LONG BEFORE TWILIGHT, IT WAS TEAM JENNA VS. TEAM PAM
By Nic Tatano
Love triangles have been around forever; in literature, movies, and of course, real life. In fact, there’s a Murphy’s Law about love triangles; how often have you gone from having no one to date to meeting two nice people at the same time? Good problem to have, but burning the proverbial candle at both ends can leave you with a very painful waxing.
For me, my favorite love triangle occurred in the classic nighttime soap opera, Dallas. (Though considering the remarkable amount of bed-hopping in this show, there were also love polygons.) For those too young to remember, this show ran for fourteen years and was the number one show on Friday night, back when networks actually aired good stuff on the weekends. And for years, Bobby Ewing was torn between his ex-wife, Pam, and his longtime love, Jenna.
What stands out for me about this particular love triangle was the fact it was appointment television that took place on a date night. Back in the early 1980s a VCR cost around a thousand dollars and those of us who were single and broke couldn’t afford one. So you had two options if you were single on a Friday night: stay home and watch it live, or go out on a date, run home to watch Dallas, then go back out. Incredibly, the latter option was very popular. Of course, imagine the ramifications of being in an actual love triangle, and then having to interrupt a date to watch a fictional one.)
But luckily those weren’t the only two options for me. Since I worked in television news, there was a third option: the tape recorders at the TV station. So it was up to the Friday night anchor to tape the show, which was regarded as important as covering the top story. (Any anchor who forgot to tape Dallas would have hell to pay.) Anyone who missed the show would gather at eleven on Saturday morning in the newsroom for Dallas Brunch. We’d sometimes have a pretty decent crowd.
But it didn’t stop there as this particular love triangle divided the TV station. People took sides, joining Team Jenna or Team Pam long before vampires & werewolves started this whole “team” thing. For whatever reason, the women seemed to want Bobby to get back with Pam, played by Victoria Principal. The guys wanted him to move on to Jenna, played by Priscilla Presley. Anyone walking into the newsroom expecting a discussion on current events would be shocked at how passionate people were about this love triangle.
Then the producers of Dallas threw a monkey wrench into the whole thing, killing off Bobby. But just for one year. Of course he came back a year later, basically telling the viewers that the entire previous season was a dream, which irritated fans to no end.
Personally, I was always on team Jenna and right after they re-booted Dallas a few years ago I actually got to meet Priscilla Presley while doing some work for the Today Show at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home. I struck up a conversation with her about Dallas and we chatted for about ten minutes on the subject.
Proving the greatest love triangles never die.
A huge thank you to Nic and to Samantha at HarperImpulse. ♥
Public relations expert Lexi Harlow is the queen of getting her clients out of sticky situations. But can she do it for herself?
After an incendiary breakup (setting fire to her cheating boyfriend’s pants), Lexi decides to play the field for the first time in her life. Two suitors are vying for her affections: New York’s most eligible bachelor and pro quarterback Jake Frost, and sports agent Kyle Caruso. But when the athlete hires the agent, and both enlist her services to take care of public relations, well…
There’s only one way Lexi can get out of this love triangle before everything blows up in her face: choose one.
But when the candle she’s burning at both ends meets in the middle, the choice is no longer hers.