Dallas (Season 3) DVD Review

by : Britt Gillette

Nominated for 18 Emmys and 15 Golden Globes in its thirteen season run, Dallas is the epitome of the prime-time drama/soap opera genre. Premiering in 1978 as a five part mini-series, the show combines the usual sex and innuendo of classic afternoon soap operas with the freewheeling adventure of Texas wildcats and filthy rich capitalist oil barons. The combination of business dealings and rampant affairs tested well with both the male and female demographic, prompting CBS to make Dallas a regular part of its prime-time lineup. The result was one of the most successful television shows in history. In fact, the so-called 'Who shot J.R.?" episode ("A House Divided" Air Date: 3-21-1980) still reigns as the second most watched TV show in history (the season finale of MASH is #1). With one of most memorable characters ever created (the man everybody loves to hate), it's no surprise that Dallas held the #1 or #2 spot in the Nielsen ratings for most of the 1980s…

Dallas spent most of its television life in the Friday night time slot following the successful CBS series, The Dukes Of Hazzard. Creator David Jacobs originally intended to create a series around a poor Texas girl, Pam Barnes (Victoria Principal), who marries into a wealthy family (The Ewings) with whom her family has been feuding for decades. The first five episodes mostly center around the family discord faced by Pam and her husband Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) as they attempt to bring their families to a truce. But it soon became apparent to producers of the show that Bobby's scoundrel of a brother, Ewing Oil President J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), would be the true star of the show. Son of Ewing Oil founder Jock Ewing (Jim Davis) and his wife Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes), J.R. sought to make Ewing Oil the largest independent oil company in the world, and he intended to go to any lengths necessary to get what he wanted. And as you'll see, sooner or later, J.R. always gets what he wants… Along the way, he butts heads with life-long rival Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), drives his own wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) to alcoholism, and even mortgages the beloved Southfork Ranch (Miss Ellie's childhood home and current residence for the majority of the Ewing clan). Southfork foreman Ray Krebs (Steve Kanaly) and Ewing grandchild Lucy (Charlene Tilton) add flavorful subplots to a series often dominated by J.R.'s nefarious schemes. In short, Dallas offers its viewers everything - money, sex, violence, conspiracy, intricate business dealings, etc. If you haven't seen it, then immediately start watching from the beginning episodes of the first season. You won't be disappointed…!

The Dallas (Season 3) DVD features a number of exciting episodes including the season premiere "What Ever Happened to Baby John" in which Sue Ellen returns to Southfork after recovering from the previous season's car wreck and delivering the Ewing's first grandson, John Ross. But Sue Ellen is not joyous. In fact, she sinks into a deep depression marked by bouts of alcoholism. Meanwhile, J.R. has taken on a talented lawyer, Alan Beam, as his understudy… John Ross remains in the hospital, recovering from his premature birth, until the family learns that he's been kidnapped. Everyone offers a theory on who did it, but it takes Pam's powers of observation to solve the mystery… Other notable episodes from Season 3 include "Ellie Saves the Day" in which the family learns of J.R.'s devious plan to mortgage Southfork in order to drill for oil in Asia, and "A House Divided" in which J.R.'s crooked deal of selling the rights to Ewing Oil's Asian wells to his friends (because he knew they would soon be nationalized) comes back to haunt him when the season finale ends with his being shot in the most famous cliffhanger in television history…

Below is a list of episodes included on the Dallas (Season 3) DVD:

Episode 30 (What Ever Happened to Baby John?: Part 1) Air Date: 09-21-1979
Episode 31 (What Ever Happened to Baby John?: Part 2) Air Date: 09-28-1979
Episode 32 (The Silent Killer) Air Date: 10-05-1979
Episode 33 (Secrets) Air Date: 10-12-1979
Episode 34 (The Kristin Affair) Air Date: 10-19-1979
Episode 35 (The Dove Hunt) Air Date: 10-26-1979
Episode 36 (The Lost Child) Air Date: 11-02-1979
Episode 37 (Rodeo) Air Date: 11-09-1979
Episode 38 (Mastectomy: Part 1) Air Date: 11-16-1979
Episode 39 (Mastectomy: Part 2) Air Date: 11-16-1979
Episode 40 (The Heiress) Air Date: 11-23-1979
Episode 41 (Ellie Saves the Day) Air Date: 11-30-1979
Episode 42 (Mother of the Year) Air Date: 12-14-1979
Episode 43 (Return Engagements) Air Date: 12-20-1979
Episode 44 (Love and Marriage) Air Date: 12-21-1979
Episode 45 (Power Play) Air Date: 01-04-1980
Episode 46 (Paternity Suit) Air Date: 01-11-1980
Episode 47 (Jenna's Return) Air Date: 01-18-1980
Episode 48 (Sue Ellen's Choice) Air Date: 02-01-1980
Episode 49 (Second Thoughts) Air Date: 02-08-1980
Episode 50 (Divorce - Ewing Style) Air Date: 02-15-1980
Episode 51 (Jock's Trial: Part 1) Air Date: 02-22-1980
Episode 52 (Jock's Trial: Part 2) Air Date: 02-29-1980
Episode 53 (The Wheeler Dealer) Air Date: 03-14-1980
Episode 54 (A House Divided) Air Date: 03-21-1980