Ooh, dang, Dallas is good. It's fun, too. Although, any hope for Emmys or critical accolades may be a long, long wait. Why? Dallas (TNT, 9pm) is a soap opera, plain and simple. As it turns out, that's a good thing.
Who would've guessed that in these days of critical darlings like AMC's Mad Men that TV has room for a soapy soap like TNT's Dallas update, which is like the Dallas of the 1980s mixed in with pretty much any drama on The CW. Meaning, alongside JR Ewing, there's a boatload of young, super-skinny and often sweaty twentysomethings.
The original Dallas, there's probably no need to explain, was a huge hit in the 1980s. It starred Larry Hagman as JR Ewing, a super-rich, super devious oil baron who relentlessly fought for power and money, often with his brother Bobby (Patrick Duffy).
A few decades later, JR and Bobby are old men who've settled down. JR, in fact, is being treated for depression and pretty much outta the oil business. And Bobby, who's hiding a secret from his family, is thinking about retirement and providing for the next generation of Ewings.
But JR and Bobby aren't done fighting. Far from it, and they're passing on the torch while they do it.
This Dallas is about a family feuding over its legacy and its Southfork Ranch, which, like much of the rest of the show, is stunningly shot - beautiful. Their fighting gets JR's and Bobby's blood boiling.
And it gets the family plotting and betraying and backstabbing. The family includes Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray), JR's wife, and the mother of their son John Ross Ewing (Josh Henderson) who's learned JR's devious ways. He's plotting to hold onto Southfork and the thousands of barrels of oil beneath it.
Family feuding is carrying over to the next generation of Ewing's. Bobby's son Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) has a plan to get the family out of the oil business and into alternative fuels. The possible riches are immense. But JR, Sue Ellen and John Ross aren't going to let that happen.
Dallas kicks off tonight with two episodes. And while, no doubt, the show has flaws - like some weird pacing and some far-fetched story lines - it doesn't matter. Dallas, back in the day, was the type of show you got lost in. Dallas of the 21st century, so far, is much the same.