Has Cliff Barnes gone senile?

Young Cliff lets it go

Young Cliff lets it go

Old Cliff keeps it going

Old Cliff keeps it going

As that’s the only explanation I can come up with for his complete change in character since the original series, at the end of which he finally triumphed over JR when he took control of Ewing Oil. All his ambitions were realised, or so we viewers were led to believe. Fast forward 20 years and Cliff is back to his vengeful ways against the Ewings-despite having told Miss Ellie in 1988 that: “Digger was wrong and I was wrong and if it’s not too late I’d like to make peace. I’d like to ask you to forgive me”. This was the END of the Barnes/Ewing feud. Not so for Dallas 2.0 which has conveniently erased that part of Dallas history (along with some other stuff which I won’t go into here) so that they can make Cliff into some dark, mafia type figure who will stop at nothing to achieve his aims-which includes being willing to maim and/or kill (or at least seriously endanger) the life of his only child and beloved daughter Pamela Rebecca and her unborn twins-Cliff’s grandchildren. (there was also Frank, but anyone who buys that Cliff took him off the streets of Islamabad in the 1980s when he never even left Dallas didn’t watch the same show that I did).
Cliff has NO motivation for going back to his war with the Ewings. The proof being his recent conversation with new Ewing enemy Harris Ryland (who isn’t nearly as scary as his mother Judith) where Cliff bleats on to him about Digger being mistreated, just like he used to do in the original series BEFORE he made amends and officially ENDED the feud with Miss Ellie. Thus my only thought is that he must be suffering from senile dementia or some other age related illness which makes him believe that he and the Ewings are still fighting and that his conversation with Miss Ellie never happened, he is living in the past. I wanted to believe that the Dallas 2.0 production team had cooked up a good, juicy storyline to explain Cliff’s return to the dark side, but it seems not, they just want to erase history again and ask us loyal fans to keep swallowing things we know aren’t true.
(The one good thing about the new Cliff is that it showcases actor Ken Kercheval’s incredible acting ability. In the original he played a cheap, goofy, but loveable loser extremely convincingly and in the new Dallas he plays a twisted, evil, bitter old man just as convincingly).

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4 Responses to Has Cliff Barnes gone senile?

  1. Mike says:

    I disagree with you here. Your main point of contention is what Cliff uttered to Miss. Ellie back in 1988, and I know what episode you’re speaking of. But, as you said, by 1991 Cliff was leveraging a play and succeeded in the taking over of Ewing Oil, so clearly, even back in 1991, just 2-3 years after his comment to Miss. Ellie, Cliff never was satisfied and was still battling JR. Also, the comment about hurting his daughter and grandchildren. I remember Cliff on many occasions in the original series stepping on people he cared for, Afton Cooper, Jamie Ewing (someone he married just to get her shares of Ewing Oil), etc…to get what he wanted. He was consumed with winning, so him having the bomb on the rig go off is not that stunning from him. As far as his grandchildren, they were Ewings, so again, no shock he didn’t care for them so much. Cliff was always willing to do anything to get back at the Ewings.

    • theewing says:

      Hi Mike, Thanks for your comment. If Cliff had continued to wage war with only JR I could agree as when Miss Ellie asked him if the peace extended to JR Cliff replied that no matter what their names were he thought that he and JR would have hated each other. What bothers is me is that he, as I see it, absolutely ended the feud with the Ewing family-he said he wanted to make peace, he asked Miss Ellie to forgive him. Yeah he continued to feud with JR, but as I understand it from that point on his feud with the Ewings, as a family, was over. He also told Miss Ellie that Digger was wrong, yet in Dallas 2.0 he carries on bleating to Harris Ryland about how the Ewings did Digger wrong, which he’d already accepted wasn’t the case, as he said to Miss E.
      You’re right Cliff did step on Afton and Jamie and he was pretty horrible to both but they weren’t related to him by blood. Pamela is his daughter, and he went to great lengths in Dallas 1.0 to determine whether or not she was his daughter. Cliff was a bit of a schmuck in the original series, but he was never as bad as he is in Dallas 2.0. I could accept the change if he had never ended the feud because then it could be said that his bitterness, anger etc had twisted him into the character he currently is, but he did end it. I could also accept either sole feuding with JR or him having discovered, or having some other motivation for, re-starting the feud but the whole ‘Ewings cheated my daddy’ just seems extremely weak and finished a long time ago.

  2. Mike says:

    Ok, now I understand your point. I didn’t realize that you were separating the fued. You’re saying he ended the fued with Ewings as a family, and you’re right. You hit the nail on the head also with Cliff being a sympathetic shcmuk in Dallas 1.0, but now they’re portraying him and this super powerful villan who even has a hatred for Bobby, which makes NO sense because Cliff usually got along with Bobby, and with JR gone, why does the hate continue…I see your point completely now.

  3. Pingback: Season 2 episode 11-A call to arms! | The Return of Dallas

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