What’s the deal with “Dallas”?

“Dallas” Then

Raise your hands if you remember the TV show “Dallas” from the first time around. You know, back in the long ago time known as the 80s. When women’s fashion involved shoulder pads, big hair ruled, and pant suits were considered awesome!

Now, raise your hands if you’re like me and were pretty young in the 80s and don’t really remember much about Dallas besides some of the characters names, the theme song, and that whole “who-shot-JR” plot line (and you have a sneaking suspicion your memories of that actually aren’t that clear, you just think you remember what you’ve been told about that plot line).

Truth be told—in case you haven’t already guessed—I don’t remember much about the first iteration of “Dallas.” I know my parents watched it some; I know that I know a lot of the characters names; I know its place in family lore as the TV show that taught my brother “bad words.”

My Grandpa Marion called “Dallas” “the filthiest show on television.” Since I don’t remember much about the actual plot lines, I’ll have to take his word for it. And I also think that if he thought that, he’d be scandalized by today’s TV shows. But I digress. One day when my brother and I were pretty little, my mom told my brother to put up his toys. His response?I don’t want to put up my damn toys.

“Dallas” Now

EEK! My brother and I grew up in a home where anything that could be considered cursing wasn’t allowed. My parents didn’t let words slip and we weren’t around foul language at all. So, I don’t think my brother’s little refusal to put up his toys or his choice of words were met with much joy. But when my mom related the tale to her dad, his response was that it had to be “Dallas” where Jason learned that language. Because it was “the filthiest show on television.”

Fast forward some 20-plus years and you have TNT’s reboot/re-imagining of the classic nighttime soap. I happened to catch about 20 minutes last night, pulled in by nostalgia and the opening notes of the theme song.

And it turns out my grandpa was right. “Dallas” is pretty trashy. I quickly moved on to something else, but it sure was nice to drop in on the Ewings and Southfork. Even if JR is living in an assisted living facility and Bobby has cancer.

So, watch at your own risk. The new “Dallas” is pretty trashy, but it is also an update that pays attention and honors the canon set out by the 1978-1991 classic. (Or at least that’s the impression I got from the 20 minutes I saw last night.)

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One thought on “What’s the deal with “Dallas”?”

  1. I don’t understand all of these remakes. Dallas was great and awful, and should be left in the 80’s where the story line belongs. The only remake that I have heard is good and doing well is Hawaii Five-0.

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