#DallasChat Daily: Does ‘Dallas’ Celebrate Capitalism?

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, TNT

In some ways, “Dallas” is a show about excess: The Ewings are hard-charging business people who enjoy the trappings of their power and success. On the other hand, the family’s riches might provide them with a nice home, beautiful clothes and fancy cars, but their personal lives are a mess. Also worth noting: “Dallas” routinely depicts the havoc the characters’ pursuit of wealth creates in the world they inhabit. Witness the Ewing Oil tanker disaster on the original series, the Ewing Energies rig explosion on TNT’s “Dallas” and the debate over drilling on Southfork, which has been raging for decades, with no end in sight.

Your #DallasChat Daily question: Is “Dallas” a celebration of capitalism — or a critique?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a great discussion!

Comments

  1. Jennifer Irons says:

    I think that Dallas both celebrates and criticizes capitalism. On the one hand, it is good to be able to work hard and be rewarded financially for it but on the other hand, money/power can’t buy happiness which the Ewing family knows all too well!

  2. Garnet McGee says:

    Great question. I supposed people have written their dissertations on this question. I think it ultimately does celebrate capitalism more than it criticizes it. The character’s personal lives may be a mess but their lifestyle is presented as an enviable one. No true critique is made of the way they earn their money or their status. I noticed a good number of the fans seem to skew to the right of the political spectrum. Dallas was very popular abroad during a time when our president and country were not. I wonder if that says something? I also wonder if Texas now has bad associations for many in the international viewing audience which makes them less eager to watch.

  3. DALLAS shows the very threat that communism was, particularly at the tag end of the Carter era & in Ronald Reagan’s pursuit of its destruction, ending with the fall of the Berlin Wall in MCMXCIX (1989.) Sure there are excesses to the rich & poor. But we need capitalism so that the rich can provide jobs for those less fortunate & raise the economic standards 4 all socio economic classes C.B. I for 1 praise the Ewing clan C.B. & praise the rich making cash, yes God Bless Texas & the Ewings of Braddock County & the old Ewing Oil Company Limited & the new Ewing Global!

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