Category Archives: Dallas


Yes, But, Will It Matter?

And so it happened.  Minus one more it is for the Ewing family, given the sudden demise of a character whom original-show fans have known since birth.  A big surprise to us viewers and a great loss to the cast it is no doubt, but at this point we’re left to ask, will it matter?  This is to say, another season remains to be confirmed.  Meanwhile, at least storyline plans appear well underway, while everything I’ve had to say before now stands.  Nevertheless, should “Dallas” return, and despite the level of unbelievable insanity sure to ensue, I’ll certainly be watching– with even more interest if Patrick Duffy again directs.  We know anything could happen after all.  Christopher could always show up taking a shower one day, like father like son of course.

The two remaining originals, in the spirit of the one-and-only.

The two remaining originals, amid the spirit of the one-and-only.

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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Dallas, Television


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Forgetfulness, or Forgotten?

Well, that was a first.  I forgot to watch “Dallas” this week. (What?!  Me?!  Allow the Ewings to slip my mind?  My oh my, how the decades do change us.)

Seeing as the latest episode was on my DVR, I did see it the following day.  In so doing, I reminded myself just how my initial forgetfulness came about.  Let’s simply say it’s about time for “Dallas” to be forgotten altogether.  Oh but wait, I think I’ve already said this before, more than once even.  I’ll therefore rephrase:  It’s well past time for the Ewings and company to go.  I know, I hate saying this more than you might dislike reading it. Nevertheless, the writing is on the wall, as they say– more and more with each passing episode, I myself regret to say.

The 2014 cast

We’ve had all the nostalgic cameos we’re likely going to get, Larry Hagman is still dead, and the plot convolutions continue to get more confusing, ludicrous and exhausting.  Still, curiosity, coupled with low expectations, will continue to get the best of me for the duration, whether at airtime or via DVR. At least Ken Kercheval, who remains very much alive, will be back next week.  Amid my overall forgetfulness, I’m happy to realize one living classic character is not forgotten.

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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in And That's My Opinion, Dallas, Television


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Once More, Try Me.

J.R. is still dead, and– unlike his brother– unfortunately always will be.  The latest story arcs are just now beginning to bloom.  We the audience are thus braced for what you might call more of the same, within an epic franchise that never will be quite the same, after all.  Season three of the new “Dallas” is off and running.

By “more” I’m referring to yet another dose of convoluted yet shallow plots involving attractive though dim villains, complete with a brand-new one this time around to add to the long list.  By “never” I raise the question most loyal fans are surely asking:  Just how long will the revived series carry on without Larry Hagman?

The “Dallas” cast in 2014, sans the most famous of them all.

I said it already at the end of season two.  It’s time– or least it was then following the death of Hagman, the burial of J.R., and the ultimate explanation of his demise– to say goodbye for good.  However, TNT did indeed bring the show back for a third season.  So of course I’m watching, thinking:  “Alright. Once more, try me.”

It’s always a pleasure to see Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray in their 36-year-old characters.  And with rumors of the latest in a string of classic comebacks, I’ll be ready!  Still, without J.R. “Dallas” is not the same and never will be, despite the continued references to him and any unused footage we’ve yet to see.

Meanwhile, at least the new opening credits deserve honorable mention, nostalgic element they do of course convey.  Otherwise I’m continuing to feel a degree of exhaustion, sort of like a party that’s gone on too long. But then, I may be surprised yet!  As the Ewing’s biggest yet most realistic fan, I’d sure like to be.

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Posted by on March 1, 2014 in And That's My Opinion, Dallas, Television


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It’s Time.

“Really?  So THAT’S how it happened?!  What a letdown.”  At least this was my first line of thought.  Moments later my second mental train departed, leaving me reassuring myself:  “Oh, ok.  Maybe this really was the right way to do it after all.  I suppose this season finale does make sense when you think about it.”

And now– dare I say– it makes even more sense to call it quits.  While certainly the last person to want to say this, I must be realistic, as too should any true series follower.  Larry Hagman is dead, and so now is J.R. Ewing.  The villains have been rounded up if not eliminated.  Points of peace have been reached, at least among the principal players.  And speaking of Principal, Victoria will not be stopping by.  J.R. executed his masterpiece while voluntarily extinguishing himself.  Ultimately slipping past any killer’s hands, he dictated the manner of his death– and with justifiable reason.  While a disappointment this long-in-coming revelation initially seemed, the most fitting sendoff it settled in to be.

After 35 years, it’s time now for “Dallas” to be done, for good.  J.R. and all that comes with him have been laid to rest, so it seems.  How could it– and why should it– go on?  There’s only so much nostalgia to be milked, which could soon wear painfully thin.  Unfortunate as it is to have to say, I believe we best lay all the Ewings to rest on this momentary high note.


Posted by on April 16, 2013 in And That's My Opinion, Dallas, Famous People, Media


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Full Speed Ahead

The Originals Honor An Original

The much-anticipated cameos came, and respects were properly paid.  The scheduled demise of the character appropriately trailed the unscheduled death of the actor.  Now comes yet another new chapter of the saga, as the plot of present-day “Dallas” charges full speed ahead in his memory.  J.R. Ewing may be as dead and gone as Larry Hagman in body, but even from beyond it appears he’s steering the course for his family.  Thankfully his “work” is living on, at least through the remainder of season two!  I for one am looking forward to the grand revelation of J.R.’s so-called “masterpiece,” pieces of which any “Dallas” nostalgist might be able to predict.

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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Dallas, Famous People, Media


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His Swan Song

season2Who’d have thought two or three decades ago that we’d be watching a brand new episode in January 2013?  Then, who’d have thought such an event would be happening after the death of the show’s iconic star and irreplaceable centerpiece?

Season two of “Dallas” is off and running.  Of course Larry Hagman passed away last November, midway through production of this second round of new episodes.  As such tonight’s premiere is bittersweet.  We get to see a severely aging J.R. a few more final times, knowing there’s no negotiation on his departure.

As the latest storylines rapidly spin beyond the point of even remote belief, and as we dare not blink in keeping up with exactly who’s one-upping who among the entire corrupt lot, the biggest question will certainly keep all true “Dallas” fans tuned in over the course of the next few weeks:  Just how exactly will J.R. exit?

Blink I did not, as in paying close attention to the series of quick frames during the closing credits, my eye caught precisely what was placed there to be found.  Apparently we’ll be seeing some more “old” faces this season.  J.R.’s swan song, which began tonight, looks like it will grow into a well-attended event.  While I could have waited, now under the circumstsances I can’t wait.

His Latest Entrance Before His Pending Exit

His Latest Entrance Before His Final Exit

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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Dallas, Famous People, Media


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A Way + A Will = One Great Life

There’s a big difference between involvement and commitment, and J.R. Ewing once spelled it out.  “Like ham and eggs.  The chicken who laid the egg is involved, but the pig the ham came from is committed.”

And now, the eldest Ewing brother has died.  I learned this late last night.  Upon awaking this morning, unlike for Pam with Bobby, I realized to my dismay that what has just occurred is not a dream.

How fitting that Larry Hagman passed yesterday not only in the city of Dallas, but during a time of reprising his legendary character so many people know and even more of us love.  In the final year of his life he had the rare yet celebrated privilege of resurrecting his iconic TV role, that which secured his unmatched place in the world while leaving diehard fans yearning for more of their favorite mischievous-yet-endearing schemer.

In 2012 he was back.  Now in the same year he’s left us.  This ironic timing seems the most comforting and appropriate way for him to make his long-in-coming exit.  Hagman died on Friday, November 23, much to our collective sadness, taking with him of course the one and only J.R. Ewing.

When he lived to see his 80th birthday in September 2011, I was delighted.  In fact I breathed a sigh of congratulatory relief, mindful that his serious health challenges over the years rendered this milestone quite a feat.  Then when the new “Dallas” finally premiered last summer, seeing Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing once again after so many years was no less than amazing.  Who’d have predicted that a longtime smoker and hard drinker a few breaths from death upon his 1995 liver transplant would live to reprise his infamous role in 2012?

Of course Larry Hagman had aged, almost sadly so.  While his tongue continued to lash out those fantastic “J.R.-isms” in this year’s “Dallas” episodes, his body clearly was not keeping pace with his revered wit.  Though trying not to admit it, I had a sneaking suspicion he was not long for this world.  Like all his fans, I was thankful he had made it this far and managed not just the involvement, but commitment, to give it another go.

And one more round– the now-certain last round– is yet to come.  Again, Larry Hagman died in Dallas while bringing J.R. back to season two of the new “Dallas” series.  Exactly how prepared for his death the writers and producers of the show were– and just how smoothly and acceptably J.R. will make his final exit— remains to be seen once the series returns in January.  Perhaps an appropriate contingency plan was already in place.  Maybe J.R.– and Larry– thought ahead to this inevitable moment.  After all, while I’m far from the only fan to mourn his death, I certainly can’t be the only one unsurprised.

No doubt he will be missed terribly while remembered wonderfully.  Personally, I will always cherish my good fortune of meeting Mr. Hagman professionally in 2003.  No other individual figure holds a candle to him, decorated bon vivant that he was, realistically and fictitiously speaking.  Likely no one ever will.

More than involved, Hagman remained committed to his work, his role and his unsurpassed persona, leaving us a timeless gift under his mantra, “Vita Celebratio Est.”  For this we celebrate one great life.  After all, like J.R.’s daddy used to say:  “Where there’s a way, there’s a will.”  Larry Hagman found and mastered both.

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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Dallas, Famous People, Media, News


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Happy 81st J.R.!

Larry Hagman turns 81 years old today.

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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Dallas, Famous People, Media


It’s All in the Name

Following my initial review, I watched and waited.  And I was surprised and satisfied.  The 2012 “Dallas” season finale seized nostalgia and hit it out of the park, at least for those of us who might see what’s really happening.

The heated exchanges between Bobby and J.R. took us back, while the sight of alcohol before Sue Ellen’s eyes triggered memories.  We were even treated to but one extended scene with a very aged Lucy.  Still, the final “surprise” twist of the season trumped it all, which for true “Dallas” fans should be no surprise whatsoever.

It’s all in the name, and this name is Rebecca.  The coincidence sat in my mind throughout the season, as the name of actress Julie Gonzalo’s character did not go entirely unnoticed.  As it turns out of course, there was never any coincidence at all.  If this sort of gasp followed by thought followed by understanding is what producers of the TNT series intended, then I’m here to say they did one hell of an excellent job.

For those of you in need of a quick refresher:  Rebecca was the name of Pam and Cliff Barnes’ mother; she died in a plane crash in 1983.  In 1984 Cliff’s girlfriend Afton gave him the heave-ho and left town, returning in 1989 with a young “secret” daughter revealed to be Cliff’s.  In the 1996 “Dallas” reunion movie, Cliff and Afton were reunited, and at this time Cliff finally met his now teenage daughter (her age accelerated just a bit), named Pamela Rebecca after her aunt and her grandmother.  Are you still with me?

Sixteen years later, a character appears on the new “Dallas” series, named Rebecca.  Low and behold, the season ends with the revelation this Rebecca is, yes, Cliff’s daughter.  So again, if we think it out, there’s no coincidence and no surprise.  The nostalgia by now is spinning out of control!

Naturally it gets more complicated, leading me to wonder what we the viewers are supposed to remember, and what the new show’s producers might want us to conveniently forget.  Take that 1996 movie for one:  Then-teen Christopher spent significant time with then-teen Rebecca, all the way to knowing that his uncle Cliff is her father, making her his cousin.  And if he knew this in 1996, he would know it in 2012.  So why would he marry his cousin?  Or does Cliff have more than one daughter, if not more than one named Rebecca?  Or is Gonzalo’s character merely impersonating someone named Rebecca, as was suggested in this season finale?  Or are we supposed to forget the 1996 movie ever happened?  Have I lost you?

If this all seems hard to follow, rest assured:  The newest “Dallas” plots have been very hard for even me to follow.  With layer upon layer of deceit and manipulation packed into a mere ten-episode story arc, there’s been no moment throughout the new series to blink without missing something.  Unlike the old days of the 30-episode season with plenty of time for character and plot development, now everything happens fast.  Then it gets either resolved or advanced even more quickly.

Storylines get rushed, various performances prove unconvincing, and the overall flow leaves something to be desired.  This is the essence of “Dallas” in 2012.  At the same time, as with any new ensemble the actors thankfully grew into their roles throughout this first season, while the overall energy ramped up as I grew a little– just a little– more comfortable with the overlapping complexities coming at us.

All the while we’re hooked by that damn nostalgia proving itself the driving force.  From Miss Ellie’s gravestone to the former Ewing Oil offices, from John Ross mastering the ways of his father to a 63-year-old Bobby on his near-death bed (as opposed to a 36-year-old Bobby on his complete-death bed), we the viewers have been generously peppered for a second season of modern-day Ewing shenanigans, come January 2013.  Perhaps Afton will appear to deliver us some answers, Rebecca’s mother after all.  Among all else I can’t wait to hear how Cliff transformed from a cheap skate eating Chinese takeout in his average condo, into a high roller flying around on his own jet with a team to dispose of a body at a moment’s notice.

May the nostalgia continue, again for those of us who really know ‘Dallas” history and can manage to keep up.  If you can’t, then why watch?  At the end of the day, this series really is for us, the longtime all-knowing fans.  And now we have the name “Rebecca” to lead the way into the next exciting chapter.

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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Dallas, Media, Reviews


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Watching & Waiting

The focus… is on a younger generation, and the stories of the younger Ewings aren’t as captivating initially as catching up with J.R. and Bobby.”  (Porter,

It’s like The CW has moved into Southfork, and while they look good, they haven’t quite mastered what it means to be Ewings.”  (Yeoman,

“The new Dallas isn’t perfect – it certainly takes a little while to find its feet and not everything clicks straight away.”  (Jeffrey,

“We could easily have before us any cheesy, unrealistic, poorly acted show made up of yet another generic collection of attractive-yet-dull, scheming-yet-scattered 30-something amateurs.”  (yours truly)

My sentiments seem to fit right in among various others.  As a lifelong follower of all-things-Ewing, I’ve both anticipated and questioned the premiere of this new TNT series for quite some time.  And naturally I have a few things to say about it thus far, now three episodes in with episode four airing tonight.

I’ll of course be watching, and waiting– that is, waiting to see how my initial impressions develop and my overall outlook evolves.  Answers to my questions would be helpful, but then non-answers keep us tuned in, right?

Watch the new “Dallas” for yourself and form your own opinion, either before or after reading my first review.


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On His Way…

As speculation became anticipation over the course of several months– if not years– the big day is now just weeks away.  Ole J.R. is on his way!

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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Dallas, Famous People, Media


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J.R. Lives!

He made it!  J.R. Ewing has hit his latest milestone, as Larry Hagman today turns 80 years old.

Now 16 years since Hagman’s well-publicized liver transplant, and 31 years after his character Ewing’s world-famous (though of course fictitious) gunshot wounds, the TV icon enters his new decade in the midst of reprising his infamous role.  That is, a new version of “Dallas” is coming our way in 2012, as Hagman celebrates a big day he once thought he’d never see.  I’m certainly thrilled that he is indeed here for it.

The eldest Ewing brother lives, in more ways than one.  Happy 80th J.R.!

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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Dallas, Famous People, Media, News


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…When I See It.

There seems to be a lot of ’80s TV remake buzz going around these days.  As an addendum to my entry of January 5, here now is what appears to be the latest on the resurrection of J.R. Ewing.

Meanwhile, a friend just alerted me to this possible revival as well.  All I can say is… I’ll believe it when I see it!  Unfortunately, unlike Larry Hagman who’s very much alive, John Forsythe died last year at age 92.  As such, I’m initially unconvinced as to how successful any Carrington-themed movie might be.

In any case, I still prefer the originals to the remakes, especially where an inauthentic replacement cast is concerned.  We’ll just see if any of this really comes to fruition.

And that’s my opinion.

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Posted by on January 13, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, Dallas, Media


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Will J.R. Be Back?

“J.R. Ewing” will turn 80 this year!

2011 seemed like it might be the year for an all-new “Dallas” series, centered around the new generation of Ewings.  The ball appeared to be rolling on the project, as I enthusiastically reported here back in November.

In the past few weeks, however, the latest Ewing resurrection appears to have hit a serious snag, judging by this article as well as the following Facebook update that went out shortly before Christmas:

Dallas star Larry Hagman has admitted that he is uncertain as to his role in the forthcoming TNT reboot. It was previously reported that the actor, who originally played J.R. Ewing from 1978 to 1991, was “ambivalent” about the project. Responding to recent reports that he had pulled out of the new series, Hagman told TV Guide:  “That’s really interesting. We were talking about money, but I didn’t know it was going to come to a crashing halt like that.”

I do wonder why Larry Hagman would need to talk about money at all.  At his age, turning 80 this September, and with the millions he’s made, grown and cultivated from his heyday, he should be willing to reprise his famous role for nothing!  I would think he’d see it as pure enjoyment, and perhaps his final act.  Odds are, however, that ole J.R. sees it differently.

In any event, I hope it really happens this year, that J.R. will return once again!  And that’s my opinion.

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Posted by on January 5, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, Dallas, Media


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A New Generation of Ewings?

I’ve heard some buzz about a resurrection of the famous Ewing family in recent months, and now here’s a more detailed update of what seems to be in the works.  A friend and fellow “Dallas” fan sent me the link today on Facebook, and now I’m here to blog about a blog!  Go figure.

You might recall the recent efforts for a “Dallas” feature movie, much like the joke that managed to get made of “The Dukes of Hazzard.”  Suffice to say, such productions tend to turn out abysmally, in my not-always-so-humble opinion.  The idea of John Travolta as J.R. Ewing was enough to keep me at home, looking at photos of Larry Hagman to remind myself that one, and only one, man is to play the role.  Fortunately, the feature movie plan fell apart.

Now, it appears the “real” J.R. is on his way to a comeback, yet again, and remarkably so.  I say:  “Better hurry up!”  Larry Hagman, now 15 years post-liver transplant, will turn 80 on his next birthday.  He’s now older than his ficticious TV “mama” or “daddy” ever were!  His time may be limited, though I hope not running out!

Still, a 2011 look at the Ewing family of Dallas is a wonderfully creative undertaking.  I really hope it happens.  Naturally I’d love to see at least cameo appearances by a large assortment of the classic and most infamous characters, more than just Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray.  I suppose Ken Kercheval is a likely candidate, though unfortunately I’m guessing that Priscilla Presley, Victoria Principal and Morgan Brittney are not.  Of course, Howard Keel died in 2004 and Barbara Bel Geddes in 2005, so as the link mentions, their characters will have expired as well.

It’s time now for the new Ewing generation to come forth and entertain us like their elders did.  I look forward to seeing how successful they are in this regard.  At least J.R. will be there to guide them.

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Posted by on November 16, 2010 in Dallas, Media