Упражнения уровня IELTS по английскому языку. № 40.

Прочтите приведенную ниже статью о мыльной опере "Даллас". Для вопросов с 1 по 6 выберите наилучший ответ (A-G). Есть одна буква, которую вам не нужно использовать.
Read the article below about the soap opera Dallas. For questions 1 to 6 choose the best answer (A-G). There is one letter that you do not need to use.

A JR Ewing B Bobby Ewing C Pamela D Miss Ellie E Cliff Barnes F Gary G Sue Ellen

According to the article, which character…

(1) was desperately unhappy? G
(2) never appeared very often? F

(3) was seen less and less? D

(4) set a high standard for similar characters? A

(5) underwent a big transformation? B

(6) had to make unsatisfactory compromises? C


My favourite soap opera by far is none other than Dallas. Dallas left its mark on a generation of television viewers like no other soap before it or since. First shown in 1978 as a five-part mini-series on the CBS television network, it was so successful that it continued to be made for more than a decade, with the final episode being aired in 1991.

Dallas was in essence the story of a struggle for power and influence between and among two feuding families, the Ewings and the Barnes. Always melodramatic and occasionally absurd, the real strength of the series lay in the excellence of the characters and (for the most part) the actors who played them.

The character that stood out above all others was JR Ewing, played by Larry Hagman. JR was the villain that all other soap opera villains have to measure themselves against. Unscrupulous, manipulative and scheming, JR was the man the audience loved to hate.

Bobby, his younger brother, played by Patrick Duffy, could not have been more different. Until he was killed off, Bobby was a one-dimensional, too-good-to-be-true character. On his return from death, however, he had lightened up, become more laid-back and even learned to enjoy a joke or two.

Bobby's wife Pamela was played by the beautiful but hardly enigmatic Victoria Principal. As a Barnes among the Ewings, Pamela was inevitably torn between the two camps, caught in the middle, never able to satisfy either side. It was Pammy who had a year-long 'dream' during which Bobby was murdered and she married someone else. When she eventually 'woke up,' Bobby was back and her new husband had gone. Ridiculous!!

Miss Ellie had the task of holding together a family which often seemed to be bursting at the seams. As played by Barbara Bel Geddes, this was a wonderful character, but one season she fell ill and had to be replaced by Donna Reed. In her own way, Reed was as good an actress as Bel Geddes, but she was simply wrong for the part. Thankfully Bel Geddes returned for the following season. However, as the series continued her declining health meant that her appearances on screen became more infrequent towards the end.

Cliff Barnes was the local Assistant District Attorney and he always sought to expose JR's corrupt practices. He later set up a rival oil company called Barnes-Wentworth and this led to further feuding with the Ewings. Cliff Barnes was played with great self-assurance by Ken Kercheval.

The third brother was Gary though his appearances were sporadic. He spent most of his time in another soap, Knots Landing. Gary was played originally by David Ackroyd but later more notably by Ted Shackleford. It was also later revealed that the head rancher at Southfork was also a half brother. He was Ray Krebbs (played by Steve Kanaly).

The storyline for which Dallas became most famous was when JR was shot and we were all kept guessing before finally discovering it was his wife Sue Ellen's sister Kristin who did it. Sue Ellen was a former Miss Texas who becomes a hopeless drunk after marrying JR. Sue Ellen was played by Linda Gray, Kristin by Mary Crosby.

The programme was at one time immensely enjoyable but the later series were increasingly ridiculous and the acting suffered. But I'll always remember those early years when Dallas was the best thing on television and JR ruled not just Dallas but the world.

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