When I first heard that TNT was bringing Dallas back, I was a bit leery. Dallas was a show from my childhood. I remember watching it, especially with my Grandma (how she loved her soaps). The drama and backstabbing kept us tuning in each week. I wasn’t sure how TNT would manage to bring it back and still capture may attention.
Now that I’ve watched the first 3 episodes (2 aired for the premier last week), I can say that it looks like TNT got it right. Obviously, we’re only 3 episodes in and there’s plenty of room to screw it up, but I like it.
First, the thing I just might like best in this show, is that for a change, the older female actresses look way better than the men. I think it’s unfair that men seem to look better with age (Sean Connery, George Clooney). But I remember Sue Ellen from the original Dallas, and she looks a billion times better than JR.
Beyond that very superficial observation, the plot right out the gate is typical Dallas. Different branches of the family tree are all out to get their hands on money, this time in the form of South Fork, the family ranch. The backstabbing and betrayal is full force from the first episode.
John Ross, JR’s son, wants to drill for oil on South Fork land. Bobby, JR’s brother and land owner, won’t hear of it. John Ross gets his father involved in a scheme to take the land, and John Ross plans to double cross his father so the land will be his alone.
Bobby’s son, Christopher, is back in town and trying to develop alternate fuel possibilities. His ex-fiancee is now dating John Ross. On his wedding day, Christopher finds out that Elena, his ex, didn’t leave him. She fled to Mexico because she received an email from him telling her that their relationship had been a mistake. But he didn’t send the email.
Love the Dallas betrayal.
This sets us up for a love triangle because we can see that Christopher and Elena still have feelings for each other, but he does marry Rebecca. Coincidentally, Elena has the knowledge and skills to help Christopher with his alternate energy project that has run into problems.
At the end of episode 2, we also find out that Rebecca and her brother are not simply new members to the family, but that they have strategically inserted themselves into the Ewing clan for some sort of revenge. We still don’t have the details, but we do know that Rebecca has real feelings for Christopher.
Overall, the new Dallas is a nice mix of old and new. Bobby, JR, Sue Ellen, and Cliff Barnes are all characters from the original and they seem to hold true to those characters. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. I mean, after 30 years, people should change, right? But there’s a certain amount of comfort in knowing that JR is still the self-absorbed asshole he’s always been.
The new characters, the younger generation, are all sexy and fun to look at, which is part of the draw of watching soaps.
If you’re looking for high quality TV, this isn’t it. But if you like some good old-fashioned guilty pleasure nighttime soap opera, this is a good bet.
Have you watched Dallas? What do you think?