Customer Reviews: Dallas: Season 11
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VINE VOICEon April 27, 2009
'Dallas' Season 11 brings forth a lot of what defined the series' success; J.R.'s battle this season is to reclaim the now fallen Ewing Oil empire; Sue Ellen continues to find her way and make sense of her relationship with J.R.; Clayton and Miss Ellie have their own relationship issues to work out. For me though, the eleventh season was just average. It lacked the drama and emotional intensity of the 'dream' season but it was definitely less awkward that season 10 which attempted to make-up for the dream season. Still, the eleventh season felt a bit sedate and tame compared to season's past. Even with 30 episodes, this season felt rather anti-climatic.

Part of my issue with this season is that it definitely felt as if the producers were either running out of ideas or trying to shift the focus from the core group of characters we've come to know and care about to a slew of new characters. Some of them, such as Sue Ellen's new interest Nicholas Pearce, were interesting and just as strong as the long-running characters. Others, such as the femme fatale of the season Kimberly, or J.R.'s new lackey, Casey Denault, simply felt flat and cookie-cutter. The character of Bobby was also rather underwhelming during the season, coming off as rather detached for the most part. The characters of Ray and Jenna simply lost steam and were left to a rather lame rip-off plot of 'Fatal Attraction'. To me, the only characters that really shined this season were Sue Ellen, who has the ultimate plot to get back at J.R. for years of wrong-doing, and Miss Ellie who finds herself in a role often held and played out by Sue Ellen.

There really was no real, threatening, big conflict this season. For part of the season, the focus seemed to be on the children and episodes felt a bit like an ABC After School Special rather than the 'Dallas' we all know and are obsessed with. John Ross, Christopher, and Charlie play a big role in this season and for me as a viewer, I'd prefer the focus have been more so on the adults. The character of Pam is completely demolished and her actions simply seemed to go against all of her seasons of development. Even J.R.'s fight to reclaim Ewing Oil isn't as gripping because most of the plot feels old at this point; it feels exactly like the fight he puts up for the company each season. The season is filled with rehashed plots; Sue Ellen realizing J.R. will never be faithful to her, J.R. playing different family members against one another to get what he wants, a fight over John Ross, a murder/court trial.

With these complaints, there were still good moments in the season, including the emerging character of April Stevens and how she definitely plays well with so many characters. Seeing Sue Ellen spend an entire season sober and in control, plotting and playing her cards just as well as J.R. probably saved this season from being a total bore. I also enjoyed most scenes that involved Miss Ellie and watching as she found herself in the odd position of finally being able to relate to Sue Ellen and see what it's been like for her in her relationship with J.R. The surprise return of Lucy toward the end of the season even provided for some great moments and perhaps a great interlude to more to come in the next season.

In all, 'Dallas' is still better than most shows on t.v. now and is worth the viewing. It's definitely more soap opera-ish this season than previous; you have a mob plot, abduction, scheming, plotting, hook-ups, politics and many more elements that make this a guilty pleasure and must-see-tv. Check it out, you probably won't be let down, especially with the season finale that definitely leaves Sue Ellen Ewing in the spotlight and makes this more so her season than any other before.
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Of course, the star of the show was Larry Hagman as the devious J.R. Ewing. He was always given the best lines and the most memorable confrontations. However, season eleven, with the departure of a fan favorite, seemed to allow some of the older cast members, regular and recurrent, an opportunity to share some of Hagman's "spotlight".

Barbara Bel Geddes and her on-camera husband Howard Keel really came to the forefront with a storyline about a presumed "affair" between Clayton and a much-younger woman, portrayed by English actress Annabel Schofield . The plot allowed Bel Geddes to really show her acting mettle, especially in the episode entitled "Farlow's Follies" wherein Miss Ellie falls into Sue Ellen (played as always by the flawless Linda Gray) territory by resorting to the bottle to "drown her sorrows".

Not only does the season showcase Bel Geddes and Keel, it also lets recurring player Alice Hirson have a memorable "farewell" as Miss Ellie's best friend, Mavis Anderson, wife of popular "Punk" Anderson, played by veteran character actor Morgan Woodward.

Also, John Anderson has a memorable run as Dr. Styles, a major stockholder in WestStar and the father of Kimberly Cryder (a stunning Leigh Taylor-Young), a woman who will stop at nothing to get the man of her dreams: J.R.

Though the season is not as powerful as previous ones, it's still very entertaining, even with the lackluster Ray (Steve Kanaly) and Jenna (Priscilla Presley) problems with spoiled-rotten daughter Charlie (Shalene McCall), an ill-conceived attempt by a heretofore unknown aunt (played well by young Lisa Alden) of Christopher (Joshua Harris) to take him from Bobby (Patrick Duffy), and the rushed exit of Pam, played by an actress heavily wrapped to hide any resemblance to Victoria Principal who departed at the end of the previous season.

Also, one surprise is the discovery of a future superstar in the role of "Randy", Charlie's boyfriend. The character's name is a not-so-subtle reference to his personality, by the way.

As far as the quality of the DVD is concerned, this is probably the worst quality in the series. There are shifts in color, "dirty" and unclear images, and the sound isn't the best.

Also, there are NO extras, a shame considering so many cast members are still alive and could offer commentary.
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on May 30, 2009
I just finished watching this season and have to say I was impressed - easily the best of the later seasons and it makes up for the atrocity that was the "dream" season and its unsatisfying follow-up season. What makes this year fun is solid plotting and unpredictability - that's what keeps you watching all the way through to the satisfying climax.

It's worth noting that April really comes into her own this season, and the "new cast of the season" - Jack Scalia as a hot headed investment banker with a secret, Leigh Taylor Young as the conniving Kimberly Cryder and Andrew Stevens as a cheeky hustler - are much more successful than the supporting cast members were introduced in previous seasons, such as the lacklustre Jack and Jamie Ewing. Plus we get Sue Ellen in a meaty story that does not involve drinking, JR at his conniving best, a surprisingly promiscuous Bobby getting over Pam, and quite a nice story for Ray and Jenna.

One thing I did find jolting was the sudden AIDS awareness that manifests in this season: JR's long-time call girl Serena frets about AIDS, JR tells his protogee Casey to stop by the drugstore before seducing Marilee Stone, who in any event tells him to relax because she has taken "all precautions", and the ripped-off 'Fatal Attraction' storyline with Ray and inexplicably obsessive Connie. It's all a bit of a surprise to hear this safe sex talk on 'Dallas' of all shows, but I guess that was the sign of the times.
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on February 11, 2012
The title of this review is about the most exciting thing about Season 11, and they are the final words spoken in the season-finale. Sadly, by this point the once-mighty "Dallas" is getting stale and not as addictive as it was during its 1979-83 heyday. Several of the storylines that could have played out over a few episodes are stretched out over the entire season and may induce drowsiness, so be warned.


After the explosive car crash that ended Season 10, disfigured burn victim Pam secretly flees the hospital, leaving Bobby with nothing but a note and a wish that he and Christopher continue their lives without her. While grieving this loss, father and son are befriended by pretty blonde Lisa Alden (Amy Stock) who ingratiates herself into their lives until it's revealed she's Christopher's biological aunt who plans on suing for custody.

In the business world, J.R. tries to get controlling interest in Westar by snuggling up to Kimberly Cryder (Leigh Taylor-Young), who's dying Daddy owns some sizeable shares. The only way J.R. can get his hands on them is to divorce Sue Ellen and marry Kimberly. Taylor-Young's impossibly-high cheekbones and haughty persona make her the most interesting of the new cast additions this season. The same can't be said for the attractive-but-boring Karen Kopins, who appears as Senator's aide Kay Lloyd. She takes up with Bobby in Washington when he attempts to get back the Ewing Oil name by meeting with a shady Senator (Howard Duff) with a high price.

Investment banker Nicholas Pearce (Jack Scalia) is hired to help Sue Ellen with her thriving business, and mid-season the two become lovers. April (Sheree J. Wilson) hires a detective and discovers that Nicholas is hiding a shady past with mafia ties, and her curiosity results in kidnapping and murder. Watch for Sue Ellen's secretary Kelly; she's played by Linda Gray's real-life daughter Kehly Sloane.

Andrew Stevens appears as Casey Denault, the son of one of Jock's former business associates. J.R. pimps out the ambitious but inexperienced Casey to secure some choice deals until Casey gets too big for his britches.

Cliff sinks a fortune into drilling on the advice of drifter Dandy Dandridge (Bert Remsen) who reminds Cliff of his father Digger Barnes.

Charlie (Shalane McCall) becomes so rebellious (by dating a teenage Brad Pitt!!) that Ray and Jenna decide to have her shipped off to boarding school in Europe. But the Krebbs household has other problems because Jenna openly proclaims her feelings to Bobby (who doesn't respond warmly--perhaps it's her hideous little-Dutch-boy hairdo this season that turned him off for good); and later Ray helps out stranded female motorist Connie (Michele Scarabelli) who becomes so obsessed with him she models herself in Jenna's image (WHY???) and knifes him in bed when he rejects her (this on the heels of the big box-office success of "Fatal Attaction").

Clayton suffers a heart attack at the annual Oil Baron's ball and after his recovery strikes up an odd friendship with a 20-something British plant enthusiast who's hiding from her possessive boyfriend. Later, Clayton becomes a blackmail victim and murder suspect. All this drama has Miss Ellie wringing her hands and getting drunk.

At the end of the season, Charlene Tilton returns to the fold as Lucy takes up with Casey Denault when she learns they share a mutual dislike of J.R.

It's clear the writers are running out of ideas, as the old "J.R.-fights-Sue Ellen-for-custody-of-John-Ross" plot shows up again, as well as Miss Ellie's husband being charged with murder. A sub-plot of Cliff becoming addicted to tranquilizers goes nowhere.

The best moment of the season occurs when Miss Ellie tells a smug J.R. off after Clayton gets arrested. Also, watch how many times someone orders ice tea (must have been THE drink of 1987-88!). And you just can't beat Sue Ellen's massive shoulder pads and cute "Judy Jetson" hairdo this season, but it's not enough to alleviate alot of the boredom.

Definitely past it's prime, with a few good moments here and there, Season 11 of "Dallas" is not essential viewing, and may have you watching the clock. As far as video quality, for some reason some episodes look great, but a good many look like they were transferred from VHS tapes. On the plus side, every episode contains the "Last on 'Dallas' and "Next on 'Dallas'" bumpers at the beginning and end. Too bad the previous seasons did not.

Three and a half stars.
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on August 14, 2014
I have been watching the whole series of the original Dallas TV shows. I enjoy all of the shows since I have not seen them since the originally aired. Several new characters were added in this season and their alliances with J.R. and Cliff Barnes always seem to clash.
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on July 31, 2014
After a fiery cliffhanger at the end of Season X, Season XI of DALLAS picks up minutes later, and it's literally pure heartwrenching agony. But this is J.R.'s city, and nothing remains the same for very long. Before you know it, J.R. is back to powling, and in more ways than one. Plus, someone plots revenge, and there's not one, but two surprise returns, and a future superstar makes his debut. The acting is very good, as usual, and the storylines get better and better. Whoever wrote the lines for J.R. & Bobby is really good. But it's not just in front of the camera that they get to shine. Oh, no. This time, J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen are joined behind the camera by Ray, the 'half-breed' brother of J.R. and Bobby. I wonder what it would have been like, had a cast member been allowed to write an episode, as Donna did in Seasons IX & X.

Special mention in the acting department goes to Barbara Bel Geddes, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Priscilla B. Presley, Shailene McCall, Jack Scalia, Amy Stock and Sheree J. Wilson for handling the emotional scenes very well.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Why wasn't Pam shown after the bandages were taken off? Was she too gruesome to show after the accident? SPOILER OVER!!!

The Storm Subsides For A While, But Thunder Crashes And Lightning Flashes, With Menacing Black Clouds, A Sign Of Even More Ominous Things To Come...
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on July 12, 2013
Born and raised in Dallas, this show conjures up TONS of childhood memories for me! One of those was watching it every Friday night with my family and having to go to bed before Dynasty. I own the entire series and LOVE the big hair, ridiculous earrings, shoulder pads, J.R.'s safari shirts (what were those about?!?!?), you name it!! FOREVER A CLASSIC!!!!! (My FAVORITE show ever is LOST!)
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on August 10, 2013
I bought her the entire 14 seasons and she watched it every evening and now she's moving on to Dynasty. However, she is currently watching first season of House of Cards. Since I don't like soaps I am awaiting the next season of Justified. But again, she enjoyed the series.
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on December 31, 2013
I have the whole series. I watched as a kid every Friday night. Loved watching them all. I watch the new Dallas and just cant get enough. I am so sad Larry Hagman passed ,he was who made the show. What great stars !!
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on December 8, 2012
JR commits the ultimate betrayal against Sue Ellen. I never really forgave the writers for JR's plot to get Ewing Oil back. This season does start off nice between them and a character referred to them as gettting, the "love bird of the year award." Still a very good season from start to finish.
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