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February 9, 2011 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Do you remember who shot J.R.? Rumored since last year a pilot is confirmed for a Dallas sequel series to reunite Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy once again.

Running 14 seasons and spawning 2 TV movies, a comic strip, and a video game, Dallas was one of the most successful nighttime dramas in television history.

21 episodes streaming here.

The actual Southfork ranch.

Dallas Theme
posted by mikoroshi (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
ME: What? Didn't the devil make J.R. shoot himself in the last episode?
SHOW: No, that was aaaaalll a dreeeeam.
ME: But what about--
SHOW: Dream.
posted by JHarris at 4:05 PM on February 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Not only do I know, I guessed correctly at the time.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:06 PM on February 9, 2011


For those who think that Larry Hagman can't return because J.R. killed himself at the end of the series: five years later, the reunion movie revealed that J.R. had shot Adam's reflection in the mirror (which is apparently the kind that breaks silently) instead. Bobby had looked down and said "Oh, my God," because he really liked that mirror.

That last sentence is what I would be saying if I were making a joke. I'm not.
posted by BiggerJ at 4:06 PM on February 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dallas was a guilty pleasure of mine at the time, but I have to say that the decision to bring back this totally 80s show really has me scratching my head.
posted by bearwife at 4:07 PM on February 9, 2011


A grand for a meet & greet? Hmmm...
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 4:09 PM on February 9, 2011


Hoorah!
posted by zeoslap at 4:10 PM on February 9, 2011


It was the baby, Maggie, right? Or am I thinking of Dynasty?
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:11 PM on February 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


When's the episode when the reunite Larry Hagman with his liver?
posted by GuyZero at 4:12 PM on February 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Shortly after our kid was born, my wife and I embarked on watching as much Dallas as we could take. I think we made it five seasons. It's kind of stunning how much fun that show was, especially after the writers figured out the critical secret: "J.R. is a shit-tonne more interesting a character than Bobby, so maybe we should be following him".
posted by norm at 4:15 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh? I don't see anything about a pilot being confirmed, just a year-old article talking about a pilot and then an article about a fan event (which sounds a bit like a a Star Trek convention for Dallas enthusiasts). Did I miss something?
posted by whir at 4:20 PM on February 9, 2011


Ok but who killed Boy Staunton?
posted by kenko at 4:23 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's funny to think that a show this popular ran Friday nights at ten (which I remember because I often fell asleep to the opening credits when I was a little kid). Come to think of it, so did Miami Vice (which must have hurt Dallas's ratings something fierce). Did people just not go out at all in the '80s?

(Also: How was Dallas still on into the '90s? Who in the world still watched it?)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:23 PM on February 9, 2011


Wait...what does this have to do with the dad from "step-by-step"?
posted by hal_c_on at 4:24 PM on February 9, 2011


whir- the "pilot" link was supposed to go here. My bad.
posted by mikoroshi at 4:26 PM on February 9, 2011


I visited the UK during the summer between the crucial "Who Shot J.R." episodes. No one I knew watched the show at home in Los Angeles.

But the UK was apparently nuts for the show. Seeing a "Who Shot J.R." bumper sticker happened multiple times an hour in London. There were even tons of people with "Who Shot J.R." window tinting on their cars.

WTF ENGLAND?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:37 PM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Quirky Dallas-and-me things: The show was a guilty pleasure and years later, I worked in Saudi Arabia, came to learn that the show was extremely, extremely popular among the Saudi oil elites; they had impressive knowledge of J.R., et al.

Before that, I lived in Ojai, Calif, where Larry Hagman lived (lives?). From my experiences coming across him, those of everyone else, he could not have been nicer.

I reckon it would be silly, but I'd be delighted to see some fresh Dallas and I hope it puts money in Larry Hagman's pocket.
posted by ambient2 at 4:37 PM on February 9, 2011


One of my favorite memories of my childhood is getting to stay up later to watch Dallas with my Dad. He and I would watch it, then I'd go to bed and we'd rehash all the wonderfully evil crap JR had done. I adored that show so very much. In fact, the first day of second grade I wore my "I shot JR Ewing" T-shirt and our first few hours of class that day were about who actually did shoot JR.

I also don't think I've ever been more angry at a tv show than when they revealed that the whole Bobby thing was all a dream. Looking back, my adult obsessions with tv shows and spending stupid amounts of time on the internet discussing Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, and Deadwood all goes back to Dallas and my dad.
posted by teleri025 at 4:39 PM on February 9, 2011


I lived in Ojai, Calif, where Larry Hagman lived

Where Jaime Sommers lived!

You know... The Bionic Woman!

I watched a lot of TV in the 70s.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:45 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is an obscure reference, but I predict in this remake, Bobby will wake up once again to realize it's a dream, only to realize he's been dreaming of Julain Sands waking up to realize it was a dream, in Boxing Helena. Bobby will then cut off J.R.'s limbs, box him, and make him his pleasure chest.
posted by CNNInternational at 4:50 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


In fact, the first day of second grade I wore my "I shot JR Ewing" T-shirt and our first few hours of class that day were about who actually did shoot JR.

If you did that today you'd probably get expelled under some zero-tolerance policy.
posted by not that girl at 4:52 PM on February 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I watched Boxing Helena with a friend who was in the midst of trying to break free of an abusive, restrictive, passive-agressive relationship. It was one of those instances during which metaphor blends with real life perfectly. It was horrifying and empowering for both of us, and she quickly found the strength to get away from that bastard.

I don't ever need to watch that movie again, but it was completely a "right place, right time" movie for the two of us.
posted by hippybear at 4:53 PM on February 9, 2011


Call me when Love American Style comes back.
posted by pianomover at 5:01 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I really need to find out who shot Caleb Rentpayer!"

"Oh, that's easy. I did."
posted by Askiba at 5:04 PM on February 9, 2011


Remember Omni Magazine? It had a column intended to attract the same audience as the "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American. During that summer, they ran a contest where readers could compose poems of a particular specific type and send them in.

This was the winner:
Higgledy Piggledy
Eric von Dannikan
tells us of travelers
who come from afar.

Next he'll be telling us
extraterrestrials
landed in Dallas
to murder J. R.
(I'm not sure I want to know what it says about me that I remember it after 30 years.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:09 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


(The poem type for the challenge was a Double Dactyl.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:12 PM on February 9, 2011


There is more than one "actual Southfork Ranch," actually.
posted by pineapple at 5:15 PM on February 9, 2011


I'm not sure I want to know what it says about me that I remember it after 30 years.

Can someone make the kind-hearted but derisive joke that it says the world was less clever before the Internet made people better writers of "rhymes with afar" jokes?
posted by CNNInternational at 5:19 PM on February 9, 2011


Did people just not go out at all in the '80s?

I did, which is probably why I never saw an episode of Dallas. Now, not so much.
posted by octothorpe at 5:20 PM on February 9, 2011


I honestly thought both Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy were dead.
posted by desjardins at 5:24 PM on February 9, 2011


Given that not one but both of their characters died within the run of the show, it seems logical that your mind might have gone there.

(though I was pretty sure Larry Hagman was on death's door like 10 years ago)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:37 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


JR aside. Larry Hagman will always be Master from I Dream of Jeannie to me. Everybody theorized that he was gay because he didn't have Jeannie do all kinds of sexy stuff. But if he was gay, he could have just told Jeannie "make yourself a dude," but then the show would have been called I dream Of Gene.
posted by jonmc at 5:38 PM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


True Dallas story: when I lived in England for a couple of years in the early 80s, I had real live people ask me if I knew J.R. Ewing a couple of times. This was probably because "mah daddy was in de awl bidness" and I had the Texas drawl. (The part where some people think TV dramas are real is inexplicable, but not exclusive to any part of the world. I just happened to be there when I got asked the question.)
posted by immlass at 5:40 PM on February 9, 2011


Hagman had a liver transplant, but it seems to have been successful.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:41 PM on February 9, 2011


I will only watch this if they also have Jeannie on (the real Hagman opposite). But not her bellybutton, because that would be obscene.
posted by DU at 5:41 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, if he were gay, he would simply have moved into Jeanie's bottle, because it was fabulous.

Well, if he were gay or me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:41 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Three words.. I love it!
posted by Discount DVD at 5:55 PM on February 9, 2011


Who Shot J.R.? I did, right in the melon
So I could own a ranch and start fuckin' Sue Ellen!

posted by paisley henosis at 6:03 PM on February 9, 2011


My former high school is about a five minute drive from Southfork Ranch. I think every formal dance I've been to in my life- from daddy-daughter dances when I was 7 to my senior prom- has been held there.

I've never seen an episode of the show, but since coming to the UK I've realized it's the only thing people here know about Dallas. I'm starting to think I should add it to my shows-to-watch list just so I can have a conversation starter with people here!
posted by MadamM at 6:12 PM on February 9, 2011


My casting suggestion.
posted by total warfare frown at 6:27 PM on February 9, 2011


I have a better suggestion! Dallas needs a reboot!

Right in it's re-ass!
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:29 PM on February 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hope this doesn't mean shoulder pads for women make a come back. I'll have to sharpen my scissors.
posted by wv kay in ga at 6:34 PM on February 9, 2011


My parents and all of Europe will be glad to hear this.
posted by jefbla at 6:40 PM on February 9, 2011


Over the last year or so, my girlfriend and I have been working our way through the DVDs of the series. They can be picked up insanely cheap on Amazon. I was reluctant at first, but by the time we'd made it through the initial 6-episode miniseries I was hooked.

This new show cannot be a bad thing.
posted by item at 6:55 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also got brought up on Dallas. And I've been Netflixing the early seasons that I was too young to remember.

I think I was the only person who actually *liked* "It was all a dream," because (a) I always liked Patrick Duffy, and (b) I was hating how that season was going anyway. Scrapped it!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:18 PM on February 9, 2011


You forgot one key bit of Dallas merch: The RPG.
posted by Snyder at 7:30 PM on February 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Snyder, good find. I never did know about the card game.
posted by mikoroshi at 7:52 PM on February 9, 2011


Never watched the show, but the game was a great piece of nonsense only tangentially connected with the show. GIVE SUNGLASSES TO OWL, TICKLE ANACONDA, etc.

One of the few adventures I actually managed to finish as a child.
posted by AndrewStephens at 8:00 PM on February 9, 2011


I knew J.R. would have Dick Nixon over for drinks.

" In them you'll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing..."

posted by clavdivs at 8:09 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You forgot one key bit of Dallas merch: The RPG.

A HA HAA HA HA!

I have had the distinct pleasure of being gifted (and embarrassed) by this game twice.

I got that for Christmas as a youth by some misguided relative that thought it would be cool because it was on TV or something (I don't think I ever watched the show). It was not a great gift.

I promptly forgot about it. Grew up. Got married and had kids.

Many Christmases later I'm at my parent's house and they say they've been cleaning through things and had a bunch of stuff of mine, with the Dallas RPG neatly placed on top.

I then had to explain to my wife that, no, I never spent my youth holed up in the basement playing 'Dallas' and, no, I had no interest in starting that now.

She doesn't believe a word I say.
posted by mazola at 8:14 PM on February 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You forgot one key bit of Dallas merch: The RPG.

WHO CAST MAGIC MISSILE ON J.R.?
posted by middleclasstool at 9:04 PM on February 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I heard that they were bringing it back, but I figured it was just a dream...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:09 PM on February 9, 2011


There were three big media moments when I was growing up.

1) Luke & Laura's wedding on whatever soap opera they were on

2) Who Shot J.R.

3) Charles and Diana's wedding

I remember I skipped school to watch at least one of those when I was young. But I know I saw all three.

When Bobby was revealed in the shower and it turned out it was all a dream, I was put into a fugue state. I was stunned at the sheer brilliance / hubris of the writers, taking such a major storyline into such a twist, and I also felt cheated somehow.

But then, as a young gay man, I had been obsessed with Patrick Duffy since Man From Atlantis, even though I didn't know why I was obsessed at the time. (I even went so far as to try to make webbed fingers for myself out of Plastic Wood, because I'd read that they made the webbing out of latex, and that was the only thing in my dad's workshop materials which had "latex" in the ingredient list.) So I wasn't unhappy about the shower scene, just about what it implied for the continuity of Dallas.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 PM on February 9, 2011


I always blamed Dallas for the demise of Man From Atlantis, which I obsessed over as a kid. (Victor Buono, man! VICTOR. BUONO.)

I know now that doesn't make much sense, but neither did obsessing over Man From Atlantis.
posted by Lazlo at 10:30 PM on February 9, 2011


neither did obsessing over Man From Atlantis.

Oh..... yes it did. (see my previous comment)
posted by hippybear at 10:35 PM on February 9, 2011


Like MadamM, my prom was at Southfork (didn't go) and the first years living here in Rome I got the whole "Oh, like J.R.!" reaction. That later changed to & is still currently "Oh, like Bush!"

Bring on the fuckin' reboot, says I.
posted by romakimmy at 12:37 AM on February 10, 2011


The amazing thing to me about the show is how it became big before VCR's became widespread and well before episode sets were commonly sold.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:05 AM on February 10, 2011


We used to watch this a family growing up in the UK. My mum will be so happy.
posted by arcticseal at 4:57 AM on February 10, 2011


as a family, doh.
posted by arcticseal at 4:57 AM on February 10, 2011


jonmc, I won't ask you how you got into the AppleWorks file where I wrote slash fic (before I even knew there was such a thing) on my parents' Apple IIe , but as I was 12 and it wasn't ever meant for public consumption (because, seriously, who could believe that such things would ever be published anywhere for the public to just see), I'd appreciate it if you'd keep the plots, especially embarrassing ones like this one, to yourself.

As for the Dallas RPG, I will have to try to track this down -- only because recently I've had it in my head that a "soap opera RPG" could be a blast for gamers and non-gamers alike and have seriously thought about trying to create one.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:40 AM on February 10, 2011


I'm waiting for Larry to reunite with Barbara Eden
posted by MtDewd at 7:28 AM on February 10, 2011


[...]I hope it puts money in Larry Hagman's pocket.

It was either during the run of Dallas or shortly afterward that this little item appeared in stores: Larry Hagman presents Flip-Out.

As I kid I saw it on a shelf on a drugstore at deep, deep discount and bought it for less than a buck. It is a strange thing; it comes with a huge plastic die that's got rounded corners, and is oblong, very thick and weighted funny. I never got to play it, and I'm still not quite sure how one was supposed to roll that thing.

Other than the title and a picture on the front and back of the box of the man in a cowboy hat, it had blessedly little to do with Larry Hagman. I'm thinking, what, did they not pay him enough to play J.R.? I Dream of Jeanie residuals not piling up fast enough?
posted by JHarris at 9:14 AM on February 10, 2011


So, there won't be a movie starring John Travolta as J.R. and Jennifer Lopez as Sue Ellen? I'm sad now.
posted by soelo at 9:58 AM on February 10, 2011


Yeah Dallas was huge in the UK, just about everyone watched and 'Who shot JR?'* was when it reached some kind of frenzy. I remember the film reels of the revelatory episode arriving at the airport was on the evening news!

Though it died down, probably post the infamous shower scene... I'm not sure if they ever showed the final eps or they certainly didn't go out in prime time. Didn't Satan turn up in person to spirit away JR or something or did I dream reading that?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:33 AM on February 10, 2011


Oh and a pity Carry On Dallas never got made... from wiki A planned spoof of the popular US series Dallas. A script was written and casting offers made to Williams, Connor, Douglas, Sims, Hawtrey and Dale. The production was abandoned when Lorimar Productions demanded a royalty fee of 20 times the total production budget.

I remember Babs Windsor saying that Williams was gonna play JR Smelling.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:39 AM on February 10, 2011


If I can find a copy of that Dallas RPG for my wife, I'll basically never have to buy another gift for the rest of my life. HOLY SHIT.

Also: we've been watching the early seasons on DVD, and I keep getting hit by how awesome it would have been if Kyle MacLachlan had played Bobby.
posted by COBRA! at 11:52 AM on February 10, 2011


The series would have started off with Sue Ellen dead, wrapped in plastic?
posted by hippybear at 12:18 PM on February 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


You just bolster my case.
posted by COBRA! at 1:10 PM on February 10, 2011


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