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Thursday, June 14, 2012

DALLAS came back last night

I didn't know it either until yesterday morning (yes, I can be woefully behind on pop culture at times). Not a "reboot" as it turns out but a new series on cable network TNT that's a continuation of the primetime drama that ran on CBS from 1978 to 1991 (not counting the '85-'86 "Bobby Ewing/Only a dream" season).

So I tuned into Dallas, which I rarely do for a new television series. And lo and behold I enjoyed it quite a lot! It was like the Ewings had been going about their lives all this time and we caught up with them two decades later. Larry Hagman is back as the scheming J.R. Ewing, Patrick Duffy returns to the saddle as brother Bobby and Linda Gray - lovely as ever - has come back to the role of J.R.'s on-again/off-again wife Sue Ellen. But the real action is found among the next generation: J.R.'s son John Ross and Bobby's adopted heir Christopher. John Ross is old-school Texas oilman like his daddy and Christopher is into developing alternative energy industries. There's already a great dynamic set up between the two, set once again amidst Southfork (which the late Miss Ellie had willed would never be drilled for petro).

Maybe it's not the legendary feud between the Ewing and Barnes clans that began with Jock and Digger eighty years earlier, but it's nonetheless a smart update that stays faithful to the spirit of the original. Ken Kercheval is set to return later this season as Cliff Barnes (maybe we should begin wagering on how many times Cliff gets drunk this time) and apparently Victoria Principal might be reprising Pam.

So in honor of the triumphant return of Dallas, here is one of the most classic bits of dialogue in television history. From the original CBS series, it's J.R. and Sue Ellen having it out in their own inimitable fashion...