The third-season premiere of TNT’s continuation of “Dallas” aired last night and I was missing Larry Hagman.
Although Hagman’s illness reduced his presence on the first two seasons of the new take on the classic nighttime soap, I have to say I wish that, before his death, producer Cynthia Cidre had shot several hours of Hagman talking on the phone, riding in the back of a limo and just walking across the room that she could generously salt through upcoming seasons.
But I guess that wouldn’t be right.
Anyway, in this, its first season without the venerable J.R. Ewing, “Dallas” will have to make its way on its own soapy power. I think it can do this … if it gives us a few things we want to see.
Plenty of the young’uns. I’m really growing to like the new generation of Ewings. Josh Henderson (John Ross) and Jesse Metcalfe (Christopher) are getting to be pretty good antagonists and I’ve already fallen for Julie Gonzalo as Pamela and Jordana Brewster as Elena.
But plenty of the original Ewings too. Patrick Duffy is stalwart as Bobby and Linda Gray is plainly filling the Hagman role in some scenes with their son John Ross this season. I’m enjoying both. And even though I’m wincing at the thought they’re going to have Sue Ellen fall off the wagon and begin drinking again, it would give Gray, a wonderful soap opera actress, a juicy season.
Faces from the original “Dallas.” We’re seeing plenty of Ken Kercheval (who is 78!) as Cliff Barnes, but I want to see more of Gary Ewing and Lucy Ewing and Val Ewing and Ray Krebbs. I’d really enjoy seeing Ted Shackelford in several episodes, clashing with nephew John Ross over the fate of Southfork.
More of Judith Light. Last season, the “Who’s the Boss” star made a big impression as the mother of Mitch Pileggi’s character … despite the fact that Light is, at 65, just four years older than her on-screen son. I didn’t like Light much when she first appeared, but she’s just the right kind of looney character the show could use.
The drama. The drama. Not just drama from the Ewing Global boardroom, but from Southfork, where it looks like most of the characters will be in residence this season. We need more dinner scenes with all the Ewings staring daggers at each other from their spots around the bar.
Here’s to another good season.