In my opinion, although the current Dallas is great, nothing can replace the classic show. However, last night’s episode was stellar in one important way. Originally, I thought that the picture JR sent Bobby, or rather, the video, was something cute, a throwaway scene that made limited but cute use of an ailing Larry Hagman. However, as we learned later, the scene was very important plot-wise. I won’t spoil it in case someone hasn’t seen it and is planning to, but it is enough to say that there is nothing wrong with the new show.
Actually, let me correct myself a little. I find the show too dark, physically dark. I honestly can’t always see what is going on! Maybe it’s just me.
I’m currently watching the classic show. Sue Ellen is one of my favourite characters. Linda Gray has a lot of charisma, and it shines through in this part. JR, of course, is the villain you love to hate, although sometimes it seems like it’s the passivity of others, more than his own cleverness, which allows him to succeed.
The acting on the classic show is superb. Barbara Bel Geddes was stellar when Miss Ellie learned that Jock’s plane had gone down in South America. Linda Gray combines charisma with the ability to effectively portray a long-suffering wife who is ultimately good but just as messed up in her own way as her husband. Hagman is of course legendary as JR. He has a naughty charm that is refreshing in addition to the usual villainy. Charlene Tilton, Patrick Duffy, and Victoria Principal are also all really good. The more minor characters, like Ray and Donna, are also played by very good actors. I totally believe everyone in their parts.
On the current show, I can’t always tell everyone apart, especially the young women. One of them looks like Courtney Cox, but I haven’t yet matched the name of the character with the actress. Linda Gray and Victoria Principal could be said to look somewhat alike, but from the beginning, I could tell them apart. A lot can be said for these veteran actors and their mastery of the important aspects of acting, such as star quality and technical prowess. Nowadays it seems like the women have to be young and thin, and that is pretty much the only criteria.
Jesse Metcalfe has grown a lot since his days on Passions and Desperate Housewives. He is like Cary Grant in the way that he is going to just look increasingly more distinguished as he ages. He is a solid actor and is one of the better looking men in Hollywood these days. Josh Henderson is also wonderful. He has star quality and is great as a romantic lead, too. He has a wonderful vulnerability about him that gives him that extra spark.
So all in all, I like both shows and although nothing can top the classic Dallas (after all, it was good enough to revamp and bring back in the first place!), the new one is a production that everyone involved can be proud of. Larry Hagman’s recent death is a sad reminder of our mortality, but I think the new show will be able to move beyond the presence of JR.