Monday, June 18, 2012

Yee haw, y'all.

Here's what I know about the original Dallas:

1) Someone shot Col. Nelson from I Dream of Jeannie.

2) everyone thought Patrick Duffy was dead until he came out of the shower.

3) There was lots of cat-fighting and falling into pools. Actually, that might have been Dynasty.

When TNT announced it was bringing back Dallas, a lot of people's reaction (including mine) was whaaaaa? I mean, really? The show has been dead for a while now, so what the hell? But I guess it makes sense from a money perspective and never delude yourself that television executives are interested in anything else.  Dallas is an established brand that is remembered fondly by a lot of people, and that type of back-stabbing soapy family drama seems to be back in vogue (example: Revenge).

Ok, so we have established the reason for bringing the show back. But is it any good?

Well slap my ass and call me Sally, but darn it if it isn't a helluva good time.

Sure, it's not the second coming of television. But it's summer, expectations are lower, and Dallas gives a lot of delicious twists and turns, questionable alliances, moral ambiguity, and good old fashioned greed. The rich want to get richer and nobody is safe from becoming collateral damage due to their ambition.

"Blood is thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both."

My only complaint is I wished the show had taken a little more time to establish the family relationships, especially for people like me who never watched the original series. It also doesn't help that a lot of the younger generation characters look so similar. But here's what I figured out:

JR (Larry Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) are brothers. JR is older...apparently way older since Larry Hagman is 80. Bobby was always the nice one, and JR was always the scheming greedy one. Bobby has a son named Christopher who wants to explore alternative forms of energy, like methane. JR's son is named John Ross (so he and Christopher are cousins...and pretty much the same age) who has discovered that there is a shit-ton of oil on South Fork, the Ewings huge home ranch.

The central plot of the show is driven by the two conflicting family views: those who want to preserve South Fork as was the wish of JR and Bobby's mother, and those who want to "drill, baby, drill" and tear up South Fork for the billions of dollars the oil represents. Of course, the Ewings don't play fair, so there are shifting loyalties, lies, deceit, sex, and all the other good old-fashioned Texas family values.

Dallas is fun. There's pretty much no other way to describe it, and I am just happy to be along for the ride.

If you ever see JR Ewing smile like this.. run. Don't ask any questions, just turn around and run. Because you can bet he is up to no good.

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