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Dallas: The Complete First and Second Seasons

Barbara Bel Geddes , Jim Davis , Alex March , Barry Crane    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.98
Price: CDN$ 22.77
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Dallas: The Complete First and Second Seasons + Dallas: The Complete Third Season + Dallas: The Complete Fourth Season
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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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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
...says Victoria Principal's character Pam in a 1979 episode. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth because these first two seasons of "Dallas" take their time introducing the main players at Southfork and the cast did not become huge and sprawling until the '80s were well underway.

The first season of "Dallas" originally aired as a CBS mini-series in the spring of 1978 and was so successful that the network picked up the show as a weekly series for the 1978-79 TV Season. The episodes that composed both that "trial-run" and first full season are contained here. The suprising thing about these early "Dallas" offerings is that, while many plot threads are stretched throughout the season, each episode is also suprisingly self-contained so that anyone stumbling across one of these randomly will still be able to follow the action. Speaking of action, it's amusing to see how many outlandish events occur in this first box set alone: two kidnappings, a hostage crisis, a plane crash and a heart attack all within the first 20 episodes. There are some missteps as when the writers throw these outsider plots into the mix, such as random characters holding the Ewing women hostage, or kidnapping Bobby. The show works best when it sticks to the back-stabbing within the world of the Ewings and the high-powered oil industry.

The acting is top-notch all around. Larry Hagman has already captured the evil but amusing essence of J.R. Ewing. Charlene Tilton gets some juicy material in the first episodes, but isn't given as many interesting things to do as the season progresses. Ken Kercheval is a delight as the impish and devious Cliff Barnes, especially during his fling with Sue-Ellen when he knows how badly it would get under J.R.'s skin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The doings of the Ewings Jan. 13 2007
What a blessing! This DVD transported me to the golden age of the late 70s and the 80s, less complicated times filled with happy memories. Dallas made a huge contribution to popular entertainment in this era before mobile phones and other irritating gadgets. Talking of phones, JR always answered it with a curt "Yello" and hung up without saying goodbye.

This set opens with newly-wed Bobby and Pam on their way to Southfork Ranch, blisfully happy with only the wise Pamela expressing concern over the fact that she's the daughter of Digger Barnes, great enemy and rival of patriarch Jock Ewing. And it gets better and better with exquisitely complex intrigues! The Ewing family, who became family to millions way back then, never disappoints.

For those who watched the complete series, it is interesting to see the character development from the very beginning. For example, Ray Krebbs is a highly unprincipled scoundrel who later became decent and honest. Sue Ellen (Swellen to JR), still a vapid beauty queen here, evolved into a graceful, mature womanhood after a long struggle with demon drink. In between, many times when discovering JR's infedilities, she slapped his face, her lower lip quivered and she said "bestid!"

The devious little Lucy, very much the delinquent, eventually chilled and unfortunately disappeared too soon from the series. Pam is the one who impresses most with her can-do attitude and sound moral principles. Others never changed much: the long-suffering Miss Ellie is good and remained so to the end, whilst the charmingly evil JR never gave up his tricks. He in fact got worse. Others include Cliff Barnes, Gary and Valene Ewing, Jenna Wade, Kristin Shepard and Donna Culver.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Never Dies Sept. 13 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The original Dallas is still the best. The DVDs I received are great quality and arrived quickly. I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought it for my father. Great purchase. March 13 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Brings back the memories for sure. Used to watch it with my parents as a kid. Still love to see the characters and the stories that I had forgotten about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars recu aujourd'hui Jan. 6 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
j'ai recu aujourd'hui le 6 janvier 2014 dallas saison 1 et 2. je l'ai recu en tres bon état. merci. je vais commandé encore dans le futur ca c'est sur! merci beaucoup! de mr.patrick richard de beloeil québec canada.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift Dec 16 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
All these episodes were great and I would like to watch them all over again. It was truly the best show back in the 70's. If you are watching the new Dallas episodes on TV now, then you truly like to watch the early episodes to see how it all happened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DALLAS: SEASON 2 April 20 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Love it! Just like my comments for season 1. Can't get enough. Love the style, the fashion. I love it all!

The plots are very interesting, and I like the consistency and specific references to incidents that have happened, making the continuity flow.

Very pleased and would recommend that anyone who watches today's Dallas watch the original shows, for better understanding of the feuds.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied!!! June 17 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Got the product extremely quickly.. it was a good price.. and in excellent shape considering it was supposed to have been used. I'm a very satisfied customer. Also - Dallas is a great TV show.. but not suitable for kids in my opinion.
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