#DallasChat Daily: What’s Your Favorite ‘Dallas’ Ball?

Audrey Landers, Barbara Bel Geddes, Jenilee Harrison, Ken Kercheval, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Morgan Brittany, Patrick Duffy, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, Steve Forrest, Steve Kanaly, Victoria Principal

Few traditions on the original “Dallas” could match the grandeur of the annual Oil Baron’s Ball. Do you have a favorite?

Was it Miss Ellie’s moving tribute to Jock at the 1982 ball? How about the 1983 affair, when the Ewing and Barnes women faced off in the powder room and Cliff won the Oilman of the Year Award and insulted Jock, triggering a knock-down, drag-out fight with J.R, Bobby and Ray? There’s also the 1985 ball, when Jamie threw a pie in Cliff’s face and Pam announced she was going to take Bobby’s place as J.R.’s partner in Ewing Oil? And who could forget the 1986 shindig, when Wes Parmalee told the world he was Jock Ewing?

Your #DallasChat Daily question: What’s your favorite “Dallas” ball?

Share your comments below and join other #DallasChat Daily discussions.

#DallasChat Daily: What’s Your Favorite ‘Dallas’ Barbecue?

Barbara Bel Geddes, Bert Remsen, Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Dandy Dandridge, David Wayne, Digger Barnes, Fern Fitzgerald, Jamie Ewing, Jenilee Harrison, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Marilee Stone, Miss Ellie Ewing, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Sue Ellen Ewing, Victoria Principal

The Ewing Barbecues were one of the original “Dallas’s” best traditions. Do you have a favorite?

Was it Jock and Digger’s disastrous reunion during the first-season finale, or Pam’s tragic fall from the hayloft at the end of that episode? How about Sue Ellen and Cliff’s flirty dance during the first barbecue of 1982, or the Ewings’ tense showdown with the cartel at that year’s second hoedown? What about Jamie and Marilee’s bitchy confrontation in 1984, or Dandy Dandridge’s drunken shooting spree in 1987?

Your #DallasChat Daily question: What’s your favorite “Dallas” barbecue?

Share your comments below and join other #DallasChat Daily discussions.

The Dal-List: Classic ‘Dallas’s’ 8 Ewing Barbecues, Ranked

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo, Pamela Rebecca Barnes Ewing, Trust Me, TNT

Upholding tradition

The Ewings throw another Southfork barbecue in “Trust Me,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode. Here’s a list of every barbecue from the classic show’s era, ranked in order of preference. (Please note: The two rodeo episodes aren’t included. Don’t worry; they’ll get their own list one day.)

Bert Remsen, Bobby Ewing, Clayton Farlow, Dallas, Dandy Dandridge, Howard Keel, Patrick Duffy

Top gun

8. Barbecue VIII (1987). The original “Dallas’s” final barbecue feels a little warmed over, sad to say. Things briefly get exciting when aging wildcatter Dandy Dandridge (Bert Remsen) shows up and tries to shoot Cliff — a nifty bit of poetic justice that recalls Digger’s attempt to kill Jock in “Dallas: The Early Years.” The rest of the affair, though, is more of a retread than an homage: J.R. and Cliff exchange insults for the umpteenth time, Sue Ellen once again tries to get under her husband’s skin and Christopher spends another episode moping around because he’s adopted. Is this “Groundhog Day” or a Southfork shindig?

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Dances with wolves

7. Barbecue II (1982). Most of the action at this party happens on the dance floor: With Pam upstairs mooning over baby Christopher, Bobby waltzes with Katherine, whose crush on her brother-in-law is as plain as Ray’s extra-martial interest in sexy Toni. Later, J.R. stands on the balcony and seethes while watching Sue Ellen and Cliff (Linda Gray, Ken Kercheval) — whose shirt appears to have lost all its buttons — have a jolly time two-stepping below. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Miss Ellie receives the fateful phone call informing her that Jock’s helicopter crashed on its way home. Way to kill the festive mood, “Dallas.”

Afton Cooper, Audrey Landers, Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval

Birds of a feather

6. Barbecue IV (1983). This barbecue is mostly fun: Bobby and Mark Graison give each other the stink eye at the bar, Jenna Wade is bitchy to Pam on the patio and Afton Cooper (Audrey Landers) runs around the driveway in a Native American-inspired outfit that features the most strategically placed tassels in the history of costume design. So why doesn’t this soiree rank higher? Blame baby-faced stalker Peter Richards, who summons Sue Ellen to the barn, where he gives her a smooch and professes his undying love for her. Gross! It’s enough to make us lose our appetite for Mama’s chili.

Dallas, Fern Fitzgerald, Jamie Ewing, Jenilee Harrison, J.R. Ewing, Marilee Stone

Slap splash

5. Barbecue V (1984). Myth: Every time the Ewings throw a barbecue, someone gets pushed into the Southfork swimming pool. Fact: This only happens once, and it occurs at the 1984 hootenanny, when Marilee Stone (Fern Fitzgerald) slaps Cousin Jamie (Jenilee Harrison), who responds by shoving Marilee into the water. The best part is the hilarious kicker: When J.R. reaches down to pull Ms. Stone out of the chlorinated water, he says, “Marilee, you all right, honey? Did it go up your nose?” No matter how many times I watch this episode, I never tire of seeing Larry Hagman deliver that line.

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal

Dis-invite

4. Barbecue VII (1986). This hoedown ends on a dramatic note, with Bobby arriving with evidence that proves Wes Parmalee, the man who claims to be back-from-the-dead Jock, is an imposter. Before we get to that, though, we’re treated to several scenes that showcase Hagman’s comedic genius. In one, J.R. chastises Pam (Victoria Principal) for inviting “that moron brother of yours to my barbecue.” Later, J.R. witnesses Cliff and Jamie’s latest marital spat and can’t resist offering his two cents. Jamie: “You know, Cliff Barnes, you’re the sorriest excuse for a man that I have ever met!” J.R.: “Well, I’ll second that!”

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Drunk history

3. Barbecue I (1978). Here’s the one that started it all. “Dallas’s” first season ends with an episode that takes place in a single day, as Texas’s newest in-laws, the Ewings and the Barneses, get together for an epic Southfork cookout. Everyone gets down in the dirt at this one: Digger and Sue Ellen each fall off the wagon, J.R. falls flat on his face when Bobby punches him and Pam falls from the hayloft and suffers a miscarriage. My favorite scene belongs to caterers Tilly and Sam, who spend the afternoon gossiping about the Ewings. This is the only time these characters ever appeared on “Dallas”; is it too late to bring them back?

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Center of attention

2. Barbecue III (1982). The second barbecue of 1982 finds everyone hatin’ on poor J.R. The members of the cartel are royally peeved that he’s undercut them by opening a chain of cut-rate gas stations, and so is Bobby, who’s so upset, he gets drunk (!), neglects Pam (!!) and flirts with Holly Harwood (!!!). Finally, the cartel gangs up and confronts J.R. It’s showdown at the Southfork corral! But wait, what’s this? Here come the other Ewings, who circle J.R. and remind the cartel that when you take on one member of the clan, you take them all on. It’s not just the quintessential Ewing Barbecue scene, it’s quintessential “Dallas.”

Dale Midkiff, Dallas, Dallas: The Early Years, Jock Ewing, Molly Hagan

Get the party started

1. Barbecue VI (1986). My sentimental favorite. The prequel movie “Dallas: The Early Years” culminates at a 1951 barbecue, where a teenaged J.R. loses his virginity in the barn and a drunken Digger shows up with a gun and takes aim at Jock (Dale Midkiff). Ellie (Molly Hagan) intervenes and saves her husband’s life, and then with all the Barnes and Ewing children frolicking around them, Jock embraces Ellie and turns reflective. “What are these poor kids going to end up like?” he asks. Cut to the final scene: After bratty Cliff tangles with J.R., he drags kid sister Pammy away from her new playmate — little Bobby Ewing. Jerrold Immel’s famous theme music rises in the background, the camera pulls back for a bird’s eye view of the ranch and then the familiar shots from “Dallas’s” classic title sequence begin to sweep across the screen. Now that’s how you end a barbecue!

What’s your favorite “Dallas” barbecue? Share your comments below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

The Dallas Decoder Guide to Barnes/Ewing Romances

Sexy

Sexy

John Ross and Pamela (Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo) are steaming up the screen on TNT’s “Dallas” this season. Everyone knows this isn’t the first time a Barnes and a Ewing have got involved with each other. But did you realize it’s also not the second, third or even fourth time it’s happened? Here’s a look at other Barnes/Ewing romances.

 

Star-crossed

Star-crossed

BOBBY AND PAM

The Barnes: Pam (Victoria Principal), a scrappy working-class gal

The Ewing: Bobby (Patrick Duffy), playboy scion of a mega-rich oil-and-cattle clan

Met cute? Of course. When Pam was a child, her Aunt Maggie brought her to the Ewing barbecue, where pig-tailed Pam flirted with little Bobby (“Dallas: The Early Years”). When Pam and Bobby grew up, they had a whirlwind romance before their spur-of-the-moment wedding in New Orleans.

Their obstacles: How much time you got? Bobby and Pam dealt with career struggles, a kidnapping, old flames, a tabloid scandal, a messy adoption, a forged “Dear John” letter, a divorce, a remarriage, a 31-hour dream and a horrifying car crash. Of course, the biggest obstacle of all was J.R., who made breaking up the couple his life’s work.

Happily ever after? You do watch this show, right?

 

Scandalous

Scandalous

CLIFF AND SUE ELLEN

The Barnes: Cliff (Kercheval), an ambitious politician eager expose J.R.’s corruption

The Ewing: Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), J.R.’s neglected wife

Met cute? Sorta. Cliff and Sue Ellen were introduced by his friend Buzz Connors, who also happened to be the lawyer she hired to help her adopt a black market baby. (Don’t ask). Upon meeting Cliff, Sue Ellen told him, “You’re much more attractive than your reputation.” His response: “You’re far too pretty to be a Ewing.”

Their obstacles: Sue Ellen and Cliff became lovers, and she was ready to leave J.R. to be with him. But when Cliff realized their affair could ruin his political career, he dumped her.

Happily ever after? Nope. After Sue Ellen divorced J.R., she had another fling with Cliff, but the second go-round turned out no better than the first.

 

Sentimental

Sentimental

DIGGER AND MISS ELLIE

The Barnes: Digger (Keenan Wynn), washed-up wildcatter

The Ewing: Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes), the beloved Ewing matriarch

Met cute? Perhaps. We never saw Digger and Ellie meet, but their backstory is the stuff of legend. Digger’s daddy worked for Ellie’s father, who owned the Southfork ranch. Digger and Ellie grew up on the ranch as sweethearts – until dashing Jock arrived and swept her off her feet.

Their obstacles: Bobby and Pam’s marriage brought Digger and Ellie back into each other’s lives. While Ellie was recovering from breast cancer, she drifted apart from Jock and sought comfort from Digger, who still carried a torch for her. Digger offered to whisk Ellie away, but she turned him down when she realized she still loved Jock.

Happily ever after? Hardly. Not long after Ellie and Jock reconciled, Digger drank himself to death.

 

Suspect

Suspect

CLIFF AND JAMIE

The Barnes: Cliff, revenge-obsessed-politician-turned-revenge-obsessed-oil-executive

The Ewing: Jamie (Jenilee Harrison), a long-lost Ewing cousin

Met cute? Not really. Cliff stalked Jamie on the sidewalk, which is how he seemed to meet a lot of women.

Their obstacles: After Jamie turned up at Southfork and claimed she was owed a piece of Ewing Oil, cunning Cliff pretended to fall in love with her so he could get his hands on her share of the company. Cliff and Jamie had a quickie wedding, only to lose their court battle against the Ewings a few episodes later.

Happily ever after? Kind of, for Cliff at least. When Cliff cheated on Jamie, she left him and was killed in a rock climbing accident. Through a complicated turn of events, this meant he somehow ended up inheriting a piece of Ewing Oil anyway.

 

Jimmy who?!

Jimmy who?!

JIMMY AND LUCY

The Barnes: Jimmy Monahan (James Canning, then Philip Levien), Cliff and Pam’s cousin; technically not a Barnes, but darn close

The Ewing: Lucy (Charlene Tilton), Jock and Ellie’s spunky granddaughter

Met cute? Yes. Pam wanted to fix up Jimmy with Lucy, but she knew her rebellious niece would never go for it. Instead, savvy Pam suggested Jimmy attend the Ewing Barbecue and act like he wasn’t interested in Lucy. It worked like a charm.

Their obstacles: Uncle Digger. Just when it looked like Jimmy was about to get lucky with Lucy in the hayloft, Digger got drunk – which meant Jimmy had to drive him home.

Happily ever after? Only as friends. After the barbecue, Jimmy helped Lucy sneak around so she could see her estranged mama Valene. He was never heard from again.

What are your favorite Barnes/Ewing romances? Share your comments below and read more “Dallas Decoder Guides.”