There was a season of the 80’s prime-time soap opera Dallas that was particularly fucked-up and weird.
It was kicked off with Bobby Ewing, younger “good” son from the Ewing clan, getting killed in one way or another; people were always getting shot or whatnot on this show, because it unconsciously/consciously resonated the Kennedys. (“Who Killed J.R.?”/”Who Killed JFK?”…as well as just the name of the TV series).
Consequently, with one of their main characters now dead, everything was “shuffled”on the show—and even for a program with super-“out there” soap opera antics, this season was fucking bizarre.
So now we have the finale of this really weird, fucked-up season. And Pam, the widow of Bobby, goes to the bathroom and finds…
…Bobby nonchalantly taking a shower. If this wasn’t enough of a shock, we find out at the beginning of next season that not only did Bobby not die—Pam had dreamt the entire previous season up!
This was some David Lynch-level High Weirdness I was exposed to very early in my life, way before I was even aware of who David Lynch was. I remember staring off into space in my classroom, trying to work out how this all could have happened, the metaphysical mechanics of it—how you could “dream” an entire chapter not only of your life, but of the deeply complicated and inter-connected lives of everyone you knew.
Anyway, that one shot of Bobby standing in the shower, looking over his shoulder at Pam—that’s like on the order of the “Mona Lisa” for me in terms of enigmatic smiles. There’s almost something a *tiny* bit sadistic/mocking about it…as if he really knew what was going on. (I suppose it’s more like Patrick Duffy, the actor who played Bobby, was trying to hold back how WTF he thought this storyline was.)
There’s a separate question as to what I was doing as a small child religiously watching Dallas, but that’s neither here nor there.
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