As long as Duffy and Hangman are in, I'll be watching. It's not really challenging television but a guilty pleasure. That's what resonates with me in comparison to the series of the 80s. I can't recall the two made for TV movies however, something about Sue Ellen ending up with all the riches and ownership to Ewing Oil? It certainly doesn't seem like that in the premiere.
That's because the new series is ignoring both J.R. Returns
and The War of the Ewings
, as if they never happened. Kind of like what Star Trek
did for a long time regarding the Animated Series.
But, as to the events of the reunion movies, essentially:
Dallas: The War of the Ewings
-We learn that at the end of the series, J.R. shot the mirror (from which we were led to believe "Adam" (Joel Grey) was taunting J.R. The next morning, J.R. left Southfork for Europe and didn't return until five years later at the beginning of J.R. Returns.
-Bobby continued to run Southfork, living there with Christopher, and by the time of J.R. Returns, he was considering selling the ranch. (Sound familiar?)
-Cliff Barnes was still running Ewing Oil, but preparing to sell it to Carter McKay at WestStar so that he (Cliff) could focus on finding his ex-girlfriend Afton and their daughter (who he'd never met.)
Sue Ellen and John Ross were living in England, but Sue Ellen had divorced (or was about to divorce) Don Lockwood.
J.R. Returns basically in one fell swoop undid the "downfall" throughline of the final season of the series. Via manipulation by J.R., Bobby winds up buying back Ewing Oil from Cliff and partnering with Sue Ellen. Cliff leaves Dallas to find Afton, and J.R. becomes the largest minority stockholder of WestStar, engineering McKay's ousting from the company.
The beauty of it all is in the reveal of Sue Ellen's having bought half of Ewing Oil at the end:
I did some thinking and so I decided I didn't want all my money tied up in Ewing Oil, so I sold half of it to my new partner.
Your new partner? What, you mean her? (Bobby's new girlfriend)
No. Guess again.
Sue Ellen appears.
J.R.: Oh my god.
You have a real nice evening now. Come on, Chris.
Bobby, Julia and Christopher exit.
Isn't this wonderful? Now, we're all in the oil business... only Bobby and I own Ewing and you don't. He loved the idea when I suggested it to him.
Maybe just to upset your applecart. Or maybe... I was thinking about all the fun pillow talks we'll have about ....gushers and dry holes. Or it could be I decided to show you I could be just as smart and as tough as you are. Who knows? It could be the best thing that ever happened to our relationship. Hmm... we'll find out, won't we?
Sue Ellen walks back to the house, leaving J.R. and John Ross watching her go.
Your momma's a hell of woman.
That didn't upset you?
Well, look at it this way: your Uncle Bobby's back in the oil business, your momma's gonna stick around to protect her interests, and you my son are gonna live here and learn the business from the greatest oil man in Texas.
Wait a minute, Dad. You make it sound like you planned it to happen this way.
You see, John Ross? You're learning already!
follows up only with Bobby, J.R., Sue Ellen, Carter McKay, and Anita Smithfield and brings back Ray Krebbs. Apart from some follow up on what Ray has been up to since leaving the series, it is mostly forgettable and actually rather awful.