Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not My Mother's 'Dallas'...

It's a funny time for pop culture. Not necessarily "ha ha" funny and not even funny for anyone who's not in my own head. It's just something I've been thinking about lately as more and more of what crosses my radar seems to be something my mother would love, starting with "The Hunger Games" film adaptation and rounding out perfectly with TNT's reboot of Dallas.

Full disclosure: I was not born when the original Dallas started airing. In fact, by the time I was born, most of the original fans had fallen off, feeling the show had jumped the shark and was now inching toward a slow and painful death of a formerly amazing show. But my mother still watched. And through her I developed an odd attachment, to many episodes and moments I never even saw. And I'll admit that it was because of this that I was in part skeptical about the reboot before I had even seen a script or read about casting. Though some of the casting didn't help assuage fears. I watched the initial pilot with a really strong guttural reaction and then found myself swept up in the nostalgia factor during TCA. It wasn't until receiving the first seven episode rough cuts months early from TNT that I began to wonder what my mother would think about all of this.

My mother wasn't a critic by any means. She had eclectic taste, loving classics like My Fair Lady and fantasy pieces like Harry Potter alike. Obviously she loved her soaps; she got me hooked on Days of our Lives, and there was Dallas and Dynasty, too. I certainly wasn't nicer on Lionsgate's version of The Hunger Games because I assumed my mother would have loved it. In fact, after I wrote what I wrote, I sat back and thought about what her response would have been-- to both the books and the movie. I think she actually would have preferred the movie because it presented a softer, gentler version of this world. My mother's life wasn't easy, and because of that, she wanted entertainment to be escapism. And no one wants to constantly escape into a dark or depressing world. So as I eager devour episodes of this Dallas reboot, clapping at the return of characters I don't truly even remember meeting before, am I simply channeling her? Is it a last ditch effort to try get close to her, to try to understand her? And is my excitement valid?

These are the things I think about. I don't have a parent company over me, asking me to tone down my snark or criticism because the product I am reviewing is also their's. But I do have a parent who appears to be hanging over me, influencing me nonetheless. It's been a weird few days.

For my full review of the new Dallas pilot, stay tuned right here.

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