^ "Who Did J.R. Shoot" ?
I'm a little surprised they showed us who got shot (Rebecca or Tommy). Unless they weren't sure about a second season when they were filming that episode.
The last 1st season episode seemed like more of a set-up for a potential next season.
I can see why'd they would do it that way. When this was brought back, it had been a little over two decades since the original series left the airwaves. Not counting the reunion movies ... though even there, the last one of those with the original cast was in 98, if I remember correctly.
Though the original series was a blockbuster in its day, they tried and tried to bring the show back - as a motion picture, with John Travolta as JR ... as a mini-series ... as a movie-of-the-week ... and every one of them stalled for one reason or another. Even with some of the original cast reprising their roles, it was a huge gamble. It could have bombed. Would audiences in 2012 still care about rich folks backstabbing each other? Although, that does seem to be the demographic for Bravo, with the "Real Housewives" series.
They wrapped up the bigger storylines, while planting seeds for new ones, hoping there would be a renewal. And, it worked. It was a gamble that paid off.
This is also more and more the typical trend of serialized television shows these days, from LOST
to True Blood
to most shows on basic cable. Buffy
did the same thing back in their day, as opposed to the straight out end/cliffhanger we are accustomed to on shows like TNG
and the original Dallas
There were so many clues shown regarding Rebecca that I should have picked up on, but until she was in that hanger, I didn't piece it together. One of these days, I'll have to start a rewatch marathon of the original series and take notes. Maybe then I'll pick up on new stuff faster.
It occurred to me last week that Cliff's plan makes perfect sense, in a way - the Ewings have been a constant pain in his side, all the way from teenage J.R. bullying Cliff at the Southfork Barbecue in 1955 in The Early Years
, to Pam marrying in to the Ewing family, Rebecca Wentworth's death, Katherine's eventual descent in to villainy/madness, April's murder, etc. No wonder he wants to get back at the Ewings!
The thing I did wonder about - and will be very interested in seeing how they resolve next season, if at all - will be Cliff's relationships with Bobby and Christopher. When the original show ended, Cliff and Bobby were mostly on good terms with each other, and Cliff had established a fairly good role as uncle to Christopher as well. Something must have happened in the intervening 21 years to push Cliff in to this. Too, if Afton is Rebecca's mother, I don't see how she would be "in" on Cliff's plan as she, while having a somewhat colorful past, was never played as someone shady or villainous like Katherine or J.R. Lastly - the big piece of the puzzle that makes no sense (yet) is simply that being that Bobby and Cliff were on such friendly terms at the end of the series, why is it Cliff never introduced Bobby to his daughter?
In J.R. Returns
, Cliff knows he has a daughter with Afton "somewhere out there" -- as established when Afton briefly returned to the original series in 1988. I can't remember if Cliff meets his daughter in those episodes or not, but it was a plot thread that was picked up again in J.R. Returns
Being that the reunion movies have effectively been ignored/canceled out of continuity, it is entirely possible that Rebecca Sutter (who we now know was not really a Sutter) is Cliff's daughter, only referred to as "Miss Barnes" by Frank Ashkani (further suggesting that despite Cliff's raising/supporting Frank, he and Rebecca did not grow up together?)
It has renewed interest - for me - in the original series. I just hope they redo the opening theme with an orchestra and show clips/faces with the new season.
I've gotten used to the new visuals for the opening of this show, but my OCD still bugs me and I too would much prefer a recording done by an actual orchestra, not a computer. The old opening credits (see below) were such a brazen, in your face "announcement" in their day - loud, brassy music, heavy bass beats below them, and big shiny blocky fonts. The new series opening is trying to go for that same "flash," but does so half-heartedly I think. I would gladly sacrifice the tri-image credit for an orchestral recording.
I've been doing a slow rewatch this summer. There's a great scene in a season 6 episode, "Requiem" (right after Rebecca Wentworth's death) where Miss Ellie and Sue Ellen argue about the family, the fight for Ewing Oil between J.R. and Bobby (as stipulated in Jock's will), and the effect it will have on the next generation of Ewings, which I thought was delightfully prophetic of the new series main arc:
MISS ELLIE: Good morning, Sue Ellen.
SUE ELLEN: Good morning, Miss Ellie.
MISS ELLIE: Poor Bobby. Rebecca's death has been so hard on him.
SUE ELLEN: I'm sure it has.
MISS ELLIE: He looks worn out.
SUE ELLEN: Let me tell you something, Miss Ellie. I think it's about time your other son got a little sympathy too.
MISS ELLIE: What did you say?
SUE ELLEN: J.R. just lost the variance, thanks to Donna Krebbs.
MISS ELLIE: Sue Ellen, how can you compare those two things?
SUE ELLEN: Well, I feel terrible about Rebecca's death, but still...
MISS ELLIE: Still nothing. I'm astonished at you!
SUE ELLEN: My husband is very important to me, but this battle he's fighting is costing him.
MISS ELLIE: It's costing all of us. And you just don't understand how much. Think ahead, Sue Ellen. Twenty-five or thirty years ahead. I won't be here then. The fight won't be between J.R. and Bobby. It'll be between John Ross and Christopher. Think carefully, Sue Ellen. Your loyalty to your husband is a wonderful thing, but you're a mother too. And where will this all end?
Cynthia Cidre obviously saw this episode!
As I recall, they did the same sort of thing with the original - the first season (the miniseries) had random shots of the area, then with season 2 (or 3?) they used the actors.
The mini series credits were presented the same way as those of most of the series:
The series mostly stayed with this format till 1989, when it changed to a newer format, abandoning the three-image panels for a more modern opening, used for the rest of the series and the reunion films:
^This also has the teaser for J.R. Returns, which given the whole point of the movie and how the series ended, is pretty fun.
Compared to the new, 2012 version ^
The only beef I have with that is that while David Jacobs is rightly credited as the creator of the original series, he pretty much left it after writing the pilot/miniseries and Leonard Katzman took over as showrunner for the entirety of the series (except for the dream season when he was edged out by Phil Capice) and The War of the Ewings
(by then, Katzman had passed away)... It's a bit red-tape-y, but Katzman was responsible for the Dallas we all knew and loved just as much --if not more so -- than Jacobs. He should be credited as well.
Too, in an interview with RejectedFilmScores.com, Jerrold Immel elaborated on his theme for Dallas, which he composed and then summarily returned each season to re-orchestrate and re-record (which is why there are so many damn different versions of the theme!):
Was there ever any preassure to arrange the theme into a more regular orchestral way, once shows like "Dynasty" and "Falcon Crest" is themes started reigning in a new TV show theme era?
JERROLD IMMEL: No. "Dallas" was the original of the Prime Time Soaps (discounting "Peyton Place") of that era. The number one TV series in the world in 1980 and no one had any thought of making changes. In later seasons I did modify the Disco beat to make it more "contemporary dance".
Your theme has become one of the quintesential pieces of music from any TV series theme; how do you feel being rememberd all these years later for that work, and do you still get comments from fans on it?
JERROLD IMMEL: It remains the signature piece of music to my career. Many, many people of a certain age remember the Friday nights on CBS and the theme that called them to watch the show. LINK