WASHINGTON - Ruthless. Scheming. Soapy. Sinister. Ask any fan of the TV show "Dallas" to describe the series that ran from 1978 to 1991 and those are the words that come to mind.
The series will be back on the cable network TNT starting Wednesday night, with the hopes of grabbing not only the show's old fans but new ones as well.
Long-time fans, including WTOP Sports Reporter Dave Preston, are hyped. He got hooked back in 1980 when the big question was, "Who shot J.R.?"
"I've talked to a lot of other Dallas fans. We just hope it's not horrible," Preston says.
His plans for Wednesday include a viewing party at his apartment complex, with plans for a splash.
"Somebody always gets tossed into the pool at Southfork."
Hill Country Barbecue Market at 410 7th St., NW, also hopes to capitalize on the hype with a viewing party from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday.
"Cowboy hats, shoulder pads and rhinestones are optional," the market's Facebook page says.
What should "Dallas" fans expect?
Karen Valby, senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, says the whole idea of bringing the show back has people rolling their eyes. She says she has "low expectations."
At 80, Larry Hagman returns as the dastardly Texas oil baron J.R. Ewing. He tells Reuters he had "no trouble" getting back into character.
"He was the heart and soul and wink of Dallas for 14 seasons, and they're not going to under-use him," Valby says.
"Larry Hagman is still magnificent as J.R.," says TV GUIDE Entertainment Editor Matt Roush.
"His eyebrows are worthy of a show."
Fans also are looking forward to the return of Linda Gray as Sue Ellen and Patrick Duffy as Bobby.
"The focus is on the younger generation," Roush says.
Valby questions whether "Dallas" will have the staying power it did 20 years ago.
"Will people tune in the third and fourth episode after the novelty of a new Dallas has worn off that is what's on the table," she says.
And, Roush doubts it will be what it was a generation ago.
"There is no way it's going to be as huge because TV is so different," he says.
"As long as J.R. is in the picture, it's still great fun."
And for those not off throwing friends in pools or donning their rhinestones for the evening, Roush says "Dallas" will be a "guilty pleasure."
Here's a peek at what to expect:
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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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