Dallas Season 2 Episode 8-JR’s Masterpiece

sueellen2In episode 8 we said goodbye to legendary character JR Ewing and, by extension, to exceptionally talented actor Larry Hagman who passed away last November.

It was a very good episode, and in parts very well done. The acting was superb, especially from Josh Henderson as JR’s second born son, John Ross Ewing III and Linda Grey as Sue Ellen, JR’s twice ex-wife. The appearances of Cathy Podewell (still looking very attractive) as Cally the 2nd Mrs JR Ewing, and Deborah Shelton as JR’s favourite former mistress Mandy Winger, was also very well done.

Now to the continued problems I have with the show and the episode. The glaring lack of reference to the history of the original. JR has three sons, not one but three. James Beaumont is JR’s first son by Vanessa Beaumont. James came to Dallas in 1989 looking for JR. James was married to Debra Lynn and they had a son, little Jimmy, JR’s grandson. James was never one of my favourite characters on the show and the whole, him being JR’s illegitimate son storyline felt very weak to me, but nevertheless, he exists in the Dallas universe.

I have a problem with the fact that we (Dallas fans) all know that James exists and yet he’s another character who has seemingly been erased from the history of the show. Likewise with the son Cally had with JR. Where was he? How likely is it that both James, Debra Lynn and little JImmy as well as Cally’s son, would miss their own father’s/grandfather’s funeral? If ever there was a time for them to appear it should have been then.

Secondly  why no mention at all of Clayton Farlow, Miss Ellie’s 2nd husband? He’s completely vanished, the only reference to his fate being that he died of a heart attack in 1999 (according to the official Dallas facebook page). He isn’t even buried in the Ewing family plot. I noticed though that Jock apparently is as he has a headstone, despite his body having never been found since he was in a helicopter crash in South America in 1982. I find this kind of lack of attention to detail very jarring.

Also Donna Culver Krebbs, who was Ray Krebbs first wife in the original series, was MIA at the funeral. Again totally unlikely that she would miss the funeral of JR when she was great friends with the Ewings. Similarly, where was Ray’s second wife, Jenna, where was Bobby’s biological son, Lucas (who Ray raised with Jenna) where was Jenna’s daughter Charlie?

I realise that not all these characters could have been seen, since at the end of the day they’re actors and actors need to be paid, but just a mention at least would clear the whole thing up. Cally’s son could have been played by an extra, with just a reference from her ‘this is my son…’ etc. But nothing. Donna could have sent a telegram.

I appreciate and understand that Dallas is now Cynthia Cidre’s show, and it’s clear she has a lot of love for it, but what’s the point in calling the show a continuation when it’s seemingly anything but? Characters that were never there in the original suddenly forced in and the viewer is supposed to accept they were always there. Original characters who were there are given walk-on cameos and then disappear. The new characters who have shown up (with the exception of Judith Light as ex-mother in law from hell Judith Ryland and Brenda Strong as Mrs Bobby Ewing no. 3) are bland and uninteresting and, in my opinion, lacking in charisma.

Thirdly, why was the Ewing family cook, Carmen (not an original character despite what we’re being asked to believe now) at the graveside funeral? Would Raoul or Teresa be asked to be there? No way. Would Ann Ewing’s recently rediscovered daughter Emma (no offence to Emma Bell, clearly she’s doing her best but the character has no redeeming value whatsoever, bland, creepy and hopefully will be written off the show soon, along with her father Harris Ryland who is totally unconvincing, for me, as a true Ewing nemesis) be asked to go to the funeral of a man she hardly even met?  

Also the characters of Elena, her brother Drew and their mother Carmen. I like the characters of Elena and Drew, I just hate the way we’re being asked to accept that they were there the whole time since the original series when any fan of the original knows full well they never existed. It might have been easier to accept if they had been Teresa’s children at least then she was seen on screen, but all three of them weren’t there. I also find it odd that the Ewings have no household staff other than Carmen. Why did they lay off Raoul and Teresa. They’re supposed to be millionaires many times over-why don’t they live like it?

Which brings me to my next point, the inside of Southfork. In the original Southfork was a mansion, that had high ceilings and lots of space. There was a gym, a library, an office, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen. Upstairs there was a corridor with rooms leading off it. At one time 10 people lived at Southfork-now we’re being asked to accept that it can barely house 4. Why? The new inside sets, which I’m sure the set designer did a hell of a lot of hard work on, just look cheap and nasty and not like Southfork at all. again Why? Supposedly Ann remodeled-why did she make it look worse than it was before, and with all their money why don’t they put it back how it was?

Don’t get me wrong, I do really, really like the new Dallas, I can’t wait to see who killed JR (my money’s on Katherine or Kristen, or maybe even Pam) but I find it hard to keep watching when I see the history of the original seemingly being completely ignored or changed and made worse.

 

 

 

 

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