Second week of "Dallas" was even better TIMOTHY W. SHIRER PUBLISHER Way back in the 1970's before I even went to kindergarten I fell in love with soap opera's. I used to watch "Ryan's Hope" nearly every day with my mother. Then came the late 1970's and night time soap opera's, which included the biggest one of all "Dallas". For those of us who love soap opera's it had been a little dry in the last ten year as soap opera's seemed to have nearly disappeared from the TV landscape. Especially in the last year when ABC did the unthinkable and cancelled "All My Children" and "One Life to Live".
Thankfully TNT has come to the rescue for those of us in need of our soap opera fix. "Dallas" premiered last Wednesday with a two hour premier episode. Not only was it very well done and mixed the old with the new brilliantly, but it scored big in the ratings department which is the main thing that drives television. The two hour premier drew 6.8 million viewers, that type of number for cable is usually reserved for major sporting events.
So last night was the the second (third technically since the two hour premier was actually two episodes) installment of the new saga of the Ewings. I always know that a TV show is a good one when the hour fly's by and last night's episode of the show was over in a flash.
I have been so disappointed in recent years by the writing on televevision. It has been so bland and hard to watch at times. But this show truly brings mixes new television values with the old ones that are still needed to make a quality show.
A few of the highlights from the second episode were, the return of Cliff Barnes. Ken Kercheval reprised his role as Barnes, J.R.'s (Larry Hagman) number one enemy. Kercheval was just as brilliant as he was in the original with his portrayal of Digger Barnes son. The character was the same. He got under J.R.'s skin in an exchange with Ewing at Southfork. It was great and he actually shut J.R. up for a minute which is not easy to do.
Barnes then had a confrontation with Bobby's (Patrick Duffy) son and his nephew Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe). Barnes sent his assistant for Christopher to come to his Penthouse. Chrsitopher came and saw right through his uncle, when his uncle offered to finance his new energy venture. Just like the old Cliff Barnes, he didn't hide his plan very well, Christopher got angry when Cliff offered him a briefcase of money and Christopher stormed out. I thought to myself, "When will Cliff Barnes learn some tact."
Finally, hands down the best exhange of the nigt was when Bobby's wife Ann (Brenda Strong) heard noise in one of the storage barn and she entered in the same manner Miss Ellie would have, with a rifle. Well she found J.R. looking through some of Miss Ellie's belonging. When J.R. spotted her with the rifle he said the best line of the new series so far, "Bullet's don't seem to have much of an effect on me honey." It was fantastic. It was once again an example of the new regime of producers and writers paying homage to the past, beautiful move.