Yes! – and No…
TNT insist that this isn’t a reboot of the classic Dallas series that aired on CBS for fourteen seasons, but a continuation of the troubles the Ewing family has surrounding their successful oil company, Ewing Oil Company. This version of Dallas will try and cater to the older audience who will recognize the original cast of the series who return to the TNT series reprising their roles from the original series, as well as a new and younger audience tuning in for the first time since the show actually focuses on a new generation on Ewings - J.R. (Larry Hagman) and Bobby Ewing’s (Patrick Duffy) sons, John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe).
So how was the first episode? Nothing spectacular, but enjoyable.
Writer Cynthia Cidre did a great job at introducing the new characters to viewers who don’t have prior knowledge to the original Dallas series, while also staying true to the viewers who watched the show as it aired originally. The pilot started off a little bit slow, but this could be due to establishing the new characters to the audience, as well as catching the audience up on what the Ewing clan has been up to over the past 20 years.
The writing is a little cheesy for my taste and it’s like nothing else on TNT, but we have to remember that the original Dallas was a nighttime soap opera much like the recently departed Desperate Housewives, so if you’re expecting a fast-paced drama like The Closer or Southland that TNT is known for, you’re going to be terribly disappointed.
There’s a perfect blend of old and new here. The original cast seems happy to be back in Dallas, reunited with old cast mates and playing their former roles, and the new Dallas characters don’t seem too intimidated by their older counterparts, while making these roles their own in the process.
If Dallas resonates with new audiences which I’m sure it will, Josh Henderson’s John Ross is sure to be TV’s new “love to hate him” or “hate to love him” character. Written to be Dallas‘ bad boy, Henderson’s John Ross is set to be a spitting image of his father J.R.’s young self. For those of you who don’t know who that may be, it’s ruthless, cold, money-driven, conniving, and won’t take no for an answer. He’ll get whatever he wants at anyone’s expense – just like his father did 20 years ago.
Good boy Christopher Ewing (Metcalfe) is a little soft for me in the pilot, making me want to root for the villainous John Ross - despite Christopher wanted to do good for the family instead of evil like John Ross - but Christopher is going to have develop into a much better character in upcoming episodes for me to permantaly root for him.
Oil, backstabbing, and money isn’t the only thing that drives this new version of Dallas, there’s a love story buried in this series to attract the younger viewers.
The former relationship between Christopher and Elena (Jordana Brewster) is explained by the end of the episode, and when everything comes to light, you’ll understand why John Ross is going to be TV’s newest character you’re going to love to hate.
The pilot gets interesting at the 40 minute mark and that’s when you’ll want to see what happens, you’ll want to immediately watch the second episode, which luckily airs tonight after the pilot.
Without getting into too many details here, (I have a full episode recap for that), I recommend watching Dallas tonight to see what all the fuss has been about over the past couple of weeks. I feel this show will be a hit for TNT right out of the gate, not as big of a hit as the original, but a hit by today’s cable standards.
Check out the two-hour series premiere of Dallas, tonight at 9p.m. on TNT.