Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Casting Choices for 'Dallas' Dissuade Me From Wanting To Tune In After All...

It's a good thing my mother was cremated or she might be turning in her grave right now. My mother was a huge fan of Dallas. It was her religious appointment viewing of the primetime soap opera that first introduced me to the love of characters-- and the love of relationship dramas. And now, not only are they attempting a remake, but they are adding some really, really vapid actors to the cast.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not inherently against remakes. I actually quite enjoyed Melrose Place 2.0, mostly for the return of old fan favorites like Thomas Calabro, Laura Leighton, and of course Heather Locklear. But with the exception of Ashlee Simpson, who was written out mid-way through, the core younger cast were all strong enough to carry their own weight and story lines. So when we heard Larry Hagman had signed on to the new Dallas (for TNT), we still had hope. Until today.

In addition to Hagman, original castmembers Patrick Duffy (who I spent my childhood calling Frank Lambert instead anyway due to my parents' sense of censorship) and Linda Gray were announced to have joined the reboot. But so have Jordana Brewster and Josh Henderson. Le sigh.

The original Dallas ran from 1978 to 1991 and followed the Ewing family of Southfork. The modern-day story of Dallas focuses on the Ewing offspring: J.R. Ewing’s son, John Ross, and the adopted son of Bobby and Pam Ewing, Christopher, as they clash over the future of the family dynasty. Henderson is that John Ross, while Brewster is Elena, a girl who comes between the two young men in an obvious love triangle.

You might know Brewster from her own early soap work or her time as Chuck's heartbreaker ex. Or maybe you remember her from such acclaimed dramatic film work like Fast & The Furious. Henderson, on the other hand is best known for a stint so short on Desperate Housewives I literally had to stop and go "Who?" for a minute before I realized I personally knew him best as a young Hollywood up-and-comer who managed to get a girlfriend better than him in talent and looks and still he cheated on her (I use the past tense because I'm not sure if they're even still together).

I was excited about the new version of Dallas-- mostly because I was never really allowed to watch the original. Hell, I wasn't even born yet when it first premiered! I always felt like I missed out, not being able to understand why my mother got so upset when it was revealed who really shot J.R. and such. But if these are who the network that usually claims to know drama is choosing to put their faith in and trust to carry a show...well, I give it less chance of success than Melrose Place.

Unless of course Dallas manages to nab Katie Cassidy, too. In that case I'd be more than back on board!

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