The heart of the original ‘Dallas’ television show was the
relationship between J.R. and Bobbie Ewing.
Sure, the secondary characters – especially Miss Ellie –
were important to storytelling, but ‘Dallas’ really was about sibling rivalry.
What made J.R. and Bobbie such great leading men is that –
even though they were often at each other’s throats – they were also loyal to
With the ‘Dallas’ reboot rolling to its second season finale
Monday night – that central relationship is still what’s driving the story arc
‘Dallas’ was hit with a severe disappointment – one that
could have ultimately derailed the show – when Larry Hagman died a few months ago. Wisely, show
producers gave Hagman one of the best television send-offs in recent memory –
one J.R. himself would have been proud of – and then they tied the mystery of
his death into the heart of the show and the future of its storylines.
In other words: J.R. may be dead, but he’s still controlling
everyone around him.
‘Dallas’ could have imploded under the weight of what it was
trying to undertake – but the storytelling in season two is even better in than
the first season. Unfortunately, ratings struggled.
I hope TNT wises up and keeps ‘Dallas’ as a summer show –
where there’s less competition – and where it can thrive.
Patrick Duffy has done an admirable job of anchoring ‘Dallas’
in Hagman’s absence. He has made Bobby’s grief palpable – and his rage
scorching. Bobby wants someone to pay for J.R.’s death – even though J.R. drove
Josh Henderson, as the dour and scheming John Ross, is the
other anchor. He can never take Hagman’s place – it’s impossible – but I think
the writers were wise this year to not make John Ross evil 100 percent of the time.
The big mistake of the first season was painting Christopher
as the white knight and John Ross as the black knight. They both need shades of
Henderson is a terrific little actor – and he shines no
matter who he is on the screen with. When he’s on the screen with Julie Gonzo’s
spectacular Pamela/Rebecca (she’s still being called both, oddly) – the duo
Last week’s surprise union between J.R.’s son and Cliff
Barnes’ daughter has all the ingredients of great storytelling.
The side story of Bobby’s wife, Ann, her troubled daughter,
Emma, and her diabolical ex-husband
Harris is also breathtaking to watch. The
way the writers have weaved Harris into Cliff and Bobby’s stories is truly
The only weak spot on the ‘Dallas’ canvas continues to be
Jesse Metcalfe’s Christopher and Jordana Brewster’s Elena. Both characters
seemed to be written weakly – and outside circumstances are constantly
It doesn’t help that Metcalfe and Brewster have absolutely
no chemistry. As actors, their range is also limited. Sorry, it’s the truth.
Every time Henderson is on screen with Metcalfe, he completely dominates him
when it comes to performance. The same goes for Gonzo when she’s onscreen with
Still, Brewster and Metcalfe don’t drag ‘Dallas’ down. They
don’t elevate it – but they don’t drag it
In the two-hour finale – set to air Monday night – viewers are
going to be treated to a cornucopia of stories.
As it stands, Bobby had to cede Ewing Energies to Cliff
Barnes, Christopher’s mother (Cliff’s sister) Pam may have been found, and John
Ross and Pamela have gotten married with the express purpose of making Cliff
It’s going to be an action-packed finale.
Here’s hoping TNT wises up and returns ‘Dallas’ to the
summer slate. I would hate to see it cancelled before its time – and right now,
I see a lot more schemes in the Ewings’ future.
What do you think? Do you think this second season of ‘Dallas’
has lived up to the hype?