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October 1, 2014

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TV review: ‘Dallas’

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J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) is back in the reboot of Dallas.

The Details

Dallas
Two and a half stars
Wednesdays, 9 p.m., TNT

Like the recent revivals of 90210 and Melrose Place, TNT’s new version of Dallas is positioned not as a remake but as a continuation of the original series. Dallas sticks a lot closer to its predecessor than those other two series have, and watching it without having seen the original (which ran from 1978-1991 on CBS) sometimes feels like tuning in to a show in the middle of its run, instead of experiencing something new. The theme song, the split screen-style opening credits and three of the main actors (Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray) are all imported from the ’80s nighttime soap about a feuding Texas oil family. There are new characters (including the sons of Hagman’s J.R. and Duffy’s Bobby) to carry on the Ewing legacy of scheming and backstabbing, but the vibe still feels recycled and dated. The basic-cable budget necessitates a less epic scope, and while some of the plot twists are juicy, there isn’t enough camp to make up for the staleness.

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