TV Reviews: "Dallas," "Burn Notice," "Suits"

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“Dallas/Burn Notice/Suits Make the Summer Even Better”

Sometime in the not so distant past a person came up with the idea of bringing back “Dallas” to TV. The popular nighttime soap opera had had an extended run back in the 70’s and 80’s so maybe it was time for an update. This concept was not so amazing, but the fact that someone took the idea and ran with it and came up with a continuation of the “Dallas” story is. Now in the summer of 2012 the “Dallas” story comes back to life with new energy and enthusiasm.

This is not a remake of the story of the rivalry between JR (Larry Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy). The tale of those two brother’s wars has been done. This time out the emphasis is on the next generation of Ewings, John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalf). John Ross is the son of JR and Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and Christopher is the adopted son of Bobby and Pam (Victoria Principal).

The new series jumps right in with a battle brewing between the two sons over whether or not to drill for oil at Southfork, the legendary Texas family home. You immediately get JR and John Ross on one side and Bobby and Christopher on the other. Elena (Jordana Brewster), the two boys’ mutual love interest dangles somewhere in between.

You immediately get an interest in the storyline and also the various characters. Each episode appears to have at least one big twist in the story telling that makes you anxious for the next episode to arrive. It is also fun to spot the former “stars” of the TV series such as Charlene Tilton as Lucy, Steve Kanaly as Ray Krebbs and Ken Kercheval as Cliff Barnes. The only one missing is Principal and the door is open for Pam’s return. I am sure it is up to the actress as to whether or not she wants to be part of this redo.

The bottom line is that the show is fresh and fun, and absolurely what the summer needed. Just hearing that “Dallas” theme music brings back a lot of memories for those of us who loved the old show. For those not familiar with the past, this new cast will bring them in and entertain them royally. So get the word out. “Dallas” is back and better than ever!

Also back this summer is “Burn Notice,” the USA series about a “burned” CIA operative named Michael Westin (Jeffery Donovan). He is slowly getting back to his old job but there are a lot of roadblocks in his path. He is assisted by his girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) and his old buddy Sam (Bruce Campbell). From time to time he is even assisted by his mother Madeline (Sharon Gless).

The great thing about this show is the smooth way in which this cast of actors work together. When the show first started, it is now in Season 6, Donovan, Anwar and Campbell were the core. Gless was only seen sporadically, but she proved to be so fascinating to viewers that her part has been beefed up considerably. The same is true of Coby Bell’s character of Jesse Porter. Jesse was another “burned” agent who was in for a few episodes but he fit in so well with the group that he is still working with them.

“Burn Notice” is the kind of show that just keeps getting better and better. It has just started its summer run so tune in to the USA Network on Thursday nights at 9 and be totally entertained. And while you are watching stay tuned at 10 for “Suits,” another well acted and cohesive series.

“Suits” is only in its second season but it was so popular last year when it premiered that people have been clamoring for its return. Gabriel Macht plays a high powered attorney in New York named Harvey Specter. His protégée’ is Mike Ross (Patrick J Adams), a young hotshot with a photographic memory and a slew of other talents. Others at the law firm think he is a Harvard grad, which he is not. Keeping his secret keeps both Harvey and Mike on their toes.

Also in this series, and adding to the fun, are Harvey’s boss Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) and his coworker Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman). Mike’s girlfriend Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) is also on board as a legal assistant. These are all fresh faces who provide some of the brightest moments on TV each and every week.

For some hot times during this long hot summer tune in to “Dallas” on TNT, Wednesday nights at 9. Then on Thursday nights it is “Burn Notice” and “Suits” on the USA Network at 9 and 10. Summer time may not be too fresh at the major networks but it is booming with the cable network shows.

Photo courtesy of: TNT

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