Dallas - Season 6 [DVD] 
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The complete sixth season of the popular US drama series. In this season, a nasty battle between J.R. (Larry Hagman) and Bobby (Patrick Duffy) for control of Ewing Oil has repercussions for everyone in Dallas. Episodes comprise: 'Changing of the Guard', 'Where There's a Will...', 'Billion Dollar Question', 'The Big Ball', 'Jock's Will', 'Aftermath', 'Hit and Run', 'The Ewing Touch', 'Fringe Benefits', 'The Wedding', 'Post Nuptial', 'Barbecue Three', 'Mama Dearest', 'The Ewing Blues', 'The Reckoning', 'A Ewing is a Ewing', 'Crash of '83', 'Requiem', 'Legacy', 'Brothers and Sisters', 'Caribbean Connection', 'The Sting', 'Hell Hath No Fury', 'Cuba Libre', 'Tangled Web', 'Things Ain't Goin' Too Good at Southfork', 'Penultimate' and 'Ewing Inferno'.
The saga of the wealthy Ewing family continues in its sixth season - full of sibling wars, adultery, reconciliation and power struggles. Season 6 starts with ice: J.R. gets the cold shoulder when the family votes him out as president of Ewing Oil. And it ends with fire: Southfork ablaze, with four Ewings trapped by roaring flames. In between, J.R. and Bobby bare-knuckle it out in their biggest fight yet over Ewing Oil, thanks to their father's will. It seems Jock just couldn't decide who should inherit, so he split the company in half and gave his boys one year to see who could make the biggest bucks ? and win the whole shebang. Plus Bobby and Pam split up, J.R. and Sue Ellen remarry and J.R. sees Cuba's jail system from the wrong side of the bars. Add a Texas whirlwind of lying, cheating and bed hopping and, as J.R. might say, "Darlin', this here is Dallas!"
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Holly Harwood and Mark Grayson join the cast, both in their different ways contributing to the marital problems of JR/Sue Ellen and Bobby/Pam. Also Morgan Brittany as the wonderfully nasty Katherine Wentworth and Howard Keel as Clayton Farlow become regular cast members in this season.
This season is dominated by the battle for Ewing Oil between Bobby and JR, JR naturally tries to win the crooked way - but Bobby too shows his meaner side this season as he is determined to beat JR even at the risk of his marriage and his principles. ( No pun intended ).
This a great season for the JR/Sue Ellen relationship - they start off by remarrying and their wedding day in particular is a great episode involving Cliff Barnes and a dip in the Southfork swimming pool - but by the end of the season, after Sue Ellen discovers JR in bed with Holly Harwood she really falls to pieces ( and hits the bottle again ).
On the downside, this season is utterly dominated by the battle for Ewing Oil, you really have to concentrate on this plot - JR's convoluted schemes, the twisting and turning motivations of the various characters - at one point Pam seems to want JR to win the fight, then Bobby - and you end up knowing more about the oil industry than you ever wanted to know!
Also I did find the breakup of Bobby and Pam's marriage and in particular their failure to see through Katherine Wentworth a bit hard to believe.
But these are minor quibbles - not enough to knock even one star of this brilliant series - and amazingly it gets even better next season!
It has a strong momentum all the way through 26 episodes. The hard fight for Ewing Oil runs through the season like a steel coil. Almost every action, every decision, every repucussion is down to this battle. Its the engine which drives the show. This completion between JR and Bobby really adds spice to this season. Almost no one is unaffected by the fall out.
Its the reading of Jocks will in episode 5 which is the starting pistol. The terms of his will stipulate that the one who shows the most profit after a year gets to be CEO of Ewing Oil. Both boys are up for a fight and as Bobby says "are prepared to get down in the dirt". Other members of the family are caught up in this fight and become casualties by association. Some fatally..
Watching this again what struck me was how good Patrick Duffy as Bobby was. He carries the whole shebang. He is a man who knows the competition is destroying his marriage and family but he knows he has to carry on. He has no choice but to continue the fight. But Bobby has a conscience and fights it when he has to get as low as JR. Both brothers resort to blackmail and double cross to win the fight. Duffys performance shows regret, toughness, exasperation, stress and it is done subtly - with a look or his eyes showing his emotions.
Pam is a goddess but by the end of the season you can't be exasperated with her. She is just a big bundle of `feelings'. The `feelings' get the better of her and she overreacts to the whole business, combined with the shock death of a close relative she turns her back on the Ewing clan and her husband. And of course another hunk steps into her life.
JR is at his fighting best. Determined to get his daddys company he is at his fiercest this season. Juggling numerous schemes and seems to be relishing the fight. But even he gets in dire straight's leading him to do business with Cuba. After getting Sue Ellen to the altar at the start she and JR are pretty united throughout the season. it all goes pear shaped at the end of the season. No one quite does lip quivering drunkenness as good as Linda Gray.
Cliff Barnes starts the season in Dallas Memorial after a suicide attempt. By the end of the season he is back to being his bouncy annoying self. Ken Kerceval does some quality acting though. His mental collapse on the death of Rebecca Wentworth is impressive. And his lovely girlfriend Afton Cooper acts as the conscience of the entire show. Putting peoples feelings first in an arena where everyone puts business first. And her running to Southfork as she is the first one to know about the plane crash is my favourite scene in the series.
My favourite character, Clayton Farlow, gets a much bigger role as the writers put him with Miss Ellie. Donna and Ray get a good story arc with Mickey Trotter - Ray's delinquent nephew who walks all over his Aunt Lil - so Ray takes to Southfork. Donna gets some good stuff stopping JR politically while Ray acts as a role model for Mickey. Lucy after spending the season moping takes a shine to Mickey. They never really know what to do with Lucy storywise from now on in.
New characters include Holly Harwood as an out of her depth oil heiress who find s herself in a faustian pact with JR. How she extricates herself from that contract makes uncomfortable viewing. John Beck plays Pam's new suitor and although in succeeding seasons becomes likeable here he showing up at Pam's door with a bunch of flowers each episode becomes irritating.
The plots and schemes have room to breathe and some of them are compulsive viewing. Poor Walt Driscoll seems to be shafted all season. The script is sharp and the dialogue clever. JR may do bad stuff but he points out the hypocrisy of Bobby, Pam and eventually Ray being unable to take the moral high ground.
All in all an excellent season, with season 7 being even better.
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