The Good

This is one of those shows that helps put the 1980s in it's proper perspective.

The Bad

Some commentary tracks by the stars would have been nice.

Things are a bit different in Dallas: The Complete Fifth Season. Sure, it is filled with the deceit and backbiting that Texas's other first family is noted for, but things get even jucier when Jock Ewing, the man who created Ewing Oil, shuffles the mortal coil. After a brief moment where the family seems to show their human side, the underhanded tactics resume and this show really kicks into high gear.

First off, J.R. gets a divorce and a custody battle ensues over the welfare of his son. If this wasn't enough for J.R. to deal with, he is suddenly dealt a financial blow by Cliff Barnes. As usual, J.R. is never someone to be counted out easily and when he starts making moves everyone should duck and cover. Filled with 24 episodes chronicling the highs and lows of this family, what would a description of this fifth season be without mentioning the drama in Bobby and Pam's life? In addition to a suicide attempt this dysfunctional unit also tries to bring a child into their lives.

Dallas: The Complete Fifth Season has all the intrigue and behind the scenes family drama that we have come to know and love.

Features

A Living Landmark: A Tour of the Real Southfork Ranch

As someone who is basically a "born again" fan of this show, I found this featurette to be something really worth watching. At first I thought it might be a retread of old information about the show, but I was surprised that it actually focused on the ranch itself. Originally called Duncan Acres, this piece of land was found by helicopter and when the show aired, fans would visit it because they really believed J.R. lived there! In fact, some people would even steal the Duncan's mail! Overall, this is an informative look at a place that has taken on mythical proportions in TV history.

Video

Standard Version presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of it's original television exhibition. For some reason, I remember the episodes on this show (in other seasons I have reviewed) being a tad more cleaned up than they were here. As I have said before in other reviews, I will always see this show as documenting that time in America where, post-Vietnam, the country wasn't afraid to be rich and indulge in our excesses in a more public way.

Audio

Dolby Digital. English: Mono. When the theme song kicks in it's hard not to get into the spirit of Dallas all over again. While nothing about the audio really put my system through it's paces, even with just one speaker on my TV, I didn't have a hard time hearing what anybody had to say or follow any of the storylines. As I said, it's simple audio and there really isn't too much more to add.

Package

J.R. (Larry Hagman) graces this front cover with some other members of the clan behind him in the foreground. Behind all of them is a nighttime shot of the Dallas underneath them (with a purplish, maroon tint) is a shot of Southforth. The back cover has a well written description of what this fifth season offers, a Special Features listing, a credits list and some technical specs. There are also some shots from the 24 episodes that make up this show. The discs that contain all the episodes are housed in three cases and they have more Texas themed artwork, images from the show as well as episode listings and descriptions.

Final Word

I honestly think I was born at the wrong time. I remember when Dallas was on TV, but as I was quite young at the time, you couldn't pay me to watch it. Now that I am older and I understand the world a little better (and I just happen to be reading a book on the life of Aaron Spelling), I have come to appreciate just how good of a show Dallas is and was. Sure, it may look dated and melodramatic now, but there was a time when no other show had grabbed America's attention like this one.

Also, it's very hard to argue with it's 14 Season run.