hooked on the Ewing/Barnes feud, myself being just seven years old at the time. (I naturally didn't get so much out of it then.)

What was meant by the creators of "DALLAS" to be a five act drama TV show with the troublesome marriage between Bobby Ewing and Pamela Barnes in center, grows to be the major series of the 80's. (The response from the viewers after some episodes were so good that the producers called for an extension.)

We were allowed to get into the flesh of a family, with sons and daughters always fought each other for power and wellness. Office suits mixed with rancher blue jeans. Oil business and kettle care in the same sweet melody.

When the DALLAS show was released over here on DVD in a "two season per year-plan" in the early 00's, It was time to take the trip all over again. During a six year period, I consistently dug deeply into it season by season during free time, and enjoyed it to the fullest.

The Southfork Ranch almost became my own living room.

Not A member of A fan base, I want to share my own profit of taking the trip from start to finish:

"The Jock Ewing Years" are/were DALLAS at it's best. Jim Davis was the Brando of the Ewings, without doubt. The plot of the whole show was more centered and interesting while he was present. The screen writers re-grouped the three sons of an oil-mafia matriarch, surly in a "godfather" style. Late Larry Hagman (R.I.P) was the senior son J.R, the natural heir of the throne. Always thinking business, besides the hunger for women as a pleasure. Stone cold and calculating, he smashed every fly that came around him trying to steal his limelight.

2nd son Gary was placed beside in script, for several reasons. (Fans aware of "Knots Landing", uh?)

Baby brother Bobby eventually took the fight with his older brother for the captain's seat; after having his "easy living"-years he rapidly learn the business, but a little too late to ever compete with his way too superior brother, who were always one step ahead.

(Actor Patrick Duffy once said that an early take with Larry Hagman, which included some physical acting, ending up with Hagman laughing at his opponent's bad acting, was a real boost to shape up, and never feel minor in acting skills to Larry in a scene ever again.)

Cowboy Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly), the janitor of SF ranch, grows highly during this long history of the Ewings. Starting as kind of a youth manservant to them, he turns out to be more family than anybody of the Ewings ever dreamed of. (My personal favorite down to earth personality figure during the whole saga.) Forced into a world he never wanted to be part of.

On the opposite side, One Cliff Barnes always moaning of his father's stolen piece in the Ewings wealth, him being a partner to Jock Ewing in their oil "teen-years". (But drank it away.) Cliff B builds his own castle, but keeps up having hard time to compete with old J.R Ewing as Texas Oil Baron no. 1. Some good strikes on the way for Clifford, from time to time, always gave the series some fresh air and a forward push.

The family drama went on for years and years. People comes and goes. Weddings, barbecue parties, and some good fist fights at the annual Oil Baron's Ball. Liquor for breakfast, coffee for lunch. Heavy fuel for hard people.

Halfway the series gets a little stalled, but the writers kept on finding new and sometimes cheer ways to keep the story going on.

Yes, there's alcoholic intoxicated wives on the way.

It's getting kind of silly around the "dream-season" alright. (A solution created because of the actors big egos $....)

But I kept on watching it after that anyway, didn't I?

And did I love the ride?

YES. To the final "shot".
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One of the best T.V series ever
hcalderon121 January 2005
It had great actors and beautiful settings. Power, wealth, and suspense, this show had it all. Larry Hagman was great as the evil J.R Ewing, you just really love hating him. Patrick Duffy known as Bobby Ewing played as J.R younger brother, he was a nice guy compared to J.R in the shows. Victoria Principal was terrific as Pam Barns Ewing known as Bobby Ewing wife, she was a good character that stood her ground. Jim Davis known as Jock Ewing J.R and Bobby's dad was a eager and strong hearted person, it was sad that he passed away before the 4th season. Dallas Kept you in suspense through the whole especially when J.R got shot after the 3rd season. The Ewing family always kept people in the community about what went on at Southport Ranch.
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Prime-time at its finest hour....Hats off to "Dallas"!
raysond21 May 2003
For the 14 seasons that it ran on CBS-TV(1978-1992),"Dallas" was an American institution of television bliss. The show itself has stood the test of time and one of the longest-running prime time shows in the history of television. "Dallas" is second to shows that have been around longer,but it still holds its ground to classic shows like "Bonanza"(NBC,1959-1973),"Gunsmoke"(CBS,1955-1975),"Ozzie and Harriett"(ABC,1953-1966),"Lassie"(CBS,1954-1971),"Murder,She Wrote"(CBS,1981-1996),and "Knots Landing"(CBS,1979-1993) for longetivity. Only two other shows had match its longest streak,"The Simpsons",and the cop show "Law and Order" are on the same level as Dallas,but both are nearing their series completion.

Only "Gunsmoke",and "The Ed Sullivan Show",were on for over 20 years and these have been the longest-running shows ever to run on television.

Once the show unfolded every Friday night at 9pm eastern time on CBS-TV,you knew what to expect or what would be the unexpected. Viewers were glued to their sets to see what surprises would occur within the Ewing family. They were shocked to find out who J.R. would con,how Bobby would uphold the honor and tradition of the family name,and what would Sue Ellen do for another drink,and how far will Lucy(the baby of the family)go to find a love or end up in a turbulant relationship since she was always into something. Viewers were also introduced to new characters on the show that were involving in the scandals,backstabbing,and total bitchery that were inflicted in the goings on within the Ewing household.

The episode that everyone will remember will be the one where the question was answered,"Who Shot J.R.?",remains to this day one of the most watched shows in television history. They was always something going on within the show,with great characters,great stories,you knew this show was a prime time gem and a huge ratings winner for CBS. After the series when off the air,three TV-movies related to Dallas were featured including one where the origins of Jock Ewing were revealed and how he mastered an Texas Empire.

Its amazes me more that this show is not on anywhere these days,but it needs to be shown. Classic TV.
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Bring Dallas Back On Air
Big Movie Fan13 December 2002
Actually, I don't wish to see Dallas back on air. It was a superb series but I'd much rather remember it the way it was.

As everyone knows, the show revolved around the life of an oil-rich family which included the wicked J.R. Ewing, Gary Ewing and Bobby Ewing. J.R.'s wife was Sue Ellen who caused him no end of problems during the series.

The show was realistic to begin with. Well, it was realistic in a TV kind of way. It had some great stories at times including the classic 1980 storyline-Who Shot J.R.? This was a good period in the show's history. However, a short while after that, things went downhill.

Everyone knows about the story where Bobby was killed but returned a season later and the viewers learnt that Bobby's wife Pamela had dream the past year's storylines. This was just a complete lack of credibility and it set a precedent for years to come both with American and British soaps. In Emmerdale in the late 90's, Kim Tate returned from the dead and no doubt a few more soap characters will return. If it happens and you feel cheated, blame Dallas.

However, we all kept watching it after this as the plots became more and more wacky. As for the final episode, it was just complete fantasy but interesting all the same.

All in all though, Dallas was a superb show. I felt cheated at the way Bobby returned from the dead but to be fair, Dallas gave us some entertaining moments and was the inspiration for future shows such as the even crazier Sunset Beach. Yes, Dallas was a good show and I think if they repeated the whole show on TV, I might just become glued to it again.
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The greatest series ever, and my favourite TV show of a ll time!
itsmrbigtoyou3 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
''Dallas'' is the greatest series ever, #2 is ''Knots Landing'', #3 is ''Dynasty'' and #4 is ''Dynasty II: The Colby's''. The series stars out with newly wedded couple Pam and Bobby Ewing returning to Texas state after eloping to New Orleans. Naturally, Bobby's family and her's, the Barnes's, don't exactly see eye to eye on everything. Leave that to Bobby's conniving 14 year's older brother J.R. Ewing. With Pam being the only innocent goldfish in a tank of vicious piranha-like Ewing's. She's gonna have to show and prove to them all that she can be just as tough and as determined as them all, and that she is here to stay at SouthFork for good. Each season of the show added more spice and zest to it with more and more character's along with that catchy and well-known theme music, courtesy of Jerrold Immel. ''Dallas'' shaped the TV Schedules of today, and introduced us to many character's and faces such as: Miss Ellie Ewing, played by Barbara Bel Geddes/Donna Reeed: The Matriarch of the powerful Ewings, Jock Ewing I played by Jim Davis: The father of Ray, Bobby, J.R. II, and Gary, Bobby James Ewing played by Patrick Duffy: the goody-two-shoes Ewing brother, Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing II: the shows major bad guy, Victoria Principal Glassman/ Margaret Michales as Pam Ewing: the sweetheart wife of Bobby, Charlene Tilton as Lucy Cooper: the spoiled brat daughter of Gary and Val, Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing: the alcoholic ex wife of J.R., Steve Kanaly as Husky ranch foreman Ray Krebbs Ewing: The illegitimate child of Jock, Ken Kercheval as Cliff Barnes: the brother of Pam, Susan Howard as Donna Krebbs Ewing:politician wife of Ray, Howard Keel as Clayton Farlow: second husband of Miss Ellie, Morgan Fairchild/Francine Tacker and Priscilla Beaulieu Presley as Jenna Wade: childhood honey of Bobby, Dack Rambo as Jack Ewing: Bobby-like cousin of the Ewing's, Sheree J. Wilson as April Ewing: Jack's ex-wife, Bobby's second wife, Kimberly Foster as Michelle Beaumont: sister of April, George Kennedy as Mack: Ewings enemy, Cathy Podewell as Cally Ewing: second wife of J.R., Sasha Mitchell as James Beaumont Ewing: J.R.'s illegitimate son, Lesley Anne Down as Stephanie Rogers: P.R. woman of J.R., Barbara Stock as Heather/Liz Adams: love of Cliff's life is final season, Colleen Camp/Mary Crosby as Kristin Farraday: Sue Ellen's baby sister, Joel Grey as Adam: J.R.'s guardian Angel, George Chakiris/Jack Scalia as Nicholas: Sue Ellen's toy-boy in season 10, David Ackroyd/Ted Shackelford as Gary: Lucy's father, Joan VanArk as Val Ewing: Lucy's mother, Rosalind Allen as Annie Ewing/Julia Cunningham: Bobby's love interest in 1996, Eric Farlow/Joshua Harris/Christopher Demetral as Christopher Ewing: Kristin's real son, fostered by Pam then Bobby, Tyler Banks/Omri Katz as John Ross III: Sue Ellen's love child of her, Cliff and J.R., Jenna Pangburn/Deborah Kellner as Pamela Cooper: Cliff's illegitimate daughter, Audrey Landers as Afton Van Buren: Cliff's one-time lover, Tracy Scoggins as Diane Kelley/Anita Smithfield: one of J.R.'s many mistresses, Michelle Johnson as Rhonda Cummings/Jennifer Jantzen: another misaddress of J.R.. Series creator: David Michael Jacobs.
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Dallas - the Soap with Balls!
paul_adams392 July 2012
Dallas is the greatest TV series of all time - sure it's a guilty pleasure, escapist fantasy but extremely well done - compare this with utter drivel like Dynasty ( as Terry Wogan more accurately called it "Dysentery"!)

There's something - and someone - in it for everyone:- big business wheeling and dealing, bar-room brawls, love affairs, all the other Soap Opera staples - but with an unlimited expense account.

Strong male characters - Bobby, Ray, Jock, Clayton;

Strong female characters - Miss Ellie, Pam, Donna;

The most lovable villain ever created - JR Ewing, superbly played by Larry Hagman and then there's Sue Ellen, the equally superb Linda Gray, who is in a category all of her own.

At its mid-80s peak the most gorgeous women on the planet - and they're not made of plastic either.

Up until the infamous dream season - and thats 8 years into the show's run - even the slightly silly elements are kept within bounds and is part of its charm ( ie. the poison dwarf, only having one phone and one servant in the early series etc).

And of course, there's THAT theme music/opening credits!
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The Good the bad the ugly!
mm-3925 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I do not like Soap Operas and I liked Dallas. The Good: Character development was great. The mean, get it done boy father Jock Ewing gave a real old school Oilman feel. Jock was the only character to keep J R in line. Hagman's gave the J R character a slick, dirty, aggressive I the antagonist who plays the game better and harder then anyone else. Bobby J R 's brother was good, fair tough was J R's counter balance for the show. The mom, Ray, Lucy etc were side character which played minor roles and had side stories, which balance the script out. Sue Ellen and Cliff Barns were the punching bag characters for J R! J R stood out and was most of the show. The hat, wicked smile, laugh, and sarcasm made for a juicy script. J R would have an affair, underhand dealing with company, and fight a feud with Cliff and or Sue Ellen. sometimes both at a time. The bad: When Jock died J R's counter balanced died, and made the show too much about J R. After six years Dallas ran out of good ideas. Dallas became formulated. Who's having sex with who? What miss understanding/getting burnt deal is going happen now. After the who shot J R series Dallas slowly faded away. The ugly: When Bobby died and came back in the shower it was all a dream episode many people stopped watching Dallas. Cast was leaving and or being replaced with new actors for the same characters. Stories got more and more over the top. The final 3 years of the series became just ugly. Still a T V icon show. J R is a T V character icon. Even if the series went way too long, Dallas is the gold standard of T V soaps. High budget, and prime time. 7 or 8 out of 10 stars.
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Compared to some current real life people, J.R. Ewing is a classy pussycat.
mark.waltz30 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
At least he had charm. At least he had Jock and Miss Ellie to look up to. At least he had Jeannie in a bottle. Oh wait, wrong show. Larry Hagman went from perplexed astronaut on a hit sitcom to one of the greatest villains in broadcast history, and even today, outside of the final episode of "MASH". nobody can top the ratings in finding out "Who shot J.R.?" Decades after the show went off the air and a couple of TV movies, "Dallas" was brought back with Hagman once again holding the reigns, and when he passed away, it was obvious that the new "Dallas" could not go on without him. Rather than have J.R. die like any normal 80 something year old would, J.R. was murdered, and something tells me that this is exactly how he wanted to go, pulling the strings and still fully feisty, and yet smarter than most people in charge and lovable in spite of all those evil schemes on his roster.

The original "Dallas" brought back the prime-time soap as daytime soaps were at their height, the Luke & Laura years just around the bend, and the success of this show changed the serial format of daytime TV as pretty much every daily soap brought in a power hungry patriarch businessman to run the show and emulate what was going on at Southfork and at Ewing oil. From "Dallas", we got a spin-off (the classy "Knot's Landing"), a campy hit rip-off ("Dynasty") and a replacement of oil for wine ("Falcon Crest"), but they owe it all to "Dallas". Without J.R., there would be no Palmer Cortlandt, no Asa Buchannan, no Alan Spaulding (he might have been introduced before J.R., but the "Guiding Light" patriarch really developed even more after "Dallas" was created).

Where there was bad, there had to be good, and as bad as J.R. was, there was still some good in him, seen every time he felt that he was losing control of his baby-doll wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) who got a backbone in season 3 and divorced him after finding out he had slept with her own sister. Good brother Bobby (Patrick Duffy) fought to keep his love for Pamela Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal) from being destroyed by his brother's schemes, but the animosity between J.R. and Pamela's equally scheming brother Cliff (Ken Kercheval) kept that from happening. The Barnes/Ewing feud went back decades, but with matriarchs Miss Ellie and Rebecca being friends, it seemed not to be of the Capulet/Montague or Hatfield/McCoy variety. It was complex, and even though Miss Ellie had once been involved with Pamela's father, that didn't pass on in resentment to Pamela's mother. Barbara Bel Geddes and Priscilla Pointer shared a great dynamic, and when they decided to kill off Rebecca, I was sorely disappointed.

Over the years, there were some great regular cast members and many guest stars. David Wayne and Keenan Wynn as Digger, Tina Louise as J.R.'s lovelorn first secretary who didn't get stranded on an island, but ended up face down on pavement after being tossed off a roof; MGM musical star Howard Keel, initially recurring, and later a regular as Miss Ellie's second husband, Clayton; Alexis Smith as his psychotic sister who locked Miss Ellie in a car trunk; Audrey Landers as the luscious Afton Cooper, lover of both J.R.'s and Bobby's; "Three's Company" veteran Jenilee Harrison as a Ewing cousin; Dack Rambo as her brother; and of course, other regulars like Steve Kanaly as the illegitimate Ewing, Susan Howard as his ethical wife who stood up to J.R. with every immoral act he tried to commit, and of course, the diminutive but irrepressible Charlene Tilton as Ewing granddaughter Lucy who unknowingly slept with her uncle.

The complexities of the series are too numerous to mention, but if you start from season one and get at least through the episode before Bobby "died" (then came back after a season where everything was wiped out), you can see how very "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" this is. Bobby and J.R. both had sisters-in-laws who shot them, and while I could have seen more of Morgan Brittany's Katherine, I was ready to let go of Mary Crosby's Kristen. Veteran movie star Martha Scott was delightfully obnoxious as Sue Ellen and Kristen's mother, a stark contrast to Miss Ellie and Rebecca. Even glimpses of Jock's first wife Amanda (played by soap veteran Lesley Woods and later the elegant Susan French) showed her to be quite gentle, even if suffering from a mental illness that made Jock's wildcatting absences even more stressful. Barbara Bel Geddes' Miss Ellie showed what it was to be a lady, strong and determined, although she needed to give J.R. a wallop and remind him that she could take him down if she needed to. Instead, the writers simply wrote her and Clayton out, making it clear that she was sick of it all, certainly not true to the character. By this time, it was apparent that they didn't care anymore, and in its last couple of seasons, "Dallas" became a shell of itself, almost as ridiculous as "Dynasty". TV movies fooled around with the history even more and the new TV series didn't even acknowledge facts that had been brought up during those times.
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An Iconic show
Kingslaay11 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Dallas can be easily regarded as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time. Excellent plots and twists, acting, brilliant characters, cliffhangers and setting is what gives this show its iconic status.

Viewers are treated to the complications and exciting events that surround the dynamic Ewing family. From Ewing Oil to Southfork Ranch the drama and intensity never seems to stop. Dallas beautifully show us a traditional family structure largely influenced by the Patriarch (Jock) and Matriarch (Miss Ellie). But this is so ordinary or traditional family and every family can be said to have its black sheep. J.R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman, steals the show with his incredible performance as the unscrupulous and scheming oil baron in Dallas. We are treated to a number of schemes and manipulations through the episodes as J.R aims to have his cake and eat it too. In 1980 J.R's schemes had gone too far which led to the biggest event in television history, Who Shot JR? The beauty of this cliffhanger was almost anyone in the show was a suspect, he was that evil. More people in America tuned in to watch who shot JR than vote in the Presidential election. This show also helped make the cliffhanger popular that kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Nowadays many shows use cliffhangers. While the quality of the show declined in its latter seasons the show will be remembered most for its twists and performances of earlier seasons (1-10).

Dallas is as entertaining and relevant as it was then as it is today. The combination of plots, twists, unique setting and great scheming by J.R makes this show timeless. His character and the show will forever occupy a special place in the TV sphere. Evil never dies.
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Reviewers here are a special kind of stupid
fgmorley1 January 2017
You have in this series the very example that this show, a prime time drama for the American public, broke all records for popularity. The bitter elite of critics will always put down the taste of the vast viewing public. Hey wake the Fck Up!

Everyone loves to hate on JR. But he's correct more times than not. He's just an A-hole about it. Pam is an emotional d-bag who cannot ever make her mind. Sue Ellen is a cripple. Miss Ellie is a moron. Clayton Farlow is another d-bag.

Poor Bobby is always caught between his candy-striper idiotic morality and his keeping his do-g behind his zipper.

It's s hoot. And when they replace Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) with Miss Ellie ( Donna Reed), that just goes to show you how popular this show was and still is. It's ridiculous, but WAIT!!!

Bobby gets killed and then comes back in the shower!! The next season!, And people kept watching.

So for those of you rate this at a mediocre 7.0, you are the morons. This show blew everything else away in it's time and would do the same today. Homeland? Chance? Name it you would not even come close.

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Kirpianuscus29 October 2016
to see Dallas for an East European is always a strange experience. under the Communist regime, it was a fairy tale. under the democratic regime - a promise. but, always, in a strange way, more than fiction. because Larry Hagman creates a spectacular bad guy, splendid mixture between Shere Khan and Darth Vader. because it has the gift to be more than one of many soap opera from the same period but a phenomenon. because, its spectacular longevity transforms the viewer in part of story. sure, all is a fiction . but the dose of reality is right for discover the trace of series in every day life. it has the right story and the right actors. this is its success roots. and the seal for a period looking the perfect story for understand the reality escaping from it.
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Review of Dallas Season 5 DVD
DominickMEvans8 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
For the time in which it first aired, Dallas was one of the raciest shows on primetime television. As a child of the 80s, now in my late-20s I grew up watching Dallas, or rather my mother watched it while I was getting ready for bed. However, all these years later, I have to admit I hold a special place in my heart for the show. The actors were amazing, especially since they were television actors, and the story lines were tumultuous enough to be remembered nearly two decades later.

Dallas: The Complete Fifth Season was an excellent season to watch because several of the show's main plot lines had already been established. As a viewer, you were well aware of what you would be getting when you turned on the television on Friday nights, and this season was full of shocking moments and unexpected surprises.

Right from the start, the ultimate Southfork drama occurs. A body is found in a pool on the Southfork property and J.R Ewing (Larry Hagman) becomes the prime suspect! Of course, all of the Ewing brothers spend the show accusing the others of killing the person, so maybe J.R isn't to blame…this time. J.R. has other things on his plate, which are more important than a dead body. He's battling Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) for their son. Sue Ellen and the boy are living on the Ewing family's rival's ranch, and J.R. wants his son back.

Midway into the season, things really heat up when the family patriarch Jock Ewing dies. Let the games begin on the Southfork properties, because while lovely Miss Ellie is grieving, her children will all be fighting for the prestige and money of Ewing Oil. By this point, viewers needed to prepare themselves because there was going to be a knockdown, drag-out fight to the finish – everyone wants their fair share, and a little bit more on the side.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all this craziness, Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and his wife Pamela (Victoria Principal) are both desperate to have a baby. When adoption doesn't go as well as hoped, Bobby does what all Ewings do best, he buys one. Now add in a suicide attempt and the possibility of financial ruin and you have the best of Dallas in one stunning DVD box set.

Excellent performances were given by the entire cast, but, as usual, Hagman and Gray stole the show. However, special kudos should go out to Patrick Duffy, who also gave an amazing performance. This box set has everything a true Dallas fan could want. From murder to treasonous behavior, all the elements are represented and they guarantee to please.

The big special feature for this season of Dallas offers a tour of the Real Southfork Ranch. This is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the ranch the Ewings called home.

All in all, Dallas -The Complete Fifth Season is a Dallas-lover's dream. Watching this particular season made it crystal clear why season five was ranked number one in both the U.S. and the U.K. when the it first aired. If you are a fan, you will not want to miss this box set, and if you are not, but you love the serial dramas of today, you might want to give Dallas a try. Nothing on television these days can compare to the drama of the Ewing clan, and honestly, I doubt anything ever will! Star Rating:

four and a half stars

Originally Published on Thursday, August 24, 2006 Copyright 2006: Ashtyn Evans and Literary Illusions
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If Only They Had Quit While They Were Ahead
parkerr8630229 July 2006
The first four to five seasons represented television at its finest---the show had genuinely compelling characters, story lines, production values, you name it. But after about five years, as is typical of long-running TV shows, the producers and the writers started to run out of ideas. Plot lines grew increasingly absurd, too many ideas were recycled, and when the regular cast members started quitting the show (looking for greener pastures they never found), they were replaced by new characters who were nowhere near as interesting or charismatic---in fact, Morgan Brittany's Katherine Wentworth character remains my own personal nominee for most repellent character in the history of television. Linda Gray reportedly tired of playing Sue Ellen as a drunken harridan, and demanded that producers turn her into a positive role model for women, which took the edge completely off her character. Ditto for Charlene Tilton who reportedly demanded that producers start portraying Lucy as a wholesome young woman instead of the nymphomaniac she started the show as.

The producers started to chicken out as the years went by. Stung by criticism that the show glorified evil, the writers started to have J.R.'s schemes consistently fail, corresponding with increasing scenes of J.R. getting punched out. A potentially lively story had Sue Ellen getting involved with a much younger man (Christopher Atkins), but the producers pulled so many punches with it there were no sparks. At one point, the show implied that a romance between Sue Ellen and the older Clayton Farlow (Howard Keel) was forthcoming---I never spoke to a Dallas fan that didn't want to see them get together, but it never happened; Clayton married Miss Ellie instead.

Bottom line is, buy the first five seasons on DVD and enjoy them, and try to forget the rest of the series ever happened.
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One of my all time favorites.
CKCSWHFFAN7 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
J.R. Ewing is, to me & many others, the top television character ever.

Larry Hagman did a great job with this character.

One of my all time favorite television shows.

For as much as I like it I did not like everything.

NEVER did like the Lucy character. Ray was not a favorite, especially when they made him to be Jock's son. Just the soap opera side of the show working here.

Really liked the Pam & Bobby characters. Liked Donna, Miss Ellie & Clayton.

But, hands down, it was J.R. that was the show.

If I ever was to visit the Dallas area I would like to drive by the ranch that was used for South Fork.

The year being a dream........

Too many bar fights though. Did it not seem every time a cast member went to a bar or night club a fist fight had to start?
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Hard to Believe it's Been So Long Since This Great Series Premiered
Bob-459 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Ross Hunter and Jerry Wald were legendary Hollywood movie producers who made handsomely mounted melodramas with major superstars, such as Lana Turner, Susan Hayward and Jane Wyman. 'Dallas' producer Leonard Katzman created his own TV superstars out the cast of Dallas. Larry Hagman (JR) was primarily known for sitcoms (I Dream of Jeannie). Jim Davis was known for B westerns and supporting roles in A westerns ('Big Jake'). Barbara BelGedes was known as a famous theater actress and for her supporting role in 'Vertigo'. Patrick Duffy had been 'The Man From Atlantis'. Victoria Principal didn't need to be known; take one look and that face and figure and she had your attention. This cast would have been enough to wet your interest; but when Katzman also added remarkable actors like Linda Grey and Ken Kercheval, he had the makings of a classic. Of course you also had dumb cowboy Steven Kanaly and sexpot Charlene Tilton, but their impact on the series was minimal compared with the others, particularly Hagman, Kercheval and Grey. Grey as Sue Ellen, Hagman's long suffering, promiscuous, alcoholic wife, collaborated with Hagman and literally created her part out of whole cloth. If you read creator David Jacobs' novel, you'll find that Sue Ellen is hardly mentioned. In fact, the story is told from Pam Barnes' (Principal) view. Victoria Principal is a tough, beautiful lady and her past personal life (mistress of the rich and famous) was sordid enough to make Sue Ellen a nun by comparison; but Pam Barnes simply not interesting enough a character to propel a series. Since husband Bobby was a good guy, Pam had to be a good girl; and good girls are kinda boring. Thankfully, Hagman, Grey, Kercheval and, to some lesser extent, Duffy became the show's principal (pardon the pun) characters. This was true especially after the death of Jim Davis in 1981. Davis WAS Jock Ewing and WAS the Patriarch of the Ewing family. He was the glue that made the Ewing family stable as well as compelling. 'Dallas' never fully recovered from his loss. Worse, much of Leonard Katzman's writing talent, including his excellent story editor Camille Marchetta, were drafted to work the 'Dallas' spin off, 'Knots Landing'. Minor recurring characters were dispatched in stale, repetitive ways by the mid 80s. Nonetheless, 'Dallas' was glamorous and surprisingly frank for primetime TV. Those elements kept many fans even when the plotting was becoming predictable. Besides, what other series, before or since could claim as delicious a villain as JR. As essayed by an often brilliant Larry Hagman, JR was a master of the abuse of power. Conniving, frequently cowardly, JR was amoral enough to do just about anything to anyone. However, JR was loyal enough to his family to quit before he destroyed any of them. On the occasions he retreated from family destruction JR could be surprisingly gallant. Hagman as JR epitomized 'Dallas,' which is why Hagman is the actor best associated with the show.


When Jim Davis died before shooting began for the season, the producers covered by sent his character on a long journey, then killed him in an aircraft accident. Since Bobby and JR had nearly suffered the same fate the first full season, this seemed a bit contrived. Why not simply have a show eulogizing Davis as had Will Geer received on 'The Waltons'? It seemed as though producer Katzman wanted to milk poor Davis as long as possible. Then Dusty, Sue Ellen's lover, was thought killed in a plane crash (He was simply paralyzed, thus introducing his father, Clayton Farlow [Howard Keel], Miss Ellie's [Bel Geddes] second husband.) Then Priscilla Pointer, who played Pam's mother was killed in a plane crash. Many secondary characters perished by shootings and falling through high rise windows (Doesn't anybody lock their windows in Dallas?) Auto crashes indirectly claimed the lives of Timothy Patrick Murphy, Bobby (temporarily) and later Pam. In Murphy's case, he had AIDS, so his character was written out. In Duffy's case, he arrogantly left the series for a career in the movies. When that didn't work out, Duffy returned to the series in the silliest manner. His 'death' was just a dream. Principal likely saw the handwriting on the wall, and Pam left in the same manner (horribly burned in auto accident) the following season. At least, I THINK that's what happened. I had long since lost interest in 'Dallas'. Nonetheless, 'Dallas' continued for several more years, ending at 13 seasons, the longest running drama in TV history (not counting 'Gunsmoke,' which had started as a half hour series).


'Dallas' was NOT a hit, initially. 'Dallas' started its first full season (fall '78) in the ratings cellar. By mid season, however, 'Dallas' was repeatedly drawing renewable ratings and had climbed to the top 20 by season's end. Leonard Katzman must have been gratified that his 'flop' series almost beat 'Battlestar Galactica' for favorite new show at the People's Choice awards that year. In any event, by fall 1979, 'Galactica' was memory, and 'Dallas' premiered in the top ten. Soon 'Dallas' climbed to number one and remained there for many years.

'Dallas' was beautifully photographed, edited and scored. The acting and directing were about as fine as any you'll ever find on series TV. While the writing suffered in later seasons, it generally was above par for series TV. If you decide to watch the show, try to start at the beginning. The first three or four seasons are outstanding television.
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Classic, influential show
jojofla2 February 2000
"Dallas" is without question one of the most compulsively enjoyable television programs of all time. I watched it when it was first telecast and still watch the reruns.

Along with "Dynasty", "Dallas" defined '80s excess, Republican values, big hair and everything else. But "Dallas" was also a smartly written program, unlike "Dynasty", which was basically a cartoon (albeit a fun one). The miracle of "Dallas" was how it managed to retain it's major characters for nearly a decade, keep strong storyline pumping for them, unlike most soap operas, which drop characters left and right. But "Dallas" had some of the strongest-written characters in television history: ambitious J.R., dependant Sue Ellen, good-guy Bobby, prim-and-proper Pam, envious Cliff, unassuming Ray, and so many others, whose memory I cherish--Miss Ellie, Donna, Katherine, Mickey Trotter, etc....

Additionally, with the "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger in 1980, "Dallas" created a new marketing tool the television continues to use to this day to retain audiences. Not just soap operas use the season ending cliffhanger; it's been effectively used by such shows as "Friends" and "Will & Grace" recently.

"Dallas" was for many years the most watched program on TV, and continues to be watched by devoted fans, many of them discovering its greatness thru reruns. One episode, and you'll be hooked, too.
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