39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2009
This to me was actually one of my favorite, if not my favorite seasons. I thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through. I know ratings dipped after Linda Gray's departure, but for me she was not the show and I loved what was there. This season had an exciting hip new main title, which now included George Kennedy and Cathy Podewell, as well as newcomers Kimberly Foster, Sasha Mitchell, and Lesley Anne Down. I neglected to mention in my last review that Charlene Tilton also returned to the main title last season and continued here as well. This season was powered by a timely storyline about a Ewing Oil Tanker crash, Bobby's marriage to April, JR's tumultuous marriage with his second wife, and the arrival of the grown son he never knew he had, James. Jessica Montfort also returns to cause trouble, and Clayton and Ellie end up involved in a scheme which will bring Dusty Farlow back later. What is exciting about this year is the setup-you have some classic members of the Ewing family alongside some new ones and new enemies, thus making the year fresh and interesting today for those who neglected it when it first aired. It is the final year for Charlene Tilton, reduced to basically just a recurring character, as well as Barbara Bel Geddes, who left somewhat unexpectedly at the end of the season. The last year is sort of a tragic one about the downfall of the family, thus this year is very interesting dramatically-it is the last time that a full Ewing house and family is present and has some hope for a good future. Perhaps written down in this review one can't see the magic of the season, but for whatever reason, for me in particular, perhaps because for me 89-90 I was 4 and 5,the nostalgia of the era sort of creeps through. I think it was very well done, and I think basically the people in charge gave it their all and did a great job for CBS when they needed them-others may disparage it, but I personally feel that in terms of the whole story and how it was pulled off, it was very satisfying and well-balanced, and for me one of the most re-watchable. Also Starring Audrey Landers as Afton Cooper, Beth Toussaint as Tracey Lawton, Karen Kopins as Kay Loyd, Denver Pyle as Blackie Callahan, and Alexis Smith as Jessica Montfort.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2012
**NOTE - This review contains SPOILERS**
It's Season 13 of "Dallas" and JR has gotten Ewing Oil in hot water again by buying a run-down oil tanker that causes an oil spill by "accidentally" ramming a rival tanker belonging to Carter McKay (George Kennedy)!
That pretty much sums up the main business storyline in this penultimate season of the now-decayed prime-time soap. With the original, strong female leads gone (Principal, Gray and Susan Howard), the show has become too male-dominated. Since the cast and crew stopped filming in Texas as of this season, there is a sterile feeling about the show as hardly any of the action takes place at Southfork, indoors or out. It just doesn't seem like the same "Dallas" anymore--it's tired and limping along as many long-running programs do at the sputtering end of their run.
The old flame (Gayle Hunnicut) that JR reunited with last season in Europe shows up in Dallas--and her son James Beaumont (Sasha Mitchell) arrives with her and drops a bombshell: He's JR's firstborn son! Things get complicated when Cally begins turning to James when she realizes her marriage is disintegrating and to keep things interesting the writers have JR commit himself to an insane asylum in order to make contact with Clayton's deranged sister Jessica. This allows the wonderful Alexis Smith to return not having been seen since Season 7. Unfortunately, she isn't given much to do that's worthy of her talents.
With Cliff now a partner at Ewing Oil and old nemesis Jeremy Wendell out of the picture, JR's main foil is Carter McKay. The business backstabbing has become stagnant and old and Kennedy's emotional outbursts are often hammy.
Bobby's love life is in a whirlwind having hooked up with April, he soon meets a Pam lookalike (Margaret Michaels) and questions his own interest in her; reconnects with Kay Lloyd (Karen Kopins) before finally proposing to April and marrying her at seasons' end.
When Bobby leaves Cliff out of an important business desicion one time too many, Cliff jumps ship and comes full-circle by going back into politics with the help of publicist Stephanie Rogers (Lesley Anne Down). He has softened somewhat though because he goes easy on JR in relation to a costly oil spill instead of nailing his lifelong enemy to the floor. At the beginning of the season, Cliff reconnects with Afton (Audrey Landers) and her little girl but things don't work out; at season's end he's taken up with new semi-regular Liz Adams (Barabara Stock).
Once again, Lucy (Charlene Tilton) gets the shaft as the writers offer her none of the juicy opportunities she had in the early seasons. Instead, they piggyback her onto Cally's storylines. The refreshing change-of-pace Cathy Podewell brought to the show in Season 12 as the backwoods child-bride has already worn off, as her character has quickly devolved into the insecure, hysterical wife Sue Ellen was in the beginning. Podewell does show some range when Cally masquerades as an over-the-top flashy trophy wife to get some dirt from JR's lawyer.
Clayton and Miss Ellie seem to be performing in an entirely different show or their very own "Murder She Wrote" episode as the writers first ship them off on a boring road trip to Montana, all because of a mysterious letter that arrives addressed to Jock. Somehow, this leads to Miss Ellie buying and revitalizing the ghost town where Jock made his first oil strike years before. Upon their return, Clayton's old cronies are being offed one-by-one after each being named as beneficiaries in the will of an old rival.
The best thing about Season 13 is the arrival of April's gold-digging sister Michelle, who doesn't waste any time sinking her claws into Cliff. Kimberly Foster absolutely sizzles in the role and if there's one reason to stick around for these later episodes, it's her. There's a naturalness in her acting right from the start that Priscilla Presley could only dream of owning and she has more charisma and screen presence than her TV sister Sheree J. Wilson. The producers and writers were likely impressed because they give Foster plenty to do to get the plots rolling. It's Michelle who manipulates Cliff into quitting Ewing Oil; then she beds the equally-opportunistic James and calls on Carter McKay for favors in achieving her business goals.
Kimberly Foster, Sasha Mitchell and Lesley-Anne Down are immediately added to the opening credits which seems a little unfair--even Wilson and Kennedy had to wait (years) for that honor.
If you've made it this far, you may as well weather the storm and watch the final two seasons. But this is NOT the same "Dallas" we loved in the early '80s. Watch it for the fantastic Kimberly Foster as conniving hottie Michelle. Otherwise, not much to recommend here.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2010
I love Dallas,this is one of the best episodes and I can't wait for the next season to come out.Larry Hagman is just great as well all the other actors
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2010
Another great dallas season will be released in 13th of April and only one full season is left to complete the series and 3 tv movies which i hope they will be released after dvd season 14 is being released and i'm talking about the 1986 prequel DALLAS:THE EARLY YEARS and the post series movies, 1996 JR:RETURNS and 1998 WAR OF THE EWINGS.
Season 12 ended with sue ellen threating JR with releasing the movie about him which was hardly a cliffhanger which was normally left out of the fav Dallas top 10 cliffhangers as they were voted by the dallas fans and u can see this top 10 in one of the dallas dvd seasons releases as a special feature. From the 13 regular seasons the three clifhangers which were left out of the top 10 were the clifhangers of DVD SEASON 5 (Clif hospitalised), season 12 (sue ellen treatens JR) and season 13 finale.
With hopes of a new and final reunion movie i leave u to enjoy the rest of the dalla seasons and let's hope we get a full prequel dallas series which will tell the events set between the arise of jock ewing and the events of dallas dvd season 1 in 1978.
I hope if they do this series they do it right.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2010
I had a memory that this season was really bad, but it is far stronger than some of the latter seasons and keeps the flag flying for the great series quite well. Of course there is a gap with Linda Gray missing and a few too many new characters, but the invention of JR's long lost son is a stroke of genius and Sasha Mitchell's playing of him is a suitable mix of scheming sexuality and charm. Also introducing a vixen is a good idea, a few too many good girls floating around, we needed an Abby Ewing type to boil the pot a bit. In all, not a bad season, though as with season twelve, the standard of the prints vary enormously and none are of the standard of some of the early seasons of the show. One more season and a couple of telemovies and the collection will be complete. Best scene in the season; Barbara Bel Geddes (in one of her last great moments) giving Larry Hagman the letter from Jock. She is so missed and the last season was much poorer without her.
PS I wonder whatever happened to young Joshua Harris who plays Christopher, he is a fabulous child actor, so natural and unaffected.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
While the remaining original stars (Duffy, Hagman, Bel Geddes, and Tilton) try their best, the loss of Linda Gray at the end of the previous season left a void that could not be filled.
This, the actual season TWELVE, has a mixture of pluses and minuses which could be listed as follows:
1) The addition of Kimberly Foster as April's sisters Michele
Foster is not only a knockout in the looks department but does a pretty credible job as the girl who will do whatever it takes to become a success.
2) The return of Alexis Smith
Even though the storyline about the mysterious murders is really too "Murder, She Wrote," it's still good to see Smith as the Clayton's loopy sister, Jessica
3) Omri Katz and Joshua Harris as youngsters John Ross and Christopher, respectively
I wonder why the two actors were not asked to reprise their roles in the upcoming TNT "re-boot" of the series but they did get to effectively show their acting mettle in this season.
4) Leslie-Anne Down as Stephanie Rogers
Down is presented as a female equal to J.R. but is underutilized, appearing in only a handful of episodes. It would have been nice if the character had been introduced earlier to see how she and Hagman would've played off each other.
5) Cathy Podewell comes into her own
Podewell, as the latest Mrs. J.R. Ewing, is quite strong as a woman who must cope with her husband's infidelities and his every effort to run her off Southfork. She really gets to show her versatility as an actress, jumping effortlessly from scorned spouse to plotting her own brand of "payback."
1) Sasha Mitchell
Perhaps, the idea of giving J.R. a "love child" was a good one but Mitchell's acting was not up to the part. And what was with the guy's hands? It's like the actor couldn't decide what to do with them, constantly moving them in an almost-Joe-Cocker-like-spasm.
2) The number two plus above is also a minus as well. Turning Miss Ellie (Bel Geddes) and Clayton (Howard Keel) into Jessica Fletchers comes across as nothing more than "let's-give-the-old-folks-something-to-do-before-they-ride-off-into-the-sunset." It was just dumb.
3) Jeri Gaile as Carter McKay's wife Rose
Though Gaile plays her part well, the question always arises as to "What's the point of having her character in the show in the first place?"...other than to have her flounce around the house in skimpy attire.
4) Bobby and April
Sorry, but they're about as exciting as Ray and Donna. Let's face it. Bobby (Patrick Duffy) was only interesting when he was with Pam.
5) The season finale
This is possibly the dumbest one in the show's history, ranking up there with a certain shower scene!
The DVD itself lacks in picture and sound quality. Occasionally, there is some discoloration as well as sound fading. Only English subtitles are available.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2010
Although I miss the characters that are no longer present in the later seasons, Pamela and Sue Ellen amongst others, I still thought this season was a good one and I enjoyed it. There was still plenty of drama and J.R. is up to his usual antics but knowing you are coming close to the end of the Dallas series is sad! I don't like how the family somewhat starts to fall apart and Ewing Oil is no longer strong and powerful like it once was. But I am looking forward to Season 14 coming out!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2011
I'm young. I was born about when Dallas was. So, I don't remember it during it's hayday. But my husband and I picked up the first two seasons as a joke. He grew up asking his mom and dad if he could stay up just late enough to hear the opening song. So we watched it and were so into it that we scooped up all the seasons! LOL It's been 2 1/2 years and we're still watching!
Just love all the characters and the drama!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2010
First of all its great that this seasons transfers were remastered color and sound and far cry from last seasons year 12 dvd set.Lots of things help this old show stay fresh including a new opening revamped credits and new cast members and good bye to oldies like Donna, Ray, Pam and even Sue Ellen, yet the show carries on with new fresh faces and story lines. I have enjoyed this dvd set immensely
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I love 'Dallas', but after viewing this season on DVD, I'm just on the fence about this particular season. This release of the show's 13th season, in my view, was something of a mixed bag. It was clear that the producers either knew the show was winding down or that they were trying to tweak and change the show so that it'd have another few seasons left in it. This was the first season with the exception of perhaps the post-dream season where things really felt a bit slow and tired. You had the typical plot: Ewing Oil is in trouble because of something J.R. did, Bobby and others think J.R. needs to get out of the business so that Jock's legacy and company can be preserved; J.R. concedes but still wins the day. After 13 seasons, this whole plot feels a bit worn out. There were however good plots and new characters introduced that kept things fresh and flowing, and kept this season from being a complete bore.
The Good: As for the quality of the transfer to DVD, I can't complain. If you were satisfied with the previous seasons on DVD, you'll be happy with this one for the most part. As for the plot and storylines for this season, the focus felt to be set more on J.R. than the last few seasons. Without having Sue Ellen to worry over and being back at Ewing Oil after a season or two of being knocked out and down, he's back and determined to do Jock proud. It was a bit like the early seasons, with J.R. really digging his heels into the oil business and scheming for the sake of coming out on top of it all. This season also changed the dynamic a bit by having more defined villain roles. Cliff Barnes, who last season seemed to go soft and join the good guys, goes back to being the thorn in the Ewings' side; Carter McKay, who was introduced in the previous season, goes from being on the fence to really becoming the new villain/big boss to beat. McKay, to me, was the most interesting character of the season because he has redeeming qualities and depth and you understand his motivations while wanting him to lose for the sake of Bobby and others coming out on top. Another great arc of the season was how Cally (J.R.'s new wife) comes to the same realizations and feelings that took Sue Ellen years to develop and how she teams up with a new character to finally out-maneuver J.R. Albeit a season or two too late, we also get to see Bobby come to terms with Pam's departure/death, even if the storyline is a bit contrived and too soap opera like. The cliffhanger of the season was definitely far better than the previous season's and has me anxiously awaiting the release of the final season.
The Bad: Back to the plot, it was clear that the writers really ran out of ideas for certain characters. Clayton and Miss Ellie spend the entire season trying to solve mysteries, puzzles and chase down murderers as if they were on 'Murder, She Wrote'. Another focus of the season was on April Stevens and her relationship with Bobby. I'm sorry, I never bought into their relationship in the past two seasons and still have a hard time figuring out why April would be Bobby's next great love after Pam and Jenna Wade. All April seems to do is whine, cry and steam the whole season over how Bobby doesn't love her and it becomes tiring to watch. Lucy Ewing is back as a regular but has absolutely nothing more to do than to play Cally Harper Ewing's hanging-out buddy. The first episode or two of the season starts with J.R. trying to deal with Sue Ellen's threat from last season, but by the end of the season J.R. is calling Sue Ellen and referring to her as 'darling' and asking her to take his son off his hands for a bit. Even if it was so that he could properly carry out a scheme, it just seemed unbelievable that J.R. would be so chummy with Sue Ellen considering how she schemed and threatened him last season. On a side note, I know some liked this season and didn't feel Linda Gray's absence didn't affect the show but to me her missing from the series really changed the dynamic and feel and definitely left J.R. a bit less interesting.
Another issue I had with this season was (and I'm being vague so not to spoil a big arc and plot) the emergence of yet another Ewing no one knew about. J.R. welcomes the new Ewing with open arms, without any bit of hesitance or suspicion. We've seen a new Ewing or family member emerge almost every season and J.R. is always the first to leap up and object to him or her being accepted without earning their dues. Suddenly, J.R. accepts this new Ewing into the fold, gives them a piece of Ewing Oil, helps them whenever they ask and even lets them into Southfork and it isn't until the final episodes of the season where he seems to get some sense and question their intentions. Perhaps it's old age or the fact that he had closer ties and more stake in the new Ewing than others but it just baffled me. J.R. continuing love and devotion to his new wife also confused me considering his years with Sue Ellen and how she seemed to do and express a lot of the same feelings that Cally did. Again, it isn't until late in the season when he comes around and treats Cally just as he did Sue Ellen. On a last note, again, no special features for the DVD? Not even a random cast interview or clip from the reunion show?
In all, a decent season but far from one of the best from the season. There are a lot of competing plots and arcs that either feel too drawn out or that were cut short or simply fumbled and dropped. There was definitely a feeling of change for the series with this season: even with another season on the horizon, it felt like certain plots or characters were given resolution (i.e. Bobby and his unresolved Pam issues, Lucy figuring out and getting employment, April getting what she wanted after her first appearance in the series). As a viewer and 'Dallas' fan, I wish this release would have come with an extra or two but am holding out hope that the final season will get a great send-off on DVD and that perhaps we'll get a TV-movie collection packed with special features as well. I'd really give this season and DVD release 3.5 stars but it was still enjoyable and had some great moments.