The Dallas Decoder Interview: Margaret Michaels

Dallas, Margaret Michaels, Pam Ewing

Margaret Michaels occupies a unique place in “Dallas” history. In 1988, one year after Victoria Principal left the original series, Michaels played Pam Ewing in two scenes designed to give the character closure after her fiery car crash and disappearance from Southfork. The following season, Michaels returned for a few episodes as Jeanne O’Brien, a […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 151 — ‘When the Bough Breaks’

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, When the Bough Breaks

“When the Bough Breaks” marks another turning point in the life of Sue Ellen Ewing. In the episode’s final scene, Peter tells Sue Ellen how sorry he is about her recent miscarriage; he believes he was the unborn child’s father, and he had hoped they could raise it together. When Sue Ellen hears this, she’s […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 145 — ‘Peter’s Principles’

Christopher Atkins, Dallas, Peter Richards, Peter's Principles

Since I began re-watching “Dallas’s” seventh season for the first time in years, I’ve been surprised by how interesting I find Sue Ellen’s affair with college student Peter Richards. I used to dismiss their romance as hopelessly gimmicky — J.R.’s wife chases a younger man! — but now that I’m older and hopefully a little […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 143 — ‘Barbecue Four’

Barbara Bel Geddes, Barbecue Four, Dallas, Miss Ellie Ewing

Mama’s back! In “Barbecue Four,” Barbara Bel Geddes returns to “Dallas” after being absent from the previous 11 episodes. In real life, the actress was recovering from heart surgery, so the producers temporarily wrote her out of the show by having Clayton whisk Miss Ellie away so she could distance herself from J.R. and Bobby’s […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 139 — ‘The Oil Baron’s Ball’

Dallas, Linda Gray, OIl Baron's Ball, Sue Ellen Ewing

J.R. and Sue Ellen’s relationship takes a lot of twists over the years, but nothing fascinates me more than when she starts emulating him. It begins during Linda Gray’s final seasons on the original “Dallas,” when Sue Ellen becomes a wheeler-dealer in business, and it continues on TNT’s sequel series, when we see her reach […]

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Steve Kanaly

Dallas Decoder Interview - Steve Kanaly featured image

Steve Kanaly will be in Texas this week to film his latest guest spot as Ray Krebbs on TNT’s “Dallas.” I spoke to him recently about what it’s been like to walk in Ray’s boots for the past 35 years — and what the future might hold for everyone’s favorite cowboy. I’m so excited you’re […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 137 — ‘Check and Mate’

Bobby Ewing, Check and Mate, Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy

“Check and Mate” brings J.R. and Bobby’s contest for control of Ewing Oil to a satisfying but somewhat silly conclusion. In the final scene, the brothers learn J.R. boosted the company’s profits by $40 million, making him the clear-cut winner. With his victory clenched, J.R. announces he’s reneging on his earlier promise to split the company […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 133 — ‘The Long Goodbye’

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Long Goodbye, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal

J.R. Ewing is a man with many enemies, but his conflict with Pam is unique because it reveals his otherwise well-concealed insecurities. When Pam arrives at Southfork, J.R. fears she and Bobby will beat him and Sue Ellen in the “race” to produce the Ewings’ first grandson. It doesn’t happen, but Pam manages to solidify […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 131 — ‘Ewing Inferno’

Dallas, Ewing Inferno, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

“Ewing Inferno” famously ends with J.R., Sue Ellen, Ray and John Ross trapped inside Southfork as fire sweeps through the house. I wonder: When this episode debuted in 1983, did anyone doubt all four characters would escape the blaze? After all, three of them appear in the opening credits and the fourth is a child; […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 129 — ‘Things Ain’t Goin’ Too Good at Southfork’

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, Things Ain't Goin' Too Good at Southfork

Linda Gray always hits her marks on “Dallas,” but she’s especially effective when Sue Ellen is hitting the bottle. Unlike so many other actors who go overboard playing drunks, Gray is precise: never too slurry, never too silly, never too sullen. She gets it right, every time. Because her performances are so convincing, the audience […]

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