It was the seventies. Disco ruled the airwaves. Polyester was in. Miniseries were common. I was a new mother of the most beautiful baby ever born. My husband, the Master Blaster, was a disc jockey in Pocatello, Idaho. He played R & B every Sunday evening on a Country and Western station. I know. Go figure.
It was Sunday night, so I was on my own. I decided to watch Dallas. It was a five segment miniseries centering on the oil rich Ewing clan of Texas. I was hooked after the first episode. In a matter of weeks, I was saying darr-ling with my best Sue Ellen southern drawl.
That five segment miniseries was so popular CBS picked it up. It ran for fourteen seasons from 1978-1991. Dallas is one of the longest running primetime dramas in American history, second only to Gunsmoke and Law and Order. It produced a spinoff, Knots Landing, which also lasted for fourteen seasons.
After a twenty-one year absence, Dallas is back.
I was curious. As the opening music played, a smile tugged at my lips. It was the same music. With that little thing, they had me. But could they keep me?
It’s a perfect mix of old and new. The only living cast member not to reprise their role was Victoria Principal. Who can blame her? Her business, The Principal Secret, is a multimillion dollar venture.
The show begins with the new generation of Ewings. Young John Ross and Elena Ramos find oil on Southfork, which is going to lead to problems. Christopher, Bobby’s son, has spent years in Asia researching alternative energies. Christopher has his intended bride in tow.
We learn Bobby is sick. J.R. is living at a rest home, being treated for clinical depression. He spends his days staring at the wall, not speaking. Sue Ellen is being touted as the next governor of Texas.
John Ross is that “chip off the block.” He is conniving, ruthless, and willing to do anything to get what he wants. He wants to make his mark. The oil on Southfork will get him to the top. Not so fast. There is a problem. Bobby Ewing made a promise to his mother, Miss Ellie, to never drill for oil on the Southfork family property. Conflict lock.
I could keep going, but I think you understand the core conflict in the story. By the midpoint in the first episode, J.R. has snapped out of a vegetative state and ready to ride the bull again.
I don’t know if the new Dallas will last fourteen seasons, but it’s off to a good start.
I wonder what plot twists will occur. I’ll be watching as the season progresses, noting the escalating conflict, turning points, and character arcs.