So Dallas returns to our screens in the autumn (UK premiere 4 September 2014), thanks to those kind folks over at Five. Sweltering from a midsummer heatwave, we can retreat indoors and instead immerse ourselves once more in the hectic and convoluted drama of the infamous Ewing family. Pass the remote control and pour the pina colada.
Oh, what a release it is to involve yourself in someone else’s troubles. And troubles don’t come any more involving than this. So we’ll sit down on sofas to witness the trials of a family torn apart by old feuds, deceit and betrayal, loyalty, infidelity, adultery, secrets and lies, pride and greed, love and lust (sated and thwarted and a dozen variants in between).
Some of the success of the revival can be attributed to the deft intermingling of original cast members, notably Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, still impassioned and believable in the identities viewers had associated with them for so long, with the even more hotblooded young guns.
Here’s a look at the ingredients that made that first series such a tasty proposition.
However, the real winner to emerge from the new Dallas is undoubtedly burgeoning (you’ll see why I chose that adjective further down) heartthrob and real-life Texan Josh Henderson, who plays John Ross Ewing III, son of the great schemer JR, with a sexually appealing blend of inveigling charm and inveterate villainy.
Incorrigible and irresistible, this lascivious chip off the old block exhibits just enough human frailty, mischievous mouth twitches and bewitching nose crinkles, teasing and nuanced salacious glances, moral laxity, suggestive head tilting (he is getting better than Olyphant), sardonically arched eyebrows, widened blue and green eyes, toned abs, etc. for you to forgive him just about anything.
That’s not to mention a proclivity to strip down to his underwear at the least provocation. This may take inspiration from the actor’s own tendency toward exhibitionism. See blog on Josh in his underwear. He truly is the whole package.
While the Henderson star is undoubtedly on the rise, it’s a mystery why Jesse Metcalfe, equally unhard to look at, hasn’t reaped similar rewards in popularity gain. Perhaps because he was better known to begin with whereas Josh was a relatively unknown commodity, although both had roles (non-concurrent) in Desperate Housewives?
Or is it because we all love a bad boy and untrustworthiness oozes out of John Ross like an overpowering pheromone? And, as Christopher Ewing, son of Bobby and Pam, Jesse is a little too cute boy next door and not as rough around the edges? Still, I bet there’s a few of us wouldn’t mind rumpling Chrissie up a bit. Perhaps he needs to bump up his scenes with his recalcitrant cousin.
Convention demands that soap plots rely on all concerned getting the wrong end of the stick and going off half-cocked at fairly regular intervals. John Ross is a past master at this and the character established as someone all too likely to leap before looking. Ruled neither by head nor heart, this Ewing’s actions seem to be guided by an altogether different part of his anatomy (the impressive dimensions of which are outlined in candid shots of the actor out walking with a friend).
I’d previously looked at Josh’s online profile and mooted him as the poster boy for social networking, his natural talent at which may also be a factor in his rapid ascendancy. He’s someone who seems to genuinely appreciate his good fortune and fans. The latter reward him with unconditional devotion and unlimited support.
His Facebook followers (nudging 173,000) have now outstripped those of Timothy Olyphant, who he’d been lagging behind in my last comparison, and is someone who rarely updates his FB status. And by a pretty impressive margin, it has to be said. So perhaps keeping us informed does pay off as I suggested in that previous blog on the merits of exploiting social media, as the new John Ross Ewing does so adroitly?
Of course the new Dallas Season 3 is just airing in the US, so that may have helped boost Josh’s figures somewhat. But his ultra-accessible persona and the fact that he shares so much could also have a lot to do with his meteoric ascent.
Not only does the actor keep us up to date with all things Dallas, TV schedules, reminders, pictures from the set, etc. He also entertains us with a myriad of other miscellaneous stuff. He posts photos of himself and his friends on a hike, with girlfriend Andrea Boehlke and dog Sadie, videos himself at the drop of a hat, say, in the act of dropping a hat. We are treated to selfies of Josh ill in bed (imagine the collective ‘ah’ of sympathy from aficionados), feigning sleep (adorably), by the Christmas tree, in the gym or vouchsafed snapshots of him as a nipper from family albums.
We are privy to the actor’s ‘blond’ moments, as when he ran up and down a canyon in LA, then ran home, only to realise he’d left his car at the canyon and had to run back for it.
Even before Josh had too much of a presence on Facebook, he would generously share all kind of interesting ‘material’ on his myspace channel.
As when he and his intellectual cohorts ponder the big questions of the day and, magnanimously, video the results for our edification. Here they debate whether it’s more painful to stub your ‘pinky toe’, ‘big toe’ or bang your ‘funny bone’. His two buddies are cosied up next to him on the couch, one throwing in the wild card of getting hit in the balls just to muddy the waters further. Josh then has to clarify the parameters before putting it to the public vote. You gotta love the Rain Man impression too.
In other vlogs he can be seen extolling the virtues of floss harps (‘Way to go, floss dude’) or hammily and endearingly miming to a song in his hotel room. He’s a hoot and evidently not one to take himself too seriously, always an attractive quality.
One consistent factor is that Josh is generally sporting a vest, one item of clothing he can’t get enough of or look any hotter in. Well, who could ever get enough of Josh in a vest?
So, hell yeah, I’m looking forward to the advent of season 3 and hoping for some more John Ross lines like ‘Your head’s gonna look real nice above my fireplace, governor’ or ‘You keep a junkyard dog [like JR] chained up long enough, it’ll only get meaner’.
And here’s a clip showing the denouement of the last season, just to whet your appetite for the mouth-watering feast of Season 3, with a great song, ‘Liar’, which sounds like it could have been sung by Josh. But the artists are unknown.
 And yet their family is still way more functional than mine. Also a lot better-looking.
 Last update 3 April, I’m just saying.
 300,000 is nothing to be sniffed at.
 Andrea actually gets in on the act as an extra, seen sitting with John Ross, he flirting shamelessly, natch, at the Ewing barbecue in Episode 2. They look pretty good together.
 Neither has it escaped my notice that some unscrupulously creative individual is posting obscene photo-shopped images of Josh in compromising nude poses. Indeed so outraged have I been by this liberty that I have had to return to tumblr a number of times in order to verify what I have seen and confirm that these disgusting exploitative images are still there. Someone, perhaps even the same reprehensible character, had done the same for Timothy Olyphant.