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Dallas Season One: Reviewed on ZANI

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Having recently celebrated its 40th birthday, we have to go quite a way back to when Dallas first hit the air in 1978. What’s perhaps most surprising about it all is that the show still holds up. In fact, it’s quality enough drama to be on prime time television today, even amidst the supposed golden age of television. Despite the series being made a quarter of a century ago, the characters and stories are just as compelling as they were then. Hagman’s performance is delicious, and Duffy is on point. Some of the other performances can be over-acted, certainly; but it was the 80’s after all, so it’s forgivable.

Before The Dream

Of course, many still remember Dallas for its “dream season”, when most of the events turned out to have taken place in Pam’s sleepy time, as an excuse to bring back actor Patrick Duffy to the show. The show wasn’t always like that, however. In fact, it was regarded as quite the serious drama. Yes, it was about enormous wealth, but that was never the focal point of the show. Dallas told stories about family problems that audiences could relate to, and was among the main reasons behind it becoming the biggest show on television. The romance of Bobby and Pam was based on Romeo and Juliet. Bobby was an Ewing and Pam was a Barnes. Both families hadn’t exactly seen eye-to-eye, either in business or in their personal lives. That fact hadn’t exactly endeared Pam to the Ewing table, especially where J.R. was concerned.

Dallas Was The 80’s

However it’s perceived, Dallas will be forever synonymous with 1980’s culture, with the likes of Larry Hagman and Victoria Principal enshrined as icons of an era that personified big money and big hair. As well as all seasons now on DVD, there was a TNT reboot, which saw the core original cast return, with younger actors playing the next generation of Ewings. There was numerous merchandise, such as the Dallas board game, Dallas: The Television Role-Playing Game, and the Commodore 64 game, The Dallas Quest. It doesn’t get more 80’s than a Dallas game on Commodore 64. There are games such as Oily Business, which wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for Dallas, which introduced life in the oil business to mainstream television viewers. The game, available from an online casino at, even features a welcome bonus. That sounds like the kind of business deal that would suit J.R. Ewing down to the ground.

Solid Performances

Season one is essentially a mini-series, with just five episodes. The actors nailed their parts from the beginning, however. J.R., who was never meant to be the main character in the show, began as he would mean to go on. Patrick Duffy established Bobby’s character early, and while her character moved slightly into the background in later seasons, Victoria Principal’s Pam was almost the show’s lead early on. As she was less wealthy than the Ewings, Pam was the character that the show believed could best relate to audiences.

Seriously Soapy

There are a number of familiar guest appearances, including Kate Mulgrew’s country singer in Season Two’s Triangle, Greg Evigan’s kidnapper in Season two’s Runaway, and revenge-seeking Brian Dennehy in Season One’s Winds of Vengeance. Those waiting to see the moment that J.R. is shot, however, will have to hang tight; that piece of television history doesn’t occur until season three. You’ll be in good hands with seasons one, however. In just a handful of episodes, Dallas proved both addictive and fun to watch. The likes of North Shore and the OC may have provided entertainment over the years; but for real soapy fun, Dallas is simply irresistible.
Read 3218 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 12:57
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Chris Baxter

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