Primetime soaps in the 1980’s were a big part of my childhood. My sister and I used to snuggle up on the couch to watch our shows. In a time without internet, it was relatively easy for a television show to capture the world’s imagination and that show was Dallas. All the popular soaps of that time revolved around the glamorous lives of ridiculously wealthy people. It was escapism for the viewers but for some reason Dallas’ success wildly outdid the others. There have been a few attempts to bring it back to the small screen but last year TNT announced that they greenlit all new episodes with original cast members. This wasn’t going to be a mere reboot or reimagination. This new series would be Dallas, just the way it was but…now. Here’s the trailer that had my sister and I squealing like teenagers.
The cast had a lot to do with the original series’ success, especially the portrayal of characters as outrageously despicable as Larry Hagman’s JR Ewing. Before this iconic role, Hagman was best known to TV audiences as the lovable but ultimately hapless astronaut Major Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie, but back to JR. Hagman chewed up every scene, every week on Dallas and if you take a look at the new TNT series, you’ll quickly realise that even at eighty years-old and over fifteen years since he last played the part – he still does. The other side of the coin is the Bobby Ewing, played by Patrick Duffy (who my sister still loves dearly). Bobby was the gentle soul among all this bitchiness and backstabbery. However, he is not to be underestimated because when push comes to shove (which does happen), he can throw down with the best of them…and will. Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing is simply marvellous. In the original series, she spent most of the time drunk and crying. JR’s cruel infidelity made her sad so she drank. He verbally abused her for being drunk, so she drank some more. Thankfully in the new series, she is no longer a doormat but a powerful business woman and politician. Believe me, when she pulled up to Southfork in a Ferrari 458 – I was giddy.
The new series isn’t just about old people jostling for power. There are two pairs of extremely attractive young people who are battling for supremacy. First there’s Bobby’s adoptive son, Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) and his wife, Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo). Then there’s JR’s son, John Ross (Josh Henderson) and his ex-girlfriend/business partner, Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster). Elena skipped out on Christopher on their wedding day, due to a heartbreaking email she thought received from him but it was actually Rebecca. This was all before Christopher actually met Rebecca, who happily married him on the rebound. Bacchanal, baby! Even if you never saw a single episode of the original series, tune in to TNT tonight at 9:00 pm EST and I promise you nothing more than pure entertainment that you could actually share with your parents. I wonder if this means they might resurrect Knots Landing?