When I was a kid, Dallas was my favorite show. Favorite. Han Solo may have been my first love, but Bobby Ewing was the first, “I am going to marry a guy just like that.”
Like many people, (seriously, I checked the stats on the ratings) I began losing interest when the supercouple of Bobby and Pam was permanently dismantled. I
couldn’t tell you a thing that happened in the last season except for the grand (silly) finale.
When I heard about the reboot on TNT, I set my DVR, but didn’t watch it. Then I sat through two episodes. It wasn’t horrible, (Well. It was half-horrible.) but it was no Downton Freakin’ Abbey. And the truth was, it made me sad to see Larry Hagman so…old. So I let my DVR run and left it alone. I caught up a bit reading the recaps while it was on hiatus. And then I read about Hagman’s death.
I read everything I could find about it. That it was Thanksgiving and he was in Dallas. He had filmed a lot of scenes for the second season. Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray – his longtime co-stars and friends – were with him at the end. Duffy reminded me that when he left the show for that terrible season (the one that ended with the shower and “it was all a dream”), he returned because there was a very meaty contract and because Larry Hagman asked him to. But I wasn’t all that interested in how TNT was going to kill off the character. I wasn’t planning on watching. And then someone in my house started asking about it.
It is my own fault, really. I spent too much time as a nine-year-old recapping every episode to my parents. My father could tune me out. My mother had a harder time. I told her what I knew. Then last night, I walked into her bedroom and she shushed me. She shushed me. It was the last five minutes of Dallas. She had watched the funeral.
So I watched it tonight, all handy on the DVR. And it was good. It might have required Kleenex. It was true to the spirit of everything I know about the characters and the stories past and present. (Although seriously, Sue Ellen? I don’t care if it’s a scheme to trick him into handing over drilling rights. Hitting on Gary is icky.) Then I looked up some recaps for the previous few episodes and my brain started turning on the different ways the story could run. And because I am obsessed with the balance of the Universe: if J.R. is gone, then who the hell is Bobby?