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 75 – ‘New Beginnings’

Sometimes “Dallas” is more than entertaining – it’s damn near magical. This happens when everything that goes into making the show – the writing, the acting, the music and so on – comes together in ways that are so pitch-perfect, you can’t help but feel you’re witnessing something special. The final scene in “New Beginnings” […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 66 – ‘End of the Road, Part 2’

“End of the Road, Part 2” aired three days after President Reagan’s inauguration, and as if on cue, the episode ushers in a bigger, glossier version of “Dallas.” The show has always been about big things (big homes, big business, big egos), but this hour seems to mark the moment the producers decide even bigger […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 63 – ‘The Prodigal Mother’

“The Prodigal Mother” reminds me of one of those “women’s pictures” from the 1950s. The episode marks the end of Pam’s search for her long-lost mother, and it’s as gorgeously soapy as anything Douglas Sirk directed. I love it. More than anything, “The Prodigal Mother” is distinguished by two big, memorable monologues. This is the […]

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 […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 54 – ‘A House Divided’

One school night in 1988, when I should’ve been asleep, I stumbled across a late-night cable showing of “A House Divided,” the third-season “Dallas” finale that famously ends with J.R. getting shot. This was probably the first time I’d seen the episode since 1980, so I was overjoyed. I recorded the rerun on the living […]