29 Nov

Television icon, Larry Hagman died this week in Dallas, Texas.  He was filming the second season of the TNT reboot of Dallas.

Larry Hagman wasn’t born in Dallas, he was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

I wrote this blog during the summer, but decided to pull it out again to pay tribute to Mr. Hagman.

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 multi-million 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 family property, Southfork.  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.


Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Idaho


12 responses to “Dallas

  1. ramblingsfromtheleft

    November 29, 2012 at 5:02 AM

    Ah Lynn, how sad for Dallas fans that the head honcho has finally bought the farm. I think what they’ll do to keep it going is have all the members (after a proper “funeral” that is) do segments when they “remember” what JR did in the past. The producers will probably keep Hagman’s character in there by using old footage. So stay tuned … I am certain that future episodes will have lots of reflections about good-old JR. TNT did a nice tribute to him 🙂

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 29, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      Hey Ramblings, you know the writers are working this out now. It will be interesting to see how they spin this. I liked the Dallas reboot because they kept the old character, but added the young bloods.
      I was touched that his Linda Gray was with the family when the died. That says a lot about their friendship.

  2. Janis McCurry

    November 29, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    The Hawaii Five-O theme song is the same as the original and it takes me back to Jack Lord (and his amazing hair!) in an instant. And I really like the remake and also wonder how long it will run.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 29, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      Hi Janis, remakes can be good, bad, or so-so. Remember Charlies Angels? Hopefully not.

  3. Judith Keim

    November 29, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Hi, Lynn! I didn’t watch Dallas then or do I now (I don’t know why, maybe because of timing) but I’m well aware of Larry Hagman. Wasn’t he Mary Martin’s son? In reading your blog, I was struck by your mention of how the show became popular by using escalating conflict to keep it going! It’s a great reminder for me in tackling my stories. Thanks, Darrrrling!

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 29, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      Hey Judith, Larry Hagman was Mary Martin’s son. Larry was raised by his grandmother while his mom went to New York. When his grandmother died, Larry went to live with his mother and husband in California. By this time, she was doing films. The relationship was strained for many years. They did make peace.

  4. stephanieberget

    November 29, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    I loved Larry Hagman in Dallas, and was a huge fan of I Dream of Jeannie. I haven’t watched the new Dallas. I’ll have to check it out.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 29, 2012 at 8:29 PM

      I too loved I Dream of Jeannie. He was a great Tony Nelson. Straight man or evil one, Hagman could act.

  5. maryvine

    November 29, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I was one of the only people not to watch Dallas in the old days, I guess. I think it was on later than my bedtime schedule. I did like Larry H in Jeannie. He is already missed.

    • Lynn Mapp

      November 29, 2012 at 8:29 PM

      Hi Mary, I loved Hagman as Tony Nelson. It was one of my favorite shows.

  6. Peggy Staggs

    December 3, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    I wasn’t a Dallas fan, but I loved I Dream of Jeannie. He will be missed.

  7. Lynn Mapp

    December 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    You are right. He was a talented man.


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