At the behest of a friend and follower, I started watching the revamp of Dallas. If you hadn’t seen the above poster yet, let it be the first indication of how awesomely bad it is. Come on, nobody wants to see JR, Bobby and their wives in towels. If you’ve seen the first few episodes, you can also confirm that they added some definition to Jesse Metcalfe’s abs.
I’m really happy they decided to do a continuation of the 1978 series and not a remake. We have the two sides of the family feuding, JR’s and Bobby’s, with little mention of the Barnes family until episode three. There’s JR and John Ross, whose motives resemble patriarch Jock Ewing, that being oil, and the money it implies. On the other side of the family, Bobby and adopted son Christopher want to find alternative energy and preserve the land according to matriarch Ellie Ewing’s wishes. What a huge underlying political theme we have here.
Out of the blue comes Elena Ramos, the daughter of the Ewing’s cook, who apparently grew up with John Ross and Christopher, though we’ve never heard of her before. She starts the series as John Ross’ girlfriend and the ex-fiancee of Christopher. Their relationship ended when Elena received a break-up email from Chris the day before their wedding. Chris and Elena both accuse John Ross of sending the email, which leads to Elena and John Ross’ break up. John Ross hires a PI to find out who sent the email, and eventually uncovers that it was Rebecca, Chris’ new wife. She and her brother Tommy plan to con the Christopher for his money, but it looks like Rebecca’s having a change of heart as she undermines Tommy and grows close to her mother-in-law, Ann, despite finding out from Tommy that Chris kissed Elena after learning about Bobby’s cancer.
I’m really disappointed that the wedding was featured so early on. I think they should have had an engagement party or even Chris’ proposal to Rebecca instead, and drag out the love square that is Rebecca-Christopher-Elena-John Ross. I still fully expect there to be some drama there, but it would have been more compelling had Elena had time to process and perhaps stop the wedding.
On the business end of things, Bobby wants to honor his mother’s will and sell Southfork to a land conservancy, because he fears that Christopher and John Ross will fight over the land if and when he dies of gastrointestinal cancer. He discovers that John Ross has been secretly drilling for oil on Southfork, and tries to put a stop to it. Bobby convinces John Ross to visit JR in his nursing home, where he is all but comatose. John Ross tells him that he’s found oil at Southfork, and JR speaks for what seems like the first time in years.
Right before Christopher and Rebecca’s wedding, Bobby takes Marta del Sol on a tour of Southfork. He gives her a verbal agreement and handshake that he will sell Southfork to the Del Sol Land Conservancy. Little does he know, Marta is striking a deal to sell Southfork to JR after buying it from Bobby. John Ross finds out about and agrees to help his father with the deal, and we later find out that Marta is lying about her identity when JR goes to Mexico to discuss the deal with Carlos del Sol and meets the real Marta. Though John Ross knows about Faux Marta, she does drug him and videotape them having sex, for reasons which have yet to be uncovered. JR confronts John Ross about Marta when the two of them visit the barber shop, Sweeney Todd style. Mitch Lobell, the Ewing’s family attorney, also makes a secret deal with John Ross, to twist the sale contract in his favor for a cool two million, and now five million. Basically nobody on the oil side is working together.
On the green energy side, Christopher is working on a way to harness the energy found in methane gas, which he’s spent the last few years researching in China. He gets news from his crew there that they’ve discovered methane to be very volatile, and the extraction they’ve been performing has been linked to a recent earthquake. He tells Bobby, who at that point can’t back out of the Del Sol deal, and runs to Elena for help, she being the gas genius she is. We’ll see how their affair proceeds. In the third episode, he finds a new strategy for extracting the methane. If you ask me, everything’s unraveling way too quickly, but if it’s anything like the old Dallas, they’ll have plenty more plot twists coming.
In the third episode, JR and John Ross pay a doctor to tell Bobby that moving back to Southfork is crucial to his treatment for depression. He returns to Southfork to find Bobby in a meeting with Cliff Barnes, who’s also interested in buying Southfork, only to be turned down by Bobby, though he’s having second thoughts about selling their family home. Over lunch, Elena catches up Rebecca and viewers on Christopher’s family history, though I think their friendship has something to do with her con. Later, Cliff invites Christopher(his nephew, Chris’ adoptive mom is his sister) and Rebecca to dinner to discuss and attempt to fund his research, but Christopher declines. Eventually, Bobby signs the papers to sell Southfork and JR and John Ross celebrate.
Among the guest stars, we will also be reintroduced to Ray Krebbs and Lucy Ewing, the two most prominent of the obscure, illegitimate knots on the Ewing family tree. Like JR, Bobby, and Sue Ellen, both are played by the original cast members. This reprisal of Dallas borders on soapy, though is extremely addictive. More rants and raves to come.