Surely you remember the hoopla—the T-shirts and bumper stickers that asked: “Who Shot J.R.?” It was the question on everyone’s lips during the summer of 1980, even mine. I was about to start seventh grade. Feeling pretty impressed with my writing skills, I entered an essay contest and wrote about who I thought had done it. Was I right? No. But did anyone really think it was Kristin? The whole thing had Sue Ellen written all over it. Yep. I hate to admit it, but for a while I was hooked on nighttime soaps. First it was Dallas, then Dynasty, and then the Dallas spin-off, Knots Landing. The Ewing family—J.R., Sue Ellen, Jock, Bobby, Pamela, and the gang—holds a place near and dear to my heart. Heck, I guess I could watch that second season of Dallas all over again (on DVD) and see if I missed anything that pointed to Kristin. Of course, I can’t wait to see the movie, which is currently in production. To get primed, here are a few nuggets of information about one of television’s most popular series:

On November 21, 1980, in one of the highest-rated episodes of a TV show ever aired, the world found out that Sue Ellen’s sister Kristin shot J.R.

In “Swan Song,” Bobby decides he is still in love with his ex-wife, Pam, and proposes to her. She says yes. The next day he goes to tell his fiancée, Jenna, who had recently been released from prison, that he wants to call it off. But before he gets there, he is in an automobile accident and dies.

Well, sort of. The next season (1985—1986) ends with Pam in bed waking up from a horrible dream in which Bobby had died in a car crash.

The last episode had a drunk J.R. contemplating suicide. An “angel” appears and shows him what life would have been like if he had never been born. He pulls the trigger just as Bobby walks into the house. The series ends with Bobby saying, “Oh, my God.”