September return in the UK for US soap opera

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According to a review in US magazine Entertainment Weekly, the brand new reincarnation of soap opera Dallas is, and I quote “solidly constructed…with strong wooden dialogue and oily plot twists”.

In short, pretty much exactly what it used to be then…but with better dialogue.

Even at its peak, the original Dallas was never going to be hailed a nitty-gritty drama of everyday folk, recreated with a dramatic flare which made the actors deserve a big screen break and the inevitable Academy Award.

In fact it was fair to say its very strength – on a good day - was strong wooden dialogue and oily plot twists.

Yet, for a whole generation of Brits, the word Dallas does not conjure up images of split screens, hideously catchy theme music and a slice of high living, cows and barrel upon barrel of oil.

Instead, Dallas is a state in the US where JFK was shot. No more, no less.

Yet Dallas, the soap opera, was the absolute epitome of extravagant lifestyles and Eighties affluence.

In the days before soap operas had to be dished out on a daily basis, Dallas was one night a week of silly excess. Where we booed and hissed at JR, cooed over Bobby, and got a bit annoyed about Cliff Barnes.

But now it is back. A return to the screen which does what all returns should do – pick up as if the whole sorry made-up thing is real and going on even when the TV cameras packed up.

And given the likes of JR, Bobby, Sue Ellen and Cliff are all back – but getting on a bit – the drama and storyline focuses, where else, but on their now grown-up kids. Who, conveniently, are bitching at one another with dollar signs always flashing before their eyes.

Make no mistake, we don’t want Dallas to become the new Sopranos, we want it to be silly and extreme and allow us to both want the cash but shun the lifestyle should we ever find ourselves sitting on an oilfield.

By the time Dallas arrives on our screens, we want it to have developed a reputation for capturing the public imagination yet also for being a by-word in crass entertainment, selfish money-making, and ample bed-hopping.

It’s home on Channel 5 and September launch in the UK could not be more fitting.

It’s what Miss Ellie – the woman with one of the most excruciatingly annoying names and smug faces in television history – would have wanted, I’m sure.


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