Can you believe they brought back Dallas? And not only that, it’s a hit again. This was the TV show that, back in the late seventies, made it OK to watch soap operas. The show also sparked the wave of primetime serial dramas that led to groundbreaking series like “The West Wing”, “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad”.
The Serial Drama has Returned
Yes, the serial drama formula has been around for decades as has the usage of a cliffhanger at the end of an episode. But ‘Dallas’ was among the first primetime dramas to introduce a cliffhanger at the end of a season, making fans eager to come back in the fall just to find out what happened. Even if you’re not old enough to remember, you’ve probably heard the phrase “who shot JR?” That was the big cliffhanger at the end of the season which aired in March of 1980. All that summer, it seemed the entirety of the United States was obsessed with the notion of “who shot JR”. And that particular device went on to inspire other landmark cliffhangers in television such as Star Trek: The Next Generations “Best of Both Worlds Part One”, or ‘The West Wing’ cliffhanger at the end of season one which featured an assassination attempt on the (fictional) President Bartlett, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the moment Locke found the hatch at the end of the first season of “Lost”.
Groundbreaking Drama Back in the Day
‘Dallas’ was indeed a groundbreaker and in some cases well ahead of its time. In addition to being one of the most dysfunctional families ever portrayed on primetime television, it also gave middle and lower middle class America an opportunity to feel superior to the wealthy; at least the wealthy people of ‘Dallas’ who apparently enjoyed betraying one another almost as some sort of hobby. This seemed to be a trend as the same premise (wealthy families who don’t like each other) was repeated in other hit primetime drama series like “Dynasty” and “Knotts Landing”. Good times…good times.
So Dallas is back, but this time the show has a bit of a different feel, doesn’t it? This time the problems for the Ewing family seem to be more external, and the unity appears as though it’s much closer now than it ever was before. They’ve even gone through potential and definite financial hardships in a couple of episodes. Almost makes you want to feel sorry for them. Almost.
But where the Ewings of ‘Dallas’ always seem to have some stroke of luck that bails them out of their difficulty, we don’t have such luxury. Just once we’d like to see one of the them applying for a payday loan, and Patrick Duffy turning to the camera to say “I’m sure glad that these short term loans for bad credit were here to help the Ewings!” OK, we’re kidding about that last part.
But if you do find that your Texas oil rig has run dry, go and check out payday loan requirements to get you through the tough times.