It was quite possibly the most talked about season ender in the history of television. For those of use old enough to remember (okay, I was old enough to remember the talk), it was also the greatest cliffhanger in television history – never to be duplicated as successfully again.
Taking the stage back in the late 1970's and throughout the 1980's, the ongoing battle between brothers J.R. (Larry Hagman) and Bobby (Patrick Duffy) Ewing drove the original Dallas from an initial mini-series into 13 years of deceit, deception, and greed surrounding the family’s rich supply of black gold.
Fast-forward 20 years, and The Ewings and their internal struggles once again grace television… not with a remake, but with a continuation of the drama that many so dearly loved. This time around, the show revolves around the conflicts between cousins John Ross III (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe), the sons of J.R. and Bobby, respectively.
Fortunately for fans of yesteryear, the torch is being passed on with the original cast playing a very large role in the first season, including other originals like Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray) and family rival Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval). Other notable new cast members include Bobby’s third wife, Ann Ewing (Brenda Strong), childhood friend Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster), and Christopher’s new wife, Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo), who in true Dallas fashion plays both sides of the good vs. evil fence.
Dallas: The Complete First Season may be a bit misleading since it is technically 13 seasons, a miniseries, and two TV-movies removed, but this new generation of Ewings has just as much fight as the old. Because Bobby made a promise to his mother to never drill for oil on Southfork Ranch, and John Ross recently discovered a very large reserve underneath, the spats reignite within the Ewing family. John Ross fills in for his father as a conniving, greedy, entitled young man. At the same time, Bobby’s adopted son Christopher tries to tap into an alternative energy market to both protect Southfork and once again build up the Ewing name with this newer, greener form of energy.
With the next generation showing that history surely does repeat itself, J.R. and Bobby play vital roles in teaching their offspring their values and how to manipulate situations for their own benefit. However, there is no amount of backstabbing that can match that of Dallas’s Ewing clan, so be prepared for a rollercoaster of side-stories and cliffhangers in this new series as well.
Dallas: The Complete First Season contains 10 episodes that will surely keep viewers entertained, and also includes bonus features that take you behind the scenes and let you hear from cast members and crew. There is even a feature specific to reminesce about "Who Shot J.R.?" The DVD collection also looks pretty decent while up-converted to HD.
In all, anyone who remembers the original will definitely want to check out this continuation series, but even newcomers will instantly feel at home with the updated plotlines and relevance of watching the matriarchs of the show come alive once again. Catch up while you can because Season Two starts up January 28th on CBS.