Dallas: The Complete First & Second Seasons
DVD | Box Set
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Dallas: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 (DVD)
Power, Wealth, Sex, Extravagance. One place has them all… Dallas! Foreshadowing the “greed” decade of the 1980s, Dallas also changed the TV landscape, inspiring a string of sprawling multi-storyline dramas. In the show’s first and second season episodes, Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal and more play the Texas sons and daughters whose lives are soaked with oil, family and power. Larry Hagman embodies the infamous oil magnate J.R. Ewing, whose pursuit of wealth, influence and infamy would know no bounds. The man everyone loved to hate, during the series’ run – he still remains the model for corporate intrigue and Texas-sized conniving!]]>
Dallas: The Complete First and Second Seasons is an American equivalent to those British miniseries about historical chapters in that country's royal monarchy. Full of family in-fighting, political intrigue crossed with personal triumph or disappointment, and plenty of sensational infidelities and betrayals, Dallas is a captivating story of a wealthy oil family's power and travails. It is also uniquely fun and daringly absurd, albeit with a straight face; this hugely successful, primetime soap opera began in the late 1970s and ran 14 seasons in all, built on a handful of primary relationships that stretch credulity but never descend into self-parody.
Not unexpectedly, Dallas begins with a Romeo and Juliet tale that instantly exposes an old feud between two families and strips the civilized veneer from several major characters. Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), youngest of three sons of independent oilman Jock Ewing (Jim Davis), arrives at the Ewing clan's Southfork ranch just outside Dallas, Texas, with a new wife, Pam Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal). Pam is the daughter of Digger Barnes (David Wayne), an old business rival of Jock's and one-time suitor of the Ewing matriarch, Eleanor (or "Miss Ellie," played by Barbara Bel Geddes). Pam's also the sister of a state senator, Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), whose vendetta against the Ewings is played out in the legislature, imposing costly regulations on their business and holding committee investigations into questionable practices of company president J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman). Pam's status as the newest Ewing causes an uproar in the family (besides being a Barnes, she also dated the Ewings' genial but lonely foreman, Ray Krebbs, played by Steve Kanaly) and prompts Dallas' charming villain, J.R., to make many Iago-like attempts, over the first two seasons, to drive her from Bobby's arms. Pam has a different set of problems with the other, jealous Ewing women, including J.R.'s possibly barren and alcoholic wife, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), and teenage Lucy (Charlene Tilton), daughter of exiled Ewing son Gary (Ted Shackleford). With new and old resentments flying and everyone deeply suspicious of everyone else's motives (even the ailing Jock doesn't trust J.R.), there's plenty of drama to chew on. Still, storylines are often larger than the sum of these parts, with lots of kidnappings, marital affairs, plane crashes, and shootings ratcheting up suspense. Dallas is pure pleasure, a little guilty, perhaps, but not a sin. --Tom Keogh
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Top customer reviews
and have in our Library, we loved the show and it is nice to watch again and remind ourselves of events that happen. We are well pleased wtith
the First and Second Season and play to order more till we get all the Seasons.
Thus ends the pilot episode, with Pam having foiled the first of J.R.'s schemes to get her out of the Ewings' lives, but it is certainly far from the last!
Other reviews have provided readers with a layout of the plot, so I'll just say a few things that have probably already been said, but are worth repeating. First, the show has some good early episodes (Digger's Daughter, Spy in the House, Barbecue, Reunion Parts 1&2, Black Market Baby, and Election), but in my opinion the writing is hit-or-miss until approximately 2/3 of the way into Season "2" (S1 on TV), when two major events happen. Both events are, of course, soap storyline staples, but both served to rapidly thicken the plot and serialize the show for good.
As for the cast, it really helped make the series what it was. One-time comedy star Larry Hagman takes a bit of a backseat initially, but by the end of the first season you can sense that his portrayal of amoral, selfish, philandering J.R. has just scratched the surface of its potential, and that he is about to become the breakout character (indeed, THE television character of the early-to-mid 80s). Linda Gray, previously most famous for being Anne Bancroft's leg double in the best-known promotional image for 'The Graduate', turns in a solid performance as J.R.'s wife Sue Ellen, a neglected, fading beauty queen unhappy with her marriage and her life. Former Broadway star, and occasional Hitchcock cast member Barbara Bel Geddes embodies matriarch Miss Ellie like no other. Jim Davis, a veteran of B-list westerns, adds instant 'old wildcatter' credibility to the character of Jock. Patrick Duffy, whose career had been launched the year prior on the short-lived sci-fi TV series "The Man From Atlantis", turns Bobby into the sanctimonious antithesis of brother J.R. Victoria Principal's Pam is the star-crossed princess to Duffy's knight in shining armor, and is also there to look gorgeous. Ken Kercheval was not yet a regular, but his portrayal of power-hungry, yet naive Cliff Barnes in the episode 'Election', has him primed to be J.R.'s arch-nemesis and favorite chew toy for years to come.
It was aired in primetime, so there was only one episode a week/~22-30 per season, which means the plot advances at a decent pace. Bottom line - yes, it's a soap opera, but this isn't your mother's plodding daytime soap.