Film and TV

D-FW On DVR: Dallas Takes A Turn

After last week's uneven, unintentionally comical premiere ("I never SENT you an EEEEEE-MAIL."), TNT's re-launch of Dallas hit a gusher on Wednesday (isn't that what the oil people say when they do well?). J.R. Ewing, like, TOOK-OVER took over.

Asses were kicked, names taken, delicious one-liners uttered. He began his epic re-emergence by holding a straight razor to pretty-boy John Ross' face, threateningly, as if he'd just taken a shaving lesson from Celie in The Color Purple. Once he groomed some sense into Sonny Boy and guided him away from planned triple-crossing tomfoolery, he continued his codger's quest to gain back control of Southfork. Fueled by red Jello and a newfound lust for life, J.R. concocted a plan that allowed him to move into the family home with Bobby and gun-toting wifey, Ann. He and Jo-Ro then used some old documents and deception to convince Bobby to go through with the sale of the ranch to a "conservancy" that's actually in cahoots with Lord J.R. The best part? The scary-looking leader of the conservancy is played by Tony Almeida from 24! Carlos Bernard is not to be fucked wit'! I was so excited about the Ton-man, that I failed to mention the return of yet another shady Dallas old-timer. Ken Kercheval is back slinking around the scenery as Cliff Barnes, giving ol' J.R. a proper nemesis. Shit's getting good.

Also viewed:

Real Housewives of Orange County - I'd lie and say that I only watch it for your benefit, but there's no hiding, here. The O.C. housewives are my homegirls. Well, most of 'em. I enjoy tell-it-like-it-is Tamra, schoolmarmy brunette Heather, and ridiculous-outfit-wearing Gretchen. Vicki and Alexis? Both generally pills, but at least they're occasionally batshit. Part 1 of the finale aired this week; its climactic moment centered on a drunken side-character prematurely eating a piece of a fondant bow off Heather's naming-party cake. From the reactions, you'd think a baby had been drop-kicked into the beautifully accessible coastline. Part 2 and weeks of finale action remain. Bravo-ISSIMO!

The Glass House - Shameful how far ABC fell in its attempt to steal some of CBS's Big Brother summer swag. Its own strangers-with-cameras series debuted this week to collective vomit sounds. When you have to pin all your ratings hopes on a douche-nozzle Highland Park grad who bullies female castmates about their weight, you need to rethink your entire life.

True Blood -Maybe Sookie is the angel of death. I mean, how many bodies have to be Pine-Sol'd off that kitchen floor before everyone she's ever known decides to move to another parish? But that's my misguided attempt to apply real-life logic to a highly illogical TV realm. In real life, a baby vampire with half her brain rendered useless would never be able to form thoughts, much less words of righteous anger. And, in real life, boring-ass werewolves and boring-ass shape shifters would never get that much screen time. Save us, Reverend Steve Newlin, save us all.

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Hunter Hauk