Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 142 — ‘To Catch a Sly’

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One of the reasons J.R. Ewing is so entertaining is because he’s always a few steps ahead of the “Dallas” audience. We watch him plot and scheme, never knowing what trick he’s going to pull out of his sleeve next. That’s why the show’s seventh-season corporate espionage storyline is so unusual. From the beginning, viewers […]

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

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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 Best & Worst of Dallas: Season 1

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“Dallas’s” first season is comprised of just five episodes, but there’s no shortage of things to cheer and jeer. Performances Sorry Mr. Hagman, but Victoria Principal owns Season 1. The actress makes Pam confident and charming, with a laugh that would make Julia Roberts envious. Pam is also unapologetically sexual, making her one of television’s […]

TNT’s Dallas Styles: Bobby’s Pajamas

Dead men don’t wear plaid. Right?

In “Family Business,” TNT continues an old “Dallas” tradition: using the Ewings’ sleepwear to telegraph their vulnerabilities. The practice can be traced to “Spy in the House,” the original show’s third episode, when a sexually neglected Sue Ellen buys a negligee, hoping to arouse J.R.’s interest. Her plan doesn’t work: J.R. calls the nightie “cheap” […]

Dallas Isn’t ‘Brokeback Southfork,’ But It’s Pretty Gay

Dallas Isn't 'Brokeback Southfork,' But It's Pretty Gay featured image

By today’s standards, “Dallas” isn’t a “gay” show. Southfork never hosts a “Brokeback Mountain”-esque love story. There are no same-sex office romances at Ewing Oil. Dusty Farlow wears ascots to keep dust out of his face, not because he’s fabulous. Yet “Dallas” is very much a show with gay sensibilities. It regularly explores themes – […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 21 – ‘Julie’s Return’

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Julie Grey is “Dallas’s” most aptly named character. She inhabits a world with no absolutes, where nothing is only black or only white. Julie is all gray. In “Julie’s Return,” J.R.’s onetime mistress and secretary blows back into town and renews her friendship with Jock. Like she did with J.R., Julie becomes Jock’s confidante, giving […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 13 – ‘Election’

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If ever anyone questioned the politics of “Dallas’s” first families, “Election” should clear things up. Cliff runs for state senate on a pro-environment, anti-corruption platform. Martin Cole, the candidate the Ewings recruit to run against him, is described as a churchgoer who opposes gun control, abortion rights and higher taxes. Could it be clearer? When […]

Pam Ewing, Prime-Time Pioneer

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If re-watching “Dallas’s” first season taught me anything, it’s this: Pam Ewing is one of prime-time television’s pioneering women. No, really. When “Dallas” begins, Pam isn’t the Miss Goody Two-Boots many of us remember from the show’s heyday. She’s spunkier, scrappier – and more sexual. The show makes no secret of the fact Pam isn’t […]

The Art of Dallas: ‘Spy in the House’

Art of Dallas - Spy in the House

J.R. and Sue Ellen (Larry Hagman, Linda Gray) have a spat in this 1978 publicity shot from “Spy in the House,” a first-season “Dallas” episode.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘There’s Nothing Eating Me Up, Pam!’

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In “Spy in the House,” a first-season “Dallas” episode, Pam (Victoria Principal) sees Julie (Tina Louise) leaving Cliff’s apartment building and begins walking alongside her. PAM: I want to talk to you. JULIE: I’m on my way to the office, Pam. PAM: How long have you been seeing my brother? JULIE: Who said I’ve been […]

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