Dallas (premiere)

{4.5/5} “Bobby’s not stupid… but I’m a whole lot smarter.”

Dallas premiere, aired in 2012

As I said, I won’t normally review single episodes of TV series, but I’ll make an exception for a series premiere.

The original Dallas lasted 14 seasons. I was too young to watch it in its early years but was a faithful viewer in its later years. It started in 1978, ended in 1991, and had 2 TV movies in 1996 and 1998. I’m not sure what I would think of it if I watched it today — I haven’t seen any more than clips of it in years — but I certainly enjoyed it at the time.

So I was interested in seeing the new Dallas, especially since three of the original stars are returning: Larry Hagman (I Dream of Jeannie) as J.R., Patrick Duffy (The Man From Atlantis) as Bobby, and Linda Gray (Models, Inc.) as Sue Ellen. It seems like the focus is going to be on the next generation, though — J.R. and Sue Ellen’s son John Ross, Bobby’s son Christopher, and their significant others.

J.R. has been depressed for years and lives in some sort of facility where he’s cared for. Sue Ellen is running for governor — she and J.R. haven’t been together for years. Bobby runs Southfork ranch and no longer has anything to do with the oil business. Bobby’s married again, to Ann, whom we haven’t met before. John Ross has discovered oil on Southfork — but J.R. and Bobby’s mother’s wishes were for no drilling to be done on the ranch. Christopher has been working on developing an alternative energy source — but it turns out there are problems with it. Christopher and Elena used to be a couple and broke up because of a misunderstanding — or did someone come between them on purpose?

The younger actors are mostly new to me. Josh Henderson (Over There) plays John Ross. Jesse Metcalfe (Chase) plays Christopher. Julie Gonzalo (Eli Stone) plays Rebecca, Christopher’s fiancee. And Jordana Brewster (As the World Turns) plays Elena, John Ross’s girlfriend — who used to be Christopher’s girlfriend. Ann is played by Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives).

I found both the old characters and the new characters fun to watch — excellent work from writer Cynthia Cidre (In Country, The Mambo Kings), one of the executive producers.

The show reminded me a little bit of James Clavell’s Shogun — in the way that everyone is plotting against each other.

Of course, the show reuses the theme from the original — one of the best TV themes ever written. It was written by Jerrold Immel (Knots Landing). And it reuses the opening sequence style — where vertical bars slide across the screen.

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 16th, 2012 at 10:41 am and is filed under Reviews of TV shows. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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