Dallas resurrection gets all-star launch after poor reviews
Critics have called the revived soap dated and badly written - but will that stop it being a hit in UK?
STARS of the classic US television super-soap Dallas assembled in London last night to promote the return of the show to UK screens. But can they help Channel 5 overcome the negative press it received in the United States earlier this summer?
The revamped 1980s drama, due to start on 5 September, will see the return of octogenarian Larry Hagman (above right) reprising his role as the venomous JR Ewing.
Others from the original cast include Patrick Duffy (above left), who plays his younger brother Bobby, and Linda Gray (above centre), as JR’s hopeless wife Sue Ellen. Newcomers include former Desperate Housewives actors Jesse Metcalfe and Brenda Strong.
The new ten-part series, made for the American cable network TNT, focuses once again on the struggles – business and personal - of the oil-rich Ewing clan. This time, the story centres on JR and Bobby’s children.
But as the cast grinned for photographers in London, either they had forgotten the American reviews or somehow had been protected from them.
Robert Bianco, writing for USA Today, wrote: "TNT hasn't so much revived Dallas as exhumed it. You can find mummies who look fresher than this mold-encrusted relic, and who have newer ideas in their empty, embalmed heads."
For the The New York Times, Alessandra Stanley agreed that the revamped Dallas "feels old and even stodgy". This resurrected version, said Stanley, "is palely faithful to the original without any of its seditious zest".
The Hollywood Reporter said simply: "The writing is not there. Neither is the acting."
Will the negative reviews deter viewers? The San Francisco Chronicle’s David Wiegand wrote: "Resist if you want to, but... TNT's Dallas will wear you down and pull you in with its mix of sex, intrigue, backstabbing, dirty-dealing, blackmail and family secrets."
TNT has already announced a second series of the revived Dallas for next year after it attracted an average of almost seven million viewers an episode. So that’s why the cast were smiling.