Last summer some super genius decided that it would be a good idea to resurrect the 1980s prime time soap opera Dallas and bring the Ewings back to television for the new millennium of viewers. While I would personally like to shake this man's hand and tell him he made all of my dreams come true, I am a bit concerned as to why EVERYONE isn't watching this quality program. Am I crazy? Or do people not have respect for the classics anymore? While the new Dallas exceeded expectations in viewership when it premiered last summer, there really is no reason that every single person in America shouldn't be tuning in to see all of the backstabbing, deception and ruthlessness that the Ewings have to dish out every Monday on TNT at 9 p.m. EST. Sure, we all remember Who Shot J.R.? (refresher: it was Sue Ellen's crazy-ass sister Kristin, just in case you forgot) and everyone loves a Charlene Tilton cameo, but there are so many things going on in Dallas that make Monday nights the best night of television.
1. A Return to the '80s.
Apparently the '80s are back... again. In the spirit of everything old being new again, TNT's fresh new perspective on the Lone Star State's favorite clan is a breath of regurgitated air from the Regan administration. However, unlike the reboots of 90210 and Melrose Place, Dallas 2.0 literally picks up right where the first show left off. Sure, there are new characters, but they're all living in South Fork, just like the old days and the transitions into new story lines are so seamless and well crafted, that if you threw in a commercial for Tab, you'd think it was 1983 again.
2. Judith Light.
Hold up. Wait a minute. For those of you who caught the first season's premiere episode, you'd know that Judith Light has joined the cast as Harris Ryland's controlling battle-axe of a mother whose bouffant hairdo is held up by a mixture of Aquanet and revenge plots. Mrs. Light, most well-known for her role as Angela Bauer on another hit 1980s show Who's The Boss? (and just try not yelling "ANGELA!" every time she comes on-screen) brings yet another rival to the Ewing clan with class and grace. And Light has the soap opera chops to back it up. She is a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner for her portrayal of Karen Wolek, on my other favorite show One Life to Live. Mrs. Light, if you're reading this, sometimes I watch reruns of the Marco Dane murder trial from 1981 when I'm feeling really crazy and it makes feel so much less crazy knowing at one point, you were crazier than me.
3. Desperate Housewives Reunion.
Brenda Strong and Jesse Metcalfe who both appeared on the super hit Desperate Housewives have now been reunited on the Dallas reboot as Bobby's mentally unstable wife Ann and son Christopher, respectively. In my mind, during shooting breaks, I like to the think of the two of them standing around the Kraft services table talking about how much they loved working with fellow "Housewives" alum Nicolette Sheridan -- who also appeared on the Dallas spin-off Knots Landing. You see -- all roads do lead back to Dallas.
4. Pamela Barnes.
Did anyone in New York see the smoke signal I sent up for Victoria Principal? Where are you girl? All the gang is back and you are missing in action. Hell, even at 77, Ken Kercheval can breeze on in from time to time to stir up trouble with J.R. While you are sorely missed, there's a new Pamela Barnes in town and she is a bad ass bitch. Under the alias "Rebecca Sutter," the new Pamela (aka Cliff, J.R.'s arch rival's daughter) swooped into town as the seemingly nice and down to earth girl who fell in love with Bobby's son Christopher. Well, she was anything but sweet: new Pamela was not only faking her identity, but married Christoper under false pretenses, killed her fake brother (long story) and is now in cahoots with Christopher's cousin and arch nemesis John Ross to bring him down. It's enough to make your head want to explode!
5. The Theme Song.
You can't have a reboot of Dallas and not have that epic theme music. Every time I hear it I am prompted to lasso a horse or single-handedly take down an oil baron.
6. The Eye Candy.
Hey ladies (and gay men), while Bobby and J.R. Ewing may be past their prime, their son's John Ross and Christopher have got two of the hottest body be rights on cable television. I don't know if it's something in the South Fork water supply that makes them so tanned and toned, but these boys would make any single lady or gay man book a one-way flight to the Lone Star State and take up permanent residence.
7. Linda Gray.
You know you love her. You know you love her so much that you even tuned into the train wreck Models Inc. to see what she was up to. In the late 1970s and all throughout the 1980s, Linda Gray all but perfected the role of the bitter, jilted wife. In the 2010s she continues to hone her craft as the on-again-off-again drunk Sue Ellen who, in 2012 was running for governor of Texas. In reality, who the hell would vote for this woman? Didn't she kill a man at one point? However, we are speaking of Texas and judging from the questionable government officials that have come out of there in the past, I suppose Sue Ellen Ewing is kind of the perfect gubernatorial candidate for Texas after all.
8. I Found Jordana Brewster!
And I have been looking for her since the early 2000s. After making a splash in "The Fast and the Furious" Mrs. Brewster seemed poised to become Hollywood's next big thing. And then... she vanished. I have searched high and low for her for years, sending out multiple search parties, and I am happy to report that she is making waves in Dallas and looking just as good as she did when she was fast and furious.
9. The Last Days of Larry Hagman.
The TV community lost a legend last fall when Larry Hagman passed away. Fortunately for television viewers, he had already tapped several of the second season's episodes before he passed. If you have not experienced this man's work through his portrayal of J.R. Ewing or as Major Tony Neilson on I Dream Of Jeannie (an acting lesson for comedians who want to perfect the role of 'the straight man') then you are missing out on a legend. For the gays: little known fact about Mr. Hagman -- he is Broadway legend Mary Martin's son. Everyone loves a bit of musical theater trivia and everybody loves a bit of Larry Hagman.
10. Bobby Is Still the Peacemaker.
Whether it be on Dallas or Step by Step, Patrick Duffy is every one's favorite peacemaker. So, your brother trampled all over you and tried to take your house right from under you? Have no fear! Bobby Ewing is here to make sure that the world's wrongs are righted -- even if it makes absolutely no sense as to why he is forgiving you in the first place. We're glad to have you back, Bobby, but if you pull another stunt in the shower and make me believe that an entire season was a dream again, I will call bullshit on you faster than Sue Ellen can almost fall off the wagon.
There you have. But don't take my word for it -- see for yourself. Tune in to Dallas every Monday night at 9 p.m. EST on TNT and enjoy all of life's guilty pleasures all over again.
Follow Mark Brennan Rosenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/markbrosenberg