'Dallas' dominated the TV landscape during the first 4 years of Ronald Reagan's presidency. Between 1980 and 1984, 'Dallas' was the No. 1 prime time show on American television. At its peak, 40 million viewers were watching 'Dallas' each week. "Who Shot J.R.?" became a worldwide pop culture event. "In television terms," Leonard Katzman observed, "it was the equivalent of Columbus discovering America. Except he didn't have to go out again the next year and find another country." 

'Dallas' bicentennial episode went on air in November 1985. As reported at the time, "What is it that makes 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' a weekly habit for millions upon millions of viewers? 'Dallas' deals with a very wealthy family working to keep the family business prospering, as does 'Dynasty'. 'Dallas' continues to highlight J.R.'s machinations in the boardroom and the bedroom. 'Dynasty' has a corner on pre-menopausal romance. The Ewings and Carringtons of 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' have been playing musical beds since they first went on the air. The infighting among the Ewings and Carringtons often reaches Greek tragedy proportions." 

Martha Howell, a professor of socioeconomic history, reiterated, "Some people imagine an ideal society is one in which there is no hierarchy of wealth. But a very good argument can be made that hierarchies of wealth are not in themselves bad. The question is, how much mobility is there in society, and how is wealth used?" Historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto concurred, "You can't achieve a distribution of wealth unless you have wealth in the first place, which means that some people have to accumulate it."

Naomi Gurian had argued, "The trickle-down theory is very distressing to us because, by the time it does trickle down, there's often very little left." Esther Shapiro insisted, "A TV show has to reflect, even in a fantasy way, the times. And this was a show of the feel-good generation, the Reagan years." John Forsythe maintained, "The trick to doing 'Dynasty' was to present a realistic world with a fairy tale icing."

When the weekly series of 'Dallas' ended in 1991, producer Leonard Katzman conceded, "The thought of it ending, well, a TV show is like life. When you come into it, you know it won't last forever." Of future 'Dallas' series, Patrick Duffy added, "We all have such identifiable characters that have sort of been indelibly etched in the viewers' minds. You can't change a great deal within those parameters and satisfy an audience that hung with you for 13 years."

Leigh McCloskey made the comment, "You get one script at a time simply because they feel the characters are constantly changing. If you were playing, in a sense, the result – where you were going – it would not be as convincing. It's nice because you really don't know where you're heading, and you work on what's going to happen in the future. It's like life. You don't know what's going to happen, you don't know what you're going to say next, and you just continue on."

Priscilla Presley recalled, "We're not allowed to talk about future episodes." Larry Hagman told 'People' magazine, "Life is like a slide trombone—high notes and low notes." 'Dallas' "struck a rich vein of dramatic possibilities with one basic opposition: Old West vs the New West. The opposition is not a simple matter of Good vs Evil because one factor is dependent on the other."

In the U.S., 'Dynasty' appealed to women living in New York and Los Angeles. Around the world, 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' were ranked the most watched American shows in countries such as France, England, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Canada and to a lesser extent, Australia. Esther Shapiro remarked, "There was a lot of escapism in the beginning of the series and a lot of emphasis on glamorous costumes but in the last year or two with changes in the country's economy, there has been a need for changes in the show's direction. You must change."

In 1985, Patrick Duffy shocked viewers when after 7 seasons, his character Bobby Ewing expired in a Dallas hospital following an accident at Pam's house. "'Dallas' broke all the rules. It was a continuing show with no beginning, middle or end. It was the very first show in the U.S. to do that. I knew it was going to work from the very beginning, and I loved the character of Pam," Victoria Principal voiced.

Sigmund Freud had stated that there were no accidents and no coincidences. As reported, "Even 'random-seeming' feelings, ideas, impulses, wishes, events and actions carry important, often unconscious, meanings. Anyone who has ever made a 'Freudian Slip' that has left them embarrassed or baffled will attest to the importance of the unconscious meanings of the things we do and say.

"That time you 'accidentally' left your keys at your lover’s apartment may have been an accident; but more likely, at least unconsciously, you wanted to go back for more. From dreams, to Freudian slips, to free association — delving into one’s unconscious as a means of unlocking often hidden or denied fantasies, traumas or motivations is still crucial to gaining the whole truth about human behavior."

In the 1985 season finale episode of 'Dallas', the "death" of Bobby Ewing attracted 46% audience share and 27.5% household ratings. In 1986, Patrick Duffy again shocked viewers when his character was resurrected. The 'Dallas' 2-hour season premiere episode attracted a 44% audience share and 26.5% household ratings. "When I breathed my last," Patrick remembered, "Donna (Reed as Ms. Ellie) was still there. I didn't even hear about Barbara (Bel Geddes) coming back until 3 weeks later. I was driving up the coast and I heard it on the radio. I didn't get to see Barbara on the set."

In 2012, Patrick Duffy spoke to 'The Canadian Press', "It was the only way to get Bobby back. Dreams and being knocked on the head and it-didn't-really-happen have been a favorite get-out-of-jail-free card for literary works for almost all of history. About 4 other shows, right after we did the dream, did their own dream to end seasons. Quite literally any actor and any character, for that matter, who did not actually die ... the option of those people and characters coming back is out there. That option is always on the table because that's what 'Dallas' was, 'Dallas' was that kind of show." 

Speaking to Luaine Lee of 'Knight-Ridder Newspapers' in 1988, Patrick Duffy acknowledged the impact of being on 'Dallas', "It's like all those lottery winners who say, 'This won't change my life a bit.' You know damn well it will. I know my life has changed, but I don't think my values have changed. My emphasis was home and family first and then a career. It was home and family before I had a career and it still is now (in 1988). I live a better life than I did before in terms of material possessions, but not in terms of spiritual content."

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