Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Who Shot J.R. -- Second Time? -- A Review of Dallas Season Finale

Having been a fan of the original Dallas series, I have also been enjoying the new version, though not quite as much.

With the setup for a 21st century, "Who Shot J.R.?" theme, I was piqued at how they might put together the final two episodes of the season.

Though on the whole, it was suspenseful enough (including keeping us on edge that Victoria Principal might somehow make a cameo as Pam Ewing, which didn't happen) with an ending that left the door open for more drama, backstabbing, romance, and new alliances in a possible third season-- I still had a couple of beefs with the way they went about bringing down bad buys, Cliff Barnes and Harris Ryland.

Specifically, I had trouble buying that not one but the two naughty daughters of the villains, Barnes and Ryland, betrayed their Dads so easily for the Ewings, after being in their fathers' camp their entire lives. Can loyalty and blood really fall by the wayside that quickly???

It smacked in the face of credulity that this was the way the Ewings were able to achieve victory. In the case of Cliff Barnes, it was especially hard to believe he could be so set up by his daughter (played well by Julie Gonzalo), without even a clue till too late.

Showed how much he loved and trusted her to put himself in such a bind in letting guard way down. Now Cliff, who was definitely no angel in finale, has been forced to at end surprisingly throw his support in a new twist of past meets present and future to Elena Ramos (who was on the outs with boyfriend and Bobby's son, Christopher).

Overall, Dallas continues to be a guilty pleasure, though not quite that of its predecessor -- when J.R., Bobby, Sue Ellen, etc., were still in their prime.

The season ending two episodes got an expected bump in the ratings -- but was still less that half of what the series premiere episode received in season 1.

I would certainly watch a season 3 if it happens -- but if not, this was a suitable sendoff for J.R., though, the essentially death by suicide (or his handpicked executioner) when dying of cancer (as was the case in real life) in order to set up Cliff Barnes for his murder somehow seemed even beneath J.R. (not to mention Bobby, who helped set plan in motion, along with Cliff's daughter, Pamela).

I wouldn't count on seeing other seventies and eighties soap operas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, and Dynasty come back to life, though you never know these days...

Visit TNT for clips and more on Dallas and its finale!


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