John Ross and Pamela (Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo) eloped on “Dallas” last season, but they’ll get a traditional Southfork wedding in “Lifting the Veil,” TNT’s latest episode. Here’s a list of the eight Southfork weddings seen on the original show, ranked in order of preference. (Also, check out my recent list of all the Ewings who had multiple weddings, including ceremonies that occurred off-camera.)
8. Bobby Ewing and Jenna Wade (1984). Yes, I know. Bobby and Jenna never got married. But they did have a Southfork wedding; she never bothered to show up. I suppose I should cut Jenna some slack since the reason she skipped out on the ceremony was because her slimy ex-husband, Renaldo Marchetta, kidnapped her and forced her to remarry him instead … but I say nuts to that! I don’t care if Naldo was holding a gun to Jenna’s head; how could she leave Bobby (Patrick Duffy) standing at the altar — especially when he looked so darned handsome in his gray morning coat and striped pants? The ceremony ended with Ray apologizing to the crowd after Bobby dashed off to find his runaway bride. Am I the only one who wishes he hadn’t located her?
7. Lucy Ewing and Mitch Cooper (1985). Lucy and Mitch’s second wedding was not nearly as grand as their first. It took place in the Southfork living room, which is probably better than the driveway, but nonetheless required the cast to squeeze into what looked like pretty tight quarters. This was Charlene Tilton’s final “Dallas” appearance for a while — the Coopers moved to Atlanta after the ceremony — and it was nice to see everyone give Lucy such a warm sendoff. Even J.R. got sentimental, telling his least-favorite niece, “Lucy, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m really going to miss you, honey. It won’t be the same without you to fight with.” The best part, though: The ceremony inspired Bobby to dump Jenna and go back to Pam. Karma’s a bitch, darlin’.
6. Miss Ellie Ewing and Clayton Farlow (1984). Ellie and Clayton had the healthiest marriage Southfork has ever seen — yes, even healthier than the one she had with Jock — and I’m sure they had a perfectly lovely wedding, but we don’t really know since “Dallas” never showed us the big event. We only saw Mama (Barbara Bel Geddes), looking so pretty in her purple suit, as she came down the stairs and joined Bobby and J.R. (Larry Hagman), who were supposed to walk her down the aisle. And then … cut to commercial! No shot of the crowd, no exchange of vows, no scenes of J.R. biting his tongue when the minister asked if anyone had objections. To make matters worse, when Ellie got back from her honeymoon, she looked like Donna Reed. (Nice lady, but not our Mama.)
5. Bobby Ewing and April Stevens (1990). Here’s a ceremony I wish we hadn’t seen — not because I don’t like Bobby and April (Sheree J. Wilson) as a couple, but because the producers filmed their wedding on a soundstage instead of the “real” Southfork. The result: It’s like the Ewings have landed on one of the fake-looking planets the Enterprise crew used to visit on “Star Trek.” I mean, check out this picture. Why does Southfork look like a jungle? It was nice to see all the pre-wedding festivities, though, including Bobby’s bachelor party at the Oil Baron’s Club and April’s bridal shower in the Southfork living room. Although I can’t help but wonder: Why was the guest list at April’s shower dominated by Bobby’s family and the Ewing Oil secretaries? Didn’t the poor girl have any friends of her own?
4. Bobby and Pam Ewing (1986). Right before these nuptials began, tipsy Ray blabbed the big secret that Jenna was pregnant with Bobby’s child, which almost made Pam call the whole thing off. (Must Jenna ruin everything?) But then the ceremony began, and it was a hoot: As Cliff escorted Pam down the aisle, he warned her that she was “walking straight into hell.” Meanwhile, when best man J.R. reminded Bobby that it wasn’t too late to change his mind, Bobby threatened to kick J.R.’s butt, prompting the minister to shush them both. The best part: During the vows, we saw flashbacks to Bobby and Pam’s first ceremony, which occurred off-camera in 1978. Sure, the show muffed some details — Duffy’s jacket and Victoria Principal’s hair were all wrong — but it was still a nice touch.
3. J.R. Ewing and Cally Harper (1989). This wedding was absolutely nuts, which is why I loved it. As soon as J.R. and Cally said “I do,” a big storm swept over Southfork, forcing everyone to spend the night at the ranch. Sue Ellen took the room across the hall from the newlyweds, Cliff bunked on the sofa, Carter McKay raided the refrigerator in the middle of the night and Lucy ran around filming everything with a camcorder that was as big as her. The most insane moment of all: Shirtless wacko Tommy McKay (played by the gloriously named J. Eddie Peck) — tried to put the moves on April — in little John Ross’s bedroom, no less! — and when she rebuffed him, he burst onto the balcony, smashed a bottle of booze against the wall and started screaming in the rain. I guess that was one way to cool off.
2. Lucy Ewing and Mitch Cooper (1981). The first Southfork wedding seen on “Dallas” was also filmed on the soundstage, so the show staged the ceremony on the driveway set since, you know, there was no lawn. Otherwise, the producers spared no expense, even bringing in Gary and Val, Lucy’s deadbeat parents from “Knots Landing,” to witness the nuptials. In fact, there were so many extras on the dance floor, I was afraid they were going to waltz right over Sue Ellen, who sat around flirting with snoozetastic Clint Ogden. I also loved when Jock and his sons ducked into the living room to conduct a little business on Lucy’s wedding day (shades of “The Godfather”), although the best part of all came when J.R. and Afton snuck off during the reception to have sex — in the bed he shared with Sue Ellen!
1. J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing (1982). Now this is everything a Southfork wedding should be. One year after J.R. and Sue Ellen were divorced, they got hitched again because, you know, why not? The wedding was so big, it couldn’t be contained to a single episode: Part 1 ended with the minister asking if anyone had objections to the couple’s remarriage, and even though everyone should’ve stood up, the only person who did was Cliff (Ken Kercheval). So did he interrupt the nuptials? Nah. At the beginning of Part 2, we realized he was just stretching his legs. The ceremony continued and then it was on to the reception, which was ruined when J.R. and Cliff started a brawl that began on the dance floor and ended in the swimming pool. Perfect! The only thing that would’ve made this more fun was if Jenna had gotten dunked too. (Oh, quit your moaning. You know she deserved it.)
What’s your favorite “Dallas” wedding? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”