Dallas Parallels: Requiems for the Heavyweights

Dallas Parallels - Requiems for the Heavyweights 1

The funerals of J.R. and Bobby Ewing were filmed 28 years apart, but they draw upon similar themes, including the idea that grief and anger are sometimes indistinguishable. The episodes also show how each brother becomes unmoored when he loses the other, demonstrating how essential their relationship is to the “Dallas” mythology.

Bobby’s funeral is seen in “The Family Ewing,” the original show’s ninth-season opener, and even though his death later turns out to be part of Pam’s dream, it still packs punch. The episode begins with the Ewings returning home from the hospital after Bobby said goodbye to them from his deathbed. The characters retreat to different corners of the ranch (Miss Ellie and Clayton to their bedroom, Donna and Ray to their living room, etc.), where they begin to cope with the painful reality that the family’s favorite son is gone. Barbara Bel Geddes, who returns to “Dallas” in this episode after relinquishing her role to Donna Reed during the previous season, delivers an especially moving portrait of quiet resolve as Ellie begins making Bobby’s funeral preparations.

Of course, no one is more devastated than J.R., who sits in the Southfork living room and silently buries his head in his hands. Moments later, when Sue Ellen arrives home from a shopping spree, cheerfully unaware of the tragedy that took place in her absence, J.R. becomes enraged. For him, breaking the news of Bobby’s death to his wife becomes an opportunity to vent his pent-up marital frustrations. “All you ever think about is yourself!” he shouts. (I also love how Larry Hagman unleashes his Texas accent when J.R. asks Sue Ellen, “Where the hell were yew?”) J.R.’s cruel tendencies are also on display when he encounters Gary and Ray the next day, but Hagman wisely balances his character’s hostility with tender performances, including the scene where J.R. goes into John Ross’s bedroom to be near his son.

“J.R.’s Masterpiece,” last year’s exquisite funeral episode from TNT’s “Dallas,” continues the franchise’s grand tradition of sending its characters off in style. The episode includes a sequence where the Ewings return to Southfork after confirming J.R.’s death in the Mexican morgue (shades of “The Family Ewing” scene that shows the Ewings coming home from the hospital). Later, as the characters prepare for J.R.’s funeral, Bobby exhibits the same kind of behavior that J.R. did in “The Family Ewing.” Bobby is terse with Gary when he sees him at Southfork, and he’s unusually cool to Ray when he runs into him at the memorial service. J.R.’s death also prompts Bobby to finally acknowledge his lingering resentment toward Ann for keeping so many secrets from him during their marriage. In a powerful performance from Patrick Duffy, Bobby erupts (“I’m pissed!”) at Ann on the night before J.R.’s funeral, leaving her feeling as stunned as Sue Ellen did when J.R. shouted at her in “The Family Ewing.”

The two funeral scenes also share similarities, although the differences might outweigh the parallels. Bobby’s burial takes place in a Southfork pasture and includes all of the Texas Ewings, except for Lucy. (Charlene Tilton had departed the series at the end of the previous season and wasn’t invited back for “The Family Ewing.”) J.R.’s burial also takes place on Southfork, and even though the crowd at his funeral is smaller than Bobby’s, I’m less surprised by who’s absent (James, Cally), than by who’s present (no offense Carmen and Drew, but you’re not family; I’ll give Elena and Emma a pass since they’re linked to Christopher and Ann). Also, we don’t see any of the eulogies for Bobby, while J.R.’s mourners deliver one memorable tribute after another, including Sue Ellen’s heartbreaking speech.

Perhaps most notably, “The Family Ewing” and “J.R.’s Masterpiece” both end with one brother paying tribute to the other when no one else is around. In the 1985 episode, after the mourners have left Bobby’s burial site, J.R. stands alone at his brother’s casket, expresses regrets for “all the fights” and finally tells him, “I love you. I do.” Flash forward to “J.R.’s Masterpiece.” After Bobby receives the mysterious letter that J.R. wrote before he died, he retreats to his empty bedroom, pours himself a glass of his brother’s bourbon and says he knew J.R. would have one more trick up his sleeve. “It is a good one. I love you, brother,” he says.

It’s every bit as haunting and as beautiful as J.R.’s tribute to Bobby almost three decades earlier. How I wish it were just another dream.


‘I Love You. I Do.’

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

Sad dream

In “The Family Ewing,” a ninth-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) stands alone near Bobby’s casket at the end of his funeral.

J.R.: Bobby, I never told you how much you meant to me. All the fights, all the time butting heads with one another … I’m sorry we were never closer. I wish … I wish I’d taken the time to tell you how much I love you. I do. And tell Daddy I love him too. Bye, Bobby. I’ll miss you.


‘I Love You, Brother’

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, J.R.'s Masterpiece, Patrick Duffy, TNT

Hard truth

In “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” a second-season “Dallas” episode, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) enters J.R.’s bedroom after reading a letter he wrote before he died, pours himself a glass of bourbon and sits at the foot of the bed.

BOBBY: I knew you’d have at least one more left up your sleeve, J.R. It is a good one. [Chuckles softly] I love you, brother. [Sobs, takes a drink]



How do you think J.R. and Bobby’s funerals compare to each other? Share your comments below and read more “Dallas Parallels.”

… And the Rest: Dallas Decoder’s Other VIPs of 2013

Cynthia Cidre, Josh Henderson, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy, TNT, Victoria Principal

Linda Gray is Dallas Decoder’s Woman of the Year, but she isn’t the only person who shaped the “Dallas” franchise in 2013. Here are five more.

Cynthia Cidre, Dallas, TNT

The boss

Cynthia Cidre. Larry Hagman’s death forced the “Dallas” showrunner to rewrite Season 2 on the fly, but she proved up to the challenge — and then some. Cidre penned the exquisite “J.R.’s Masterpiece” funeral episode, which lovingly honored the franchise’s biggest star and kicked off the fun, freewheeling “Who Killed J.R.?” mystery. Cidre also deserves applause for answering the question that has bugged “Dallas” diehards for 25 years: Whatever happened to Pam Ewing? Some fans didn’t like the answer, but if you ask me, Cidre redeemed the character and fixed one of the old show’s biggest blunders. Bravo.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, TNT

The glue

Patrick Duffy. This was the year Bobby Ewing got pissed! He also got sad, frustrated and more than a little devious. Duffy did a beautiful job conveying Bobby’s internal conflict, especially when he read J.R.’s letter in the moving season finale. And just as Bobby held the Ewings together, Duffy played an influential role behind the scenes. Before Cidre proceeded with the twist ending to “Who Killed J.R.?” — he was dying of cancer and arranged his own death — she sought the blessing of two people: Hagman’s son Preston and Duffy. That says a lot about the respect people feel for Patrick Duffy. He’s earned it.

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, TNT

The future

Josh Henderson. No one on the new “Dallas” has faced as much scrutiny as Henderson, who had the unenviable task this year of sliding into the boots of the legendary Larry Hagman. But if Henderson felt any temptation to imitate his on-screen daddy, he wisely resisted it. Where Hagman swaggered, Henderson struts. Where J.R. was confident, John Ross is cocky. In other words: Henderson has given John Ross his own brand of cool. This young actor has become the future of the “Dallas” franchise, and if his performance this year is any indication, we’re in good hands. I can’t wait to see what he does next year.

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval, TNT

The genius

Ken Kercheval. After Hagman, Kercheval has always been “Dallas’s” most fascinating actor. In 2013, he was as electric as ever. Longtime fans still wonder what made Cliff so evil, but I just sat back and enjoyed the ride Kercheval took me on, especially in the shocking scene where Cliff ordered the bombing of the Ewing Energies rig. Besides, as Cliff tightened his squeeze on the Ewings, Kercheval offered more flashes of his old character’s combustability. The scene where Bobby hands his enemy the keys to the Ewing kingdom? That was classic Cliff. You may hate his character, but Kercheval is brilliant.

Dallas, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal

The enigma

Victoria Principal. Hill Place Blog suggested I include Principal on this list as a joke, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. As Hill Place put it: What other “Dallas” star generated more discussion, debate and dissent this year without appearing in a single frame of film? Principal remains a powerful figure in the “Dallas” mythology. Like a lot of my fellow Principal fans, I wish Pam had come home to Southfork in 2013, but the actress’s public statement in March made it clear she has no interest in reprising the role. (Sigh.) So rest in peace, Pam. Like your old rival J.R., you won’t be forgotten.

Who did I miss? Share your choices for “Dallas’s” 2013 VIPs below and read more opinions from Dallas Decoder.

Dallas Decoder’s Woman of the Year: Linda Gray

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Brunette on the couch

Good actors make you believe. Great actors make you feel. In 2013, Linda Gray made us feel every emotion Sue Ellen Ewing experienced — the disappointment over losing the election, the shame over losing her sobriety, the heartbreak over losing J.R. Gray shone all season long, but especially in “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” the funeral episode where she bared her soul and became the audience’s avatar. Through her, we were able to express our own grief over the death of our hero. When Sue Ellen called J.R. the love of her life and touched his casket, it wasn’t just the climax of a great performance. It was a moment of shared catharsis for “Dallas” fans.

Linda Gray is Dallas Decoder’s Woman of the Year because no one else moved us, delighted us and impressed us quite like she did. Sue Ellen has been “Dallas’s” heroine for a long time, but in 2013, Gray stepped into the void created by the death of Larry Hagman, her longtime friend and co-star. Like Hagman — and like Dame Maggie Smith, one of Gray’s own idols — Gray creates thrilling television just by showing up. Consider the “J.R.’s Masterpiece” scene where Sue Ellen sits in J.R.’s bedroom and takes her first drink in 20 years. It was a mesmerizing moment — just as moving if not more so than the graveside eulogy — and yet Gray never uttered a single line of dialogue. The scene consisted of little more than Sue Ellen, a bottle of bourbon, an old wedding picture, an unopened love letter and that sad, sad song (Tara Holloway’s “The Bottom”) playing in the background. That’s it. But when Gray is your star, what more is needed?

To be fair, Gray gets plenty of support from the rest of the “Dallas” cast — as strong an ensemble as any working in television today — and the people behind the scenes, including Michael M. Robin, who directed “J.R.’s Masterpiece” and has a knack for eliciting wonderful performances from his actors. Gray’s most crucial collaborator, though, is probably showrunner Cynthia Cidre, who gave her some of her best material ever as Sue Ellen. Between the two of them, Gray and Cidre showed us Sue Ellen in all her complex, contradictory glory: The fiercely protective mama bear. The take-no-prisoners businesswoman. The struggling alcoholic. And most fascinating of all: the playful flirt, whose vibrant sexuality at age 70-something makes Sue Ellen a prime-time pioneer.

Looking Back

Choosing Gray as Woman of the Year will come as no surprise to Dallas Decoder readers. By now, my admiration for this actress and her character are no secret. Gray was kind enough to grant me an interview a few months ago, and the hour or so that I spent sitting at my dining room table, talking to her on the phone, remains one of the great experiences I’ve had since starting this website. But please know this: My affection for Gray is rooted in my genuine respect for what she has achieved as an actress. Like Sue Ellen, she has worked hard for her success.

Consider: Sue Ellen had to fight for her place in the world. She was not born into the Ewing family, and marriage to J.R. offered public prestige but private pain. For years, he neglected Sue Ellen’s needs and dismissed her potential, and she turned to the bottle to cope with her unhappiness. But the ex-beauty queen’s spirit ran deeper than anyone knew, including Sue Ellen herself. Eventually, she conquered her demons and won the admiration of the other Ewings, including J.R.

Gray’s career has had its ups and downs too. During “Dallas’s” earliest days, she was notoriously dismissed as “the brunette on the couch” and excluded from the show’s opening credits. Slowly, the producers noticed her talent and chemistry with Hagman and beefed up her role. At the height of “Dallas’s” popularity, Gray even picked up an Emmy nomination for best dramatic actress. By the time she departed the original show at the end of its 12th season, Sue Ellen rivaled J.R. as “Dallas’s” most popular character. (It’s no coincidence the show plunged from 26th to 43rd in the yearly Nielsen rankings after Gray left.)

Yet when TNT brought “Dallas” back last year, it felt a little like déjà vu all over again — and not in a good way. The producers struggled to find a place for Sue Ellen in the storyline, leaving her out of two early episodes altogether. Fans were outraged, and the Powers That Be soon learned the same lesson their predecessors did: Don’t mess with Miss Texas. In Season 2, Sue Ellen once again became a force to be reckoned with, wheeling and dealing against the Ewings’ enemies, even as she wrestled privately with her old demons and J.R.’s loss.

Moving Forward

Some of my fellow fans are concerned about Sue Ellen’s future. Cidre has confirmed the character will continue drinking when “Dallas” begins its new season in February, and I get the feeling Sue Ellen’s problems are going to get worse before they get better. But I’m not worried. For one thing, I’m confident Gray is going to continue to deliver great performances, no matter what she is called upon to do. I also believe Sue Ellen will eventually get back on track and start moving forward again. She’s come too far to turn back for good.

Just look at the above TNT publicity still, which comes from the 2013 episode “A Call to Arms.” It shows Sue Ellen seated on the edge of the sofa in the Southfork den, where she’s helping her fellow Ewings formulate a plan to fight back against their latest foes. She wears a determined expression and looks like she’s about to spring into action, which is precisely what happens in that scene. The photo tells us everything we need to know about this actress and the character she has embodied for so many years. Linda Gray is still the brunette on the couch, except now the brunette is the star of the show and her character is helping to call the shots.

Don’t mess with Miss Texas.

Share your comments about Linda Gray and Sue Ellen Ewing below and read Dallas Decoder’s list of the year’s other VIPS.

One Year Later, Larry Hagman’s Legacy Lives

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

Remember the titan

The first anniversary of Larry Hagman’s death is November 23, although to me, he never really went away. Hagman’s old “Dallas” episodes run on a seemingly endless loop in my house. I watch him all the time, and that would probably be true even if I didn’t write and edit this website. Larry Hagman still brings me joy. The other day, I re-visited the 1983 segment where J.R. goes to the Oil Baron’s Ball and slyly insults every relative seated near him. With each gleeful quip, Hagman’s smile couldn’t be contained. Neither could mine.

Do I wish Hagman were still around, filming new episodes of TNT’s “Dallas” revival? Of course, although given the remarkable body of work he left behind (more than 380 appearances as J.R. in the various “Dallas” shows, spinoffs and sequels), to want more from him feels almost greedy. Likewise, while I’ll always regret that I never met my hero, I did get to speak to him on the phone once. How lucky am I? By most accounts, Hagman was a hell of a guy — joyful, generous, wise, progressive, amusingly eccentric — and so one year after his death, whatever sadness I feel is reserved for the people who knew him best. As a fan, I lost an actor whose work I admired from afar. But Hagman’s family and friends? They lost a real, special man.

Don’t get me wrong: Hagman’s death upset me a year ago. He died on the day after Thanksgiving, giving Black Friday a whole other meaning. Now the timing feels kind of cosmic. The anniversary of his death will always come two days after the anniversary of the “Who Shot J.R.?” revelation and around Thanksgiving, reminding us to feel grateful for the wonderful performances he gave us. We can also feel thankful to the people who help keep Hagman’s memory alive, including the folks who run his Facebook page, which offers a treasure trove of rare photographs and other mementos. For that matter, we should also give thanks to the “Dallas” producers and cast members,  who have done an impressive job honoring their show’s biggest star. The episode where Hagman’s alter ego is laid to rest, “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” lived up to its title, but the tributes haven’t stopped there. Showrunner Cynthia Cidre has promised to keep Hagman’s name atop the production call sheets for the duration of the series, reminding the cast and crew that “Dallas” is the house Hagman built.

There are also hints that J.R. will figure into next season’s storylines, wheeling and dealing from beyond the grave, and a recent tweet from the set suggests Josh Henderson will sport his on-screen daddy’s signature wristwatch and belt buckle. If the producers are looking for one more way to honor Hagman, “Dallas” fan Joe Siegler has a nifty suggestion: Instead of continuing to have the cast take turns delivering each episode’s “Previously on ‘Dallas’” voiceover, why not use Hagman’s version exclusively? This would be a small gesture, but I can’t imagine a better way to start each new hour of “Dallas” than by hearing J.R.’s voice.

Of course, Hagman’s legacy extends beyond the show he made famous. We live in a golden age of television drama, populated by antiheroes like Walter White and Don Draper. None of them would exist if J.R. Ewing hadn’t come first. What a shame so many TV critics neglect to mention that. Even more shameful: Hagman’s omission from the special tributes during this year’s Emmy broadcast and his snub in the dramatic supporting actor race. Few performers deserved Emmy recognition more than Hagman this year — and not just because he didn’t receive a trophy during the original “Dallas’s” heyday. Hagman did some of the best work of his career on the TNT series. One example: last year’s “Family Business” episode, which showcased his powerful, poignant portrait of the aging J.R.

On the other hand: Who needs Emmys? If the past year has taught me anything, it’s how much affection “Dallas” fans have for Hagman. Our love for him is deep and real, and it will sustain his legacy for a long time to come. It’s another reason I don’t feel a strong sense of loss as the anniversary of his death approaches. The truth is, Larry Hagman isn’t really gone; he just lives in our hearts now.

How will you remember Larry Hagman and J.R. Ewing? Share your comments below and read more opinions from Dallas Decoder.

‘Dallas’: Season 3 Begins February 24 on TNT

Christopher Ewing, Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, Josh Henderson, Legacies

The boys are back

“Dallas” will begin its third season on Monday, February 24, at 9 p.m., TV Guide reported today. The series will telecast eight episodes and then take a midseason break before resuming in the summer. Altogether, the season will consist of 15 hours.

“Dallas,” which will start its third season more than 10 months after its second-season finale, will be part of TNT’s aggressive push to capture more viewers during the winter months. The cable channel will pair “Dallas” with the new reality show “The Private Lives of Nashville Wives,” which will be shown Monday nights at 10, beginning February 24. TNT is also bringing back two of its top-rated summertime crime dramas, “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Perception,” for a four-week run on Tuesday nights, beginning February 25.

Wisely, TNT is saving this programming slate until after the Winter Olympics. NBC will broadcast the games from Sochi, Russia, beginning Friday, February 7. The closing ceremonies are slated for Sunday, February 23.

Of course, even though “Dallas” will get a pass from the Olympics, the show will still have its work cut out for it. Its Monday competition will include NBC’s “The Voice,” ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” Fox’s “The Following” and two CBS sitcoms, “Mike & Molly” and “Mom.”

“Dallas” averaged 2.7 million viewers on Monday nights during Season 2, although the audience climbed to 3.8 million when DVR users who record the show and watch it within seven days were counted. The audience included 1.6 million adults between ages 25 and 54, a demographic that TNT targets, and 1.4 million adults between 18 and 49, another group advertisers pay a premium to reach.

This will be the first time “Dallas” will start a new season without Larry Hagman, who died last year during production of Season 2 and whose famous character J.R. Ewing was laid to rest in the instant-classic “J.R.’s Masterpiece” episode. The show plans to keep J.R.’s memory alive while also continuing to focus on the Ewings’ next generation, led by cousins John Ross and Christopher (Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe).

Producers are otherwise keeping a tight lid on the new season’s storylines, although a handful of clues and revealing tweets have surfaced since production began last month. TNT has also announced two new characters for Season 3: Nicolas, a billionaire played by new regular Juan Pablo Di Pace, and Southfork ranch hand Heather, who’ll be played by guest star AnnaLynne McCord in a multi-episode arc.

Other Season 3 guest stars are slated to include Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) and Judith Ryland (Judith Light), as well as three fan favorites who’ll appear in a special wedding-themed episode: Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly), Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton) and Afton Cooper (Audrey Landers).

Are you excited about “Dallas’s” return on February 24? Share your comments below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.

‘Dallas’s’ Second Season Comes to DVD on February 11

Dallas, TNT

Big D on DVD

The second season of TNT’s “Dallas” will be released on DVD on Tuesday, February 11, TV Shows on DVD reported today. The four-disc set will contain all 15 episodes and sell for $39.98.

Among the extras: an unedited interview with Larry Hagman, an extended version of the “J.R.’s Masterpiece” episode, deleted scenes and a recording of the cast’s lively panel discussion during this year’s Paley Fest television festival.

TNT hasn’t announced the third season’s debut date, but the DVD’s February 11 release could be another clue the new episodes will start later that month. This year, the first-season DVD set was released in early January, three weeks before TNT began televising the second-season episodes.

Will you buy “Dallas: The Complete Second Season”? Share your comments below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Linda Gray

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Linda Gray

Sue Ellen WeekI interviewed Linda Gray! It was an amazing experience — Gray was fun, insightful and extremely generous with her time. I’m so excited to share our conversation as part of Dallas Decoder’s Sue Ellen Week.

I’d like to begin with something that I’ve waited my whole life to say to you, which is this: “Hello, darlin’.”

[Laughs] I love that. Yes, I’ve heard that a couple of times before.

Well, when I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be J.R., so to be able to say that to you now is a dream come true.

Oh, that’s so sweet. Thank you so very much.

OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you’re about to do something you’ve never done before, which is to start production on a new season of “Dallas” without Larry Hagman. How are you feeling about that?

It’s tricky because I know he’s not on the planet, but on the set, he’s very much there. He’s kind of like this big presence, looming over us and smiling. And I think what the writers may do — and underline “may” — is have something where J.R. Ewing made some oil deal 20 years ago that will come back and have reverberations on the characters today. So I think Larry will always be there — and he doesn’t even have to get into makeup.

So you’re not starting the season with a heavy heart?

No, not at all. Everybody is light about it because Larry was light about it. He always said he wasn’t afraid to die. And I think every single person who’s honest will say, “I’d like to go doing what I love to do.” Larry certainly achieved that. He passed playing the character he was meant to play. It was a life well lived. He charmed so many people and touched so many lives. He’s missed, but we just continue his memory.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

What’s next?

And what about Sue Ellen? Any idea what she’s going to be up to next year?

I always smile when I get that question. People stop me on the street and say, “Please don’t drink anymore” or please don’t do this or please don’t do that. Honestly, until about a week before we start filming, we don’t know what’s going on.

The producers don’t sit down with you and explain Sue Ellen’s arc for the season?

No. But I prefer not knowing because sometimes, you could give something away without realizing it. Like when Sue Ellen started drinking again, I didn’t know that was coming up until days before we shot it.

I’m so glad you brought that up. The scene in “J.R.s Masterpiece” where she takes her first drink in 20 years is beautifully done.

When I opened the script for that episode and I saw, “She picks up that drink,” I thought, “Oh, no!” [Laughs] So I was just as surprised as anybody. But I spoke to some people who are in the program, and they said that if anything would make her take a drink, it would be J.R.’s death. So I said, “OK. Deep breath. Here we go.”

Was that scene hard to film?

I think we shot it at 10:30 at night or something. And the drinking scene wasn’t even planned for that day — another scene was, but it was a long scene and there was dialogue. And so the director, Mike Robin, who’s one of our executive producers, gave me a choice between shooting the scene with dialogue and the drinking scene. And I said, “It’s late, the crew’s tired, I’m tired. Everyone wants to go home. Let’s just do the drinking scene.” So it was kind of spur of the moment.

And I think I’ve heard you say you did it in only two takes.

Well, I asked Mike how long we had film-wise, and he said, “You’ve got 12 minutes.” And I said, “I’m not drinking for 12 minutes!” [Laughs] It may have been two takes. It felt like one.

I’ve got to tell you: Every time I watch it, I get a little emotional. How do you feel when you see it?

Cynthia Cidre, who’s our executive producer/writer, sent me the cut of the episode. And I was out, so I watched it on my phone. And I just started crying, crying, crying. So when I got home, I played it on my computer, and I just started crying again. I still tear up every time I see it because … I don’t know, it just goes to my heart. It’s hard for me to watch it.

Getting back to Season 3: I know you have a lot of respect for the writers, but do you have your own wish list for what you’d like to see Sue Ellen do?

The interesting thing is, I never had a wish list on the original show. I remember going in to the producers that one time and telling them that all I’m doing is drinking and having affairs and drinking some more and having more affairs. And they were patronizing to me, in a nice way. They said, “Yes, darling, but you do it so well.” [Laughs] So then in Year 9, they called me and said, “OK, we’re going to take you off the bottle, but we’re going to take you down.” And I said, “How far down?” [Laughs] And they said, “You’re going down.” So we went down, and I ended up in the alley drinking with the bag lady. And I loved that. As an actor, it’s like, “Bring it on!” And this was at a time when alcoholism wasn’t being dealt with a lot on film.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Don’t do it, darlin’!

I’m so glad you mentioned that, because when I think about the people who’ve contributed to society’s understanding of alcoholism as a disease, I think about you. Given the popularity of “Dallas,” I think you played an enormous role in that.

Well, that’s very kind. I’m just doing my job.

Well, you do it so well — and I’m not being patronizing!

[Laughs] No, that’s perfect. Thank you.

So let’s talk about Sue Ellen. My readers and I spend a lot of time debating this character, who is still so fascinating. How do you see her?

I have often said I found her to be the most interesting woman on television in the ’80s because she was so complex and complicated. And she’s still very interesting, but she’s different. When they brought the show back after 20 years, I told [the producers]: She’s got be strong. She has to be a changed woman. That’s the one comment I gave them. I know Dallas women. I have a lot of friends there. They’re extraordinarily talented, smart, gracious, generous women. And I wanted Sue Ellen to reflect that. She’s a former Miss Texas. She was married to that crazy J.R. Ewing. But she’s smarter now. She knows where all the bodies are buried. So who better to step in and start wheeling and dealing than Sue Ellen?

So you’re satisfied with where the character is today?

Oh, I love it. I feel like she’s a challenge for the writers. Bobby was always the good guy, J.R. was always the guy you loved to hate, but Sue Ellen is in this sort of gray area. This is supposition on my part, but my sense is that she keeps [the writers] on their toes.

Does it make a difference having Cynthia Cidre, a woman, as “Dallas’s” head writer?

As a woman, yes. I thought the original series was very sexist and chauvinistic.

I agree.

Oh, good. The thing I love about Cynthia is that she pulled together these amazing, amazing writers. We never had a writers’ room on the original show. Now, if somebody gets stuck and they don’t know what to do with a character or a scene, she has eight or nine other people who can interject their thoughts and their ideas. It’s so creative and collaborative.

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

Big love

And what about Sue Ellen and J.R.? Why do you think they loved each other?

Oh, the most fabulous question. J.R. loved women, obviously. And he was brought up to have that trophy-wife syndrome. He wanted to marry the prettiest woman in Texas. And Sue Ellen’s mother taught her to go after the money. So with these two, it wasn’t a match made anywhere but hell. [Laughs] But — but! — through the years, I think a great, great love developed between J.R. and Sue Ellen. It was a Virginia Woolf kind of a love, kind of a dysfunctional love, but you know, marriage isn’t always wonderful and seamless and positive. I always found that idea interesting, that they didn’t begin on a high note. He was a philanderer, and she drank to anesthetize herself to the pain. But deep down — and they picked it up early on the new series — there really was love there.

I’m so glad the new show played that up. It was so sweet to see how their relationship had matured.

Cynthia told me that if Larry hadn’t passed, she had planned to end the season with a scene where J.R. and Sue Ellen go into the bedroom and shut the door. And so you would have been left with the impression that they were getting back together.

Oh, that’s so heartbreaking! That would have been wonderful.

Yeah, I just got chills when she told me that. I thought, “Oh, wouldn’t that have been just lovely?” We could’ve started all over again.

Do you think Sue Ellen loved any of the other men in her life?

I don’t think so.

Not Dusty Farlow?

He may have been the closest one, followed by Jack Scalia’s character [Nicholas Pearce]. Those are the only two that I can think of. There were so many! [Laughs]

Would you like to see Sue Ellen find someone new next season?

I don’t know. I think it could be kind of fun for her to be flirtatious with somebody, but she may not be ready for a relationship. But that’s just my take. The writers may have something else in mind. I think she’s got her hands full with that boy of hers.

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Honor thy mama

He’s a chip off the old block, isn’t he?

When we all read the final scene [of Season 2] where he goes to Emma, I thought, “You rat!” And when he had [J.R.’s] watch on, I thought, “Oh, boy. We’re in deep trouble now.” Mama has to step in.

I wonder if he’ll wear the watch next season?

I’m going to take it away from him. I’m going to ground him. He’s going to have to go to his room. No television. Nothing. [Laughs]

So how are you and Sue Ellen alike and how are you different?

Oh, boy. Let’s see. I have much more humor. My life is totally different. I’m much more … how do I even say this? It’s hard to describe yourself.

Maybe you’re not alike.

You know, I’m sitting here in my office in my home and I’m looking outside. I have an organic vegetable garden. I live on a ranch, but I don’t tell that to Texans because they would laugh. It’s only three acres. But in my mind, it’s a ranch. I’m very casual. And I have a great circle of wonderful friends and family. I have two grandsons. So my life is more … I don’t want to say normal. My life is easier than Sue Ellen’s. I do love her clothes, though. We have that in common.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Substance and style

But I bet your styles are different.

Our styles are different, yes. But I love putting on her clothes. On the set, I cannot do a scene without my high heel shoes. And even though my feet are under the desk or under the table and you don’t see them on camera, those heels make my character whole. I couldn’t wear fluffy slippers because that would not be Sue Ellen. And at the end of day, like at 10 o’clock at night, the girls will say to me, “Linda, you don’t have to wear these shoes.” And I’ll say, “I cannot do that scene without those shoes. I’m sorry.” And my feet are very sorry. But that’s how it is when I play Sue Ellen. I have to layer her. You know, when you step into the makeup chair, that’s layer number one. And then you go and have the hair done. And then you slip into the outfit. There’s a process, and for me, that’s hugely important.

I think I know the answer to this question, but I’ll ask it anyway. You’re one of the stars of “Dallas.” Are you also a fan?

I am a huge fan! I have always loved it. The original show still entertains me. I still get excited and I giggle and I laugh and I think, “Oh, I remember that scene! That was such a good scene.”

Do you watch the new show?

Oh, I watch it live!

Oh, wow. You should get on Twitter and tweet with us when we’re watching.

Somebody else told me that and I said, “What? Live tweeting?” I’m a little behind, and I know my fans get kind of upset. They’re like, “Come on, tweet more.” I don’t do it unless there’s something I can tweet about.

So what else are you a fan of? What shows and movies and actors do you like?

Well, my two favorite actors are Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. I mean, to watch them is to attend an acting class. I watch “Downton Abbey.” I watch “Homeland.” I love anything with great characters, great writing, great acting. It’s like this new Woody Allen film [“Blue Jasmine”]. I applaud him as a director so much because he keeps the camera on Cate Blanchett. And I was jealous. I was like, “Oh, man. He’s letting her go.” And she’s brilliant anyway.

That’s one of the things I loved about the old “Dallas” — those long, slow-burn reaction shots.

They’d let you play out your emotions. The new show jumps around a little more. They edit quickly. So that was new for me. Shooting in HD was new for me. But then you realize: OK, all these years have gone by. Things change. You have to change with the times.

Well, I think you and Sue Ellen are both doing a pretty terrific job changing with the times.

Oh, you sweetheart! Thank you.

Share your comments below and read more interviews from Dallas Decoder.

The Best & Worst of TNT’s Dallas: Season 2

The second season of TNT’s “Dallas” was even better than the first. Here are my laurels, along with a few darts.


Woman of the year

Wonder woman

She spent Season 1 on the sidelines, but Linda Gray became “Dallas’s” star player this year. After losing the election, Sue Ellen maneuvered her way into Ewing Energies, then fought tooth and manicured nail to save the company. Her determination took many forms: She flirted with Gary and later Ken, proving a woman in her 70s could still be playful and alluring, and blackmailed Governor McConaughey with a smile, demonstrating just how much she learned from her ex-husband. Speaking of J.R.: Gray shined brightest at his funeral, where Sue Ellen took a heartbreaking tumble off the wagon, then delivered a mesmerizing eulogy for the man she called “the love of my life.” It was a magnificent, unforgettable performance – and if there’s any justice in the world, Gray’s next big speech will be at the Emmys.


The “Who Killed J.R.?” mystery was terrific because it allowed viewers to slide into J.R.’s boots and try to piece together the puzzle he left behind. The gun! That letter! Those cocaine shoes! How were the clues connected? This was “Dallas” at its most fun – and as an added bonus, it finally resolved Pam’s storyline and gave the character the redemption she deserved. (Pam may be dead, but please let Katherine live.) The season’s least satisfying storyline: Vicente Cano’s ambush on Southfork and the hostage crisis that ensued. This storyline did little to advance the season’s main narrative – the fight for Ewing Energies – nor did it give us much new insight into the characters. On the other hand: at least nobody made Sue Ellen sing.


Tears of the son

Tears of the son

The beautiful, elegiac “J.R.’s Masterpiece” is landmark television. From the mournful version of the “Dallas” theme music that played under the special opening titles through the moving gravesite eulogies, scriptwriter Cynthia Cidre and director Michael M. Robin made J.R.’s death feel achingly real. This is their masterpiece. At the other end of the spectrum: “Ewings Unite!,” an uneven hour marred by J.R.’s silly will reading and Gary and Val’s drive-by reunion.


Almost two months after watching “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” I’m still haunted by the memory of Sue Ellen getting drunk in her ex-husband’s bedroom on the night before his funeral. As Tara Holloway’s soulful rendition of “The Bottom” played, we watched Sue Ellen move around J.R.’s bed, caress a framed photo from their wedding and finally drown her sorrows with glass after glass of his bourbon. This was two-and-a-half minutes of exquisite agony. (Among the season’s other great scenes: Ann’s spellbinding testimony at her trial, Harris and Emma’s parking garage encounter, Harris’s Komodo dragon speech and the moment lusty John Ross storms off the elevator and into Pamela’s arms.)


Raw deal

Raw deal

The police discover Tommy’s body and murder weapon. John Ross warns Pamela, who frantically begins preparing to skip town as the police arrive with guns drawn. But wait! They’re not coming to arrest Pamela; they’re after Frank, who has been framed by Cliff. It was a classic “Dallas” fake-out and the season’s most surprising twist. The silliest: At J.R.’s will reading, Miss Ellie somehow takes half of Southfork from Bobby and gives it to John Ross. Howzat, Mama?


Season 2 gave us a Southfork swimming pool scene, the return of the old Ewing Oil building and even a reference to Westar, but where were the barbecue and Oil Baron’s Ball (er, “Cattle Baron’s Ball”) episodes? On the other hand, we did get “The Furious and the Fast,” the fantastic racetrack-set episode that marked the “Dallas” directorial debut of Rodney Charters, the show’s ace cinematographer. Perhaps racecars will become a new “Dallas” tradition? I’m ready for another spin.


Evil dad

Evil dad

Steven Weber played McConaughey to smirking perfection and Mitch Pileggi and Judith Light were delicious as the evil Rylands, but Ken Kercheval scared the bejesus out of me as Cliff. The scene where he orders the destruction of the methane rig is chilling. Yet somehow, the brilliant Kercheval made sure we never lost sight of Cliff’s humanity, especially when he was arrested for J.R.’s murder. Make no mistake: Season 2 was the performance of Kercheval’s career.

Returning Favorites

Audrey Landers’ return as Afton in “Guilt and Innocence” was a hoot. Robert Rovner’s script gave Landers plenty to do, and she made the most of it: During the course of the hour, we got to see Afton badmouth Cliff (“He’s a mean drunk, that man”), flirt with John Ross, shoot daggers at Christopher and sweetly serenade Pamela with her favorite childhood lullaby. I also liked Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark’s return as Gary and Valene (even if Van Ark didn’t get enough to do), as well as the familiar faces who showed up in “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” especially Mandy and Cally (Deborah Shelton, Cathy Podewell), whose reminiscing about their romances with J.R. proved surprisingly poignant.


Welcome to Southfork

Welcome to Southfork

Each episode of “Dallas” clocks in at 42 minutes sans commercials, making screen time a commodity. It’s tempting to knock the producers for expanding the cast in Season 2 – except the newcomers are all so good! I was especially charmed by magnetic Kuno Becker, who was both smoldering and sweet as ne’er-do-well Drew, while Emma Bell knocked me out as Emma, who shifted effortlessly from sheltered princess to a pill-popping sexpot. Is there anything this actress can’t do?

Supporting Players

Like the original “Dallas,” the new show is beginning to feel like its own world, thanks to its growing population of reliable recurring characters. My favorites include steadfast Sheriff Derrick (Akai Draco), dutiful lawyer Lou Bergen (Glenn Morshower) and of course loyal private eye Bum (Kevin Page), who charmed me in his scene with Sue Ellen and moved me when he confessed his role in J.R.’s master plan. Season 2 also introduced two promising additions to the Ewing Energies secretarial pool: perky, sneaky Jill (Amber Bartlett) and statuesque Stacy (Natalie Quintanilla). The other great addition: lusty city transportation chief Alison Jones (Annie Wersching). Could she become this generation’s Marilee Stone?


Man of style

Man of style

“Dallas” doesn’t just have TV’s best-dressed cast; the actors are also smartly dressed. Everyone’s “look” fits their character perfectly. Case in point: J.R., whose western jackets, dark suits and Butch Dorer hats made him Season 2’s most dashing figure. My favorite outfit: the classic pinstripes he sported in “Venomous Creatures” when he blackmailed the smarmy prosecutor. A tip of the hat to costume designer Rachel Sage Kunin. Thanks to her, our hero went out in style.


The music on “Dallas” is a mix of familiar tunes like Merle Haggard’s “My Favorite Memory,” which played during J.R.’s memorial service, and oh-my-gosh-what-is-the-name-of-that-song-I-must-own-it selections like “Liar,” an unreleased number from the Unknown that was heard in “False Confessions” and “Legacies.” My favorite: “My Time Has Come,” the driving rock anthem from the Bowery Riots that played when Bobby did that cool slow-motion walk away from Cliff at the end of “Love and Family.” It was the ideal song to showcase Bobby at his badass best.


Ugly truth

Ugly truth

I’m tempted to choose Christopher’s Miller Lite bottle or all those Microsoft Surface tablets as best props, but instead I’ll go with J.R.’s handsome bourbon decanter, which the three people he loved most – Bobby, Sue Ellen and Christopher – all drank from after his death. Worst prop? That’s easy: The awful painting of J.R. unveiled at the end of “Legacies.” Where’s J.R.’s nose? What happened to his right shoulder? My plea to the producers: Fix this before Season 3 starts.


Since so much of my “Dallas” viewing experience now takes place in the Twitterverse, it seems appropriate to honor the hashtags of Season 2: #BubbaNotEarl #ByeByeCloudDrive #Clonazepam #ContinuedLegalSubterfuge #EminentDomain #FentonWashburnEsquire #HighImpactPressureMoldedCocaine #HighVelocityBloodSplatter #HornedFrogsVsMustangs #HotelColon #JudgeRhonda #KomodoDragons #MoralsClause #NuevoLaredo #PatriciaBarrett #RickyRudd #RIPKatherine?


This category is always the toughest and Season 2 is no different. What to choose? Sue Ellen’s putdown of Afton (“She’s drama, John Ross.”)? Val’s greeting to Sue Ellen (“Once a bitch, always a bitch.”)? Vicente’s observation after realizing the Ewing cousins have traded romantic partners (“You Ewing boys share after all! I love it!”)? John Ross’s not-fit-for-print philosophy on romance (“Love is for [kitty cats]”)? In the end, I’ll go with the master. J.R.’s encounter with Pamela: “You’re not the first Pam to fox her way into the henhouse.” Oh, J.R. We’ll never stop missing you.

What do you love and loathe about the second season of TNT’s “Dallas”? Share your comments below and read more “Best & Worst” reviews.

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.”

Drill Bits: ‘Dallas’ Ends the Season with Bigger Ratings

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

Compounding interest

“Dallas” got a nice ratings boost on April 15 with a season-ending double feature that revealed what happened to Pam and who killed J.R.

“Guilt by Association” the first of the evening’s two episodes, was seen by 2.82 million viewers, including 1 million adults between ages 18 and 49, an important demographic in TV ad sales.

“Legacies,” the second hour, drew 2.99 million viewers, including 1.1 million in the 18-to-49 demo. This makes “Legacies” the season’s second most-watched “Dallas” telecast after the landmark “J.R.’s Masterpiece” funeral episode, which drew 3.6 million viewers on March 11.

“Dallas” averaged 2.7 million viewers on Monday nights this year, although DVR users who record the show and watch it later in the week have boosted its weekly average to 3.4 million viewers. “Dallas” averaged 4.2 million viewers on Wednesdays last summer, when there is much less competition on other channels.

TNT has not announced whether it will order a third season, but this week the Hollywood news site Deadline suggested “Dallas” is “a slam dunk for renewal.” Although ratings fell this season, the well-known “Dallas” brand generated strong international sales for the studio that produces the show, Deadline reported.

Name that Tune!

Dallas, Faran Tahir, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes, TNT, Venomous Creatures


Forget “Who Killed J.R.?” Here’s the question “Dallas” fans really want answered: What’s the name of the song that kept popping up on the show this season?

You know the song I’m talking about. It was first heard in “False Confessions” when the police arrested Frank Ashkani (Faran Tahir) for Tommy’s murder. The song played again in “Legacies” when Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) planted the gun in Cliff’s trunk.

Here’s the answer: The song is called “Liar” and it comes from a band called The Unknown, a TNT spokeswoman told us yesterday.

The bad news: This appears to be an unreleased track. I can’t find it on iTunes or anyplace else. So if you want to keep hearing it, just do what I do and watch those scenes over and over.

Speaking of “Dallas” music: The song that played at the end of “Legacies,” when John Ross (Josh Henderson) proved again he’s his daddy’s son from tip to tail, is “Come Unto Me” by the The Mavericks. Meanwhile, the terrific tune that appeared at the end of “Love and Family,” when Bobby (Patrick Duffy) took that slow-mo stroll out of Ewing Energies, is “My Time Has Come” by The Bowery Riots.

Cidre Speaks

In case you missed it: “Dallas” producer Cynthia Cidre gives TV Guide the post-mortem on the second season, including her reaction to Victoria Principal’s statement-hear-round-the-world, whether Katherine Wentworth is really dead and those cocaine shoes. Earlier this week, Cidre spoke to Yahoo! about what we might see during a third “Dallas” season, including the possibility that – gasp! – John Ross might build his own house on Southfork.

Divas II

Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) had a good week: Not only did she track down Ken (Lee Majors), turn the tables on McConaughey (Steven Weber) and announce Cliff’s arrest, she also defeated sister Kristin (Mary Crosby) in Dallas Divas Derby’s second brackets competition. Get it, girl.

Killing J.R.

Last December, not long after Larry Hagman’s death, I asked three writers and a director from the original “Dallas” how they think J.R. should die. Now that the character has been laid to rest once and for all, it’s interesting to go back and read their ideas, which aren’t far off base from what ended up happening.

“Drill Bits,” a roundup of news about TNT’s “Dallas,” is published regularly. Share your comments below.