I started watching "Dallas" in the fall of 1978; frankly, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch Victoria Principal rise up out of the pool, practically bursting out of a black swimsuit. I quit watching "Dallas" the season after the death of "Jock Ewing" (the late, great Jim Davis). The show was never the same after Davis' death and the scripts began repeating themselves; only the characters involved changed ("JR" and "Bobby" nearly die in a plane crash; "Dusty Farlow" is crippled in a plane crash; "Pam's mother" dies in a plane crash. Give me a break.) However, I couldn't keep myself away from watching the "Dallas" reunion a few years back; I was pretty shocked how bad Victoria Principal looked, though she still had that heart-stopping figure. Anyway, I was curious to see how the updated version would be; and I have to admit, I am pleased. While the epic dramatic tension and warmth has not yet appeared (and none of the women can hold a candle to the young VP), the plot machinations are, if anything, better than the original show. Clearly, "John Ross" and "Christopher are MUCH more complex characters than "JR" and "Bobby," and "Elena" (Jordana Brewster) promises to essay a much stronger woman than "Pam Barnes (Victoria Principal)and clearly won't be saddled with the "Goody Two-Shoes" passivity which, I am sure frustrated Principal and led to her dramatic departure from the show. It is clear much of the dramatic conflict of future episodes will revolve around the "lover's triangle" of "Elena," "John Ross" and "Christopher," and that is a good thing. This trio promise to become compelling enough to eventually carry the show as "Bobby," "Sue Ellen" and "JR" leave by attrition. After all, Larry Hagman is 80 years old and has been in poor health.
On a less positive note, I am really disheartened that David Jacobs, who created "Dallas," has been, reportedly, very badly treated by the new show's producers. I believe that is a mistake, as I read Jacob's book, "Dallas," which was published shortly after the premiere of the original show, and he is a VERY good writer. The book was much too raunchy for the 70s or 80s, but would past muster on any cable network now; though, even now, Jacobs' "Dallas," would probably feel much more at home on FX than TNT. No bother; the raunchy elements were not what made "Dallas" compelling; Jacobs ability to create memorable characters and situations was. I'm sure he could still teach these new producers a thing or two about creating compelling television. That being said, "Dallas" 2012 shows great promise and is off to a very good start. I give it a "7".