Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Dallas Back for Second Season

Not long after the sad news of Larry Hagman's passing, the new Dallas came back last night for the two-hour debut of its second season.  J. R's still in the first number of episodes, and his appearance now gives a special tug on the emotions.

The plot has been revved up to pit Global Barnes against Ewing Energy, in the person not just of Cliff Barnes for Barnes but Rebecca Sutter, revealed at the close of Season One to be his daughter, and with a first name of Pamela - as in her aunt - to boot.  Julie Gonzalo does a good job of portraying the combination of strength, zest for revenge, and vulnerability of Pamela/Rebecca, and her character is my favorite in the relaunched series.  She sleeps with both Christopher (to whom she was and technically still is  married) and John Ross - well, of course, Elena does that, too - and Pamela combines this not only with a tough business savvy but a capacity for scheming that almost matches J.R.'s.  Elena's a good scientist and businesswoman, and beautiful, too, but seems not quite in Pamela's league when it comes to razor-sharp strategizing and willingness to take a bold decision, as in killing someone.  What more could you ask for in Dallas?

J.R.'s back in good form, too, saving Sue Ellen from prosecution and prison by blackmailing the prosecutor over an affair.   But John Ross seems a little light-weight, even though he does set in motion a scheme that J.R. admires.  Christopher is learning, just as his father did, that playing by the rules doesn't always pan out - though, come to think of it, Bobby may not quite have learned that, even now, after all he's been through.

He's now getting entwined, not only in the Barnes-Ewing battle, but in Ann's attempt to reestablish a relationship with her daughter kidnapped years ago.  The revelation that her first husband and mother-in-law engineered the kidnapping promises some good soap opera flourishes ahead.

And it's well to remember that Dallas still is, after all these years, a soap opera, with larger than life characters in situations that often strain credibility.  But as long as the betrayals move quickly and the twists come fast and unexpected and the love making takes place in pools and boardrooms, Dallas should be in for more good times ahead - the best homage one could want for Larry Hagman and his inimitable J. R.

See also The New Dallas: An Outright Pleasure and New Dallas One Season One Evaluation

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