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Dallas Is Coming Back! And No, It’s Not A Dream

February 8, 2011

One of the greatest soaps for me back in the late 70s and early 80s was Dallas. The tale of warring families, greed, double dealing and outrageous wealth set in the Texas oil industry was catnip to me, and many millions of viewers around the world. When you heard that theme start to chime from your idiot box in the corner of your living room, you knew you were in for a good night.

And the characters! Introducing the Oil rich Ewing family led by Miss Ellie, the permanently beaming matriarch; Jock, the big daddy; fighting brothers goody two shoes Bobby and wicked, fabulous JR, and their respective wives, drippy Pamela and unstable Sue Ellen. Aahh, Sue Ellen. The only woman for whom the sound of rattling jewellery would be mistaken for the ice in her drinks. Then there was Lucy, the Exocet missile of teenage oestrogen, riding her conquests like a rodeo bronco.

Image of the original cast of 80s TV soap Dallas

There were other smaller, but significant players on this show including Cliff Barnes. And then there was Sue Ellen’s psychiatrist, Dr Simon Ellby who appeared in a later series. Truly the scariest man I ever saw on television.

Dr Simon Ellby from the US soap Dallas

And how could any of us forget the Who Shot JR episode? That cliffhanger was an absolute belter. The world went nuts, and if I remember correctly, we had to wait six months or something before we found out who did it. That was real event TV. There were no spoilers from crappy soap and gossip magazines in those days.

So why mention all of this? Because it’s being taken out of mothballs and repackaged for a new generation by the TNT Network. Some of the original cast including Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing) and Larry Hagman (JR Ewing) will feature alongside the grown up Ewing progeny who will be the main focus in this version. It’s not a remake as much as a continuation, according to TNT boss Michael Wright. It takes the next generation of Ewings and continues the battles, he said. Fair enough, I say. I imagine most people will tune in initially for the nostalgia, though I bet TNT Network will be crossing their fingers, toes and bum cheeks in the hope that people will stick around after that moment has passed.

Taking part in Dallas: The Next Generation means that Patrick Duffy probably won’t have time to do any more of these:

It is possibly one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen and I don’t know why he did it, but I think it’s genius. Why this didn’t go viral I will never understand. Maybe the crab should’ve been a Lol! Cat. Duffy’s a brilliant straight guy in this. I would recommend the one where the crab tries to explain Facebook to him.

I put this one up just for fun. I found it when I was searching for a vid of the theme tune:

Yes, the reach of Dallas is long. And long may it continue.

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6 comments

  1. oooh I remember Dallas, and yes it was watched avidly in our New Zealand house too. Remember the “look” that Sue Ellen had when she didn’t agree with something? I think I was probably in love with Patrick Duffy, but sigh, the queue was long, very very long because so were most of the female viewing public too I suspect.
    You are certainly right about there being no “spoilers” in those days… we had to wait on the edge of our seats for all the twists and turns.
    The new series has a lot to live up to, I hope for nostalgias sake it succeeds.


    • I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did back in the day. Yes, many people had a thing for Patrick Duffy, probably going back to The Man From Atlantis, a TV show that if I saw it now, may not like as much as I did then.

      I will reserve judgment on it until we’ve had the pilot, which hasn’t yet been made. Nostalgia’s fine, but you must be able to back it up and go beyond it. This one will have to hit the ground running. Let’s hope they can do it.


  2. JR got shot when I was in Film School. We had a “Let’s shoot him ourselves” party, with multiple TVs throughout the house. Guests had those pistols with suction-cup darts. Whoever shot JR closest to the time of his actual shooting won FIFTY DOLLARS!

    I wasn’t a fan,I guess because the show wasn’t quite bad enough or good enough for my taste. The plots were way over the top though. I liked that.


    • Woo-hoooo! Fifty whole dollars. You guys really pushed the boat out…

      What a great idea for a party, though. I can’t think how you could apply that to a TV show these days. Maybe a Mad Men drinkathon, where guessing the right number of times Don Draper or Roger Sterling go for a whiskey in a particular episode would win you a bottle of single malt, a 60s drinks tumbler and a fedora hat.


  3. Oh, by the way, your Gran and the Burglars story made the network news here a whole day AFTER you wrote about it. You should consider establishing the Pie News Network (PNN).


    • Lol! Yeah, I should get onto that straight away!

      There have been many news events and articles I’ve wanted to write about, but I’ve not been able to do it quickly enough and then I miss the moment. Occasionally, I find myself on the curve, or even ahead of it. It looks like this may be one of those times.



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