'Dallas' and the Aftermath of J.R.'s Death: Bobby's a New Man, Sue Ellen Falls Into Old Habits
What was your favorite part of "J.R.'s Masterpiece," the satisfying send off to the late Larry Hagman's iconic J.R. Ewing character on "Dallas"?
Was it the return of Ewing kin like Lucy, Ray, and Gary? Was it the conversation ex-wife Sue Ellen had with J.R.'s former lover Mandy Winger or his other ex-wife, Cally?
Was it a loud-mouthed Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) crashing the memorial, and his daughter (who's kinda sorta in love with John Ross) having to beg him to take his embarrassing butt home? Or the special "Dallas" opening credits that honored Hagman?
Was it the trio of famous Dallas residents -- Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones, and Mike Rawlings -- who showed up to pay homage to the fictional, but still larger than life character?
Or was it the emotional impact J.R.'s death had on John Ross, Sue Ellen, and little bro Bobby that had you reaching for the tissues and praising the "Dallas" writers who crafted the fitting storyline?
We feel pretty safe in speaking for most fans of the classic series and the TNT reboot and saying the answer is: all of the above.
First, about those guest stars: The returning cast members were a good mix of blasts from the past, with Ewing niece Lucy (Charlene Tilton), half-brother Ray (Steve Kanaly), and black sheep brother Gary (Ted Shackelford) representing those who showed up to honor J.R. even though they'd been on the receiving end of more than their fair share of his, ahem, orneriness, while Deborah Shelton as J.R. fling Mandy Winger and Cathy Podewell as Cally represented the ladies in J.R.'s life.
Their little chat with Sue Ellen, in which they attempted to bond over the tomcattin' oilman? A little bizarre, but totally appropriate. Oh, and all those returning stars? They looked good. It's a little jarring to see bratty teen Lucy Ewing as a middle-aged woman, but none of the returning crew looked worse for the wear of having dealt with ol' J.R. all those years.
And then there were J.R.'s famous friends, local Dallas pro sports teams owners Mark Cuban (the Mavericks) and Jerry Jones (the Cowboys), and the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings.
And yes, he really is the mayor of the city of Dallas. How did producers cull from their large pool of potential guest stars for this very special episode?