Thursday, June 07, 2012

I Saw the New "Dallas" Show, and You’re Going to Love It!

One of the perks of being a review blogger is that I sometimes have the opportunity to review TV programs before they air. So, when I was recently given the chance to preview the new Dallas show, I was probably the first to sign up! For those of you who are too young to remember (unfortunately, I’m not), the original Dallas aired from 1978–1991, and it was one of those shows that everyone was watching! Back then, we didn’t have TiVo or the ability to watch shows online, so everyone was tuned in at the same time each week to see the show, and then we were all talking about it throughout the next week. Dallas was the story of the Ewings, a very wealthy family in the oil and cattle business in Dallas (of course) who, despite their immense wealth and privilege, managed to make a mess of their lives. J.R. Ewing, the oldest son played by Larry Hagman, was a scheming, conniving, cheating man who always seemed to come out on top, especially when it came to besting his younger brother, Bobby (played by Patrick Duffy), who was the polar opposite of J.R. We also got to know their parents, Jock and Miss Ellie (now deceased), their wives (Sue Ellen and Pam), cousin Lucy and other members of the Ewing family and circle of friends (and enemies). One of the biggest events of all time in TV history was the cliffhanger at the end of one season called “Who Shot J.R.?” All that summer, everyone was trying to guess which of J.R.’s enemies finally (almost) did him in!

So, after 20 years, I was really excited to find out what happened to the Ewing family. Watching the premiere episode, I felt as if I was witnessing a volcanic eruption that had been slowly simmering for the past two decades while the next generation of Ewings grew up. Suddenly, J.R. and Sue Ellen’s son, John Ross, and Bobby’s son, Christopher, are ready to go forward into a new era of greed, power, and wealth. As with the previous Dallas, there were plot twists galore and plenty of loose ends to be tied up in upcoming episodes. I won’t give away any major plot points, but here are a few things that really stood out for me in watching the pilot episode:

1) Patrick Duffy has found the Fountain of Youth! Seriously, that man has not aged since the original series. He looks exactly the same! There must be a stream of magical water running through his property, like in Tuck Everlasting, that enables him to stay the same age for eternity. He looks fantastic.

2) When we first see Larry Hagman as J.R. in the premiere episode, he’s been diagnosed with clinical depression and is practically comatose in his room. He is under the care of a nurse and fails to respond when Bobby comes to visit him. Being that Larry Hagman is now 80 years old in real life, has a past history of alcoholism and underwent a liver transplant, I figured that was the only way they could work in his character -- by not giving him much to do. Boy, was I wrong! I won’t give away any more details, but I will say that the original J.R. is back! And he’s just as fun and conniving as ever!

3) Sue Ellen is now competent and coherent. I can imagine actress Linda Gray telling the producers that she would only return to the show if she didn’t have to play a drunk again! Sue Ellen had a serious drinking problem in the original show, and many scenes featured her slurring her words and being victimized by J.R. Now divorced from J.R., she’s fully recovered and a strong, confident woman. Hurray!

4) John Ross and Christopher are poised to become the new J.R. and Bobby as they battle each other for power and control over the Ewing estate and wealth. I’m really excited to see how this rivalry plays out in upcoming shows!

5) Two other characters from the original series make a cameo appearance in the pilot episode, so keep your eyes open for them if you’re a fan of the original series. Can you guess who they are?

It’s not necessary to have seen the original series to quickly become a fan of the new Dallas. Of course, if you can get your hands on the original shows (check your local library), it will add to your enjoyment, but it’s easy to understand the new series without seeing the old one. I’m really hoping this show is a HUGE hit because I’m excited to re-connect with the Ewings and their family drama. And as a member of the Dallas Roundup Network, you’ll be hearing more from me about my impressions of the new Dallas TV series! But, for now, here’s the most important thing:

Be sure to tune in to TNT on Wednesday, June 13 at 9pm/8c for the two-hour season premiere of the new generation of Dallas! You’ll love it! (And that’s a direct quote from J.R.!)!/Dallas_TNT

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship with Dallas. This could include Dallas providing me with content, product, access or other forms of payment.


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