TITLE: DALLAS - THE COMPLETE ELEVENTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Number of Discs: 3 (Dual Layer)
Number of Episodes: 30
Running Time: 1417 Minutes
Audio: English: 1.0 Dolby Digital Sound
Special Features: None
JR may be down, but he’s never out. After Ewing Oil collapsed in disgrace at the end of season 10, some folks might suspect Season 11 to feature a JR Ewing who has learned his lesson. But not Dallas fans - they know the only lesson JR ever learned was to do onto others before they do onto you. So hang on to your Stetsons for 30 irresistible episodes of cheating, lying, and tomcattin’ as JR claws his way back to the top. More drama: Bobby loses Pam but finds new romance, thus making the last 10 years a waste of our time again. Cliff meets a broken down wildcatter with dreams of gusher glory. Sue Ellen discovers that revenge is sweet, while two murder cases grab headlines. And a new crop of drop dead gorgeous folks with big schemes and even bigger hair make life even more interesting for JR.
With Pam gone thanks to Victoria Principal having set sail, Dallas becomes the “JR and Bobby Show” almost exclusively...Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman run the show, period. At this point, the show becomes a stereotypical soapish program, and starts to become painful to watch. The series does still have its moments, yes. But the Dallas *I* like is long gone by this point.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
I’m taking the Alpha and Omega route here - and only highlighting the season’s beginning and end...everything in between gets a solid “meh.” The first two episodes examine the aftermath of JR’s fall and Pam’s death. JR doesn’t change and tries to climb back to the top. Bobby mourns Pam and eventually meets someone else later on the season. Done. Towards the end of the year, Lucy returns (yay!) and eventually Sue Ellen fires a couple of shots in the vicinity of JR before reporting a double murder. Yay, shooting JR...that’s never been done before.
If you’re a fair-weather fan looking for something to buy, you can probably just stop right here. Rent the first disc of season 11 just for the resolution of Pam’s death, but then feel free to stop right there. Otherwise, I encourage you to check out previous seasons of Dallas, most of which will be better to sit through.
Seasons 1-2 /
It’s not BAD television, it’s just painfully mediocre especially given what the show was in EARLIER years.
I know there are still a few seasons pending release that we’d all like to see, but really: At this point there’s nothing new under the sun and further releases only benefit the true and hardcore fans of the series.
You want guest stars? How about Brad Pitt, who shows up as a character named Randy in “Brother, Can You Spare a Child” and he appears in the next two subsequent episodes as well as well as later on in “Farlow’s Follies.” James Avery, who in the ‘90s would play Will Smith’s Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air appears as, surprise surprise, a judge, in the episode “Malice in Dallas.”
The packaging is of a style that’s becoming increasingly common - and I’m not a fan. Contained within an outer box is a hard plastic translucent white case. Inside, attached to the inner spine, is a set of plastic panels which hold the set’s discs. The clips that hold the panels onto the spine are alarmingly fragile, and are prone to breakage. Disc art is similar in style to previous seasons, with this season using a dark blue color. Cover art is the cast in formal attire posed together. There is no disc art due to the dual layer discs. Each side of each disc holds 5 episodes. 10 total per disc. Simple 2nd grade math allows for the calculation of which episode is on which disc.
Menu Design and Navigation:
Menus are static, but feature well-designed menu art and feature one of my favorite things a menu can include: theme music. It’s amazing how many publishers can overlook such a small and simple nicety that improves the experience so much. The menu uses the same style as previous sets, and the same rendition of the late 70s version of the theme. It’d be nice to see the themes updated with each season’s change in instrumentation, but a different version is certainly better than none at all. Avoiding matching type, the menus feature a silver color scheme.
Video and Audio Quality:
Language options for this DVD are limited: You have only one audio track, a Dolby Digital mono English track. The audio isn’t particularly earth-shattering, and considering we’re in the era where Stereo was becoming common it’s disheartening to see a Mono presentation.
Ever experience a paradox? A moment where something occurs which shouldn’t be able to occur? That’s what we have here. Somehow, some way, the video is both too sharp and too blurry. The blurriness far outweighs the sharpness, but both do occur in varying amounts. The on-screen graphics such as in the opening titles have sharpened edges which stand out, while regular scenes and video are blurry and dull. Not pleasant. No discernable edits, chapter stops at the end of each act.
After the Fall: Ewing Rise: 47:36
After the Fall: Digger Redux: 47:08
Son Also Rises: 47:14
Gone with the Wind: 47:37
The Lady Vanishes: 47:08
Tough Love: 47:15
Last Tango in Dallas: 47:15
The Mummy’s Revenge: 47:12
Bedtime Stories: 47:15
Lovers and Other Liars: 47:11
Brothers and Sons: 47:11
Brother, Can You Spare a Child?: 47:13
Daddy’s Little Darlin’: 47:11
It’s Me Again: 47:14
Marriage on the Rocks: 47:14
Anniversary Waltz: 47:11
Brotherly Love: 46:44*
The Best Laid Plans: 47:18
Farlow’s Follies: 47:12
Malice in Dallas: 47:16
Crime Story: 47:13
To Have and To Hold: 47:13
Dead Reckoning: 46:52*
Never Say Never: 47:18
Last of the Good Guys: 47:15
Top Gun: 47:13
Pillow Talk: 46:42*
Things Ain’t Goin So Good at Southfork Again: 47:18
The Fat Lady Singeth: 46:47*
*These episodes run between 15 and 30 seconds shorter than the others for some unknown reason. Whether this is an edit or a short episode remains to be seen.
None. At this point is anyone really surprised? New interviews would be nice.
Warner, just get the last three seasons out so that we can call it a day, please? It’s painful dragging out the lesser seasons of the show like this, and the sooner we get to the end the sooner we get to answer the one question still on my mind: What will be the ultimate release status of the reunion movies? There are two, plus the reunion clip fest from a few years ago.
If you’re a hardcore Dallas fan, hopefully you already own it. Otherwise, just rent the first disc. General recommendation to avoid and get an earlier season instead.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 04/29/09
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