Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 191 — ‘Swan Song’

“Swan Song” is a masterpiece. This is the best “Dallas” episode ever made because it dares to set aside so many of the show’s conventions — wheeling, dealing, double-crossing — to focus on what matters most: the characters and their relationships. Mostly, “Swan Song” tells the story of Bobby and Pam’s long-awaited reunion, which is […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 189 — ‘Deeds and Misdeeds’

Sue Ellen’s scenes in “Deeds and Misdeeds” aren’t easy to watch. The previous episode ended with her taking her first drink in almost two years, and in this hour, she continues slipping back into her old habits. Sue Ellen leads everyone to believe her relapse was only temporary, yet she swipes a bottle of vodka […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 182 — ‘Shattered Dreams’

It’s probably safe to say no “Dallas” episode would perform well on the Bechdel test, which some critics use to gauge sexism in movies. (To pass, a film must have at least one scene where two women talk to each other about something other than a man.) Nevertheless, there are times the series manages to resist […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 177 — ‘Winds of War’

In “Winds of War,” J.R. insists he’s been faithful when Sue Ellen accuses him of cheating. He’s lying, of course, but why? Is he trying to spare his wife’s feelings, or is he trying to spare himself the embarrassment of another marital implosion? Does he want Sue Ellen to stay at Southfork because he fears […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 171 — ‘Charlie’

On “Dallas,” children are seen and heard. The series often involves its youngest characters in major storylines, unlike other 1980s prime-time soap operas where kids are treated as little more than props. (Does Krystina Carrington ever do anything other than smile sweetly at Mommy and Daddy?) Of course, even when “Dallas” puts kids front and […]

Hallmark Channel Showcases Two ‘Dallas’ Stars in Movies

It’s not the same as seeing “Dallas” return as a weekly series, but the Hallmark Channel will feature two of the show’s stars in new movies during the next two Saturday nights. Both productions are worth checking out, even if you find yourself pretending you’re watching an alternate-reality version of the Ewings. First up: “Perfect Match,” […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 169 — ‘Oil Baron’s Ball III’

“Dallas’s” Oil Baron’s Ball episodes are fan favorites, and for good reason. Not only do they show the cast dressed to the nines, we also get to see the actors together in one place. (The Southfork barbecue and wedding episodes are pretty much the only other occasions where this happens.) The balls often are remembered […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 165 — ‘Jamie’

Jamie Ewing arrives and Katherine Wentworth departs in “Jamie.” Is this a fair trade? I’ll reserve judgment on Jamie’s end of the exchange until I’ve revisited more episodes that feature her character, but there’s no doubt in my mind Katherine is leaving at the right moment. A little camp goes a long way on “Dallas,” and […]

The Dal-List: 18 Reasons to Love ‘Dallas’s’ Eighth Season

Dallas Decoder will soon begin critiquing the original show’s eighth season, which aired from 1984 to 1985. Here are 18 reasons to love it. 18. Whenever Pam throws shade. She does it a lot this season. 17. When Bobby stops wearing shades. Those things are as big as Southfork! 16. Dr. President David Palmer. Babe’s […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 157 — ‘Blow Up’

“Dallas” delivers its share of camp over the years, but “Blow Up” manages to pack more silliness into a single episode than virtually any other. Donna runs around the Southfork patio, snapping Polaroids of the Ewings; Lucy gets stewed to the gills and airs the family’s dirty laundry at a poolside soiree; and Lady Jessica […]