12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This was another good season of "Dallas" that picks up where the last season set ends; Bobby's been shot and it's only a question of who did it and why. If this seems a bit familiar, it should, as 'Dallas' already did a cliffhanger about someone being shot earlier in the series. Packaging wise and quality wise, the transfer to DVD was great and the packaging is the same as the previous few seasons. Extras wise ... this area needs improvement and is part of the reason, in my opinion, this isn't a five star set. Yet again we're stuck with a pointless short feature talking about the fashion of the show which, to me, feels like we've gotten before in other sets. This was such a big season with a big event at the end of the season. Why no commentary from ANYONE? It seems like a big missed opportunity to get some insight from the cast.
Another minor critique of this season was that it was longer then previous ones but little seemed to happen in each episode unlike in previous seasons. Plots felt as if they dragged on and when they were wrapped up, at times it felt rushed or over simplified. Yet, there were some changes to the show that I felt gave viewers something new to deal with. The character of Miss Ellie for this season was taken on by veteran actor Donna Reed. It felt like a reset or start-over for the character as Donna Reed took over and put her own stamp on the character. She dressed up a bit more than Barbara Bel Geddes would, she seemed more concerned with Ewing Oil and with making Clayton feel like he fit in with the Ewing clan more. Plot wise, Donna and Ray continue to have marital problems, Sue Ellen and J.R. play nice for a good portion of the season before things go back to being interesting with them dueling one another, more Ewings come into the picture and Pam and Bobby both have issues to work through. In all, though things feel slow, there's still a lot of stuff going on to keep viewers entertained.
Definitely a quality t.v. series that puts many shows of today to shame. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The '84-'85 season of "Dallas" was a pivotal one in many ways. It saw the show being somewhat overshadowed in the ratings by that ABC upstart "Dynasty"; it was the year that Barbara Bel Geddes was replaced by Oscar/Emmy-winner Donna Reed in the role of the beloved "Miss Ellie"; and it also saw the "departure" of another popular cast member at season's end. Though these developments may have been new and shocking to dedicated fans, there was enough of the old to keep 'em satisfied.
J.R. (the superb Larry Hagman) is still up to his same old tricks but fids himself smitten by the new girl in town, Mandy Winger, played by Deborah Shelton. Unlike other of the oilman's conquest, Winger really appeals to J.R., not just sexually but on an "intellectual" level as well. He is determined to get her at all cost, including sending off-and-on spouse Sue Ellen (the magnificent Linda Gray) back to the bottle and the sanitarium.
Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and Pam (Victoria Principal) are still in love, although Bobby is going to marry Jenna (Priscilla Presley). Pam goes on a wild-goose chase, spearheaded by you-know-who, to find beau Mark Graison (an unseen John Beck).
Katherine Wentworth (Morgan Brittany) is still crazy and Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) carries on his lifelong mission to bring down Ewing Oil in honor of his "dead daddy."
Reed brings a different take on "Miss Ellie," something that didn't quite fair well with fans. However, credit must be given to the actress for stepping into a part that was so engrained in the memory of fans by Bel Geddes. It took a lot of courage for Miss Reed and she should be commended for doing an admirable job.
Besides, she did look better in the Travilla clothes.
Speaking of the fashion, this was the year that the producers went all out. The men, though adequately dressed, took a backseat to the glamorous attire of the ladies. In appears that every female cast member, be she main, recurrent, or having a one-shot appearance, got to wear "the" dress, one that really turned heads. According to the bonus feature on Travilla, the show was trying to get on the "Dynasty" bandwagon with the clothes. Regardless, the women look "mah-velous," to borrow from Billy Crystal.
The season finale, "Swan Song," is, by far, the best of the season, featuring brilliant work from Duffy and Principal and an Emmy-worthy musical score by composer Lance Rubin. The final five minutes are poignant and demonstrate what the show was capable of when the writers really went to work...
Now, if they just could've come up with something better for the next season's finale...but that commentary is meant for that compilation upon its release.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2008
This is THE Dallas season! 80's fashion has arrived at Southfork Ranch.
Shoulder pads and hair that never quits.
New characters (such as Jamie Ewing) join the old ones to make this the best season to date.
Cliff Barnes finally makes his mark on the Dallas landscape.
Pamela Barnes Ewing proves that women can roar!
How will the season end? Will Bobby remarry Pam?? Or will perhaps tragedy strike??
If you are a Dallas fan, no review can change your ideas on purchasing all the series up to the (as yet unreleased) 9th Series (The Dream Series).
If you are not a Dallas fan, then start at Series 1, and work your way up! You will never regret looking at life Ewing style.
Suffice to say, Dallas rules my DVD player, and I vote it 4 Stars (loses a Star for badly labelled Discs).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
**NOTE - This review contains SPOILERS**
When we last left the Ewings, Bobby had been shot in J.R.'s office and Cliff Barnes bounced back from bankruptcy at the last minute when he struck oil in the Gulf.
As a result of the shooting, Bobby is temporarily blinded. In the hospital, his recovery is almost thwarted when Katherine (Morgan Brittany channeling Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction') tries to inject him with poison which leads to her confessing that she pulled the trigger, and planned to frame Cliff.
Priscilla Presley's lack of acting ability continues to underwhelm as Bobby's fiancee Jenna Wade (though, then 39, she looks sensational in a bikini). Duffy himself looks mighty impressive this year in his black Speedo, his physique in the best condition ever on the series. Jenna stands Bobby up at the altar and is kidnapped by her slimy ex Renaldo Marchetta who is using her annoying, whiny daughter Charlie (Shalane McCall) as leverage. It ends with murder and intrigue and Jenna in prison, with Bobby desperately trying to gather enough evidence to have her cleared. Rosemary Forsyth ("Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice") makes a few memorable appearances in this story arc.
Miss Ellie returns from an extended honeymoon with Clayton (Howard Keel) a new woman--literally--as Donna Reed steps into the role vacated by Barbara Bel Geddes. It's quite jarring to see Reed and the transition takes some getting used to. She seems a little lost during her first few scenes but gets better (and more glamorous) as the season progresses. Howard Keel seems totally unfazed by the switch and actually has better chemistry with the new Miss Ellie. The producers were probably less-than-impressed as the role is slowly reduced considerably.
Afton (Audrey Landers) has had enough and walks out on Cliff in the season-premiere (dressed fabulously in a get-up that would make Joan Collins proud) and Former Miss USA 1970 Deborah Shelton joins the cast as Cliff's new squeeze, fashion model Mandy Winger. When Sly (Debbie Rennard) takes a leave of absence, Cliff uses Mandy to spy on J.R. but when Mandy tires of Cliff's cheapskate ways, she jumps ship and J.R. is more than happy to spoil her. The one interesting aspect of the character is her resistance to being a kept woman or the other woman. (Her best moment comes when she yells at J.R. "I know you're rich but I'm not for sale!"). Still, statuesque, big-eyed Shelton isn't that great an actress and I can take or leave her.
The best new cast addition comes in the form of Jenilee Harrison as cousin Jamie Ewing, daughter of Jock's drifter brother Jason, who arrives from Alaska. Harrison is much better here than she was as Chrissy's klutzy cousin Cindy Snow on "Three's Company". Sue-Ellen takes Jamie under her wing and delights in playing dress-up and outfitting Jamie in the high-end couture befitting a Ewing. Suspicious J.R. resents Jamie and when he pushes her too hard, she drops a bomb at the annual BBQ by tossing Marylee Stone (Fern Fitzgerald) into the pool and waving a document that states both she and Cliff Barnes are entitled to 1/3 of Ewing Oil. This ignites a battle to prove exactly who owns what that lasts the remainder of the season and also introduces Dack Rambo as Jamie's estranged brother Jack Ewing. As Jamie, Harrison loses some sizzle half-way in when she gets her hair cut and marries Cliff in a small impromptu wedding. She was more interesting living at Southfork irritating J.R. by reporting his various indiscretions to Sue-Ellen.
Pam walks though her own personal Twilight Zone when circumstances lead her to believe Mark Graison is still alive. She begins travelling extensively to places such as Hong Kong trying to track him down at various clinics, but learns it was a setup by J.R. to get her out of Dallas--all the while suffering in mink.
Tired of being a "poor-little-rich-girl", Lucy (sporting tons of eye makeup this season that makes her look 10 years older) secretly takes a job at the same diner that mother Valene toiled at before moving to Knots Landing. She meets a construction worker named Eddie Cronin (Frederic Lehne) and finances a building company but Lucy has always had back luck with men, and sure enough--she gets shafted again. Things look up for her later when she reunites with Mitch in Atlanta and decides to move there and remarry him. Charlene Tilton will leave the show at the end of the season (but returns a few years later).
Donna (Susan Howard) buys a small oil field and quickly starts reaping profits, which makes Ray feel inferior and causes more marriage problems for the two. They separate with Donna moving into the Southfork mansion, and later Donna discovers she's pregnant.
Bobby finally realizes he can't marry Jenna when it's Pam he really loves and the two also decide to remarry. It's great to see that old spark between them return. Their happiness is short-lived when Bobby is mowed down by a car driven by the deranged Katherine (Morgan Brittany) who spent most of the season on the lam in Austria. Bobby's deathbed scene is one of the most powerful "Dallas" moments ever, with excellent performances by all involved.
Famed designer Travilla comes on board and this season finds "Dallas" trying to one-up "Dynasty" in the fashion department. This is the era of massive shoulder pads, geometric hairdos and lots of sequins and appliqués. Travilla won an Emmy for his work here and it's fun to see all the excesses of the `80s in full bloom. ("Dynasty" knocked "Dallas" out of the #1 spot in the Nielsen's this year and the single bonus feature is all about Travilla's work this season "glamming up" the series.).
Perhaps the last truly great season of "Dallas", though Presley is still somewhat of a liability, Harrison's first appearances make up for that, and Donna Reed as Miss Ellie will grow on you. Season 8 brings some new visuals and lots of drum machines in the opening credits.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2008
Dallas 8 is one of the best seasons of Dallas. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the season, when I started working as a teenager. It was a treat to finally get to see the entire season in its entirety.
Highlights: Morgan Brittany going off in the deep end, when she finally confesses to shooting Bobby. The appearance of Donna Reed starring as Miss Ellie. Sorry, but the way she was fired from the show was wrong. Donna gave a different approach to Miss Ellie and probably would have been much better in season 9. The decision of Miss Ellie's to finally take down the portrait of Jock at Southfork to make Clayton Farlow feel more at home. The appearance of Jenilee Harrison as Jamie Ewing. Jenilee
proves she has developed as an actress since she left Three's Company in 1982. The fight between Sue Ellen and Pamela Ewing at Pam's house and then,the reconcillation as the two of them both touring Hong Kong, beautiful scenary, to look for Mark Grayson. The love story of Jenna Wade and Bobby Ewing is great. However, I was disappointed when she was unable to marry Bobby due to her daughter's Charlie kidnapping. Priscilla Presley proves to be not only a beautiful lady but a gifted actress. The murder trial and the conviction makes you feel sorry for her and then finally, the decision of Bobby getting back with Pam. I always thought the two of them should have gotten married, especially since Victoria Principal ends up leaving the show two seasons from now. The return of Mitch Cooper and his remarriage to Lucy. Finally, the dream death scene of Bobby being killed and dying in the hospital. I actually started crying, when he was saying goodbye to his family. Actually, in this scene, I thought Priscilla did not do a good job when she was watching Bobby die.
Personal Disappointments: The appearance of Dack Rambo as Jack Ewing, conceit should have his picture in the dictionary. The boring story line of Donna and Ray fighting over Donna wanting to own her own oil company. Lucy's stint working as a waitress and finding another man to sleep with for the zillionith time. The boring story line of Deborah Shelton as Mandy Winger being woo by J.R. Ewing. Don't get me wrong Deborah Shelton is one of the most beautiful women ever on t.v. but she couldn't act her way out of a paper bag. The return of Sue Ellen's drinking again for the zillionith time, which may give recovered alcoholics a reason to go back to the bottle.
All and all, it was hard to stop watching the dvd set. The episodes seem to be more interesting than the season before. Patrick Duffy appears to give more depth in this season, maybe because he thought he will be leaving the show for good. Buy it. You won't be disappointed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2008
Although things gradually warm up in this eighth season (actually the seventh, the DVD releases count the 5 part mini-series as season one), it still remains something of a disappointment after the two preceding action-packed seasons. Apart from some eye-popping swimsuits, the first dozen episodes of season eight are particularly weak, with some very ordinary writing, indifferent acting and the usual `Dallas' spark sadly missing.
Much of this can be attributed to the absence of Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie. Donna Reed is undeniably a fine actress, but her genteel portrayal of Miss Ellie lends a sense of phoniness to the family scenes, which were always the backbone of the series. When she removes Jock's portrait from the wall - a hugely symbolic act and something her character has been building up to for years - it carries no resonance, no shock value, and it should.
A tangible laziness has crept into the writing, with the pale repetition of many storylines from the past. We have yet another war for Ewing Oil, but it's a battle that lacks the excitement and drama of season six. Sue Ellen retreats predictably to the vodka bottle after being betrayed yet again by J.R. - and the writers even throw in Dusty Farlow for good measure. After bizarrely masquerading as a waitress in a cheap diner, Lucy is fooled by another opportunistic love interest after the Ewing millions. Ray's pride is once again hurt by Donna's success... and on it goes. Even the blackmailing method J.R. uses on the aspiring senator is something he's used before. Ho hum.
The changes made to the central character of J.R. are noteworthy. He has always shown flashes of vulnerability, but in this season they are explored in much more depth as he faces the prospect of actually losing to Cliff Barnes and falls deeply in love with Mandy Winger. While this is an interesting concept, the decision of the writers to essentially de-fang the show's anti-hero was a mistake. More than any other, this season cries out for J.R. to be at the very top of his game. Of course, he still has a few sparkling moments (the knockout blow he lands Pam at the Oil Baron's Ball is crushing) but his schemes unfortunately lack the poison and cunning of previous years.
Thank God then for the Pam and Bobby love story, which hits something of a new peak in this season. We've seen it before, but somehow the Jenna Wade love triangle has renewed punch and is truly involving. Both Patrick Duffy and Victoria Principal are believable and touching in their eternally star-crossed love and breathy Priscilla Presley looks so 1985 that she still somehow gets away with not being able to act. Without giving too much away, the final episode of season eight is one of the finest in the whole series and time has lost none of its impact. The last five minutes remain devastating.
If season eight falls short of other seasons, it is only because that measure is made - fairly or unfairly - against seven years of incredible quality. `Dallas' remains unmatched by anything else in its genre, and even a comparatively weak season is still essential viewing. Yet the continued controversy surrounding the next season - Pam's year-long dream - means, sadly, that we have already seen the best 'Dallas' has to offer.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2008
This was the best season ever. My wife and I couldn't stop watching it. Viewed the entire season in one week (thank you TV writers for going on strike this year)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2008
Dallas - The Complete Eighth SeasonThe continuing saga of the Ewings, especially J.R. who is constantly up to his shenanigans. Cliff finally hits a gusher and Bobby is left blinded by an attempt on his life. Donna steps in to protect Bobby's interests and the Bobby-Jenna wedding is put on hold. Cliff is accused of muder, but he has Pam on his side to join her brother in a plot to ruin J.R. An old enemy takes another stab at Bobby, and a new Ewing joins the family at Southfork. Jamie's arrival causes havoc and when J.R. is riled up, bad things happen. Flowers arrive for Pam from Mark. J.R. tricks Cliff, again. This is just the first disc of five in the Eighth Season, however the last episode of the Eighth Season is definately a cliffhanger which after viewing the entire 5 disc set, you will be foreced to purchase the Ninth Season.
I couldn't wait to purchase this Eighth Season and now I am anxiously awaiting for the Ninth Season to become available. Never a dull moment with the Ewings.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2008
Season 8 is great with the Pam-Bobby-Jenna triangle and the introduction of Jack Ewing. I just wish Mark Grayson had been alive because Jenna deserves Bobby. But hey in sesaon 9 Mark is alive if only in a "dream"...bring it on NOW!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2008
No one in 1984 could believe they were re-casting the matriarch of the globe's biggest show with ANYbody other than Barbara Bel Geddes. And, sure enough, poor wiggly, twitchy Donna Reed was all wrong.
And Reed's unfortunate and ineffectual presence somehow infects every corner of the show as a depression settles over the year-- a year which SHOULD have been a great, dark season. Instead, it drags: there's a sad sense that something's now been ruined.
But it picks up at the end when Bobby goes "boom"!
The re-casting of Mis-Ellie is the first in a series of annual gaffes (don't forget that Dreamin' Pam!) which brought down the world's most successful drama series, step by step, with no one apparently in place any longer to stop the collapse.