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Old 07-13-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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'Dallas' vs. Dallas: Where TV stops and reality begins
By Todd Leopold

Dallas (CNN) -- Jessica Angelly stood outside the Sixth Floor Museum last week, taking in the sights of downtown Dallas with family and friends.

It wasn't what she expected.

"I figured it would be a lot of cowboy hats, Wrangler jeans and boots," said Angelly, 17, who was visiting from Metropolis, Illinois. "It's actually kind of disappointing."

Well, you can't believe everything you see on television.

More than 30 years after it premiered, the images of the TV show "Dallas" -- oil derricks, herds of cows, endless fields of the Ewing family's Southfork Ranch, those ubiquitous 10-gallon Stetsons -- still hold sway. Visitors such as Angelly, who wasn't even born when the TV series went off the air in 1991, expect them. Popular culture and even some locals want to present them.

And there's more on the way. On Friday, TNT announced it had picked up a new version of "Dallas," with 10 episodes scheduled to begin airing in 2012.

The new show will feature the children of J.R. (Larry Hagman) and Bobby (Patrick Duffy) as the latest generation of Ewings conniving for control of the family businesses. With guest appearances scheduled from the original cast, expect to see more 10-gallon hats, big hair and luxe accommodations.

But "Dallas" -- oil, ranching and families like the Ewings -- isn't much like the real Dallas.

Sure, the city and surrounding area have their share of oil companies -- ExxonMobil is headquartered there, as is Hunt Oil and the drilling product firm Dresser -- but it's also the home of Texas Instruments, American Airlines, 7-Eleven, JCPenney, AT&T, Hostess Brands and TGI Fridays.

The real Dallas is a city of 1.2 million, making it the ninth-largest city in the country. Including Fort Worth to the west and dozens of suburbs, it's part of the United States' fourth most populous metro area, with 6.4 million people.

It's a lot more diverse than oilmen and Miss Texas winners of "Dallas," too. Forty-two percent of city residents identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino; the county sheriff is a Hispanic gay female. The city has gone Democratic for most of the past 30 years; in that time, its mayors have included two women (both of whom happened to be Jewish) and an African-American man. The metro area includes sizable populations of people from all over the world. ... [continued by link below]

Read the rest of the story here:
'Dallas' vs. Dallas: Where TV stops and reality begins - CNN.com

Last edited by hamiltonpl; 07-13-2011 at 10:53 AM..
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,390 posts, read 23,257,559 times
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Wow at that article! Beautifully written and I totally agree.

Its to bad Dallas and the DFW area will never be known for what it actually is. Instead it will always be known for a tragic event, the Cowboys, and a TV show. Even my wife (before she ever visited) thought Dallas was just a bunch of cowboys and white people with tumbleweed and oil. To this day, her biggest surprise was "all the Indians and Mexicans" and "no cowboys in Dallas".

Dallas is the most stereotyped city in the US where the stereotype is furthest from the truth (in my opinion).
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justme02 View Post
Wow at that article! Beautifully written and I totally agree.

Its to bad Dallas and the DFW area will never be known for what it actually is. Instead it will always be known for a tragic event, the Cowboys, and a TV show. Even my wife (before she ever visited) thought Dallas was just a bunch of cowboys and white people with tumbleweed and oil. To this day, her biggest surprise was "all the Indians and Mexicans" and "no cowboys in Dallas".

Dallas is the most stereotyped city in the US where the stereotype is furthest from the truth (in my opinion).
It was a remarkably accurate article about Dallas. Personally, I've never seen a tumbleweed. I've seen a couple of cowboy hats in Dallas -- mainly at the airports. (But they're usually getting on a plane that's going to Harlingen).

Visitors expect more Texana when they arrive in Dallas. I've got mixed feelings on whether we should play that up for tourists.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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Fantastic article! The author really had great insight into Dallas...is he from the area?
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamiltonpl View Post

Visitors expect more Texana when they arrive in Dallas. I've got mixed feelings on whether we should play that up for tourists.

Good article..

Wait, you mean people aren't carted around in Chuck Wagons, armed with six shooters, use only Vaquero cooking methods (which are awesome BTW) to feed themselves, and have rodeo shows and ho-downs as a primary source of entertainment? Rats! I want my storybook Texas...I want to hear the clicking of spurs, people spitting in Spittoons, and the only beer sold in stores to be Lone Star and Shiner. And I want my delusional Christians!!

I will say, from what I have seen, Ft. Worth seems to do pretty well with it. As a regular visitor/tourist and future resident, I personally think that aspect of Texas is pretty darn cool, stereotype or not. It's a beautiful state, I say embrace some of those stereotypes, it's part of your core. At the same time, people do need to take the time to learn more about the area, most outsiders (particularly Northeasterners) know very little other than the stereo types and what was taught to them about basic history of the state.

Although I could do without terms like Y'all and fixin too etc..Just not quite sure I am in a position to take issue since I come from a place where wicked pissa is commonly used. No really it is!
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:11 AM
 
Location: The Big D
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Great article.

My 16 year old experienced it finally firsthand last week while in Florida. Upon learning her and her friends were from Dallas they asked them if they rode horses to school, had oil wells, tumbleweeds and the whole nine yards. She's heard me say before about the stereotypes we get when traveling but never really has she had to hear it herself. After they kept on she finally said, "Actually, I drive a BMW to school". She said they kind of shut up after that. I told her that if the person gets too cocky and I've just been letting it go I sometimes respond, "Yes, I drive 450 Horses every day. They just happen to be under the hood of a Porsche". LOL!!!

I can hardly wait for the stereotypes to get back into full swing w/ the new "Dallas" showing. At least it's not on a major network so that should keep it a bit notched down. Maybe.........
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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My husband says every time he travels to NY the biggest question he gets about Dallas is "Does everyone carry guns there?" They really think of Dallas as the gun-totin' shootem up high-rollin' town as seen in some movies and TV shows. They are fascinated by the thought that citizens are allowed to carry guns and protect themselves from criminals, a right they as New Yorkers have forfeited.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Plano, TX
770 posts, read 1,635,868 times
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Originally Posted by momof2dfw View Post
Great article.

My 16 year old experienced it finally firsthand last week while in Florida. Upon learning her and her friends were from Dallas they asked them if they rode horses to school, had oil wells, tumbleweeds and the whole nine yards. She's heard me say before about the stereotypes we get when traveling but never really has she had to hear it herself. After they kept on she finally said, "Actually, I drive a BMW to school". She said they kind of shut up after that. I told her that if the person gets too cocky and I've just been letting it go I sometimes respond, "Yes, I drive 450 Horses every day. They just happen to be under the hood of a Porsche". LOL!!!

I can hardly wait for the stereotypes to get back into full swing w/ the new "Dallas" showing. At least it's not on a major network so that should keep it a bit notched down. Maybe.........
I hope so. When I lived in Cali, I saw how shows like "Laguna Beach" and "The OC" portrayed Orange County as nothing but a bunch of rich, stuck-up and spoiled caucasian brats who have everything handed to them in life when the harsh reality of it is that most people in OC, even along the coast ARE NOT rich and don't fit those stereotypes.

I think that stereotypes are just ignorant in general, so yeah, hopefully this show does keep it down a bunch. I knew on my visits to Dallas before moving here that the stereotypes were not true, and since living here in Texas, I have only seen the typical stereotypes of Texas in places like the rural areas of the Panhandle, the Permian Basin, and Far West Texas.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by skids929 View Post

I will say, from what I have seen, Ft. Worth seems to do pretty well with it. As a regular visitor/tourist and future resident, I personally think that aspect of Texas is pretty darn cool, stereotype or not. It's a beautiful state, I say embrace some of those stereotypes, it's part of your core. At the same time, people do need to take the time to learn more about the area, most outsiders (particularly Northeasterners) know very little other than the stereo types and what was taught to them about basic history of the state.
!
Fort Worth does do a great job of that. The city has kept its authentic history and still appeals to a person who wants to see the Texas that looks like the old west. Dallas could play that up a bit more. But if that is not who we really are, why should we try to something we're not?
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hamiltonpl View Post
Fort Worth does do a great job of that. The city has kept its authentic history and still appeals to a person who wants to see the Texas that looks like the old west. Dallas could play that up a bit more. But if that is not who we really are, why should we try to something we're not?
Not sure, good point though..I don't know the city's history the way you do..I can just say as an outsider I am guilty of thinking about the area in certain stereo-typical ways. Quite honestly, I had NO idea Ft. Worth was so close to Dallas before I needed to get familiar with the area.

Metaphysically speaking, it's a unique thing, because your own perception of yourself (as a Dallisite) is always different than the way you're perceived outside of that. The perception you know is the reality to you..But personally think as an outsider some of the stereo types are endearing, some are downright stupid and some are hideously ugly. Overall for me, someone with a fresh, fairly ignorant perspective on Texas, the good easily outweighs the bad even at first blush, and in general it seems like a great place to exist. I think your motto Don't mess with Texas can be a little intimidating to market, but if perception is the problem like the article said you gotta find something to market and there is a ton of good stuff to work with.
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