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Dallas 2012 (spoiler free)

So, I have been catching up with new Dallas, which has been going for a while now. We've had four episodes of it so far. Episode five is either tonight or tomorrow, or some other day this week (I should probably find out). It should be on at 8pm on a Wednesday on BBC1, but is failing to be. This is not exactly co-operative of it, but I shall persevere.

So. Old Dallas was mostly about JR and Bobby. JR was evil with a smile. Bobby was not evil, but did have a spectacular temper. Hence JR would smile at you and be despicable, whilst Bobby would be valiant and heroic, but also much more likely to throw you through a window. Or into a swimming pool; those were his particular speciality. They lived on a ranch, they wore improbably large hats and very shiny boots, and they did Big Business to the accompaniment of loud and jangly music. Also Bobby would often run away from the office to be a cowboy, which was obviously the best bit of all; especially when this led to bar fights. I shall never understand people who go to bars, and don't throw anybody through a window.

New Dallas is a bit different. New Dallas is about Bobby's and JR's sons, Christopher and John Ross. Here is where the show hits a snag. John Ross is doing his best to be evil, I must credit him with that. The trouble is that he's not very good at it. And Christopher is just wet. Neither of them has thrown anybody through a window yet, John Ross isn't anywhere near perfecting an evil smirk, and - probably the worst offence - neither one of them has shown any inclination to have a fight in their swimming pool. What do they think it's there for? You have a barbecue, you throw somebody into the swimming pool. This is what Dallas is about. That, and business and cowboys, obviously. And smirking evilly.

I think I like new Dallas. It worries me a little though. I don't like it because of Christopher, who might just as well not be there at all. I don't like it because of John Ross, who might turn out to be evil eventually, but needs some serious practice. It's because, just like back in the eighties, of JR and Bobby. JR is on the verge of 82 now. Rather noticeably, he has to hold his coffee mug with two hands to stop it shaking. This matters not a jot. He still has an evil smile, he'd still cheerfully stab you in the back if he thought it would gain him anything, and he still loves himself for it. The best thing that happened on my television this week was when JR and his old enemy Cliff Barnes (76) had a head to head in Sue Ellen's office. It was all about sparks and steel and glittery eyes, and it was better than anything the younger cast have managed all season. They don't have a spark between them. They're like damp cardboard. And it makes me wonder how much better a lot of modern television would be if you recast all those allegedly pretty young things with veterans. Have a minimum age of sixty to be allowed on television, and see what happens. There's hardly any older roles around now, but Dallas has lots of them, and they're fabulous. Sue Ellen's 72, and she's clearly deadly. Bobby's still just a baby, as he's only 63, but even that's older than you usually seem allowed to be on television now. I've decided I want more of it. They're just better. Maybe that's just this cast? Maybe it's all about JR's smirk, and the way he tilts his hat; or about Cliff getting that flint hard look in his eyes whenever anybody says the word "Ewing"; or Sue Ellen smirking in a way that tells you she'd cheerfully bite your head off if you ever happen to cross her. In many ways, being reunited with Dallas is like sitting on a comfortable old sofa. It's all there. Awesome music, JR being a complete bastard, Bobby being the nicest guy in the world, Cliff looking for the earliest opportunity to cut JR's head off with a desk stapler. I wish the new characters were as good. I just can't warm to them at all, and this bothers me in all sorts of ways. I don't want to be somebody who grumbles that modern stuff is rubbish. It kind of is this time, though. Must do better, Dallas. It's not much of a new series if the only good bits in it are old.

Underneath the cut, JR and Cliff are 158 between them, and combine to be the best thing on my television all week. Firstly though, courtesy of YouTube and the 1980s, Bobby demonstrates the correct use of a swimming pool. 2012, please take note.

http://youtu.be/Xucc1bi2Yl0

http://youtu.be/kSyAjnI1KnQ

Well, why not. It's what I'd do, if I had a swimming pool. And then fast-forward to this week (apologies for the 'work of art' behind Cliff, by the way. Sue Ellen has interesting office decorations):



Industrial scale glowering from Cliff Barnes (he's had a lot of practice).



JR Ewing proves that you can't beat experience when it comes to being nonchalantly evil.

They should choose current television shows at random, and replace the entire cast with people above 70, just to see what happens. I'm starting to think that it would probably be pretty awesome.

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Comments

( 26 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
anewdaysjourney
Jul. 4th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
What I always found fascinating was that the rest of the world got their ideas of what America was really like through shows like Dallas, Dynasty and the like. They thought we all wandered around in designer clothing and lived in big, glamorous houses. Imagine their disappointment when they discovered otherwise, upon arrival...
swordznsorcery
Jul. 4th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
I keep hoping America is really like The A-Team or The Dukes Of Hazzard, but it keeps failing me. No fair, America. Play nice.

I'd settle for Bonanza?
ladygretchen
Jul. 4th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
Nope, not like Bonanza either. LOL. Not even in that era. But it's nice to dream! :-D
anewdaysjourney
Jul. 4th, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
Much more like Roseanne before she derailed the show with the lottery win and all that... at least, that's been my experience with it!
ladygretchen
Jul. 5th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
haahahhaha, so true.
swordznsorcery
Jul. 5th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
I've never seen Roseanne. Something tells me it wasn't about heroes on horseback, huh. ;)
ladygretchen
Jul. 4th, 2012 02:50 am (UTC)
YAY! I thought of you when I watched this! I wondered if you would write up a post. YAY! You did!

I am hooked line and sinker on the new Dallas, but I watch it for the old timers mostly. Oy, now I need to go back and watch most of the old Dallas too. I love Duffy's niceness! You can't beat that. When you think about it, the caliber of actors from the original Dallas was just terrific, they were all true thespians of the stage who also had previous parts in movies and TV shows. Duffy had MFA and Larry Hagman had Genie.

These new kids just walked into Hollywood with their glam faces and blank stares and got cast. The are a bunch of drags. Why is it always the PRIOR generation that is the best? I see it all the time in books and movies and shows. lol. I guess because they had to deal with more, nothing was ever as convenient for them, and the same probably goes for Miss Ellie in her youth.

I think they need a little more time to develop their characters and really get to the heart and meat of them. The women are just booooriiing! BUT, I am taken with Anne, Bobby's wife, especially when she got right out of bed and picked up that shotgun. LOL! You don't mess with her, Bobby or Southfork.

I would love to know more of how Bobby and Anne met, etc. Imagine if Principal decided to come back, that would be awesome drama! But since she's so dead set against it, they should just say Pam died already. Seriously, what's her beef? She won't even do interviews anymore. Do you know?

So, the new young's have a legacy to uphold, dagnammit! Evil smirks, pool tosses, bushy haired and bushy eyebrowed legacies! I think next episode we might see a good old pool toss. It is a going away party. Something tells me Chris is gonna hear the truth from his wife, and storm out and punch John Ross.

Thanks so much for the clips! I love how the family are like, ho hum, here they go again. Do something. Yawn. hahahaha! OMG No wonder poor Bobby has gastric cancer now!

JR deserves everything that's coming to him, and I don't mean billions and South Fork. He's such a greedy old coot he'll be on his deathbed a not give his son a penny. He still thinks he's immortal at 82. I can't wait to see his face when Bobby drops the bombshell that's he's NOT selling. hahha.
swordznsorcery
Jul. 4th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, Bobby's new wife is interesting. I hope we find out more about her before the end of the season. She was great in the scene with the shotgun and the intruder! I'd like to see more of Ray, too. Always did like him.

I think Victoria Principal has given up acting, so that might be why she's not interested. I know she did something with Patrick Duffy a few years ago; a guest appearance in a comedy, or something, so I doubt she bears the show any ill will. Maybe she just doesn't like revisiting her past? Somebody over on the IMDb message board was saying that she had some plastic surgery go wrong, though. I suppose if that's true, that might be a reason why she keeps a lower profile, although apparently she also runs a cosmetics firm, so maybe she's just busy.
ladygretchen
Jul. 4th, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
On Youtube there are 2 videos featuring Duffy and Victoria on South Fork and reminiscing from 2004. She was so fresh-faced and gorgeous on Dallas, now she's kind of plastic. It's a shame these celebs keep tweaking and pulling and pinching and they get younger every year. They tell the 20 somethings they need botox. Ridiculous.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtRbgNSL5vI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKcUB9UuHSQ



Edited at 2012-07-04 11:26 pm (UTC)
ladygretchen
Jul. 5th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
Just watched the very first episode of the Original Dallas. So awesome. I love how the seventies put the funk in everything! It's great in the theme song.
swordznsorcery
Jul. 5th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
It really is a great theme tune. Been a while since I saw season one. It's very different, though. The characters weren't quite figured out yet, and it doesn't really become the show that we all remember until season two. Are you planning to watch more early stuff?
ladygretchen
Jul. 5th, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
yeah definitely! First seasons are always a little shaky. That little trollopy Lucy gets on my nerves. I saw her and Ray at the parties in the new Dallas.

I found this great site that has links to a TON of TV shows to watch and all seasons posted. Just shut off the distracting pop ups. Maybe you can find something to spark your interest because I love the show blogs you write.

http://watchseries.eu/
swordznsorcery
Jul. 6th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
I shall have to have a look through there!

Although I used to watch Dallas, I didn't see the first season until the DVDs came out. It was quite a surprise seeing how different it was to what I knew! Ray was the biggest surprise. Later on he was Bobby's best friend, and very much a good guy. He'd always be the one to rein in Bobby's temper, and help keep the peace. In season one he's not a very nice guy at all. Took some getting used to!
ladygretchen
Jul. 6th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
I think you'll like it. And they have more than one option for the links to each episode, in case one is broken.

I watched the first 2 episodes last night and thought Ray was a complete sleazebag. I'm glad to know they retooled his character. A man who takes that much advantage of a MINOR would not have lasted long on television or as a sympathetic character, especially back in the seventies.
anewdaysjourney
Jul. 5th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
I think Victoria was annoyed about the "dream" sequence in the original series, especially when Knots Landing had Gary still mourning the loss of his brother Bobby. I know it didn't go over well with her at the time of the original filming. She does seem to have given up acting for the most part, though; IMDB has her last acting gig as 11 years ago. Maybe she didn't see a lot of potential in the new series, and that didn't motivate her to come back into the limelight.
ladygretchen
Jul. 5th, 2012 06:46 am (UTC)
I can understand that. It was a total jump the shark moment for sure and looks like it threw off the other show too. On her Wiki page it seems she's involved in lots of causes and business ventures, that must take up most of her time these days. And I remember the show brought Pam back, but it wasn't her, and they claimed she was in an accident and had plastic surgery or something like that. It was all really silly. At least from the clip I saw. She said something like she didn't want Bobby to see her so ugly. Very shallow sounding stuff.
alizara
Jul. 4th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
I agree. The new cast lacks the spark, both in chemistry as actors and portraying the characters themselves. But as long as J.R., Bobby, Cliff and Sue Ellen are there, I'm still watching. <3
swordznsorcery
Jul. 4th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think I'll be sticking with it now. I wasn't sure at first, but the veterans are great, and it's so nice to be back with them again. That smirk of JR's hasn't changed in the slightest!
alizara
Jul. 4th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
Not in the least. And I would still let him have his way with me without even a protest. XD
swordznsorcery
Jul. 5th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
You're welcome to him. :D

He was great this week. His line to Ann about her having to work on her imagination was pure vintage JR.
alizara
Jul. 5th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Woo!

And man, I know. I almost choked on my tea when he said that. It was just too much pure awesome.
(Deleted comment)
swordznsorcery
Jul. 7th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
I saw that one, yes. I thought it was pretty entertaining. It didn't really get much chance to go anywhere, though. Could have done with twice as many episodes.
ladygretchen
Jul. 26th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
Hey, I'm in the middle of season 4 of Dallas already. Lovin' it! I found this terrific Dallas blog site that I think you will enjoy. It focuses highly on both versions. Are you still watching the new ones? Last night's episode was one of the best so far this season. But I still don't think this new show compares to the original.

Dallas Decoder
http://dallasdecoder.com/
swordznsorcery
Jul. 28th, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
I'm still watching, yes. Shame there's been less of JR recently, though it's been nice to see Bobby being more pro-active of late. I very much want somebody to murder Rebecca, though. She drives me crazy.
ladygretchen
Jul. 28th, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
LOL! I find both her and Christopher highly annoying. Not very good actors at all. I'm glad Elena is with John Ross! Saw that last 'twist' from a mile off though. I still want to know more about Ann. I like her a lot. On that blog I posted my theory about the envelope Ryland gave Bobby. If you notice you can clearly see new packing tape on the flap before he throws it in the fire. I didn't notice any when he first had it. I think he did peek. He so should have! But then again, one of the funnest things about Dallas for me is watching Bobby react to shocks and surprises.
( 26 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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