Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 192 — ‘The Family Ewing’

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“The Family Ewing,” the first episode of “Dallas’s” ninth season, chronicles the immediate aftermath of Bobby’s death. Miss Ellie, sad but sturdy, tries to plan the funeral while holding her family together — a task complicated by J.R.’s anger, Sue Ellen’s drinking and lingering questions about why Bobby and Pam were together when he was […]

The Dal-List: 19 Reasons to Love ‘Dallas’s’ Ninth Season

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Dallas Decoder will soon begin critiquing the original show’s ninth season, which aired from 1985 to 1986. Here are 19 reasons to love it. 19. Mama returns. We never needed her more. 18. J.R. says goodbye. Does anyone do the single tear thing better than Larry Hagman? 17. Sue Ellen relapses. Linda Gray’s tour de force. […]

The Best & Worst of Dallas: Season 8

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“Dallas’s” eighth season had its share of ups and downs. Here are the highs and lows. Performances Victoria Principal does her best work during “Dallas’s” eighth season, a.k.a. The Year Pam Gets Her Groove Back. The actress displays her old fire during Pam’s clashes with J.R., but nothing beats her performance during Bobby’s season-ending death. […]

‘Swan Song’: Making a ‘Dallas’ Classic

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Ask “Dallas” fans to name their favorite episode and many will say “Swan Song,” the 1985 segment in which Bobby dies heroically after saving Pam’s life. Although the death was later written off as a dream, the episode remains moving and memorable. To mark its 30th anniversary, I spoke to eight “Dallas” insiders who had […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Be a Family’

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In “Swan Song,” “Dallas’s” eighth-season finale, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) lies in a hospital bed, surrounded by Pam (Victoria Principal), Jenna (Priscilla Beaulieu Presley), J.R. (Larry Hagman), Miss Ellie (Donna Reed), Clayton (Howard Keel), Donna (Susan Howard) and Ray (Steve Kanaly). RAY: Bob. BOBBY: Hey, Ray. [Sees Ellie] Oh, Mama. I’m sorry. ELLIE: No. No, Bobby. BOBBY: All […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 191 — ‘Swan Song’

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“Swan Song” is a masterpiece. This is the best “Dallas” episode ever made because it dares to set aside so many of the show’s conventions — wheeling, dealing, double-crossing — to focus on what matters most: the characters and their relationships. Mostly, “Swan Song” tells the story of Bobby and Pam’s long-awaited reunion, which is […]

‘Road to Happiness’ Casts Linda Gray in a New Role: Teacher

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Start reading Linda Gray’s new book, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction,” and you might be struck by how much the actress has in common with her most famous character, Sue Ellen Ewing. Each woman’s life was touched by alcoholism (Sue Ellen suffered from the disease, while Gray is the daughter of an […]

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Linda Gray

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Linda Gray’s eagerly awaited memoir, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction,” includes her reflections on life, her memories of “Dallas,” and lots of fun anecdotes — like the time Elizabeth Taylor jokingly referred to her as “the bitch with the long legs.” I spoke with Gray recently about the book, which will be […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 190 — ‘Deliverance’

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“Deliverance” is the next-to-last episode from “Dallas’s” eighth season, but if you didn’t know better, you might think it was the finale. By the end of the hour, the year’s two major storylines are resolved: Cliff and Jamie’s lawsuit to claim two-thirds of Ewing Oil ends in humiliating defeat, while Jenna gets out of prison […]

Heard the News? The Next #DallasChat is Friday, Aug. 21

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Dallas Decoder’s next #DallasChat on Twitter will be Friday, Aug. 21, from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern time. Since summer is the season of sequels, this chat will be a follow-up to our recent “Super Summer Spectacular.” Expect more questions about Southfork sunshine, swimsuits and sweaty Ewings. Are you new to #DallasChat? Here’s how it […]


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