After a full year of advance hype, TNT’s 2012 gloss on Dallas premieres tonight, with J.R., Bobby, and Sue Ellen Ewing joined by a too-pretty younger generation, including Josh Henderson as the next J.R. (John Ross Ewing III, who was born during the original show’s first season) and Jordana Brewster as his love interest Elena Ramos (the daughter of the South Fork Ranch’s cook).
The advance word has been (mostly) good. As of early Wednesday morning, the show had a Metacritic score of 62, which may not look good on a school report card, but is counted by the site as “generally favorable,” with nine positive reviews, six mixed, and only two negative.
How critics have reacted to the remake seems to depend entirely on how they felt about the first Dallas, so with that in mind, we’ve broken down the reviews into three categories.
Loved it the first time, loving it the second time
Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times
“Dallas,” which in its love of the anti-hero and elevation of the cliffhanger set the stage for much of what is now considered Important Television, is back, 21 years after the end of the series proper and 14 years from the last branded TV movie. And the presence of Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray as JR, Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing — arguably the most important characters from the original series — means that you should take it as seriously, on its less than serious terms.
Then as now — and acknowledging some good work among the younger set, especially the Texas-born Henderson — it is Hagman’s show. To say there is no series here that would be worth watching without him is indeed only to point out another way in which the new “Dallas” is very much like the old.
As the premiere episode nears its end, the plot begins thickening agreeably with so many secrets, dark revelations, shocks and betrayals it all begins to seem familiarly and comfortably absorbing. Enough anyway to evoke memories of the “Dallas” that America and half the world came to know and love during its long run on CBS (1978-91).
Like that gusher of oil, the show surges to life with the re-emergence of J.R. Ewing.
The reboot’s a kick when the veterans are on screen; they’re the gods, after all, and their offspring are mere mortals….
Writer Cynthia Cidre, who rescued the series from myriad attempts at campy big-screen adaptations, has great fun with J.R. as a senior citizen. A scene at the