More than 20 years ago, TV viewers across the globe were asking 'who shot JR Ewing?' Today, a modern update of the classic U.S. drama show Dallas hits the small screen in the United States. So far, reaction to the show has been mixed. Few reviewers have been overwhelmed at the re-imagining of the series, though some have been decidedly disappointed by it.
USA Today began their review with the damning statement that "TNT hasn't so much revived Dallas as exhumed it", followed by, "you can find mummies who look fresher than this mold-encrusted relic and who have newer ideas in their empty, embalmed heads." New York Times were similarly unimpressed, pointing out that Dallas seemed racy in its heyday because there wasn't much in the way of competition. In today's saturated market, the tale of the wealthy oil barons simply doesn't hold its own. They surmise that tonight's debut episode "doesn't meet expectations, let alone defy them. This version is palely faithful to the original without any of its seditious zest."
Other outlets have sat more firmly on the fence; New York Daily News have described it as a "solid update" of the original (hardly brimming over with enthusiasm) and the Los Angeles Time shave called it a "worthy return," with a review that is complimentary, though hardly packed with hyperbole. In a recent article from Access Hollywood, Jesse Metcalfe's performance in the show was described as his "best work to date." If media reactions are anything to go by, though, it will take more than a small-screen heartthrob to rescue this experiment in TV nostalgia.
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