Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 198 — ‘The Wind of Change’

Who doesn’t get chills at the end of “The Wind of Change”? Pam takes the podium at the Oil Baron’s Ball and delivers a stirring tribute to Bobby, then announces she’s decided to not sell Christopher’s share of Ewing Oil to Jeremy Wendell. As Pam exits the stage to applause, J.R. — who’s been desperately […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 129 — ‘Things Ain’t Goin’ Too Good at Southfork’

Linda Gray always hits her marks on “Dallas,” but she’s especially effective when Sue Ellen is hitting the bottle. Unlike so many other actors who go overboard playing drunks, Gray is precise: never too slurry, never too silly, never too sullen. She gets it right, every time. Because her performances are so convincing, the audience […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 102 – ‘Acceptance’

The scene everyone remembers from “Acceptance” is the one where the grieving Miss Ellie goes on a rampage in the Southfork kitchen, smashing every dish in sight before tearfully collapsing onto the floor. This is a big, dramatic moment and it never fails to give me chills, but it’s not the only great performance we […]

Dallas Parallels: Saving Southfork

At the end of “Ellie Saves the Day,” one of my favorite “Dallas” episodes, Miss Ellie sits at J.R.’s desk and signs paperwork authorizing Ewing Oil to drill on Southfork. For Ellie, a principled conservationist, this is painful but necessary. J.R. has mortgaged the ranch and sunk the money in a foundering deal – and […]

Dallas Parallels: Grave Decisions

The Ewings are always in crisis, but life at Southfork was downright agonizing at the beginning of “Dallas’s” ninth season: Bobby was dead, Sue Ellen was in a police station drunk tank and J.R. was scheming to keep Pam out of Ewing Oil. So when Jeremy Wendell took Miss Ellie to lunch and offered to […]

The Best & Worst of Dallas: Season 3

“Dallas’s” third season offers lots to celebrate – and a few things to curse. Performances Larry Hagman and Linda Gray do mighty impressive work in Season 3, but even they can’t touch Jim Davis and Barbara Bel Geddes. Since I began re-watching “Dallas,” the nicest discovery has been how good Davis is as Jock, especially […]

TNT’s Dallas Styles: Bobby’s Pajamas

In “Family Business,” TNT continues an old “Dallas” tradition: using the Ewings’ sleepwear to telegraph their vulnerabilities. The practice can be traced to “Spy in the House,” the original show’s third episode, when a sexually neglected Sue Ellen buys a negligee, hoping to arouse J.R.’s interest. Her plan doesn’t work: J.R. calls the nightie “cheap” […]

Critique: TNT’s ‘Dallas’ Episode 8 – ‘No Good Deed’

In “No Good Deed,” John Ross is jailed for a murder he didn’t commit and then savagely beaten by a couple of inmates who are connected to the real killers. The Ewings respond to this crisis by rallying around their tarnished golden boy, making this the first time the characters on TNT’s “Dallas” begin to […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 53 – ‘The Wheeler Dealer’

With “The Wheeler Dealer,” “Dallas” continues tying up its third-season plot threads. The Ewings pay off the mortgage on Southfork, Kristin realizes she’ll never become J.R.’s wife, and Sue Ellen is back where she was a year ago: dreadfully unhappy and boozing herself into oblivion. “The Wheeler Dealer” also offers a coda to the season’s […]

Dallas Styles: Jock’s Bathrobe

Is it a coincidence Jim Davis wears a bathrobe during some of Jock’s most vulnerable moments on “Dallas?” In “Survival,” Jock is clad in a beige terrycloth robe when he overhears Miss Ellie’s confrontation with a Dallas Press reporter and learns the plane carrying J.R. and Bobby has crashed. The usually rock-like Jock crumbles upon […]