Dallas Parallels: Turning Tables

Who says you can’t beat a Ewing? As the original “Dallas” neared its end, two Westar board members invited J.R. to become the company’s new chairman. J.R. found the offer too good to refuse, so he sold his share of Ewing Oil to Cliff Barnes and accepted the offer to join Westar — only to […]

Dallas Parallels: Caught!

History repeats itself during “Dallas’s” third season when Pamela finds John Ross cheating with Emma. It’s not unlike the classic scene from the original show’s sixth year, when Sue Ellen walks in on J.R. in bed with Holly. There’s one major difference, of course: Sue Ellen flees the scene of J.R.’s crime in tears — […]

Dallas Parallels: The Puppeteer

Cliff Barnes may be “Dallas’s” biggest loser, but give the devil his due: He has a knack for pulling the strings of women who’ve been wronged by J.R. Ewing. On TNT’s “Dallas,” after the Ewings framed Cliff (Ken Kercheval) for J.R.’s “murder,” he summoned Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster) to his Mexican jail cell and made […]

Dallas Parallels: Masterpieces

The deaths of Jock and J.R. Ewing produced some of the saddest moments in “Dallas” history. From a creative standpoint, the two deaths also stand as high watermarks for the franchise, although I’m sure everyone involved — the people behind the scenes, the performers in front of the camera, the fans watching at home — […]

Dallas Parallels: O Mother, Where Art Thou?

Dallas, Pam Ewing, Prodigal Mother, Victoria Principal

If Christopher’s search for Pam on TNT’s “Dallas” reminded you of Pam’s search for Rebecca on the original series, you’re not alone. There are several similarities between the two storylines — and also one big difference, reminding us how history never repeats itself exactly, even on “Dallas.” This one is kind of complicated, so let’s take it […]

Dallas Parallels: Women on the Edge

Pam Ewing, the original “Dallas’s” heroine, and Pamela Barnes, her namesake niece on TNT’s sequel series, have more than a name in common. Both women marry into the Ewing family, both experience awkward introductions to life at Southfork, and their first encounters with J.R. are equally tense. Most notably, Pam and Pamela also suffer tragic […]

Dallas Parallels: Breaking Bad

On “Dallas,” J.R. and John Ross are the bad guys and Bobby and Christopher are the good guys, right? Not always. During the original show’s sixth season, when Jock’s will pits J.R. and Bobby against each other in a contest for control of Ewing Oil, Bobby becomes obsessed with beating his oldest brother. Bobby’s preoccupation […]

Dallas Parallels: Old Habits

Booze has always flowed as freely as oil on “Dallas.” The Southfork cocktail hour was a family tradition on the original show, and J.R. and Bobby each kept lots of liquor on hand to entertain the parade of cartel members and other business associates who marched in and out of their offices each day. The […]

Dallas Parallels: Requiems for the Heavyweights

The funerals of J.R. and Bobby Ewing were filmed 28 years apart, but they draw upon similar themes, including the idea that grief and anger are sometimes indistinguishable. The episodes also show how each brother becomes unmoored when he loses the other, demonstrating how essential their relationship is to the “Dallas” mythology. Bobby’s funeral is […]

Dallas Parallels: Hostage!

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 […]