Hump: My earliest memories regarding the original incarnation of Dallas go as follows:
INT. - TV ROOM - FRIDAY NIGHT
LAUREN & BROTHER
"Can we watch TGIF?"
"No! Be quiet!!"
"But we don’t wanna watch... Dallas. It’s about boring adults."
"No, it’s not! Now shhhhh... We need to find out who shot J.R."
As you can guess from the above scenario, I never quite hopped on the Dallas oil rig. I’m also a member of the generation that is most likely to associate Patrick Duffy with seminal Brady Bunch rip-off Step By Step (which had the most amazing opening credits of all time, by the way — honestly, who puts a wooden roller coaster on a beach?).
Anyway, I decided to give the Ewing family and Southfork another chance this week when Dallas premiered on TNT. While I’m still unsure of all the family dynamics (and I even consulted a family tree on HuffPo for help), what I do know is this: J.R.’s (Larry Hagman) old man eyebrows are a wonder of nature...and Jesse Metcalfe is back on television!
That’s right, the Desperate Housewives hunk who was supposed to be the Next Big Thing after his feature film debut, John Tucker Must Die, is back on our tellies lookin’ all macho while advocating alternative energy solutions to oil. His eyebrows are as over-plucked as ever, but damn, does he look hot while attempting to deliver lines about methane, the sexiest of natural gases.
Marry: Obviously, I’m going to talk about Bunheads. My love of dance-themed shows is well documented, and Bunheads packs the one-two punch of ballet and Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. Dancers talking at a rapid pace, firing off intelligent quips left and right? Yes, please.
At the core of the show is the burgeoning relationship between Michelle (Sutton Foster) and her new mother-in-law, Fanny (Kelly Bishop, a.k.a Emily Gilmore). They both could have been famous ballerinas with illustrious careers, but along the way they were derailed by the glitz and glamour of Vegas (Michelle) and pregnancy/single motherhood (Fanny). Now, Fanny runs a dance school in a small town (there’s no movie theater in sight, but sure, they have a ballet academy), and Michelle is a Vegas showgirl who's grown tired of the sparkles and is looking for shoulder that’s, well, kind.
Enter Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — or Alan Ruck, if you prefer — playing Fanny’s beloved son Hubbell, who never quite cut the cord. Even though he lives with his mom, he apparently makes frequent trips to Vegas, which is where he fell in love with Michelle, a non-topless dancer in a topless revue. (I’ll ignore the ick factor of a single man in his forties who makes repeated visits to a topless revue because he’s kind — this is stressed a lot.) She gets drunk and agrees to marry him in a moment of weakness and boom, it’s off to small-town Paradise and Fanny’s domain they go.
Of course, Fanny doesn’t want to like the Vegas showgirl her son married at a drive-through chapel, but spunky Sutton Foster didn’t win two Tony Awards by lacking an ability to make everyone fall in love with her. There’s also a weird quasi-dance-off during which Michelle and Fanny see if they can dance together (like coupled-up hands-on-waist/hands-on-shoulders dancing together), which is apparently Kelly’s litmus test for a potential daughter-in-law.**
Spoiler alert: Hubbel is potentially no longer with us for the rest of the series, and Michelle now needs to decide if she’s going to stay in Paradise forever or head back to Vegas. Let us not forget, though, that this is an Amy Sherman-Palladino show, which means it must take place in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Whatever, I totally want to move into Fanny and Michelle’s house in Paradise now that there’s a vacancy. RIP, Hubbel. [Insert obligatory “Let my Cameron go” joke here.]
**Is this something that happens in real life? Because I’ve got the opening number from 42nd Street ready to go if any MILs out there are holding open auditions.
Kill: I must come clean: I haven’t been the most devoted of Mad Men viewers this season. I’ve kept tabs on the show by reading online synopses, but I haven’t actually seen an episode in about four weeks. Therefore, I must apologize for any unfounded conclusions I’ve drawn.
After watching the season finale this week, however, I still want to get rid of Megan — or just Single White Female her. Why? Her mom is badass (she speaks in truisms like “Not every little girl gets to do what they want. The world cannot support that many ballerinas." Preach, Mère-Megan.), and Don is not only still being faithful to Megan (although this remains to be seen based on his answer to the night’s final question), but also helping her start a new career phase. It’s just not fair. [Ed. Note: Some of our other writers disagree.]
So, let’s make a deal, Matthew Weiner: Season six can reveal that Don’s whole Megan experiment was just a bad, bad dream. I’ve learned from my Dallas research that not only has the “JK, that wasn't real!” plotline been done before, but also that fans absolutely hate it. But, hey, how else are we going to ditch this broad? Fine, I guess run-of-the-mill philandering will do. So, can someone please slip the ‘60s version of Viagra in Don’s drink the next time Megan’s out of town? Cheers.