The big night is finally here. The Ewings of Dallas are back on the air after 14 years away. Will this new series outlast the original or does it deserve to be quickly cancelled instead?
The new Dallas on TNT is a continuation of the primetime soap opera that began in 1978. John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) are fighting over Southfork, just like their fathers (Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy) did back in the CBS days. Others in the cast include Linda Gray, Brenda Strong, Jordana Brewster, and Julie Gonzalo.
Is the new Dallas worth your time? Here’s what some of the critics are saying:
NY Daily News: “So we’ve got love and money both in play here, and soon they swirl together into a tale that’s got more kick than Texas chili made with live rattlesnakes. It’s also soapy, of course, not to mention campy. Hagman in particular hasn’t lost an ounce of his villainous sleaze. No one expects Dallas to have the kind of reach now that it had three decades ago. But between old fans who will enjoy a revisit and young folks who never even heard of Miss Ellie, TNT is placing a sound bet.”
TV Guide: “Unfortunately, these young ‘uns are not larger than life, paling next to the icons that bore them, buzzing around like gnats in the shadow of legends. Still, the comfort level in the new/old Dallas is considerable, as we gawk at which of the old-timers is still on their game and who are the worse for wear. (Linda Gray’s Sue Ellen seems especially mummified, given no help by the writers turning her into a most improbable politician and professional wet blanket. She was more fun when she drank.) The show’s predictably melodramatic rhythms and telegraphed twists will be like nectar to those still pining for this old-school style of skullduggery.”
USA Today: “Forget Dallas; they should have called it Thebes. You can find mummies who look fresher than this mold-encrusted relic, and who have newer ideas in their empty, embalmed heads. Not, of course, that this embarrassing throwback has any idea to offer beyond a desire to cash in on the standard-setting success of the CBS original in the 1980s… There will no doubt be some out there who so loved the original Dallas, they’ll still find this little “D” enchanting. There will be others who come for the camp value alone, from the wooden performances to the often risible dialogue. As for the rest of us, we can be grateful that a busy TV summer offers plenty of other choices.”
LA Times: “Then as now — and acknowledging some good work among the younger set, especially the Texas-born Henderson — it is Hagman’s show. To say there is no series here that would be worth watching without him is indeed only to point out another way in which the new Dallas is very much like the old… The pilot dawdles until the right word rouses [JR] back to action like a demon from his thousand-year sleep. His eyes light up, and the party starts.”
Hollywood Reporter: “The writing is not there. Neither is the acting. And the plot -– well, it’s not like that was a strong point of the original version anyway. But none of the elements is present, just soap bubbles and silliness. This is a remake that should never have been remade.”
STL Today: “TNT has wisely scheduled Dallas for 10 episodes, all completed before the premiere. More could be ordered, but at least the audience can be assured of one complete story arc. Executive producer Cynthia Cidre (Cane) and her team have provided many entry points for new viewers, and references they may not get are either explained or expendable. The young cast, especially the male leads, is appealing, and the show looks good, benefiting from shooting on location in Dallas. The storytelling was compelling enough to lead me to watch three episodes (TNT provided all 10) in a row.”
Tampa Bay Times: “Filmed for the HD world with better landscapes, better acting and slightly better writing, this newly retooled Dallas feels upgraded from the early, fumbling pace of the original series’ early days… I’m probably in the minority, but for me a world of oil leases, adultery and methane gas wasn’t quite enough to snare the attention of the iPad generation, anymore.”
So, the critics are quite mixed on the new Dallas series to say the least.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the original? Have you watched the new series? Will you go back to watch again?