Dallas reboot leaves critics divided
Story by Jack Foley
CRITICS in America have greeted the return of Dallas with a mixed response.
TNT has decided to revive the show, which became famous for the “Who Shot JR?” storyline in the ’80s, bringing back some of the old favourites (including Larry Hagman’s JR and Patrick Duffy’s Bobby) and also following a new generation of the Texan oil family known as the Ewings.
The 1o-episode series, which has been keenly anticipated, had its debut in the US on June 13 on the cable network and is due to be aired in the UK on Channel 5 in September.
But thus far, the response has been mixed.
In the positive corner was the Chicago Sun-Times, whose critic Lori Rackl wrote that while the new Dallas is full of implausibilities, it offers something different, adding: “A nostalgic romp in a dysfunctional ranch that was a Friday night fixture on many a TV set.”
And she was backed by the Knoxville News Sentinel, from Tennessee, which opined that the 2012 Dallas “has all the charms of the original while giving a sleeker and darker tone to the proceedings”.
However, leading those against the remake was The Hollywood Reporter, which ‘reported’ in its bottom line: “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.”
The New York Times, meanwhile, describing the new generation of Ewings as feeling “old and even stodgy”, adding: “This version is palely faithful to the original without any of its seditious zest.”
While USA Today’s Robert Bianco felt that the remake has little to offer beyond a “desire to cash in on the standard-setting success of the CBS original in the 1980s”.
He also described the performances as “wooden” and the dialogue as “often risible”.
In the new version, cousins John Ross Ewing – played by Josh Henderson – and Christopher Ewing – played by Desperate Housewives‘ Jesse Metcalfe, continue the family rivalry as the future of the family fortune lies in their hands.
Also among the newcomers is Jordana Brewster, of Fast & Furious fame, while a member of the old guard is Linda Gray’s Sue Ellen.