Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 160 — ‘Hush, Hush, Sweet Jessie’

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What do I love about the final scene in “Hush, Hush, Sweet Jessie”? Oh, pretty much everything. The Ewings stand in the Southfork driveway, panicked because no one knows the whereabouts of Miss Ellie and Jessica, whose murderous past has finally come to light. Suddenly, Donna arrives in Ray’s pickup truck. She gets out, bloodied […]

Dallas Parallels: Hostage!

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No two “Dallas” episodes invite comparison as much as “Winds of Vengeance” and “Blame Game.” Both segments — which debuted in 1978 and 2013, respectively — depict armed intruders invading Southfork and holding the Ewings hostage. The two storylines play on common themes, including stubborn pride and misguided justice, but the episodes also demonstrate the […]

Critique: TNT’s ‘Dallas’ Episode 16 – ‘Blame Game’

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I cringed when I saw J.R. and Bobby’s instant-messaging exchange in “Blame Game.” This episode was filmed after Larry Hagman’s death last fall, so I’m guessing the producers created the sequence using leftover footage of the actor. (J.R.’s presence during Ann’s sentencing appears to be recycled too.) I’m all for rescuing Hagman from the cutting […]

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 […]

Dallas Styles: Sue Ellen’s ‘Who Done It?’ Dresses

Subject to contrast

When “Who Done It?” begins, Sue Ellen is at the Dallas police station, where she is being arrested for J.R.’s shooting. We see her have her mug shot taken and get fingerprinted, and then Detective Frost reads her her rights. We also watch as Sue Ellen removes her jewelry – rings, earrings, bracelets, pearls – […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 18 – ‘Kidnapped’

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New rule: If you’re watching “Dallas” and a Ewing becomes a crime victim before the second act, chances are it’s going to be a lackluster episode. So far, crooks and lowlifes have been front and center in three installments: The first-season episode “Winds of Vengeance” (two working Joes hold the Ewings at gunpoint and threaten to […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 12 – ‘Runaway’

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“Runaway” is one of “Dallas’s” weakest episodes. Almost everything about it – the writing, the directing, the acting, the music – is bad. The episode treats Lucy, who was so daring during “Dallas’s” first season, like just another bratty TV teenager. She spends the beginning of “Runaway” whining about how the Ewings are ignoring her. […]

The Art of Dallas: ‘Winds of Vengeance’

Art of Dallas - Winds of Vengeance

Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) is forced to remove her raincoat in this 1978 publicity shot from “Winds of Vengeance,” a first-season “Dallas” episode.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Guess you’re elected, sugarplum’

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In “Winds of Vengeance,” a first-season “Dallas” episode, Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes), Lucy (Charlene Tilton) and Pam (Victoria Principal) sit on the living room sofa while Payton (Cooper Huckabee) points a gun at them, trying to decide who he’ll rape. LUCY: [Crying] Ray used to go with Pam before she married Bobby! ELLIE: [Holding […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 4 – ‘Winds of Vengeance’

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There’s an unlikely symmetry between Sue Ellen and Luther Frick, her tormentor in “Winds of Vengeance.” Both characters are married to cheating spouses, both avoid acknowledging these infidelities, and both feel humiliated when the truth finally comes out. Sue Ellen is by far the more sympathetic figure, but Frick is a victim, too. This doesn’t […]

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