Sunday, April 14, 2024

“Dallas” JR Mystery Ends with A Funny In-Joke About Victoria Principal


The “Dallas” reboot ended with a whimper, an in joke about Victoria Principal and the answer to who killed JR Ewing. Principal said some time ago she would not return to “Dallas” and she meant it. But was she asked at all? I doubt it. As one “Dallas”-Lorimar former insider said to me last night: “They [the show] always hated her. Why? Because she told them–” he made gesture meaning, “f- off.” Indeed, Principal left “Dallas” at the height of her popularity and the show’s. Larry Hagman, the producers, and the cast did not mind seeing her go. When I wrote a piece in 1991 about the end of the real “Dallas” all I heard from the supporting cast were horror stories about Principal.

In last night’s finale, it was revealed that Pam Ewing had died of cancer 24 years ago. The in joke? The man who was her “husband” was a plastic surgeon. Principal was married for years in a tempestuous union with Hollywood cutter Dr. Harry Glassman. So that was their nod to Principal, who may– oh — cut off her to spite her face all those years ago.

And where does “Dallas” go from here? I guess TNT could renew it. I don’t see why, though. With Hagman gone, the stories are wrapped up. There’s no compelling reason to keep going. This “Dallas” was fun, but the real story of the Ewings is over. If it does come back, they’re going to have inject some humor and stop shooting the show like it’s a skyscraper drama mixed with “Blade Runner.”

Oh, who killed JR? Sadly, it doesn’t matter.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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