DALLAS: THE COMPLETE FINAL SEASON
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The classic prime time drama that helped define the 80s comes to a close with the fourteenth and final season of “Dallas.” In this season, we see plenty of skullduggery happening, including murders, dirty deals and even a visit from the Devil himself. J.R. and Bobby find themselves being forced out of Ewing Oil, and some familiar faces from the past threaten the well-being of the company and the family. It might have ended in the 90s, but the essence of the 80s is still rich with this final season of “Dallas.”
WHAT I LIKED
There’s a degree of decadence in “Dallas” that was never quite reached with other prime time soap operas. Maybe “Dynasty” to a point, but “Dallas” was just steeped in the 80s and made you love to watch dastardly people do dastardly things. It also continued to have of the best prime time antiheroes from the decade as well: J.R. Ewing. This season, as much as any other, focuses on J.R. and his ruthless approach to business.
It seems that J.R. had more meat in this season than the last couple leading up to the end. Bobby had been galvanized as the good brother, and his storyline gets its own level of darkness with outside forces, including a cameo run by soap opera vixen Susan Lucci. This allowed Bobby to play off of her rather than butt heads so much with J.R., freeing the symbol of “Dallas” to really get his hands dirty.
All of this culminates in one of the wackiest series endings out there… a visit from Joel Gray as an evil Clarence who shows J.R. what his life might be life if he didn’t exist. It’s a corny “It’s a Wonderful Life” knock-off done in a very different manner, and I for one liked it.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Well, this was the early 90s, and that meant the show was still shaking off the dust of the cheesiness of any prime time 80s drama. The hair, the fashions, the interior design were not so much as silly (like those of the 70s and 80s) but more plain bad.
Plus, the series showed its age with television conventions that we don’t see all that much any more since the advent of DVRs, modern CGI use (rather than video toasters) and cinematic style.
Still, this series is hella fun to watch, more so if you grew up during its initial run.
None. They burned out of those in the single digit seasons for sure.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of 80s prime time dramas.