TV & Radio
TV Review: Oil be damned, Dallas is not nearly as bad as you think
Reboots tend to be awful, but when the boot you are pulling on again is covered in oil and has a massive spur attached, our advice would have been to step away. Looks like we were wrong.
Undaunted by such steaming piles of rehashed shite like Melrose Place and The Bionic Woman, American broadcaster CBS looked at Dallas and, after a 21-year gap, decided to serve it up to us again.
As someone old enough to remember, just about, the original series from 1978 to 1991, my hopes were not high as I sat down to watch the first installment of the new version (TV3, 10pm). I had a 10-gallon hat full of abuse ready to fling at the screen but I swear on the grave of Miss Ellie, it really wasn’t that bad.
After a brief scene introducing us to the next generation of Ewings, the famous title sequence swung into action, with the same tune and shots of oil, cows, the Dallas Cowboys and gleaming Texas skyscrapers. You would want to be very hard of heart not to swept up by the nostalgia of it all.
Soon we were faced with Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) romping around on a horse and then the first appearance of JR (Larry Hagman) himself. Mute in the first glimpse we get of him, JR was soon back on his feet and displaying his familiar charisma but this is a show with a focus on the young ‘uns.
Bobby’s son Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) is some sort of new energy advocate, turning his back on the family business. JR’s son, John Ross, has just dug a massive hole in the Southfork lawn and he has only gone and struck black gold. Subtlety ‘aint this shows strong point but what’s the harm in that.
Before the end of proceedings we had an appearance from Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), whose face was, as always, a wonder to behold and while the show still had a few clunky lines, it made up for it in charm.
Whether the show will be able to charm us for an entire season remains to be seen. It clearly has to compete with the likes of Revenge for viewers, and that may be beyond it, but a hardcore of older fans, plus a smattering of new, should keep the show afloat.
Mad Men, which returned to RTE2 last night, it’s not. Not even close. But what it is a diverting hour of telly cheese. In its first incarnation, the world of Dallas seemed impossibly glamourous to Irish eyes. Since its demise we have seen enough snake-oil merchants to last us a lifetime. It’s good to have a bit of escapism again.