The Dal-List: Classic ‘Dallas’s’ 8 Southfork Weddings, Ranked

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo, Lifting the Veil, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, TNT

The tradition continues

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.)

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy

Wrong way, Bob

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?

Bobby Ewing, Charlene Tilton, Charlie Wade, Clayton Farlow, Dallas, Donna Krebbs, Donna Reed, Howard Keel, Jenna Wade, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Leigh McCloskey, Lucy Ewing, Miss Ellie Ewing Farlow, Dr. Mitch Cooper, Patrick Duffy, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, Omri Katz, Ray Krebbs, Shalane McCall, Steve Kanaly, Sue Ellen Ewing, Susan Howard

Standing room only

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’.

Barbara Bel Geddes, Bobby Ewing, Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Miss Ellie Ewing, Patrick Duffy

Mama’s boys

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.)

April Stevens Ewing, Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Sheree J. Wilson

Welcome to the jungle

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?

Oh, what now?

Oh, what now?

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.

Dallas, J. Eddie Peck, Tommy McKay

Something blue

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.

Charlene Tilton, Dallas, Lucy Ewing

Altar girl

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!

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Back off, Barnes!

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.”

The Dal-List: 15 Reasons You Should Be Watching ‘Dallas’

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, TNT

Watch and love

What’s that, you say? You’re not watching the new season of “Dallas”? Well, put down that bottle of stupid pills and listen up. Here are 15 excellent reasons to start tuning in to the series, which TNT shows every Monday night.

Dallas, Judith Light, Judith Ryland, TNT

Snow’s the boss

15. Judith Ryland is nuts. Remember Angela Bower, Light’s sensible, self-controlled character on “Who’s the Boss?” Well, go ahead and put that performance out of your mind because Angela is nothing like Judith Ryland, the coke-snortin’, drug-traffickin’, truth-bomb-droppin’, cane-thumpin’ control freak Light plays on “Dallas.” Judith is the most wicked and unpredictable character on television today. What will crazy lady do next? I have no clue, but I can’t wait to find out.

Dallas, Juan Pablo Di Pace, Nicolas Trevino, TNT


14. Di Pace = Divine. So the Ewings are sitting around their boardroom, being Ewings, when all of a sudden some dude named “Nicolas Treviño” waltzes in and starts bossing everyone around. Who is Nicolas? Who cares! What matters is that he’s played by Juan Pablo Di Pace, who is absolutely delectable. I mean, look at this guy. How is he even real? Di Pace is suave, charming and so far, he’s had sexual chemistry with virtually everyone he’s had a scene with. Don’t you want to be there when Judith meets him?

Dallas, Elena Ramos, John Ross Ewing, Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Watch and learn

13. You can learn stuff. Did you know that in Texas, a company can’t unload a major division unless a “supermajority” of its shareholders approve the sale? Or that sometimes oil-rich “shale formations” can rise within a property’s “surface rights”? I know both things are true because “Dallas” tells me so. I’ll confess: I’m sometimes dubious of the veracity of the legal and technical mumbo-jumbo these characters spout, but it mostly checks out. So do your brain a favor and start watching. You’ll be entertained and enlightened.

Bum, Dallas, Kevin Page, Steve Jones, TNT

Bum in the night

12. Bum. You know what’s really cool about “Dallas” this season? Kevin Page is being featured more prominently than ever. His character, Steve “Bum” Jones, will go down in TV history as the last guy to shoot J.R., but Page’s greatest contribution to the show might be the way Bum has become John Ross’s conscience. And am I the only one who’s noticed Page’s off-the-charts chemistry with Linda Gray? He’s now a vital part of “Dallas.” Here’s hoping Bum gets bumped up to a series regular soon.

Christopher Ewing, Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, TNT


11. Jesse Metcalfe has a beard now. I know what you’re thinking: Metcalfe has such a nice face, why cover it up? I felt that way when I heard about the beard too. But then I saw it and oh my goodness it’s the best beard in the history of facial hair. (Yours is nice too, Mr. Pileggi.) I mean, take a look at that thing. What’s not to love? The sad part is the beard is going to go away midseason, but that’s still a good a reason to watch the show. Let’s all savor every second of Christopher’s scruff before he shaves it off.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, TNT

Total. Badass.

10. Bobby Ewing is still pissed! Remember when Bobby screamed at Ann before J.R.’s funeral last season? Well, Patrick Duffy continues to bring an edge to his character this year. Who didn’t love Bobby’s recent “stupid pills” quip, or how he always looks like he wants to throttle John Ross? There’s also this: Duffy’s portion of “Dallas’s” new opening credits feature last year’s scene in which Bobby did that badass, “Reservoir Dogs”-style slow-mo walk. Now we get to relive it each week!

Ann Ewing, Brenda Strong, Dallas, TNT

Feel the love

9. Brenda Strong is awesome. We love Ann Ewing. We love how she stands by Bobby, how she embraces the Ewings for all their Ewing-ness, how she never seems to regret that one time she tried to kill Harris. That’s what makes Strong such an amazing actress. No matter what the script calls for, she never let us lose sight of her character’s humanity — even when Ann grabs her gun and starts shooting people. And isn’t it cool that Patrick Duffy finally has a leading lady who can look him in the eye?

Dallas, Elena Ramos, Jordana Brewster, TNT

Spy in the house

8. Elena Ramos is a sneaky bitch. Did you watch the first two seasons of TNT’s “Dallas”? Remember how Jordana Brewster’s character never had much to do? Yeah, well, those days are over. Elena found out J.R. Ewing screwed over her daddy and now she’s joined forces with Cliff Barnes to secretly plot against the rest of the Ewings. Does it make sense? No, but Brewster is such a good actress, she makes it all seem perfectly reasonable. Isn’t it great to see her get a juicy storyline to sink her teeth into?

Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, TNT

So good at being bad

7. Emma Ryland is a naughty bitch. Look, I love my bitches, OK? One of my all-time favorite “Dallas” characters is Mary Crosby’s Kristin Shepard, the shrew who shot J.R. The old show killed off Crosby waaay too soon, but now that we have Emma Bell slinking around Southfork, it’s almost like Kristin’s back. Bell’s character, shameless Emma Ryland, is an oversexed vixen who can’t keep her hands off John Ross. (Blame her?) It doesn’t hurt that Bell is also a terrific actress. No one does bad better.

Dallas, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, TNT

We’re not worthy

6. Julie Gonzalo is fabulous. Is there a more fascinating young heroine on television today than Pamela Barnes Ewing? The answer is no, there is not. Every season, Gonzalo unravels new layers of her character; she’s played Pamela as a sweet-as-spun-sugar ingénue, a corporate tigress, a devastated daughter, and now a suspicious bride. Gonzalo’s talents know no bounds, and even though I’m a gay man, I’m kind of in love with her. (It’s cool, though, because my partner loves her too.) All hail Queen Julie!

Dallas, Harris Ryland, Mitch Pileggi, TNT

This stud’s for us

5. Ryland, Harris Ryland. Mitch Pileggi may be best known as Skinner on “The X Files,” but is there any doubt Harris Ryland is the role he was born to play? Pileggi brings a wicked, Hagman-esque gleefulness to his “Dallas” performances; he’s so damned charismatic, you can’t help but root for Harris, no matter how mean he is to the Ewings. This character is constantly keeping us on our toes — now that we know he’s CIA, should we trust him? — but one thing is certain: Pileggi is a total stud.

AnnaLynne McCord, Dallas, Heather, TNT

Dressed to thrill

4. This is the best-dressed cast on TV. One of “Dallas’s” biggest stars works behind the camera: Rachel Sage Kunin, the show’s insanely gifted costume designer. In every scene of every episode, Kunin somehow chooses the absolute perfect look for each character. One example: Heather’s sexy dress/cowgirl boots combo, which showed how the character was both tough and feminine. Kunin isn’t just the show’s wardrobe chief; she’s a storyteller in her own right — and a hugely talented one at that.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Always our darlin’

3. Sue Ellen is drunk again. Hold on, darlins. I’m not celebrating the fact our beloved heroine has fallen off the wagon. OK, I guess I am celebrating it, but only because I know Sue Ellen’s road back to sobriety is going to be a blockbuster television — and that means we’re going to be treated to another knockout performance from Linda Gray. As phenomenal as she was last year, my gut tells me Gray is going to be even more spectacular this season. Who knew such a thing was even possible?

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, TNT

The son also rises

2. This guy. Oh, Josh Henderson. Where do I even begin with you? You impress the hell out of me. Your performance honors both of your TV parents: In your capable hands, John Ross is as ambitious as J.R. and as sensitive as Sue Ellen. You’re also a brilliant foil for Uncle Bobby and Cousin Christopher and the perfect match for Pamela. And then there’s that smile of yours, which is sweet, sly and oh-so-sexy — all at once. Is John Ross now one of the best reasons to watch “Dallas”? Damn skippy, he is.

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

Do it for him

1. This guy too. No one loved a good time more than Larry Hagman, the great actor who brought J.R. Ewing to life. If Mr. Hagman were still here, I have a feeling he’d love how much fun TNT’s “Dallas” has become. Everyone involved in creating the show — the writers, the directors, the actors, the crew — is making Mr. Hagman proud by churning out the most consistently entertaining hour of television, week after week. Now it’s time for the audience to do its part by watching and enjoying the show!

What do you love about “Dallas’s” third season? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: Classic ‘Dallas’s’ 8 Ewing Barbecues, Ranked

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, Trust Me, TNT

Upholding tradition

The Ewings throw another Southfork barbecue in “Trust Me,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode. Here’s a list of every barbecue from the classic show’s era, ranked in order of preference. (Please note: The two rodeo episodes aren’t included. Don’t worry; they’ll get their own list one day.)

Bert Remsen, Bobby Ewing, Clayton Farlow, Dallas, Dandy Dandridge, Howard Keel, Patrick Duffy

Top gun

8. Barbecue VIII (1987). The original “Dallas’s” final barbecue feels a little warmed over, sad to say. Things briefly get exciting when aging wildcatter Dandy Dandridge (Bert Remsen) shows up and tries to shoot Cliff — a nifty bit of poetic justice that recalls Digger’s attempt to kill Jock in “Dallas: The Early Years.” The rest of the affair, though, is more of a retread than an homage: J.R. and Cliff exchange insults for the umpteenth time, Sue Ellen once again tries to get under her husband’s skin and Christopher spends another episode moping around because he’s adopted. Is this “Groundhog Day” or a Southfork shindig?

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Dances with wolves

7. Barbecue II (1982). Most of the action at this party happens on the dance floor: With Pam upstairs mooning over baby Christopher, Bobby waltzes with Katherine, whose crush on her brother-in-law is as plain as Ray’s extra-martial interest in sexy Toni. Later, J.R. stands on the balcony and seethes while watching Sue Ellen and Cliff (Linda Gray, Ken Kercheval) — whose shirt appears to have lost all its buttons — have a jolly time two-stepping below. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Miss Ellie receives the fateful phone call informing her that Jock’s helicopter crashed on its way home. Way to kill the festive mood, “Dallas.”

Afton Cooper, Audrey Landers, Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval

Birds of a feather

6. Barbecue IV (1983). This barbecue is mostly fun: Bobby and Mark Graison give each other the stink eye at the bar, Jenna Wade is bitchy to Pam on the patio and Afton Cooper (Audrey Landers) runs around the driveway in a Native American-inspired outfit that features the most strategically placed tassels in the history of costume design. So why doesn’t this soiree rank higher? Blame baby-faced stalker Peter Richards, who summons Sue Ellen to the barn, where he gives her a smooch and professes his undying love for her. Gross! It’s enough to make us lose our appetite for Mama’s chili.

Dallas, Fern Fitzgerald, Jamie Ewing, Jenilee Harrison, J.R. Ewing, Marilee Stone

Slap splash

5. Barbecue V (1984). Myth: Every time the Ewings throw a barbecue, someone gets pushed into the Southfork swimming pool. Fact: This only happens once, and it occurs at the 1984 hootenanny, when Marilee Stone (Fern Fitzgerald) slaps Cousin Jamie (Jenilee Harrison), who responds by shoving Marilee into the water. The best part is the hilarious kicker: When J.R. reaches down to pull Ms. Stone out of the chlorinated water, he says, “Marilee, you all right, honey? Did it go up your nose?” No matter how many times I watch this episode, I never tire of seeing Larry Hagman deliver that line.

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal


4. Barbecue VII (1986). This hoedown ends on a dramatic note, with Bobby arriving with evidence that proves Wes Parmalee, the man who claims to be back-from-the-dead Jock, is an imposter. Before we get to that, though, we’re treated to several scenes that showcase Hagman’s comedic genius. In one, J.R. chastises Pam (Victoria Principal) for inviting “that moron brother of yours to my barbecue.” Later, J.R. witnesses Cliff and Jamie’s latest marital spat and can’t resist offering his two cents. Jamie: “You know, Cliff Barnes, you’re the sorriest excuse for a man that I have ever met!” J.R.: “Well, I’ll second that!”

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Drunk history

3. Barbecue I (1978). Here’s the one that started it all. “Dallas’s” first season ends with an episode that takes place in a single day, as Texas’s newest in-laws, the Ewings and the Barneses, get together for an epic Southfork cookout. Everyone gets down in the dirt at this one: Digger and Sue Ellen each fall off the wagon, J.R. falls flat on his face when Bobby punches him and Pam falls from the hayloft and suffers a miscarriage. My favorite scene belongs to caterers Tilly and Sam, who spend the afternoon gossiping about the Ewings. This is the only time these characters ever appeared on “Dallas”; is it too late to bring them back?

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Center of attention

2. Barbecue III (1982). The second barbecue of 1982 finds everyone hatin’ on poor J.R. The members of the cartel are royally peeved that he’s undercut them by opening a chain of cut-rate gas stations, and so is Bobby, who’s so upset, he gets drunk (!), neglects Pam (!!) and flirts with Holly Harwood (!!!). Finally, the cartel gangs up and confronts J.R. It’s showdown at the Southfork corral! But wait, what’s this? Here come the other Ewings, who circle J.R. and remind the cartel that when you take on one member of the clan, you take them all on. It’s not just the quintessential Ewing Barbecue scene, it’s quintessential “Dallas.”

Dale Midkiff, Dallas, Dallas: The Early Years, Jock Ewing, Molly Hagan

Get the party started

1. Barbecue VI (1986). My sentimental favorite. The prequel movie “Dallas: The Early Years” culminates at a 1951 barbecue, where a teenaged J.R. loses his virginity in the barn and a drunken Digger shows up with a gun and takes aim at Jock (Dale Midkiff). Ellie (Molly Hagan) intervenes and saves her husband’s life, and then with all the Barnes and Ewing children frolicking around them, Jock embraces Ellie and turns reflective. “What are these poor kids going to end up like?” he asks. Cut to the final scene: After bratty Cliff tangles with J.R., he drags kid sister Pammy away from her new playmate — little Bobby Ewing. Jerrold Immel’s famous theme music rises in the background, the camera pulls back for a bird’s eye view of the ranch and then the familiar shots from “Dallas’s” classic title sequence begin to sweep across the screen. Now that’s how you end a barbecue!

What’s your favorite “Dallas” barbecue? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: 5 Women Who Spied for Cliff Barnes

Dallas, Elena Ramos, Jordana Brewster, Return, TNT

Welcome to the club, honey

Say what you will about Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), but the man knows how to get women to spy on the Ewings for him. In “The Return,” TNT’s third-season “Dallas” opener, Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster) becomes the latest gal to go undercover on Cliff’s behalf. Here’s a look at five others.

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Julie Grey, Larry Hagman, Tina Louise

His kind of traitor

5. Julie Grey. When J.R. began taking his secretary/mistress Julie (Tina Louise) for granted, she got even by sneaking Cliff documents that proved the Ewings had bribed a state senator. Cliff exposed the Ewings and Julie left town, but she came back and pretty much did the same thing all over again — feeding J.R.’s secrets to Cliff. This time around, Julie wound up dead and Cliff wound up in jail, framed for her murder — courtesy of J.R., natch.

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Deborah Rennard, Ken Kercheval, Sly

Reflections of a rat

4. Sly Lovegren. In an attempt to beat the Ewings at their own game, Cliff blackmailed Sly (Deborah Rennard), J.R.’s loyal secretary, into leaking him Ewing Oil secrets by threatening to have her brother’s parole denied if she didn’t cooperate. Sly reluctantly went along with the scheme — until J.R. caught wind and turned Sly into a double agent, using her to feed Cliff bad information that brought his company to the brink of disaster.

Dallas, Deborah Shelton, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Mandy Winger

The shadow knows

3. Mandy Winger. Here we go again. When J.R.’s mistress Mandy (Deborah Shelton) suspected he was cheating on her — how could he! — she tried to get revenge by getting him to divulge Ewing Oil secrets, which she gave to Cliff. J.R. was wise to Mandy’s game, though, and turned the tables on her and Cliff. But poor J.R.: He seemed genuinely hurt by Mandy’s betrayal — which should’ve been our first clue this was all a dream.

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal

Double spy

2. Pam Ewing. By the time Pam (Victoria Principal) remarried Bobby, she had become Cliff’s business partner. This put her in competition with J.R. and Bobby and made her life hell. Cliff didn’t help matters when he asked Pam to divulge which companies the Ewings wanted to acquire — and she did! J.R. would’ve been mad, except he used Pam to find out which companies Cliff wanted. Who knew she could be so valuable?

Dallas, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, TNT

Daddy’s girl

1. Pamela Barnes. To destroy the Ewings once and for all, Cliff sent his daughter Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) to infiltrate the family by posing as “Rebecca Sutter.” She married Christopher — her own cousin! — and dutifully did Daddy’s bidding, eventually helping him gain control of Ewing Energies. And how did he repay her? By blowing up the Ewing Energies rig, causing her to lose her unborn babies. We can’t help but wonder: Elena, are you sure you want to do business with this guy?

What’s your favorite “Dallas” spy story? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: 5 Ewings Who Had Multiple Southfork Weddings

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

First couple, second wedding

In “The Return,” “Dallas’s” third-season opener, Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) says she’s “feeling a little shy” about having another wedding at Southfork. Sue Ellen’s response: “Trust me. You won’t be the first bride to have had multiple weddings here.” She ain’t kidding. Here are three others, along with two grooms who couldn’t stop tempting the notorious Southfork wedding jinx.

Bridal mama

Mother of a bride

5. Miss Ellie. Mama’s wedding to Jock wasn’t seen in the 1986 prequel “Dallas: The Early Years” (where she was so memorably played by Barbara Bel Geddes lookalike Molly Hagan), but we did get to hear Ellie describe the nuptials on the original series, explaining how her daddy hired a Parisian seamstress to make Ellie’s wedding dress and how Jock kept tugging at his collar during the ceremony. In 1984, years after Jock’s death, Ellie wore a simple purple suit and pearls when she wed second hubby Clayton Farlow.

Charlene Tilton, Dallas, Lucy Ewing

Princess bride

4. Lucy. Jock and Ellie’s spirited granddaughter (Charlene Tilton) donned Grandma’s dress when she wed Mitch Cooper in a lavish 1981 ceremony that became one of “Dallas’s” most-watched episodes. (Twenty-eight million viewers!) Lucy and Mitch divorced the following year, but — bless their hearts — they tried again in 1985 with a scaled-down ceremony in the Southfork living room. This marriage fared no better, but at least the nuptials inspired Bobby to propose again to ex-wife Pam.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Try, try again

3. Sue Ellen. Since J.R. and Sue Ellen had been married for several years when “Dallas” began, we never saw their ceremony. However, a framed photo from the wedding occasionally popped up on the show, and we once caught a glimpse of the invitations, which confirmed the nuptials occurred at Southfork in 1970. One year after their 1981 divorce, they walked down the aisle during another huge ceremony that ended up with everyone fighting in the swimming pool. Would we expect anything less?

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy

Groom’s Day scenarios

2. Bobby. Now here’s a Ewing who refuses to give up on love. Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and Pam’s first wedding took place in New Orelans, but their remarriage in 1986 occurred at Southfork. In between, Bobby tried to marry Jenna at the ranch, but she jilted him. In 1990, three years after Pam ran away, Bobby wed April, who was killed on their honeymoon. Poor Bobby! We don’t know where he and Ann got hitched, but we pray it wasn’t at Southfork. Otherwise, their union is probably as doomed as the rest.

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Repeat offender

1. J.R. Like Bobby, J.R. (Larry Hagman) had three weddings at Southfork, but in J.R.’s case, all three counted. (Remember, when Bobby and Jenna had their wedding, she left him standing at the altar.) In addition to J.R.’s nuptials to Sue Ellen in 1970 and 1982, he got hitched to Cally at the ranch in 1989. Technically, this was J.R.’s fourth ceremony since he and Cally also had a ceremony in Arkansas, where her brothers forced him to to say “I do” at gunpoint. But that experience is probably best left forgotten, don’t you think?

Which Southfork weddings are your favorites? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: What’s In and What’s Out for ‘Dallas’ in 2014?

Christopher Ewing, Dallas, Elena Ramos, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, TNT

Two thousand fourteen is here, and that means it’s time to gaze into Dallas Decoder’s crystal ball to see what the new year holds for “Dallas” fans. Here’s what we think will be in and what will be out, based on the clues we’ve been gathering from spoilers and social media. Check back in 12 months to see what we got right.


Christopher Ewing, Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, TNT

In: Scruff

Christopher Ewing, Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, TNT

Out: Smooth

Beards | Baby faces

Female ranch hands |
Male secretaries

Mistresses | Wives

Midseason cliffhangers | Midseason rewrites

Proxies | Protégés

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, TNT

In: Mimicry

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, TNT

Out: Mourning

Emulating Daddy |
Grieving Daddy

“You stole my land!” |
“You stole my heart!”

Judith’s cane |
Ann’s gun

Home makeovers |
Corporate takeovers

Dallas, Elena Ramos, Jordana Brewster, TNT

In: Avenging

Dallas, Elena Ramos, Jordana Brewster, TNT

Out: Angelic

Elena: So scary! |
Elena: So sweet!

Wrecks | Races

#LiveChatWithLinda |
Any tweet from anyone else

R.I.P., Pam | Pam, M.I.A.

“Who’ll Be J.R.?” |
“Who Killed J.R.?”

Now it’s your turn. Share your ins and outs for 2014 below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: Sue Ellen’s 10 Most Memorable Moments (So Far)

Dallas, J.R.'s Masterpiece, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Mourning star

Sue Ellen WeekAs the indomitable Sue Ellen Ewing, Linda Gray has captivated television audiences since “Dallas’s” 1978 debut. Sue Ellen Week continues with this list of the character’s greatest moments from her first 35 years.

Brian Dennehy, Dallas, Linda Gray, Luther Frick, Sue Ellen Ewing, Winds of Vengeance

Command performance

10. Lady sings the blues. Crazed cuckold Luther Frick (Brian Dennehy) holds the Ewings hostage in the Southfork living room and forces Sue Ellen to don her Miss Texas bathing suit and sing for him. Humiliating? Yes, but it also demonstrates Sue Ellen’s willingness to do what’s needed to help her family survive a crisis. Moreover, this is one of Gray’s gutsiest — and smartest — performances. I especially love the final scene: After Jock and Bobby rescue everyone, Sue Ellen grabs her coat and exits the room, head held high. It’s an early glimpse of the character’s resilience: No matter what indignities may be visited upon Sue Ellen, she almost always walks away a lady.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Mother of the Year, Sue Ellen Ewing

Mama’s here

9. Embracing motherhood. When John Ross is born, Sue Ellen comes down with a Southfork-sized case of post-partum depression — and who can blame her? She’s emotionally devastated by her ongoing struggle with alcoholism, the collapse of her marriage to J.R. and her doomed affair with Cliff, who dumped her to preserve his political viability. With help from her shrink Dr. Elby, Sue Ellen finally realizes how much “little John” needs her, so she goes home, picks up the boy and holds him for only the second time since his birth, 13 (!) episodes earlier. It’s a powerful moment — and it sends baby-obsessed sister-in-law Pam running away in tears, so bonus points for that.

Dallas, Guilt by Association, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Set ’em up, Sue

8. Defeating the governor. When Sue Ellen discovers smirktastic Governor McConaughey suppressed evidence that would exonerate the Ewings in the investigation into their rig explosion, she glides into his office, pours a drink and announces she’s going to expose his malfeasance. McConaughey is not pleased. “You can never trust a drunk,” he seethes. Sue Ellen agrees, but says that’s beside the point as she places the glass on his desk and slides it toward him. “This drink, governor, is for you. You’re going to need it. Because now that I have the goods on you, you’re going to do what I want.” Dayum! Our gal really did learn at the feet of the master, didn’t she?

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Clean and sober

7. On the couch. After Sue Ellen hits rock bottom, J.R. once again commits her to a sanitarium, where she receives treatment from tough-love therapist Dr. Gibson (the terrific Bibi Besch). In an insightful exchange, Sue Ellen tries to blame her drinking problem on her parents and J.R. — until the good doctor sets her straight: “Sue Ellen, I don’t think it matters whose fault it is. What matters is where you go from here.” When Besch delivers this line, watch Gray’s eyes; it’s almost as if you can see the light go on inside Sue Ellen’s head. This moment marks the beginning of one of “Dallas’s” most satisfying storylines: Sue Ellen’s journey of self-discovery. Too bad it turned out to be Pam’s dream.

Dallas, J.R. Returns, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

She’s the boss

6. Joining the oil business. After a five-year absence, J.R. returns to Dallas and stages an elaborate scheme (does he do any other kind?) to persuade Bobby to buy back Ewing Oil from Cliff. The plan works like a charm … but wait! Baby brother has a trick up his sleeve too: He sells half the company to his new business partner — Sue Ellen, who can’t resist needling her ex-husband when she reveals her new career to him. “I was thinking about all the fun pillow talks we’ll have … about gushers and dry holes,” Sue Ellen says with a wink. The master is justifiably impressed. As she walks away, he turns to John Ross and says, “Your mama’s a hell of a woman.” We couldn’t agree more.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Mandy Winger, Deborah Shelton, Sue Ellen Ewing

You tell her, honey

5. Schooling Mandy. At the Ewing Rodeo, a newly sober Sue Ellen turns a corner — literally and figuratively — when she runs into Mandy Winger (Deborah Shelton), J.R.’s latest extra-marital squeeze. Sue Ellen treats Mandy with compassion, urging her to get away from J.R. before he destroys her. When Mandy refuses to listen and turns to leave, Sue Ellen grabs her by the arm and delivers a hard truth: “Isn’t it strange how the mistress always thinks she’s smarter than the wife? If she’s so smart, why is she the mistress?” In the hands of another actress, this scene might have come off like another catty soap opera confrontation, but Gray infuses the material with power and poignancy.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Rock Bottom, Sue Ellen Ewing

Oh, Sue Ellen

4. Hitting bottom. Sue Ellen tries to comfort J.R. after Bobby’s funeral, but he responds with devastating cruelty, sending her on her worst bender ever. Over the course of the next day or so, Sue Ellen’s purse, car and wedding ring are stolen, leaving her wandering the streets. She winds up in a cheap motel, where she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror and shouts, “J.R. is right. They’re all right. You are disgusting. I hate you!” Finally, she stumbles into an alley, where she’s so desperate for a sip of booze that she accepts a swig from a bag lady’s bottle. I love how Sue Ellen’s outfit symbolically unravels along with her identity, but more than anything, I love Gray’s riveting, no-holds-barred performance.

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

Union of equals

3. A night to remember. Not long after recovering from his shooting, J.R. comes home and finds Sue Ellen asleep in the Southfork nursery, having dozed off while rocking John Ross. The couple put their son to bed and retreat to their own room, where they quietly reminisce about the early days of their courtship, reminding each other why they fell in love in the first place. Besides serving as a rare moment of peace for two characters who are usually at war, this scene shows how Gray is Hagman’s equal in every way. Think about it: It’s one thing to see J.R. and Sue Ellen lobbing insults at each other, but to make their love feel authentic and believable? That takes real talent. Lucky for us, Gray and Hagman had it in spades.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, Who Done It?, Who Shot J.R.?


2. Catching Kristin. When Sue Ellen is arrested for shooting J.R., the Ewings toss her off Southfork — but our heroine refuses to give up. Sue Ellen gets out of jail, figures out she’s being framed and heads to the ranch to reveal the truth to J.R. As it turns out, the real culprit is visiting the ranch too — and when Sue Ellen spots her, Gray delivers the most famous line in “Dallas” history: “It was you, Kristin, who shot J.R.” Eighty-three million viewers watched this scene on the night it debuted. It was the cliffhanger resolution the world had been waiting for, but more importantly, it was the moment Sue Ellen returned to Southfork and to J.R.’s side — the place she always belonged.

Dallas, J.R.'s Masterpiece, Linda Gray, TNT

She is us

1. Mourning J.R. No one takes J.R.’s death harder than the woman he loved more than any other. On the night before his funeral, Sue Ellen goes into his bedroom, caresses a framed photograph from their wedding and drowns her sorrows with glass after glass of his bourbon, ending two decades of sobriety. The next day, when the Ewings gather at the cemetery to bury J.R., Sue Ellen confesses her relapse and delivers a haunting eulogy for the man she calls “the love of my life.” Gray is mesmerizing in these scenes, which draw upon the remarkable 35-year history between J.R. and Sue Ellen. Her deeply moving, Emmy-caliber performance also unites “Dallas” fans in shared catharsis. Through her, we were able to express the grief we felt after the death of our hero. It’s the moment Sue Ellen became our avatar. Then again, isn’t that what she’s always been?

Now it’s your turn. Share your choices for Sue Ellen’s most memorable moments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: 10 Reasons TNT Should Renew ‘Dallas’

Fired up! Ready to go!

Tanned. Rested. Ready.

“Dallas” fans know who killed J.R. and what happened to Pam, but one question remains unanswered: Will TNT renew the show for a third season? To help the good people at TNT make up their minds, here are 10 good reasons to give “Dallas” another year.

Ewing watch

Ewing watch

10. “Dallas” is TNT’s most-watched show (right now). TNT showed four original series this winter and spring: “Dallas,” the medical melodrama “Monday Mornings” and the cop shows “Southland” and “Boston’s Finest.” The “Dallas” telecasts averaged 2.7 million viewers, more than twice as many as any of the other shows. When you count DVR users who record “Dallas” and watch each episode within three days, the Ewings’ weekly audience rose to 3.5 million viewers. Now chew on this: the CW’s “Hart of Dixie” and “Beauty and the Beast” each average 1.5 million viewers per episode – and both shows just got renewed. What are you waiting for, TNT?

Roll on

Roll on, dude

9. Creatively, “Dallas” is on a roll. This show hit its stride in Season 2. The stories honored the classic “Dallas” themes, but with fun, fresh twists. “The Furious and the Fast” was like one of the old show’s Ewing Rodeo episodes, but with racecars instead of bucking broncos. “Who Killed J.R.?” echoed the most famous “Dallas” storyline of all time, but it was an even richer, more complex mystery. The new series has also expanded the “Dallas” universe by adding two more feuding families: the poor, proud Ramoses and the weird, wacky Rylands. The names may be new, but the conflicts – ambition, greed, lust – are “Dallas” all the way.

Love them Ewings

Love them Ewings

8. Critics love it. “Dallas” isn’t just adored by its fans; critics go gaga for the Ewings too. Season 2 scored an impressive “82” on Metacritic, which makes “Dallas” one of TV’s 10 best shows, according to the website. Variety’s hard-to-please critic Brian Lowry wrote the second-season opener “[clicks] on all cylinders, with plenty of bed-hopping, two-timing and Texas-sized dealmaking to go around.” In Entertainment Weekly, Henry Goldblatt praised the storytelling (“the plots are twistier than a fishtail braid”), while Jessica Shaw predicted viewers who watched “J.R.’s Masterpiece” would “shed enough tears to fill the TV legend’s ten-gallon hat.” She wasn’t kidding.


Consensus: “Dallas” is awesome

7. “Dallas” has something for everyone. Every Monday, I watch “Dallas” with the Twitterverse, where the kids swoon over hunks like Josh Henderson and Kuno Becker. And every Tuesday, I get a call from my mom, who wants to dish about the previous night’s episode, which she watches with her retirement community neighbors (“That Patrick Duffy is still so handsome!”). But “Dallas” doesn’t just bridge the generation gap. I talk to a lot of “Dallas” fans, and I know: This show appeals as much to blue-staters as it does to red-staters. Heck, if we want to break the gridlock in Washington, maybe we ought to make the politicians sit down and watch “Dallas” together.

Stay dry

Let the money pour in

6. The merchandising potential is enormous. The people who make the new “Dallas” have figured out something the producers of the old show never fully grasped: Fans don’t just want to watch “Dallas;” they want to experience it. HSN sells “Dallas” clothing and J.R.-branded bourbon is on the way, but that’s just scratching the surface. How about a “Dallas” soundtrack with all the cool music featured on the show? What about a line of John Ross Ewing prophylactics? Or maybe some Ann Ewing tissues, for those times when you need a good cry? Take it from me, TNT: There’s a lot more money to be made off this show. It is the Ewing way, after all.

All hail the queen

All hail the queen

5. Two words: “Linda Gray.” No one shined brighter during “Dallas’s” second season than Linda Gray, who delivered one amazing performance after another. Sue Ellen lost the election, maneuvered her way into Ewing Energies, fell off the wagon, flirted with Gary and Ken and blackmailed the governor into doing her bidding. Whew! Make no mistake: Gray has become “Dallas’s” star attraction. In the Washington Post, Hank Stuever praised Gray for discovering “new depth as an older and much wiser Sue Ellen. She is this show’s version of a dowager countess, and any scene she’s in is immediately improved.” We agree. Her performance alone merits a third season.

Mr. Cool

Mr. Cool

4. Two more words: “Patrick Duffy.” Patrick Duffy arrived on our television screens in “The Man From Atlantis” in 1977 and he’s pretty much been entertaining us nonstop ever since. “Dallas.” “Step by Step.” “The Bold and the Beautiful.” “Dallas” again. Does TNT want to be the channel to break this 36-year streak? I’m betting it doesn’t. Like Gray, Duffy just gets better with age. On the new “Dallas,” Bobby is still the good guy we know and love, but he’s also kind of a badass. Did you see that slow-mo walk he took after he set up Cliff Barnes in “Love and Family”? Bobby deserves another season to show us how friggin’ cool he is.

"Oh, my!"

“Now pick up my show.”

3. The rest of the cast rocks too. Besides Gray and Duffy, the new “Dallas” has the best cast on television. Jordana Brewster consistently delivers smart, convincing performances as Elena, Julie Gonzalo and Henderson are slyly charming as Pamela and John Ross, and as Christopher and Ann, Jesse Metcalfe and Brenda Strong are the best criers in prime time. “Dallas” is also the destination for television’s best guest stars. In Season 2, we got Judith Light as loony Judith Ryland, Lee Majors as dashing Ken Richards and Steven Weber as smirktastic Governor Sam McConaughey. Aren’t you eager to see who’ll show up next year?

TNT tradition

Traditions matter

2. “Dallas” is part of TNT’s history. In 1991, when TNT was three years old, the cable channel added “Dallas” reruns to its lineup and held a contest inviting fans to submit lyrics to the famous theme music. The winner: Brian McCullough, who I interviewed last year. His lyrics“Oh we own this / And we own that / As far as the eye can see! / From Texas soil / We pump Ewing Oil / Daddy Jock, brother Bobby / And me! / Yes, I’m J.R. / I’m known near and far / A rat in a town / That’s cat-free! / I make big deals / And I’ve got one that’s real / Merging “Dallas” with TNT!” See, TNT? “Dallas” is your heritage. And if the Ewings have taught us anything, it’s the importance of being true to your roots.

Dal-List - 10 Reasons TNT Should Renew Dallas 1

Make him proud

1. He’s watching. You know he is. Don’t disappoint him. Renew this show, TNT.             Why do you think “Dallas” should be renewed? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: ‘Dallas’s’ 35 Greatest Moments (So Far)

Barbara Bel Geddes, Bobby Ewing, Charlene Tilton, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Lucy Ewing, Miss Ellie Ewing, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Sue Ellen Ewing, Victoria Principal


“Dallas” debuted 35 years ago today. To commemorate its anniversary, here’s my list of the franchise’s 35 greatest moments.

Dallas, Digger's Daughter, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Gripping grin

35. J.R. meets his match. “Dallas’s” first episode ends with Pam turning the tables on J.R. (Larry Hagman) after he tries to make it look like she was cheating on Bobby with Ray. “Looks like I underestimated the new Mrs. Ewing,” J.R. declares as he watches his baby brother and sister-in-law drive away. “I surely won’t do that again.” Hagman then smiles, ever so slightly. It lets us know J.R. has finally found a worthy adversary – and he couldn’t be happier about it.

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

Here we go again

34. Rivalry redux. When the truth comes out that Rebecca Sutter Ewing is actually Pamela Rebecca Barnes, J.R. pops into her office for a tête-à-tête. She turns out to be as ballsy as her namesake aunt, telling J.R.: “I must have done something right to deserve a visit from you.” J.R., for his part, shows he hasn’t lost his step. “You’re not the first Pam to fox her way into the henhouse,” he tells her with a sly grin. “I’m 1 for 1 on flushing out Pamelas. And I plan on being 2 for 2.” Fabulous.

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Full Circle, Ken Kercheval, Priscilla Pointer, Rebecca Wentworth

All is forgiven

33. The “licorice scene.” Cliff (Ken Kercheval) invites estranged mom Rebecca (Priscilla Pointer) to his apartment. Nervous small talk gives way to anger, as Cliff tells Rebecca how much her abandonment hurt him. She begins to leave, but Cliff stops her. “Mama,” he says, his voice cracking. “You didn’t take any licorice, and I remembered you liked it.” The music swells, mother and son embrace and we’re reminded why Cliff is the original “Dallas’s” most human character.

Ann Ewing, Brenda Strong, Dallas, TNT, Trial and Error

True confessions

32. Ann testifies. After shooting ex-husband Harris, Ann (Brenda Strong) goes on trial. In stirring testimony, she recalls how he and his mother Judith tormented her, but Ann also concedes her own failings – including how her pill addiction led to daughter Emma’s abduction. “God had punished me by taking my baby,” Ann says through tears. Before this scene, I wondered how we could forgive Ann for her crime. Afterward, I wondered how we couldn’t.

Barbara Bel Geddes, Bobby Ewing, Clayton Farlow, Dallas, Howard Keel, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Miss Ellie Farlow, Patrick Duffy, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Sting

Adios, Ray

31. Ray rides into the sunset. After Ray (Steve Kanaly) returns to Southfork and helps the Ewings win a range war, they bid him adieu as John Parker’s piano music plays in the background. Ray’s final moments with Ellie, Clayton, Bobby and even J.R. are touching, but the most moving part comes when he looks around and declares, “There’s a part of me that’s never going to leave here.” When major characters depart “Dallas,” the show usually screws it up. Not this time.

Close Encounters, Dallas, Deborah Shelton, Linda Gray, Mandy Winger, Sue Ellen Ewing

Get smart

30. Sue Ellen meets Mandy. At the Ewing Rodeo, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) runs into Mandy (Deborah Shelton), J.R.’s latest mistress, and offers her some advice: Get away while you can. It’s our first glimpse of a newly sober, newly wise Sue Ellen, but Mandy refuses to listen and turns to leave. That’s when Sue Ellen delivers a zinger: “Isn’t it strange how the mistress always thinks she’s smarter than the wife? If she’s so smart, why is she the mistress?” She’s got you there, darlin’.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Pam Ewing, Reunion Part 2, Victoria Principal

Sale of the century

29. “Sold!” After Bobby marries Pam, a drunken Digger barrels onto Southfork and recounts everything Jock “took” from him – including Pam, for whom Digger demands $10,000. “She was a Barnes and now she’s a Ewing, just like the oil wells,” he says. Bobby and Pam watch in horror as Jock (Jim Davis) tosses a $100 bill at Digger, who scoops it up. “Sold!” he declares as he leaves. Harsh? Yes, but after this scene, there was no doubt which family Pam belonged with.

Charlene Tilton, Dallas, End of the Road Part 2, Leigh McCloskey, Lucy Ewing, Mitch Cooper

Pomp and circumstance

28. The royal wedding. The marriage of Lucy and Mitch (Charlene Tilton, Leigh McCloskey) was doomed from the start, but man, aren’t their nuptials fun? The two-part episode gives us lots of “Dallas” firsts, including the first Southfork wedding, the first time someone gets dunked in the pool (Lucy pushes Mitch) and the first appearance of Afton, who sleeps with J.R. during the reception – in his own marital bed! No wonder Sue Ellen still holds a grudge.

Dallas, Quality of Mercy, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly

Have mercy

27. Who killed Mickey Trotter? When the plug is pulled on his comatose cousin Mickey, Ray blocks the door to his hospital room so the doctors can’t enter and revive him. It’s the beginning of a medical mystery that yields riveting performances from Kanaly, Tilton and Kate Reid as Lil, Mickey’s mom. Only at Ray’s murder trial do we learn the truth: He did disconnect Mickey’s life support, but only because Lil didn’t have the strength to do the mercy killing herself.

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Miss Ellie Ewing, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Survival

Stop! Or Mom will shoot

26. Ellie grabs her gun. The Ewings are awaiting word on J.R. and Bobby after their plane crashed in Cato Swamp. Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) answers the door to find a snoopy reporter. “Ray, get me the shotgun out of the hall closet,” she says, then tells the newshound: “Anybody on my land, without invitation, is a trespasser. So unless I see your tail heading out of here … I’m going to blow it off.” It’s classic “Dallas”: Modern Texans defending old traditions like land and family.

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Miss Ellie Farlow, Pam Ewing, Winds of Change, Victoria Principal

Queens’ speeches

25. Pam’s surprise. After Bobby’s “death,” Ellie eulogizes him at the Oil Baron’s Ball, followed by Pam (Victoria Principal), who stuns everyone by announcing she won’t sell her shares of Ewing Oil to Westar as planned. J.R. is overjoyed, assuming this means Pam will sell them to him. She sets him straight: “I’m not selling at all. From now on, it’s going to be you and me. I’ll see you at the office, partner.” It’s one of many great moments from the unjustly maligned “dream season.”

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Miss Ellie Ewing, Requiem

Southfork soothsayer

24. Mama sees all. In 1983, when Sue Ellen tried to justify J.R.’s latest quest for power, Ellie delivered a spot-on prophesy: “Think ahead, Sue Ellen. Think 25 or 30 years ahead. I won’t be here then. And the fight won’t be between J.R. and Bobby. It’ll be between John Ross and Christopher. … Your loyalty to your husband is a wonderful thing. But you’re a mother too. And where will this all end?” Impressive, huh? Too bad no one ever thought to ask her where Pam is.

Ann Ewing, Brenda Strong, Dallas, Revelations, TNT


23. Sting! When Harris tries to blackmail Sue Ellen into aiding his dirty dealings, Ann begs him to stop. Harris confirms his crimes and suggests he’ll ease up on Sue Ellen – if Ann sleeps with him. Slowly, Ann unbuttons her blouse … and reveals a hidden mic. “Extortion, blackmail and a confession to money laundering, all recorded,” she says triumphantly. Ann then slugs Harris and hints she’ll shoot him if he doesn’t leave the Ewings alone. She wasn’t kidding, was she?

Adoption, Dallas, Donna Krebbs, Susan Howard,

Armor on

22. Pow! Donna (Susan Howard) is none too happy when Ray begins an affair with barfly Bonnie. Fed up with his philandering, she dons her fur coat, heads to the saloon and offers Bonnie $15,000 to leave Texas. Bonnie agrees, so Donna cuts the offer by a third. “Now that we know what you are, let’s haggle over your fee,” she says. Bonnie tosses a drink in Donna’s face – and then Donna belts her. Who knew “Dallas’s” classiest leading lady possessed such a mean right hook?

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Ray Krebbs, Road Back, Steve Kanaly

Open flames

21. Bobby to the rescue. “Dallas’s” sixth season ends with J.R., Sue Ellen, John Ross and Ray trapped inside Southfork as flames sweep through the house. We knew they’d survive; we just didn’t know how. The seventh-season premiere supplies our answer: In “Dallas’s” most thrilling opening, quick-thinking Bobby comes home, soaks himself in the pool and dashes into the house, where he rescues everyone. We should’ve known: Bobby always saves the day.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, Tangled Web

Face of fear

20. Sue Ellen’s discovery. Sue Ellen doesn’t want to believe it when Holly Harwood tells her she’s sleeping with J.R., but she agrees to come by the vixen’s house, where Holly says Sue Ellen will find J.R. in her bed. The audience watches as the fur-clad Sue Ellen arrives at Holly’s, slowly crosses the driveway (click clack go the heels), turns the front door knob and finally reaches the bedroom, where her worst fears are confirmed. It’s a brilliant, devastating sequence.

Barbara Bel Geddes, Brother Can You Spare a Child?, Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Miss Ellie Farlow

Making peace

19. Cliff asks for forgiveness. After Dandy Dandridge accuses Cliff of trying to cheat him out of their big gas strike, Cliff begins to see his daddy’s feud with Jock in a new light. Summoning Ellie to a Dallas park, Cliff extends a long-overdue olive branch. “Digger was wrong, and I was wrong. If it’s not too late. I’d like to make peace. I’d like to ask you to forgive me,” he says. It’s my favorite performance from Kercheval and a consequential moment in “Dallas” history.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Wheeler Dealer

Honor thy daddy

18. Molotov cocktails. “Dallas’s” best cocktail scene: Ellie worries Sue Ellen didn’t get enough to eat at dinner. J.R. waves around a liquor bottle and declares his wife “gets all the nourishment she needs from this.” He then declares Pam is “cracking up” and calls her daddy “a saddle tramp and a thief” and her mama “a whore.” That’s when Bobby (Patrick Duffy) punches J.R., forcing a furious Jock to separate them. Don’t you wish your family gatherings were this much fun?

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Mastectomy Part 2, Miss Ellie Ewing

Great performances

17. Ellie gets cancer. Ellie gets breast cancer in the 1979 “Mastectomy” two-parter, which won Bel Geddes an Emmy. It’s a brave performance from the actress, who had been treated for the disease in real life. Davis is equally moving as Jock struggles to comfort his wife. In one scene, he tells her it “doesn’t matter” that she’s lost a breast. “Because I’m not young anymore?” she snaps. “Don’t you think I care the way I look?” Rarely has “Dallas” felt so real.

Dallas, Family Ewing

Bye, Bobby

16. Bobby’s funeral. After Bobby “dies” saving Pam, the Ewings bury him in a lush Southfork pasture, near the treehouse that Jock built for him as a boy. All of Bobby’s loved ones are there, including Pam, whose Jackie Kennedy-esque pillbox hat reinforces the idea that “Dallas’s” version of Camelot is ending. As the gathering disperses, J.R. movingly tells Bobby he wishes he’d taken the time to let him know how much he loved him. It’s one of the few times we see J.R. cry.

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Paternity Suit, Tyler Banks

Welcome to fatherhood

15. J.R. becomes a daddy. When the Ewings learn the results of the paternity test that proves J.R., not Cliff, fathered John Ross, J.R. enters the Southfork nursery, picks up his son, holds him close and kisses him. According to “Dallas” historian Barbara A. Curran, CBS received 10,000 positive letters in response to J.R.’s embrace of his son. Later, David Jacobs, the show’s creator, called it “Dallas’s” best scene: “Just a private moment between J.R. and 100 million people.”

Dale Midkiff, Dallas, Dallas: The Early Years, Jock Ewing, Miss Ellie Ewing, Molly Hagan

When they were young

14. In the beginning. “Dallas: The Early Years,” Jacobs’ 1986 prequel movie, ends at a 1951 Southfork barbecue, where Jock and Ellie (Dale Midkiff, Molly Hagan) embrace as a teenaged J.R. spars with bratty Cliff. Moments later, Cliff drags kid sister Pammy away from her new playmate: Little Bobby. Jerrold Immel’s theme swells, the camera pulls back for a bird’s eye view of the ranch and then the familiar shots from “Dallas’s” famous titles sweep across the screen. Perfect.

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Miss Ellie Ewing, Waterloo at Southfork

Mad mama

13. Mama vs. the cartel. When J.R.’s latest plot backfires and the cartel takes advantage of him, Ellie comes to junior’s defense. She summons the group to the Ewing Oil offices, where she blasts them, one by one. “I don’t apologize for what my son did,” Ellie says. “It’s a family matter. We may be wrong and we may be right, but we’re Ewings. We stick together – and that’s what makes us unbeatable.” Foolish oil barons. Shouldn’t they know better than to mess with mama?

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Long Goodbye, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal

Prey, meet hawk

12. A classic clash. During Bobby and Pam’s separation, J.R. tells her if she doesn’t go through with the divorce, he’ll destroy Bobby, Cliff and everyone else she cares about. “You’ve known me long enough to know I don’t make idle threats,” J.R. says as he circles her. The chilling moment tells us much about their rivalry. Cliff might have been J.R.’s most persistent enemy and Jeremy Wendell might have been the most powerful, but no one threatened J.R. quite like Pam.

Blast from the Past, Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy,

Good morning indeed

11. Bobby’s back! (Or is he?). CBS announced Duffy would return to “Dallas” a few weeks before the 1985-86 season finale aired, but no one knew how he’d come back or who he’d play. In the episode’s last scene, Pam awakens and finds Bobby – or someone who looks an awful lot like him – lathering up in her shower. No matter how you feel about the notorious “dream” twist, you have to admit: It was nice to have Duffy back on the show – and in his birthday suit no less!

Changing of the Guard, Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Leonor Varela, Marta del Sol, TNT, Veronica Martinez

Welcome back

10. J.R. returns. TNT’s first episode ends with John Ross visiting J.R. in the nursing home. The younger man is dejected because Uncle Bobby just sold Southfork to conservationist Marta del Sol. But wait, what’s this? J.R. is sipping champagne with Marta! It turns out the two are in cahoots. “Bobby may not be stupid, but I’m a hell of a lot smarter,” J.R. tells his son as he doffs his Stetson and flashes his grin. For me, this is the moment I knew “Dallas” was truly back.

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

Two of a kind

9. J.R. and Sue Ellen reminisce. After putting John Ross to bed, J.R. and Sue Ellen retreat to their room, where they recall their courtship in warm, nostalgic terms. For a couple that is usually at war with each other, this scene is about the characters taking off their armor – symbolized by Sue Ellen’s dressing gown and J.R.’s removal of his coat and tie – and showing each other they still care. You can’t understand their love story until you’ve seen this moment.

Bobby Ewing, Check and Mate, Dallas, Larry Hagman, J.R. Ewing, Patrick Duffy

Lose some, win some

8. Bobby beats J.R. After a yearlong contest for control of Ewing Oil, Harv Smithfield declares J.R. the winner. But wait, what’s this? Here comes Thornton McLeish with news that Bobby’s Canadian fields have come in, making Bobby the victor. The twist concluded one of “Dallas’s” greatest storylines, an arc that touched all the characters and made “Tundra Torque” part of every “Dallas” diehard’s vocabulary. We never like to see J.R. get beat, but when Bobby does it, we let it slide.

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Ellie Saves the Day, Miss Ellie Ewing

To the rescue

7. Ellie saves Southfork. J.R. secretly mortgages Southfork to finance a risky deal, only to have it blow up in his face. With the loans due, the Ewings scramble to pay the banks but come up empty. After a stroll around the ranch, Ellie gathers everyone and announces she’ll raise the cash by allowing Ewing Oil to drill on the land. It’s an early example of an enduring “Dallas” theme: Sometimes you have to set aside your principles to protect your family.

Dallas, Fall of the House of Ewing, John Ross Ewing, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Omri Katz

Don’t forget it, boy

6. J.R. schools John Ross. J.R. is giving John Ross one last look around Ewing Oil when Wendell, the new owner, orders them off the premises. “Take this eyesore with you,” he says as he reaches for Jock’s portrait. J.R. is incensed: “Touch that painting and I’ll kill where you stand!” J.R. takes the picture off the wall, holds it aloft and – with trumpets blaring in the background – declares: “John Ross, this is Ewing Oil.” I dare you to watch this scene without getting chills.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Executive Wife, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Patrick Duffy


5. Jock schools Bobby. Bobby, furious that Jock has yanked millions of dollars out of Ewing Oil without telling him, interrupts Daddy’s lunch at the Cattlemen’s Club. “You gave me the power to run that company, and damn it, I intend to run it,” Bobby fumes. “Let me tell you something, boy,” Jock huffs. “If I did give you power, you got nothing. Nobody gives you power. Real power is something you take!” Six words that sum up the Ewing creed – and “Dallas” itself.

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

The man

4. The man comes around. The TNT episode “Family Business” ends on a thrilling note: With Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” playing in the background, Rebecca shoots Tommy, while back at the ranch, seriously ill Bobby collapses. The most poignant moment of all comes before the montage, when J.R. glances at Ellie’s picture, takes a shot of bourbon and signs the Southfork deed, returning ownership to Bobby. In that instant, our hero grows. So does “Dallas.”

Dallas, J.R.'s Masterpiece, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Farewell, J.R.

3. J.R.’s funeral. “Dallas” bids farewell to J.R. with a moving, instant-classic episode featuring Emmy-worthy performances from Gray and Duffy. Who’ll ever forget Sue Ellen getting drunk in J.R.’s bedroom the night before his burial, or her heartbreaking eulogy? What about the poignant final scene, when Bobby spots J.R.’s hat and tearfully declares, “I love you brother.” This is the moment the TNT series rose to the occasion – and then surpassed it.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Pam Ewing, Swan Song, Victoria Principal

Saving the day, again

2. “Swan Song.” Leonard Katzman’s masterpiece. Donna reveals her pregnancy to Ray. J.R. threatens to send Sue Ellen back in the sanitarium. Pam nobly tells Bobby to go back to Jenna, but he chooses Pam instead. It culminates with the dramatic driveway sequence in which Katherine runs over Bobby, followed by his deathbed farewell, the most moving scene in “Dallas” history. It’s all so beautifully done, it’s almost enough to make you regret it turned out be a dream.

Dallas, House Divided, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Top gun

1. “Who Shot J.R.?” “Dallas’s” most famous storyline is also its greatest extended moment, and not just because it sparked a worldwide phenomenon. Nothing better demonstrates the show’s ability to create multi-dimensional characters who fascinate audiences and make us care. Despite his dastardliness, after J.R. was shot, we couldn’t help but feel sympathetic toward him as he struggled to regain his ability to walk and cope with his exile from Ewing Oil. Likewise, once Kristin was identified as his assailant – in a broadcast watched by 83 million people – how could you not feel sorry for her, especially after J.R. vowed to “handle” her his “own way”? Will “Dallas” ever top this moment? Who knows? I just hope the people who make the show never stop trying.

Now it’s your turn. Share your choices for “Dallas’s” greatest moments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dal-List: Afton Cooper’s 5 Greatest Hits

Afton Cooper, Audrey Landers, Dallas

Dallas idol

Audrey Landers’ new album “Dallas Feels Like Home” includes songs she wrote and performed during her run as Afton Cooper on the original “Dallas,” as well as a special tune from her guest shot on “Guilt and Innocence,” the TNT revival’s most recent episode. Here are my five favorite selections.

Afton Cooper, And Away We Go, Audrey Landers, Dallas

Return engagement

5. “It Takes 2 to Fly.” Five years after leaving Dallas, Afton returns to town in the 12th-season episode “And Away We Go.” She’s become a mother to little Pamela Rebecca and found success as a singer, but there’s someone missing from her life: Cliff, whom Afton still loves, even if she doesn’t want to admit it. No matter. When we see her perform this synthesizer-backed number, the lyrics tell us everything we need to know about what’s going on inside Afton’s heart. A sample: “I’ve got to believe / All alone I never got too far / But together we can touch a star / I can’t deny / It takes two to fly.”

Afton Cooper, Audrey Landers, Dallas, Gathering Storm

Better off without him

4. “Let Me Down Gently.” Oh my, what a sad song! When Afton arrives in Dallas as an ambitious-but-naïve young woman, J.R. instantly pounces and sweeps her off her feet. Their fling goes nowhere, leaving Afton to pour out her heart with this beautiful piano ballad, which she performs in the fourth-season episode “The Gathering Storm.” Sample lyrics: “I know I’m not your first love / Though you are surely mine / Suddenly I know what it means / When they say that love is blind / Because when we kiss I close my eyes / Tight so I won’t see / The love that isn’t there / When you’re looking back at me.” You’re breaking our hearts, Afton!

Afton Cooper, Audrey Landers, Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval, Mission to Moscow

Tortured love

3. “Through the Eyes of Winter.” In the 12th-season episode “Mission to Moscow,” Cliff (Ken Kercheval) begs Afton to give him another chance. “If we lose each other this time, we may never find each other again. I don’t use the word ‘love’ lightly, but I love you,” he says. This song, which Afton performs in the episode’s first act, suggests she’s beginning to question her decision to leave Cliff all those years ago. The chorus: “Through the eyes of winter / I see I was wrong / Through the eyes of winter / I got to be strong / I may have been blind / But I never meant to be / Now I see through the eyes of winter.”

Afton Cooper, Audrey Landers, Dallas, Guilt and Innocence, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, TNT

A song from Mama

2. “Mockingbird.” In “Guilt and Innocence,” when a grownup and very pregnant Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) is injured in an explosion that Cliff secretly engineered, Afton rushes to the young woman’s side and serenades her and John Ross (Josh Henderson) with a nostalgic rendition of the “Mockingbird” lullaby. It’s a charming moment – and Afton’s most intimate, poignant performance. The version Landers recorded for “Dallas Feels Like Home” fits well with the new show’s musical style, right down to the emphasis on strings, a signature of “Dallas” composer Rob Cairns.

Afton Cooper, Audrey Landers, Dallas, Quest

Great singer, great song

1. “Steal Me Away.” Afton’s signature song. She performs it in the fourth-season episodes “Making of a President” and “The Quest,” soon after her affair with J.R. begins. The lyrics nicely capture Afton’s starry-eyed sense of extra-marital infatuation: “Take the side road, baby / Let the moonlight guide your way / Don’t hesitate / Sneak round the back door, baby / I’ll be waiting there for you / You know what to do.” The version of “Steal Me Away” on Landers’ album is gorgeous; best of all, “Dallas” fans will finally get to hear the song’s second verse. Another bonus: The digital booklet that comes with the album includes a reproduction of the sheet music Landers used to compose the song.

What are your favorite performances from Afton Cooper? Share your choices in the comments section below and read more Dal-Lists.