Patrick Duffy and Jesse Metcalfe Talk ‘Dallas’

Tonight’s the night. If you’ve been wondering whatever happened to J.R., Sue Ellen, and Bobby, tonight you get to find out. And if you’re wondering whatever happen to those kids and what men they grew up to be, well, get ready to see the Christopher and John Ross for who they really are now. It’s been 20 years, and it’s time to see what the Ewings are up to.

But first, how about a quick chat with the stars? I was thrilled to be part of a conference call with Patrick Duffy and Jesse Metcalfe, who play Bobby and Christopher respectively. Check out some of the Q&A below, just in time for tonight.

And don’t forget. The two-hour premiere event of Dallas airs tonight at 9/8c on TNT!

Big fan of the show…How is the new version different and how is it similar? –

Jesse Metcalfe:  Okay. Well, I’d say it’s a more contemporary version of the original show. You know, I don’t think we’ve changed what made the original series great. I mean, the show still centers around these major themes of, you know, family dynamics, and greed, and loyalty, and love, and betrayal.

But we’ve just updated it. And we made it modern and definitely socially relevant to the times. And in addition to that, you know, we added some new characters.

Obviously, Christopher and John Ross were established in the original series. But, you know, you now get to see the type of man that these two children have grown up to be.

And, you know, we also introduced the character of Elena Ramos, who is the one side of the love triangle between me, Josh Henderson, and Jordana [Brewster], and she’s the daughter of our…

Patrick Duffy:  The Ewing housekeeper for, you know.

Jesse Metcalfe:  Yeah, the Ewing housekeeper. And, you know, she definitely wasn’t a part of the original series. And then we also have my fiancé, Rebecca Sutter played by Julie Gonzalo so.

It’s a great marriage of the original show and the original cast and some new cast members.

Patrick Duffy:  Yeah. The difference also is just technologically speaking television is done so differently now that if we tried to duplicate the old school Dallas, I think it would be slow in appearance and in substance for a modern audience.

So with the technology that we have with high def cameras and the new way of directing television, which is so dynamic and so intense in terms of the pacing. And the scripts reflect that also. They’re much more condensed.

We get maybe four or five episodes of an old Dallas in one episode of the new Dallas. So all of these things, I think, contemporize the old show. But we maintain the honor that Cynthia Cidre and Mike Robin feel towards the show. So that hasn’t changed.

And I think that’s what will impress old viewers as they look at the new Dallas is it’s so much similar to what they were used to. But it’s done for a contemporary audience.

So we think we got the best of both worlds. And we’re hoping that everybody out there is going to agree with us.


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Linda Gray and Josh Henderson Talk ‘Dallas’

Are you ready? Because tomorrow it starts all over again.

Of course, I’m talking about Dallas, which is premiering tomorrow in all its glory with a two-hour premiere event on TNT. The series had fourteen seasons, starting in the ’70s, and now we’re back again, revisiting the characters we loved and meeting some anew.

I was fortunate enough to talk to two cast members of the series, Linda Gray and Josh Henderson, who play Sue Ellen and John Ross respectively. And boy were they fun to listen to. Both were super excited about the upcoming series, and if the quick interruption by Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman were any indication, they’re having a lot of fun with it!

So check out some highlights below from the conference call. And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the premiere!

Well, first of all, I guess I’ll ask a pretty basic question to start off. How do you feel that the new series is different from the old one? And in what ways is it the same? –

Linda Gray:  It took a diamond and polished it. What can I say? It’s magic. It was magic in 1978, and it’s got a little 2012 fairy dust sprinkled on it. It’s just wonderful.

Josh, did you know about this show at the time? Were you familiar with the older one?

Josh Henderson:  I was, yes. You know, I’m originally from Dallas, Texas. I was born there so, you now, my family — it was a very kind-of popular thing for my family. My memaw — my grandmother — Dallas was her favorite show, and she kind-of always said, being from Dallas, Texas, you go to church, and you watch Dallas. That’s kind-of what you do out there. So it was definitely something that I knew of. I was a little too young to remember actual details of the show, but I definitely knew of how big of a deal it was as a child.


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Dallas Screening in Boston: All About the Event!

Last night, Dallas came to Boston — literally. TNT’s new show Dallas had a special screening of the first episode, and it wouldn’t be an event without some special guest stars! Dallas‘ own Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo, who play Elena and Rebecca in the series, were there in style, answering questions after we watched the show.

There was a good crowd there, and you could tell we had some serious Dallas fans in the house. Not only did they know some good tidbits about the original Dallas back in the day (did you know Patrick Duffy was a prankster?), but if the sea of people scrambling for autographs didn’t tell you there were some great fans, seeing someone’s “Who shot JR” shirt was certainly telling!
Here are a few fun tidbits from the Q&A last night.
  • Is the show old or new? Well, Jordana and Julie certainly consider it “Season 15.” It’s 20 years later, so you get to see where the original characters are, but you also get to tune into a new generation. “It’s everything you love about the original Dallas and more,” said Julie.
  • The girls are thrilled to be part of the series. The original stars are happy to be working together, sure, but what was Jordana’s response? “We get to be part of Dallas — what?!” Julie added, “It’s a lucky turn of events that we get to be part of such an iconic show.”
  • You may not know this, but not every show is filmed where it’s set (ok, we all know this). But Dallas is true to its name. The show is filmed in Dallas, and the cast loves it. They said it was great to be in a town, representing the people they’re seeing in their own backyard.
  • When asked whether Larry Hagman was still a stickler about smokers (according to one fan, he was), the girls had a surprising response: There are no smokers on the show!
  • Both Julie and Jordana praised Cynthia Cidre on the writing of the series, adding that she wrote great scripts and twists and turns. Julie added, quoting Patrick Duffy, that there were many attempts to revise the show years ago, but they didn’t get it right until now.
  • Everyone on the show is so lighthearted, including Patrick Duffy, who’s a jokester. Overall, it’s just fun.
  • Do they have a favorite villain on the show? Knowing how duplicitous everyone is, it’s a toughie, but Julie had her pick: JR. “He’s pretty good at what he does,” she teased.
  • Alright, we’ve got two gorgeous ladies and two hot men. Who would Jordana pick for her man? “John Ross is so cute as a bad boy,” she says.

The girls were so much fun to listen to, and they really added a lot of excitement to the event. Some final words? Julie had one final note to the audience: “Give us a chance, and we’ll have Jesse [Metcalfe] take his shirt off.” After some laughter and questions on what’s to come, she added, “Don’t trust anything or anyone, and just watch it.”

And watch it we will! Check out Dallas next Wednesday, June 13, at 9/8c on TNT for the special two-hour premiere event! And check out some photos below from last night’s event below!

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*Sorry for the low quality of the images.
Blame my iPhone and bad photo editing skills.

Hey, Boston! See Dallas First — Special Event with Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo!

Do you live in the Boston area? Do you want to see the first episode of TNT’s new show Dallas before anyone else? Do you want to see it with not one but TWO of its stars?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your opportunity.

The AMC Boston Common Theater is hosting a special screening event on Wednesday, June 6, at 7:30 pm where you could see the first episode of Dallas. That’s a whole week before anyone else! Imagine what stories you can tell at the watercooler the next day!

Plus, two of its stars — Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo (aka, the two gorgeous ladies in the picture above) — will be there for a Q&A after the show. How about that?

How do you get there? Well, it’s easy.

First, RSVP to with your first name, last name, and number of people attending and be sure to put “Raked” in the subject line.

Second, print out the ticket below (click the ticket for a larger image to print).

Third, show up with your ticket — and show up early! Limited space available. Entry is first come, first serve, and a ticket does not guarantee admittance to this event.

Then, get ready for a great show! Already anxious to find out more? Check out more on the show here! This is certainly a summer series I can’t wait to check out, and trust me, whether you loved the original or are a brand-new fan, it’s got something for everyone. So don’t miss your chance to see it now!

And even if you can’t attend, don’t forget to check out Dallas when it premieres on June 13 on TNT at 9 pm.

The super-obnoxious life of the American teenager

So. As I said in my update post, people seem to be interested in this show, when, they shouldn’t be. And of course, the show I mean is The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I believe in my original review of the pilot, I said that I would continue to watch the show so that I could post another review…you know, see if anything has changed.

It. Didn’t.

Man, this was a horrible show, and I think I base the entire “hit” status of the show on the fact that it was summer and the only other shows on were reruns of Deal or No Deal. I’m going to be honest. I’d rather rewatch the 60th anniversary show of the Emmy’s than Secret Life any day of the week. At least the Emmy’s had good hair.

But first. Let’s recap. Here is the cast of characters:

Pregnant Teen, otherwise known as Amy: Actually, the only person in the show who had the capabilities to act beyond John Schneider and Molly Ringwald but of course, didn’t get any sort of opportunity. Her storylines were reasonable; her hair was atrocious. Someone attack her bangs with scissors.

Boyfriend of Pregnant Teen, otherwise known as Ben: Pathetic, formerly pathetic-yet-skeezy boyfriend to Amy who only started dating said girl because he wanted to get laid. Now he realized that all he wants is love and whines like a puppy the entire series. Awesome.

Religious Girl, otherwise known as Grace: Along with the originality of her name came an original character–a cardboard cutout that’s half cheerleader, half moronic angel. Grace is the only blond on the show, symbolically showing her innocence–or what we would call naivety. Not only is Grace, oh, such a good person, but she has one eensy storyline that drags through the entire season.

Knocker-upper, otherwise known as Ricky: The boy who knocked up Amy. Who sleeps with slut girl. And dates Amy’s best friend. And wants to sleep with Grace. But pretends to have feelings for Grace. But doesn’t. Or does he? Who knows? But he’s super obnoxious and no one likes him. Yet everyone does. Seriously, this is the depth around Ricky. Lots of people changing their minds–and clothes, after he uses them. But don’t worry. It’s not because he’s a bad guy…it’s all related to his past, according to his therapist.

Long-haired semi-religious boy, aka Brad from Home Improvement–I mean Jack!: This guy has the easiest role on the series. Seriously. He has the same lines that just cycle around and around over and over. He wants Grace, he wants slut. He’s apologetic, he’s mad! He doesn’t have to memorize much. (But seriously, while I know it’s not the same actor, is there a reason we’ve made this character look EXACTLY like Brad from Home Improvement, circa 1994?)

The slut, otherwise known as…wait–does she have a name?: She sleeps around and has issues with her parents. Hmmm, shouldn’t she be in college with that storyline?

Best friend number 1, the redhead: Ok, I don’t know her plot, but I know she’s annoying, so I tend to ignore her.

Best friend number 2, the non-redhead: Amy’s other best friend who’s not anymore because her parents won’t let her and has a nice brother. Oh, and she dates Ricky, because EVERYONE tends to date the person who knocked up your best friend. That always happens. Always.

Korean best friend number 1, the boy: Ben’s best friend who just talks through everything with him. EVERYTHING.

Korean best friend number 2, the girl: Actually sometimes has funny things to add, but isn’t in the show all the much to matter.

Parents: Oh, this is its own series, I swear. Move them over to the new 90210, will you? I think that show might need more drama.

Sadly, my descriptions don’t even include all the storylines that this show has in one season. I think they stuck the entire series of Dallas in a three-month show. All we need is a who-shot-JR moment. Maybe they’ll kill off Amy’s dad. He’s sufficiently annoying and one-dimensional. Nevermind, they can’t kill him off. He fits in too well.

Ok, enough of my cattiness. Let’s get to the root of the problem. That being, we have TOO MANY CHARACTERS! This happened with 7th Heaven, too. We got so many people involved in the show that there was no time to delve into any problems and no one cared about any of the characters anymore. Plus, if you try to focus on only one storyline with all these people, fans complain because others aren’t doing anything (which is funny since that’s true to life–people don’t ALWAYS have life-ending drama going on). Since we have to have everyone juggling crap, we’re using up all possible plotlines in three episodes and then we go to the outrageous! Just cut down some characters. Keep it down to, like, five, and make the rest recurring. Or just hire guest stars. Why does Grace have to only choose between Ricky and Brad from Home Improvement–I mean Jack. There are tons of other people at this school. Try one of them.

Hey, Best Friends 1 and 2 could follow this same strategy. Then, maybe it’d be realistic!

And why must EVERYONE be related? Amy’s Dad used to be married to Grace’s mom. Grace’s dad is partners with Amy’s doctor. Amy’s Dad is sleeping with slut’s mom. Oh, and Ben wants to marry Amy, and Ben’s dad is totally for it! And we all live happily ever after.

None of this is REALISTIC! Unless you’re in a tiny tiny tiny town, but even in those, divorce generally isn’t prominent, there wouldn’t be as many people at the school, and most likely, you’re living by yourself in your 400-acre farm in the middle of Montana: population 1. (Sorry, people from Montana. I don’t mean to insult you, just the show. After all, you are home to the white-footed ferret, and I love those little guys. 🙂 )

And no one talks that much about sex. I had the great opportunity to watch this show with people who had never seen it before. Every five minutes, they’d look up and go, is this all they talk about? It was the finale. Every scene someone mentioned sex. And not euphemisms. They actually mentioned the word “sex.” Maybe they can up the ante next season and say “sexual intercourse” every time they mention it.

Oy. Next season.

Anyway, I could write more, but I’d just get cattier. Just here’s what I think should be done if the show continues.

1. Fewer characters.

2. Fewer storylines–focus on only a few at a time…for the ENTIRE season, not every episode.

3. More realistic situations.

4. Get everyone disassociated with each other. They’re interconnected because they’re at the same school. Lose the other stuff.

5. Stop TALKING. Do something!

6. Change the theme song. (Sorry, I just hate the theme song.)

The Emmy’s: Haven’t they been…sufficient?


Wow. The Emmy’s…well, the Emmy’s sucked this year. Which is especially sad because I was looking forward to them. It was the 60th anniversary show, and I’d been reading and reading about all of the great things that ABC was putting into the Emmy’s this year.

I, of course, ignored the fact that reality television hosts were going to be the hosts of the award show this year. But, you know, once I was rethinking it, I thought that it might not be that bad of an idea! It means that if one sucked, there were four others. And that they’d each get less air time and be spread out. Brilliant.

Then the show started. I was wrong. Uber-wrong. Wow, were they…bad. I think the best part of the show was when Jimmy Kimmel asked whether they had been “sufficient.” The answer is “no.” And by the way, when someone is making fun of the hosts of the show only 15 minutes into it, you have to admit that someone made a major error. Wow.

I suppose the best part of the show for me was actually Josh Groban’s theme song list. I love Josh Groban, and when I heard of his performance, I was picturing operatic versions of Cheers and the Buffy theme. Ok, it scared me, but I was intrigued. But he did well. I’m very impressed with the many ways Josh Groban could change his voice with each song–and his “Oh God” before the Fresh Prince theme was just so great. Made you really see how hard he worked at that performance, and frankly, it just made me laugh.

But the rest was blah. Nothing was really all that fantastic, and if it wasn’t “not that fantastic,” it was terrible. There weren’t even risky dress choices. Since when did everyone start playing it so safe?

And the worst part was that so much got cut. Apparently, everything went so long that bits and pieces were cut from the awards show–sadly enough, it was probably the parts that would have been *gasp!* entertaining. One such thing was the actual results to the Greatest TV Moments poll that was on Now, it’s still up in the air as to whether maybe they included the winning clip and just didn’t define it as that (check out a long discussion of comments on this post). Now, Buffy‘s “The Gift” was one of the nominees of sorts, and it was obviously not aired tonight. What I really thought was close in the running was the famous ER scene with George Clooney saving the drowning child. Or for the love of God, who shot JR? I hate to call it groundbreaking, but it surely made an imprint.

Anyway, I voted and was looking forward to the results. I would have watched the show either way, but it bugs the crap out of me that this wasn’t presented. I mean, if you go to the Emmy’s main page (or at least during and before the Emmy’s if not now), you would have seen that they were advertising this like crazy! In fact, on the main page, you would have seen the following:

Voting For Television’s Most Memorable Moments Is Now Closed

The winning clips will be revealed during the ceremony.

Which will emerge as the most memorable? Tune in live to the 60th Primetime Emmy® Awards on September 21 on ABC to find out.

We didn’t find out. If this was so much of a marketing ploy–a major marketing campaign–for the awards show, why would they cut it? Or why wouldn’t they have brought it out more. I know many people in the BuffyVerse are mightily annoyed over this, and I’d imagine some X-Filers and fans of other famous shows on the list might be feeling the same way.

No matter what, I think we can easily see this year’s Emmy’s as a failure to entertain. I think the winners were fair. I figured Mad Men and John Adams would get their day in the sun, and I was happy to see the great kudos assigned to Recount and 30 Rock. So while these were positives, I would have been fine to see a list on the web and watched Army Wives instead of TiVoed it.

Let me say one last thing: I watched the Creative Emmy’s Award Show last night (re-aired from last weekend) and was much more entertained than tonight. All we can say is that maybe Sarah Chalke and Neil Patrick Harris should be getting more credit than the reality crap we saw tonight. Now we see what reality TV really does for television today.

UPDATE: Thought I’d add some other feedback and links from other viewers. If you have any to add, let me know!

Review from Salon by Heather Havrilesky

Emmy Awards Live Blog from Give Me My Remote