I have two interesting memories of Dallas. First of all, I remember it being a mainstay of Friday night TV. This isn’t to say that I watched the show, I was too young to comprehend what the Ewing family was doing, but I remember it being on. My second memory of Dallas was being a little older in the 6th grade. I had some friends who were really into the show and I remember trying to watch episodes of Dallas to hopefully endear myself to them. I was in pain watching the show as everything was just so boring.
It’s funny, I kinda liked Dallas - The Complete Third Season. This is afterall the season with one of the most talked about cliffhangers in TV history. Who shot J.R.? With fortunes being made and lost, schemes hatched, manipulation at a fever pitch, this show really gives credence to the maxin, ”Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.” The fact that so much of the backstabbing goes on amongst “family” members is something that’s amazing to witness. Until I watched this show, I had always thought that it was an ensemble piece. Well, at least as far as Dallas - The Complete Third Season is concerned, J.R. seems to be the fly in everyone’s ointment and when he’s shot, you don’t know whether you should laugh or cry. Something tells me that the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
Who Shot J.R.?: The Dallas made documentary looks at the cliffhanger that even I, someone who didn’t follow the show, managed to know about as a young boy. In fact, I remember MAD Magazine doing an parody of the episode and calling it, “Who shot JR.?” The cast members talk about the events leading up to J.R.’s shooting, both on and off screen, that all played into making this such a nationwide topic of conversation. Basically, this show was very popular, J.R. was popular (despite being a human piece of feces) and Larry Hagman was negotiating a new contract with the network, thus his TV fate really was undecided. If that isn’t going to create high drama then I don’t know what is!
Audio Commentary Tracks by Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray
These are commentary tracks for the “Sue Ellen’s Choice” episode and “A House Divided.” Even coming in as an outsider, I really appreciated these actors perspective on the show. They talked about the characters, related stories that were happening on the set at that time and generally it seemed like they reveled in the parts they were playing. I also loved their take on the episode “A House Divided,” simply because I remember the fervor created when J.R. was shot, and it is interesting getting insights from people who were so close to the situation. This DVD has the perfect amount of extras that should satisfy fans and new fans alike.
Standard version presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of it’s original television exhibition. As some who loves the 1980s (checkout 1985-1986 if you don’t believe me), I was alive when the look and styles of this show were sweeping the nation. Dallas symbolizes the backdrop of my youth. The Reagan Years, the 1980s and that glorious feeling of only having to worry about your own problems. Dallas is another one of those shows that should, at the very least, have a few episodes put in a time capsule so that they can be preserved for future generations.
Dolby Digital. English: Mono. With 1176 minutes of audio and video to be compressed over 5 discs, I give the creators of this DVD a lot of credit. I didn’t notice any audio problems on any of the disks that I screened. Not that I went out of my way to look for them, but if a disk has audio problems that’s something you tend to notice. I also love the older style of acting that these characters utilized. Today everything is so staged and perfect, that every line seems like it’s a revelation even if it’s just a character speaking in filler. The older shows seemed more like plays and performance pieces as opposed to being so subservient to technology.
Texas, the Ewings and the Ewing house are in fine display on this cover. There is a lot of green used as well, which I assume is supposed to be some sort of money motif. The back cover features more green, some buildings (a true symbol of the 1980s), 2 promo pictures from the show, 2 pictures from actual episodes, a description of the show, an extras listing, a cast list and some technical specs. All 5 discs are neatly housed in plastic trays that unfold out for easy viewing access. There are more pictures of the Ewing family and more shots of buildings inside. And yes, the color of green is even more prominent.
I can’t explain why it is but I found Dallas - The Complete Third Season very easy to watch this time around. I just popped in the DVDs and all the episodes played like I was “meant” to be watching this show. Maybe I am just a TV junky? Perhaps I am an easy audience? Whatever the reason, I came into this TV Land staple of a show, and I didn’t feel like I was lost at all. Perhaps it was because the writing was so good? Or, maybe I am used to the acting in these shows from the late ‘70s early ‘80s, but Dallas worked on me more now than it ever did when I was younger.
While I don’t know if this show is for everyone, I can only imagine how I am going to feel if I go back and revisit the first two seasons.