The much-anticipated return of Dallas to television tonight (Wednesday) after more than 20 years has left most television critics disappointed and downright irritated. "This version is palely faithful to the original without any of its seditious zest," writes Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times . Most of the members of the original cast have returned, including Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Gray. "The younger Ewings have polished, generic good looks without distinguishing marks on their faces -- or their personalities." But if Stanley's review seems harsh, Tim Goodman's review in the Hollywood Reporter seems positively brutal. He minces no words " Dallas is terrible," he writes. "No matter how many guilty-pleasure excuses you may have used up in the initial run, if in fact you're still alive to remember it, there's no good excuse for watching it now. This is pandering of the lowest kind. The writing is brutal and obvious, the acting is comical, and none of it is bettered by the directing." A few critics give it passing grades. Sarah Rodman writes in the Boston Globe , "No matter how stiff some of the younger actors portraying the new generation of Ewings may be, or how silly some of the plot twists, the heart of this new iteration is in the right escapist place." Likewise David Wiegand remarks in the San Francisco Chronicle "Except for Hagman, the performances are adequate without ever standing out, which may be one of the reasons it takes so long to care much about the younger Ewings, or, as I came to think of them .. the Ewlings." And Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times makes the point that the writing, direction and the performances of the younger actors are all irrelevant. "It is Harman's show," he says. And David Hinkley in the New York Daily News figures the new Dallas will strike -- if not oil, then gold. "No one expects Dallas to have the kind of reach now that it had three decades ago," he writes. "But between old fans who will enjoy a revisit and young folks who never even heard of Miss Ellie, TNT is placing a sound bet."