Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Devil's Back, and God Ain't Happy...He Sent a Hailstorm Down on Dallas!

Seriously. The Dallas-Fort Forth area was hit by a hailstorm last night, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Devil himself has returned!






Last night, twenty-one years after it went off the air, Dallas returned with much fanfare...and it definitely lived up to all the hype. The original was the beginning of the Era of the Nighttime Soap that reached its peak in the '80s. Remember its spinoff, Knots Landing? Falcon Crest, set in California's Napa Valley wine industry? The campy, glitzy Dynasty? Or Dynasty's short-lived spinoff, The Colbys (which was actually a better show than Dynasty but never quite took off with viewers)?






Dallas was always the best of the lot. At its core, it was about family--the Ewings. There was Jock Ewing, the wildcatter who struck it rich and married Ellie Southworth, heiress to the spectacular Southfork Ranch and their sons: JR, the eldest, who took over the reins of his daddy's empire; the youngest son, Bobby, content to run the ranch; the estranged middle son, Gary, who'd left Southfork unable to tolerate JR's mental abuse; and Ray Krebbs, Jock's illegitimate son and the ranch foreman. There was Gary's daughter, Lucy, taken from her mother, Valene, by JR's hired goons when she was a baby and raised by Jock and Miss Ellie. JR's wife, former Miss Texas Sue Ellen, tolerated his infidelity until it drove her to the bottle. Bobby married Pamela, daughter of his father's arch rival (and former partner) Willard "Digger" Barnes--a marriage doomed from the "I dos." Digger had always been in love with Miss Ellie. Pam's brother, Digger's son Cliff, was obsessed with revenge against the Ewings...and lived a Wile E. Coyote existence because of it. Sue Ellen's scheming sister, Kristin (Mary Crosby) was just obsessed with JR--first as his mistress, then as the one who shot him in that famous "Who Shot JR?" cliffhanger that made TV history in 1980.






Fast forward to May 13, 2012: Though some things remain the same--the familiar Dallas theme and the Southfork Ranch, which has changed little in two decades--there are major changes.  Jock (who died during the series' first run, along with his portrayer, Jim Davis) and Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) have been gone for many years. Bobby (Patrick Duffy), married to his third wife, Ann (Brenda Strong), has just discovered he has colon cancer and has decided to sell the ranch rather than have his adopted son, Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe), and JR (Larry Hagman) and Sue Ellen's (Linda Gray) son, John Ross Ewing III (Josh Henderson), end up fighting over it as he and JR once did. JR's in a nursing home, having had a mental meltdown at the end of the original series. Ex-wife Sue Ellen is being pursued by power brokers to run for governor of Texas--in spite of her history of alcoholism and adultery. Christopher is about to marry lawyer Rebecca Sutter (Julie Gonzalo). John Ross, who's struck oil on the ranch in spite of the terms of Miss Ellie's will prohibiting drilling on Southfork, is in a relationship--personal and professional--with Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster), daughter of the Ewings' former cook. Elena has always loved Christopher--but believes he opted to cancel their wedding plans. The next generation of Ewings is very much like their predecessors.






In Dallas 2.0, nothing is what it seems.


Bobby has made a deal to sell Southfork to the Del Sol Conservancy, represented by sexy Marta del Sol--who is conspiring with JR. Or is she? JR sees her kissing John Ross from the window of his room at the nursing home. Bobby's attorney is handling the sale of the ranch...but is he secretly on John Ross' payroll?  Christopher has been investing in alternative energy technologies--but his undersea methane extraction project triggers an earthquake. Rebecca's brother Tommy  arrives at Southfork for the wedding and manages to persuade Ann to give him a job...then meets secretly with Rebecca to report that "all is proceeding according to plan." Wait a minute....


All this treachery in two hours and fifteen minutes?


I wonder when--if--Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) will return to take the Ewings on again. Ray (Steve Kanaly) and Lucy (Charlene Tilton) made cameo appearances at Christopher's wedding, so it wouldn't be out of the question to see other original cast members show up, would it?



24 comments:

  1. Just reading this has me humming the theme song! :)

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  2. You need a score card to keep track of everyone!

    So, like father like son, hmm? Just as devious, is he?

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  3. I think the son is going to be far worse than the father, William!

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  4. I never watched any of it cause I had my nose in books back in those days....Any similarity to the Clampetts? LOL

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  5. I was never a huge fan of the series, but I loved that theme song -- I even recorded it on cassette. Glad to see it's back!

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  6. I always liked the opening shots of the city and ranch but I have to say I was an off and on watcher in the first two seasons and then never watched it again...
    I know it was a show but when family argue and hate each other it is too hard for me to watch.
    When you flew out of John Wayne Airport the last plane out had to scramble out at 9 or 10pm (?) because of noise abatement. I was flying to San Francisco and they scrambles us on and said sit fast so we could get out on time.
    After we zoom out, the flight attendant said we know who shot JR if you want to know... I didn't care but loved hearing everyone yell yes ! For some it was kind of a let down though.

    Fun post today.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I had money on that! The oddsmakers in Vegas were calculating the odds for each suspect. There was a rumor that the Queen and Queen Mother were trying to get one of the cast members to spill the beans. (The only member of the cast who actually knew was Linda Gray, because she had to do a voice-over for the revelatory episode in advance.)

      I really thought they should have had the attempted murderer be someone less obvious.

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  7. I never watched the old one, but I recorded the premiere and just watched it today. I think I"m going to love it!

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    1. Since you're two years younger than Collin, and I was pregnant with him the year Dallas premiered, I'm not surprised you never got into the original, Christina! But for anyone who's interested, CMT is airing the original series....

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  8. I enjoyed the original Dallas very much. Things change in twenty years, among the changes is my reduced tolerance for soaps! Best of luck to John Ross and the gang. They will manage fine without me.

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    1. Dallas is technically classified as a soap--but since the writing is far superior to any soap, I have a hard time thinking of it that way.

      Like you, Lynn, my tolerance for soaps grows weaker every day....

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  9. I used to watch Dallas with my Mom. Everyone just loved hating JR! The return of Dallas and its new generation looks to be very interesting! Unfortunately I missed the first episode; I was busy and forgot about it. But I hope to catch the next one. One thing Dallas has, is plenty of excitement! Interesting there was a hailstorm...hmmm?? Take care, Norma!

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  10. Since it's on TNT, I'm sure they'll run those first two episodes again, Lena!

    Did you know snakes refuse to bite JR out of professional courtesy?

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  11. Poor JR. I'm sure he's a nice guy once you get to know...

    No, can't do it. Can't muster up any apparent sympathy for the old boy.

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    1. He's not getting older, he's getting meaner!

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  12. My mom and dad used to watch Dallas...I was never into it, but I did watch it. I guess it was "too weird" for me. I was more of a Dukes of Hazzard kind of kid...LOL

    Can't believe Larry Hagman is still alive...isn't he like 105?

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    1. I used to watch The Dukes of Hazzard, too. Collin used to work for Boss Hogg--I swear, the guy looked just like him!

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  13. Wow, I had no idea it was back again. Guess it hasn't reached our fair isle just yet.

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  14. I can see why that theme would be catchy...

    My mother didn't watch the show when I was a kid. I think she'd probably have issues with JR.

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    1. Everybody had issues with JR! When he was shot, his own parents were among the possible would-be killers!

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