Happy Anniversary to Them (And to Us)

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman, Sue Ellen Ewing

Bottoms up

“Dallas” debuted 39 years ago today, while Dallas Decoder started on this day five years ago. How time flies!

To mark the occasion, I’ve added fresh images to our front page, and I plan to share some publicity stills from “Dallas’s” first season on social media throughout April. I also hope to get back to regular postings on Dallas Decoder sooner rather than later.

Thanks to everyone who reads this site and shares their love of the Ewings and the Barneses. I look forward to joining you to celebrate “Dallas’s” biggest milestone yet — its 40th anniversary — now just one year away!

Did you watch “Dallas” when it debuted April 2, 1978? Share your memories below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.

A Holiday Wish for ‘Dallas’ Fans — and Everyone Else

Dallas, Kristina Hagman, Larry Hagman, LMaj Hagman

Naughty or nice?

What a year this has been, “Dallas” fans.

It feels like we’re all living in the show’s infamous dream season. Not the good part of that year — the first batch of episodes, which featured some of “Dallas’s” best-ever writing and direction and Linda Gray’s stellar performance as a down-in-the-gutter Sue Ellen. No, real life has become the latter half of the “Dallas” dream, when the series zoomed off the rails. The whole world has gone stupid.

That’s why I hope to write more about “Dallas” next year. This show has always been a form of therapy for me, and I need that more than ever these days. I miss critiquing the episodes, interviewing people involved with the series and generally sharing my love for All Things Ewing. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to resume writing regularly again — or what form that writing might take — but it’s time to get back to Southfork. I hope I can make that happen in 2017.

Until then, I want to thank everyone for sticking with me through this year of light posting. I also want to salute all my fellow fans for everything you do to honor “Dallas” on social media and elsewhere. Your dedication to the show amazes and inspires me.

So please enjoy this fun photo I found of Santa Claus casting a suspicious glance at ol’ J.R. (Larry Hagman’s wife Maj, who we sadly died this year, and his daughter Kristina are pictured, too), and please accept my wishes for happy holidays. Here’s hoping the new year will bring less dream-season-like absurdity and much more peace, joy and “Dallas” goodness.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Dallas, Larry Hagman

Ho, ho, Hagman!

Before this holiday season ends, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who reads Dallas Decoder. Please know how much I appreciate your continued support.

I don’t get to write about “Dallas” as often as I once did, but this was a special year for me nonetheless. I posted my first one-on-one interview with Patrick Duffy in June, and then in September, I published a critique and oral history of my favorite “Dallas” episode, “Swan Song.” All three posts have been years in the making, so I’m glad I finally got to share them with my fellow fans.

I also got to chat again with Linda Gray and review her wonderful book, which was like an early Christmas present for all “Dallas” fans.

As always, special thanks go to the readers who leave comments on this site, as well as everyone who likes and shares Dallas Decoder posts on social media. I appreciate all your feedback and take great pride in the thoughtfulness and civility you bring to our online conversations.

I know many of us wish “Dallas” was still on the air, churning out new episodes. I continue to believe the show will return someday; “Dallas” is too special to disappear forever. Until then, let’s continue to share our love for the Ewings and preserve their legacy next year and beyond.

Back to the ’80s! Dallas Decoder’s Classic Critiques Return

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Back for more

Starting today, Dallas Decoder begins critiquing the classic show’s eighth-season episodes. It’s the era that brought us Mandy Winger, cousins Jamie and Jack Ewing and, of course, Donna Reed as Miss Ellie Ewing (er, Farlow).

I plan to post a new critique every Monday and Wednesday, at least for the next few weeks. I hope you’ll come along and share your thoughts about these episodes, which aired from 1984 until 1985.

I also invite you to share your ideas and suggestions for this site. Which posts do you enjoy reading most? Do you prefer episode critiques to Dal-Lists, or are you most interested in news articles and interviews with the “Dallas” cast and crew? If it’s the latter, who would you like to see interviewed?

Dallas Decoder is my hobby and I enjoy it, but I want it to be fun for you too. Your feedback matters a lot to me, so please share your views in the comments below or send me an email at dallasdecoder-at-gmail.com.

Additionally, I hope you’ll connect with Dallas Decoder on social media — including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter — where I’ll share classic eighth-season photos, publicity stills and more throughout the summer.

As always, thanks for reading and sharing your love for “Dallas.”

Season’s Greetings, ‘Dallas’ Fans

Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo

Still standing

The only thing I enjoy more than watching “Dallas” is writing about it, so I want to take a moment to thank everyone who read Dallas Decoder in 2014. Please know much I appreciate your support, feedback and enthusiasm.

This is the first December in a while that we don’t have new “Dallas” episodes to look forward to, but I hope none of us will allow that to dampen our holiday spirit. That’s why this post is accompanied by an image from the cast’s 2012 Christmas-gone-awry Funny or Die video. Patrick Duffy, Josh Henderson and the rest may look a little beat up here, but they’re still standing — and by golly, so are their fans.

In that spirit, I look forward to joining with you next year to continue sharing our love for “Dallas.” Thanks again, and happy holidays.

Classic Critiques Return to Dallas Decoder

Dallas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Bobby Ewing, Charlene Tilton, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Lucy Ewing, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Sue Ellen Ewing, Victoria Principal

Tanned. Rested. Ready.

Dallas Decoder is resuming its coverage of the original “Dallas” series, starting today. I’m picking up where I left off earlier this year — about two-thirds of the way through the seventh season. Look for a fresh episode critique and “Dallas Scene of the Day” transcript each Wednesday for the next few weeks.

These are the episodes that brought us Lady Jessica Montfort’s arrival, Peter Richards’ farewell, the Gold Canyon 340 imbroglio and the “Who Shot Bobby?” cliffhanger. I hope you’ll take the trip down memory lane and share your thoughts about these storylines, which debuted during the winter and spring of 1984.

I’ll continue writing about TNT’s “Dallas” too, including a final batch of “Dallas Parallels” posts. I also have some fun stuff planned on social media, so if you haven’t liked this site’s Facebook page or followed the Twitter feed, I hope you’ll do so.

As always, please know how much I appreciate everyone who reads Dallas Decoder and shares their love for “Dallas.” If you have ideas or other feedback, I encourage you to share them in the comments section below or by e-mailing me at dallasdecoder-at-gmail.com. I always love to hear from my fellow fans.

Thanks again, and welcome back to classic “Dallas”!

‘Dallas’s’ New Credits: Whose Split-Screen Do You Like Best?

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Return, TNT

Triple threat

“Dallas” brought back its classic, three-way split-screen title sequence in “The Return,” this week’s third-season premiere. Visit Dallas Decoder’s Facebook page to see a composite of all the actors’ split-screens and to choose your favorite.

This is an example of the kind of content I plan to post more frequently to Facebook this year, so if you haven’t already “liked” Dallas Decoder’s page, please do so. Thanks!

Here’s How Dallas Decoder Will Cover Season 3

Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland

We’ve got it covered

Dallas Decoder is going to work hard to bring you exceptional coverage of “Dallas’s” third season, which begins tonight on TNT. Here’s what you’ll see:

“Dallas Burning Questions.” Every Monday, I’ll look at the questions left unanswered at the end of the previous week’s “Dallas” episode. The goal: to help you refresh your memory before the latest episode debuts that night.

Recaps. Since it takes me a while to write my episode critiques, I’ll post recaps on Tuesday mornings. These will be quick summaries of what happened during the previous night’s episode, but the comments section will give you a place to start sharing your thoughts on the show’s latest twists and turns.

#DallasChat. Our weekly “Dallas” discussion on Twitter will move to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern time, starting tomorrow. Each discussion will be devoted to the previous evening’s episode, so be warned: If you haven’t watched the show by this time, you’ll definitely see spoilers.

Critiques and Scenes of the Day. Like always, I’ll review each new episode and highlight a notable scene. These probably will be posted on Wednesdays.

“Drill Bits.” This is where you’ll see reports on the show’s ratings, along with other “Dallas”-related news. I hope to post “Drill Bits” each Wednesday, but it might pop up on other days too.

Tweets and Facebook posts. I plan to tweet throughout the East Coast telecast of each new episode, beginning tonight at 9. My Twitter handle is @DallasDecoder and I’d love to hear from you during the show. Also: If you haven’t done so already, please “like” Dallas Decoder’s Facebook page, where you’ll see exclusive content, including photos, polls and more.

“Say What?!” and “Dallas Styles.” These end-of-the-week features will review each episode’s best quips and fashions, respectively.

Surprises. Throughout each week, look for behind-the-scenes interviews, feature stories and other fun stuff.

Fortuitously, today also marks the start of DallasDecoder.com’s 100th week, so I want to take a moment to thank you for your continued support. I still have a lot of fun writing and editing this site, and I hope you still enjoy reading it.

In that spirit, I invite you to share your ideas in the comments section below or by emailing me at dallasdecoder-at-gmail.com. My goal is to make Dallas Decoder a must-read site for my fellow fans, so if there’s something I’m not doing that I should be, please let me know.

Thanks again and enjoy the new season of “Dallas”!

Happy Holidays, ‘Dallas’ Fans

Dallas, Larry Hagman, Nancy Reagan

Mr. Ewing goes to Washington

The holidays are here and your Dallas Decoder is feeling warm and fuzzy. Before I sign off to spend Christmas with my family, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who reads this website.

The best part of blogging about “Dallas” is the opportunity it affords me to interact with my fellow fans. I love to read your comments and hear what you have to say about our favorite show. Your feedback always gives me something to think about, and more importantly, it inspires me to keep improving Dallas Decoder.

Posting will be light during the next few days, but I hope to pop in occasionally to share holiday treats like the photo you see here. It shows our beloved Larry Hagman getting a peck on the cheek from First Lady Nancy Reagan during a visit to the White House in December 1985.

I also plan to spend time this week on Facebook and Twitter, sharing some of my favorite Dallas Decoder posts from the past year. Hopefully you’ll enjoy revisiting these stories; maybe you’ll even see some stuff you missed the first time around. Dallas Decoder’s regular lineup of classic episode critiques, scenes of the day and “Dallas Parallels” will resume in early January, along with our Monday evening #DallasChats on Twitter.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, and once again, thank you.

This Weekend, Let’s Honor Larry Hagman

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


To honor Larry Hagman on his birthday weekend, I’m inviting my fellow fans to join me in sharing favorite memories of him on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Let’s use the hashtag #HonorLarryHagman in all of our messages so everyone can find them easily. (To get his name “trending,” you can use #LarryHagman too.)

I believe our goal should be to pay tribute to Mr. Hagman, who was born September 21, 1931, and gave us so many wonderful performances as J.R. Ewing, Major Nelson and in his many other roles. Use this opportunity to talk about what Mr. Hagman has meant to you — the scenes where he made you laugh, the moments he made you cry, your memories of watching him, et cetera. Hopefully, our messages will remind the world how beloved he remains, almost one year after his death.

We’re all disappointed Mr. Hagman will be excluded from the special tributes during CBS’s Primetime Emmys broadcast on Sunday, but I encourage everyone to keep their messages positive. Please refrain from denigrating the other Emmy honorees. Let’s focus on celebrating Mr. Hagman’s career.

Our hero is no longer with us, so now it’s up to us to keep his memory alive — this weekend and beyond. Let’s make him proud.