Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 130 — ‘Penultimate’

“Penultimate” is an hour of misery and pain, but it contains love too. The story begins where “Dallas’s” previous episode ends, when Sue Ellen drives drunk and crashes J.R.’s car. The accident leaves her with a broken arm and some scrapes and bruises, while passenger Mickey Trotter fares much worse: He slips into a coma after […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 110 — ‘Hit and Run’

To fully appreciate how much composer Richard Lewis Warren contributes to “Hit and Run,” I challenge you to an experiment. First, turn off the volume and watch the sequence where reckless driver Carol Driscoll strikes the pedestrian. Without music, it plays like a series of disjointed shots: Here’s Carol leaving the beauty parlor, there she […]

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Lisa Seidman

Lisa Seidman was a writer on the original “Dallas” during its final two seasons and penned many of the show’s best episodes from that era. She later wrote for “Knots Landing” and now serves as associate head writer for “The Young and the Restless.” I was thrilled when she agreed to answer some of my […]

The Best & Worst of Dallas: Season 5

“Dallas’s” fifth season was dandy, save for a few disappointments. Performances Barbara Bel Geddes delivers one tour-de-force performance after another as the grieving Miss Ellie. Everyone remembers the scene where Mama smashes the dishes in the Southfork kitchen, but Bel Geddes also shines in quiet moments like the one where Ellie takes that mournful stroll […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 96 – ‘Adoption’

“Adoption” is one classic scene after another, but my favorite moment is Donna’s showdown with Bonnie, the barfly who’s been sleeping with Ray. The dialogue from scriptwriter Howard Lakin is wonderfully bitchy, and Susan Howard delivers it with steely aplomb. I also have to hand it to guest star Lindsay Bloom, who manages to make Bonnie […]

Dallas Decoder Asks: How Should J.R. die?

J.R. Ewing’s funeral will be seen in the “Dallas” episode that airs Monday, March 11, TNT confirmed yesterday. But how should the legendary character die? And what’s the best way to honor Larry Hagman, the actor who portrayed J.R. for more than three decades? Dallas Decoder asked four members of the original show’s creative team to […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 92 – ‘Head of the Family’

In “Head of the Family,” J.R. is depressed over Jock’s death and getting drunk in his bedroom when Bobby barges in and tells him to snap out of it. J.R. all but ignores his brother, so Bobby yanks him off the bed, drags him across the room and makes him look at himself in the […]

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Howard Lakin

Howard Lakin penned several “Dallas” episodes as a freelancer in the early 1980s, then returned to the series as a writer and producer for its final three seasons. To my delight, he agreed to share his memories of working on the show, as well as his thoughts on the TNT revival. You wrote some of […]

The Best & Worst of Dallas: Season 4

“Dallas’s” fourth season was the show’s most-watched. Is it also the best? Performances In Season 4, J.R. recovers from an assassination attempt, learns to walk again and suffers a humiliating exile from Ewing Oil. Through it all, Larry Hagman never misses a beat. The actor takes us deeper into J.R.’s psyche, revealing vulnerabilities we never dreamed […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 61 – ‘The Fourth Son’

In “The Fourth Son’s” third act, Jock tells Ray he’s his father, a fact the Ewing patriarch didn’t discover until earlier in the episode but a truth he’s probably always known, deep down. The scene is beautifully written and performed, and no matter how often I watch it, it always moves me. “Dallas” simply doesn’t […]