This is how much I loved ’80s soaps as a kid: The Dallas theme song was one of the first tunes I ever learned to play on the piano, followed immediately thereafter by the Dynasty theme, both of which I specifically asked my music teacher to write out for me (I never requested The Colbys, but I just ran out to see if I can pick it out by ear, and I CAN, so I consider that hitting a trifecta). So when the titular Dallas song came on, I clapped instinctively. And it helps that the show is total throwback fun. It’s not always brilliant and it’s not always quotable in a way that isn’t for giggles. But there’s no smugness. There’s no irony. It’s not a parody of itself, or of anything else. It means what it says, and it says what it is. Bonus: It’s not trying to play to These Kids Today with stupid updates. Nobody is bragging about their blog or their Tumblr or some nonsense; they didn’t reimagine Southfork with the forced color scheme of an early-2000 dot-com company (ahem, 90210); and they didn’t do anything dumb like make it a modernized prequel or some foolish remake (DOUBLE ahem, Knight Rider). It’s just pure soap, a generation or so removed. People scheme, people lie, people ill-advisedly piss off J.R…. really, the chief difference is that Larry Hagman’s eyebrows are more complicated. Oh, J.R. Much like many of the Ewings, I didn’t realize how much I needed you in my life until you returned to it.
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