#DallasChat Daily: Which ‘Dallas’ Storylines are Underrated?

Angelica Nero, AnnaLynne McCord, Barbara Bel Geddes, Barbara Carrera, Christopher Atkins, Christopher Ewing, Dack Rambo, Dallas, Heather McCabe, Jack Ewing, Jesse Metcalfe, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Miss Ellie Ewing Farlow, Pam Ewing, Peter Richards, Steve Forrest, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT, Wes Parmalee, Victoria Principal

Do you love “Dallas” storylines that other fans hate?

Maybe you find Sue Ellen and Peter’s May/December romance provocative and love everything (or most things) about the “dream season.” Or perhaps you were intrigued by the Wes Parmalee saga. On the new show, maybe you wonder why Christopher and Heather’s romance doesn’t receive more attention from your fellow fans.

Your #DallasChat Daily question: Which “Dallas” storylines are underrated, and why do you like them?

Share your comments below and join other #DallasChat Daily discussions.


  1. Dan in WI says:

    It’s very easy to overlook the last several seasons of CBS but the jewel of that period is the Ewing/Westar tanker collision. It started off good with Bobby forcing JR to buy a substandard tanker when he wouldn’t fund JR’s latest venture. From there JR was juggling and borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and might have got away with it if that tanker accident hadn’t occurred. This storyline started off with Bobby and Cliff working together but Cliff was driven off when he was left out of the damage control process. A bitter Cliff would then quickly be put in charge of the commission investigating the accident. It had Bobby and JR working together in the Ewing way publically but privately Bobby was extremely upset that Ewing Oil which he had just got back from the Justice Department was now right back in serious danger. It had Jock once again speaking to JR from beyond the grave in a recently rediscovered pep-talk letter. It had JR doing the right thing (years before JR returned ownership of Southfork to Bobby on TNT) when he signed legal documents taking full personal responsibility for the accident and absolving Ewing Oil when defeat seemed certain at the eleventh hour. It had McKay (who by the way does not have a son) trying to buy up Ewing Oil cheap just before the ruling on the accident and Bobby turning him down flat with one of the great speaches of the show. Finally it had Bobby’s impassioned plea to Cliff while invoking the name of Pam to rule on the side of truth when it came out Westar was responsible. But if he chose Cliff was still in a position to bury that evidence.
    Like I said, it is a highlight from a period of the show that was short on highlights.

    • Dan, I came this close to including that an image of that storyline in the photo collage, but I couldn’t find a good one that I thought was instantly recognizable. I agree, though, that the tanker collision is a terrific storyline. I also love how topical it was, coming soon after the real-life Exxon Valdez crash. Thanks for mentioning it.

      • Dan in WI says:

        I almost listed this storyline a couple days ago during the favorite storyline discussion but found it didn’t quite make that cut. It was more of an honorable mention. So when today’s topic came up I knew this was the place for it.
        You’re right though. There probably is no screen capture that would have represented this one. Best I can come up with is a picture of that guy that sold the tanker to JR but it probably wouldn’t pass the instantly recognizable test.

  2. Jennifer Irons says:

    The one storyline from the dream season that I liked that I feel was underrated was when Pam had to work at Ewing Oil with JR after Bobby had died and left his shares to Christopher. Since he was too young, Pam had to contro the shares so she and JR had to work together at EO which made their animosity towards one another more fun to watch!

    • Dan in WI says:

      I don’t know if I’d call this one under-rated. It didn’t really go anywhere after a ton of build up. I’d call this storyline under-utilized in a what could have been sort of way.

    • I agree with you – don’t you just think the first 10 episodes ( or thereabouts ) of the dream series were very good – and certainly under-rated. On the other hand the fact this storyline soon fizzled out and Pam was sent on a wild goosechase to find an emerald ultimately ruined it.

      In fact one of my all time favourite episodes is within the early part of the dream season – the Oil Barons Ball episode where Pam decides not to sell out her share of Ewing Oil to Jeremy Wendell ( to JR’s delight ) but to keep them herself – “I’ll see you in the office partner.” – the look on JR’s face was priceless!

      And one of my favourite individual scenes – the encounter at the rodeo between Sue Ellen and Mandy Winger – “You mistresses think you’re so much cleverer than us wives……..”

      I think if the dream could have ended half way through the season and Bobby back to life for the second half ( instead of the nonsense that was otherwise inflicted on us ) the season would have been redeemed and the whole dream thing would have been regarded as innovative and clever rather than ludicrous.

    • Superb analysis Miss Jenny. But did you & C.B. & Andrew & DALLAS Decoder readers ever consider that when John Ross, Christopher, & the other kids were growing up on Southfork, they showed them playing & doing other fun activity’s. But then they never expanded on those activity’s to showcase the kids talent for them. So we have John Ross Ewing the IIIrd swimming with Peter Richards, but then he’s not swimming 4 or 5 episodes later & there ain’t no explanation IV the change. This of course is an example. I think the show was an adult show, but some of the weaker story lines could have benefited greatly from increased interaction with the Ewing offspring: do u agree Miss Jenny?

      • Jennifer Irons says:

        I agree 100% with you, R.J. It would have been nice to see little John Ross and little Christopher have decent storylines in the original Dallas!

  3. sunnycd says:

    My selection for most underrated: un homme fatale, Tommy McKay. When he came on in season 12, Tommy gave the show some crazy sizzle. He assaulted April and Southfork, spied for JR, snorted coke (you’re so far behind, Judith), sparred with Bobby (the best fight of the series!), made season finale phone calls, shoved one of Carter’s acquaintances/enemies into traffic, and tried to kill Bobby and April with a suitcase bomb! When he was written out in season 13, the episodes became mundane at best. Until …

    My runner-up selection: Jeanne O’Brien. Bobby’s obsession with Pam’s real-estate agent twin, played by Margaret Michaels, was another jolt for the show. I think it only went for five episodes, but I was disheartened when it ended. Ms. Michaels would have been hired to replace Victoria Principal permanently had I been running the show.

  4. I think the most underrated story line in the TNT series of “Dallas” is Christopher’s mining technology. That got my interest and imagination from Day 1. Storylines like this inspire people to become engineers, oceanographers, inventors, or wherever their imagination, interests, and passion take them.

    Check this out!!! —–> If you are like my family, avid watchers of the new version of the nighttime soap opera, Dallas, you know that Christopher Ewing is trying to harvest natural gas from gas hydrates, an icy combination of water and methane under high pressure and low temperatures found at the bottom of the ocean. Well from television drama to reality, on Tuesday of this week Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology announced that they had extracted natural gas from gas hydrates found about 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the Atsumi Peninsula, directly south of Tokyo.

  5. Sue Ellen’s alcoholism in 1985 was amazingly done, and she turned herself around admirably (Only for it to be a dream!)

  6. Dan in WI says:

    Okay I have the dictionary definition of an under-rated storyline here. Nobody (including me for which I’m embarrassed) even mentioned it to date and it was one I loved a lot: Gold Canyon 340: This is the storyline were JR executed every part of his plan perfectly and yet he still lost/Cliff won through shear dumb luck. Not many like seeing JR lose and I can’t say that was the best part. But as a fan of CBS Cliff I did like see something go his way for once.

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