Missing Miss Ellie

Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie
Yesterday, Barbara Bel Geddes, who plays Miss Ellie on Dallas died. I find this sad for a few reasons.

First (and this could be a happy reason?), Dallas season 3 just came out on Tuesday. It is kinda cool that she survived to see season 3, but sad at the same time that people will be reminded of how great of an actress and character she played, she is no longer with us.

Second, she is probably one of the strongest characters on the show. In one of the early episodes of season 1 or 2 she has a discussion with Pam or Sue Ellen (I honestly cannot remember which one…) about infidelity. Miss Ellie admits that her husband, Jock, had cheated on her on occasion and whenever she did, she slapped him with a belt or something to set him straight. It’s hard to really express the spirit of the scene without watching it again, but I just remember being really moved by her strength and refusal to put up with shit from her husband.

Miss Ellie, mother of the notorious J.R. and totally likable Bobby, was a great mother and stopped at nothing to keep her family together. Whenever the brothers had issues with their wives (which was quite often), Miss Ellie almost always took the side of the woman (she was a great defender of both Pam and Sue Ellen), while at the same time slowly trying to show her sons how great their wives were.

A true matriarch and she will be missed.

Finally, I must note that I, of course, started watching Dallas season 3 yesterday and am, of course, loving it. I’ll try to post some thoughts as the season progresses.

Double Ds

What is it about primetime soap operas that make me love them so much? The double-crossing? The affairs? The oil businessmen? The absurdity? I just can’t say. Today I started watching season one of Dynasty and I’m hooked — just like Dallas and Knots Landing before them.

But seriously, Dynasty is hardcore. Maybe more hardcore than Dallas? I’m not sure.

All I know is that during the three-part first episode there was a scene between Blake Carrington and his son Steven that was so hardcore I’m still recovering.

It turns out that Steven may be gay (though, by episode four, his interactions with Claudia seem to indicate otherwise). Being 1981, this is a major problem for his dad, a super-rich oil tycoon (how original, yah?). During their argument, Blake breaks-out some philosophy!

I’m about as Freudian as you could hope for in a capitalist exploiter of the working classes…

After that statement, Blake goes on to tell Steven that he understands that Steven’s homosexual experiences may cause hostility toward his father, but that, ultimately, Steven is still a faggot. He also laments the fact that the American Psychiatric Association had declassified homosexuality as an illness and that he won’t have an opportunity to open a homosexuality treatment center in his son’s name.

Granted, the fact that Steven is gay is a major problem and it (so far) isn’t accepted at all, but I still think it’s a pretty brave thing for 1981. The same issues crop up in television shows today with only a smidgen more of acceptance.

In addition to being gay, however, Steven also appears to be a bit of a socialist. During the aforementioned fight (as I recall), Steven accuses his father of selling-out his own country in order to develop oil resources abroad and complains that the country is too dependent on natural resources and should focus on renewable energy. His sister, Fallon, however, is totally opposite and quite willing to make “a dollar and a half” using her father’s money and business.

Dallas (which debuted a few years earlier) that it feels extremely unoriginal. For some reason I can’t stop imagining Blake’s new wife Krystle as Pam Ewing (both being unaccustomed to their husband’s wealth and status). And for some reason I keep seeing Cliff Barnes in Matthew. I also see Lucy in Fallon because both seem somewhat sexual and very close to their rich uncle/father. Confusing Ray Crebs (Dallas‘ farmhand) and Mike (the driver) is the only one that really makes sense.

Anyway, I can’t say yet whether I like Dynasty or Dallas more so far. I’m inclined to say Dallas since it spun-off into Knots Landing (and I loved Knots Landing as a kid) and since I know my mom likes Dallas as well. Nonetheless, Dynasty is way hardcore and I’m loving it for the time being.

Go J.R. Ewing!

J.R. Ewing
While trying to find an article that fleshes out the similarities between the evil J.R. Ewing from the television series Dallas, I found this article: “Larry Hagman slams US president over Iraq.” Dude, Larry Hagman (who played J.R. on Dallas) is fucking hard-core!

Look at this quote:

JR Ewing in the Dallas series, said Bush was a “sad figure: not too well educated, who doesn’t get out of America much. He’s leading the country towards facism.” … When asked whether Bush would appreciate his accusation, Hagman replied: “It’s all the same to me, he wouldn’t understand the word facism anyway.”

So yeah, Larry Hagman basically called the president a facist. Daaaamn!