DALLAS Gives Us Another Fun Ride with the Ewings

John Henderson as John Ross with Larry Hagman as J.R.

Television Critic

When TNT announced last year the remake of DALLAS, the popular uber nighttime soap opera that aired for 14 seasons,  I was skeptical.  After all, in the prior few seasons, we have seen horrid, un-fun remakes of BIONIC WOMAN, KNIGHT RIDER, MELROSE PLACE and even WONDER WOMAN, which thankfully never aired.

The problem with these remakes were they forgot where they came from, forgot the fun of the originals.

Thankfully my fears were wrong.  DALLAS starts out strong and gets even better throughout the two-hour series premiere.  The new cast features a few originals:  J.R. (Larry Hagman) is back, as is Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and Sue Ellen (Linday Gray).

But this DALLAS is not entirely carried by the legacy cast.  It features several compelling characters, most notably John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Bobby’s son Chris (Jessie Metcalf).

The feuds, and the fun, seem strikingly similar to the original series, which saw J.R. and Bobby fighting over Ewing Oil.

It is now Chris and John Ross’ turn to fight.  This time they are fighting over Southfork, the right to drill oil on the family ranch and alternative energy.

It would not be DALLAS without a few alliances being revealed along with a few double-crosses.  And this was all in the first, fast-paced hour.

Don’t expect J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen to take a back seat to this new cast.  They are integral parts of the story, and continue to fight and scheme like it is the 1980’s all over again.

Henderson plays John Ross convincingly.  His John Ross is a man who was sent to boarding school, never learned the family business and watched it taken away by Ewing rival Cliff Barnes.  He is driven to prove himself and make money at all costs including drilling for oil on Southfork.

Metcalf plays a convincing Chris, trying to do the right thing while navigating the shark tank that is DALLAS.  He too is driven to prove himself, but his is a more benign method, that of alternative fuels.

The new DALLAS mirrors the fun of the old DALLAS so closely that I can imagine this is what DALLAS would have naturally evolved into had it stayed on the air another 20+ seasons.

DALLAS is a wild, fun ride that doesn’t end.

 

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One Response to DALLAS Gives Us Another Fun Ride with the Ewings

  1. I actually like this restart better than the last few years of Dallas. Call this not a remake but Dallas Next Generation. Just like with Star Trek, they keep some oldtimers around for seasoning. My biggest concern from the old show is that they never allowed J.R. to win! What good is a bad guy who’s never successfully bad, at least for a little while? Kinda takes away the suspense. Look at The Shield, Justified, Sons of Anarchy – they all wisely let the bad guys have their run for a while before reeling them in. Cable TV has gotten a lot more realistic in the last 20 years, so I’m hopeful that DNG will reflect that.

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