herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Aoife Finneran: Now that Dallas is back can we please turn off the time machine?

LADIES, dust off your shoulder pads and guys, find yourselves a stetson because we're all off to Dallas. More specifically, we're all off to the 1980s again because the most famous US TV show of that era is returning to our screens again.

You might have spent the past 20 years wondering who shot JR but it doesn't matter any more because the actor Larry Hagman is back to take part in a pilot that will feature the next generation of the Ewing family.

It's bizarrely appropriate, don't you think?

After all, everything else in this paralysed country of ours has returned to 1980s levels, especially our economy.

In the past year we've seen a dramatic drop in living standards.

Out of necessity, we've reverted to the 1980s way of doing things: cooking at home instead of forking out hard-earned cash in fancy restaurants; mending our torn or ripped clothes instead of replacing them with new gear and observing terrifyingly long dole queues full of despairing faces.

Ghosts

Don't be fooled by the fact that they axed The Den. The figures on the calendar might say 2011 but we're well and truly stuck in the grey, staid bleakness of the 1980s.

I probably should have sensed trouble when The Commitments announced their reunion. But now that Dallas has returned, the whole sorry saga has come full circle.

It seems the brains behind this hit TV show have decided that if we're all stuck in 1980s-esque recession we might as well suffer through 1980s "entertainment".

And if you've been sleeping soundly in recent months, perhaps now would be a good time to prepare for a bout of insomnia.

Because if there's one thing guaranteed to halt your sleep and induce nightmares, it's the spectacle of the terrifying Sue-Ellen aggressively stroking her whiskey glass.

To a generation of kids in the 1980s, that woman and her freakishly large shoulder pads was far scarier than any gremlins or ghosts. And now she's back, along with the gentle Bobby. But this time, they'll be the minor plays in a show that will focus on their children as they battle for control of the family empire.

Well at least nothing has changed there then, because us mere mortals will still watch the TV screen in a fog of jealous rage that we're not rich enough to live on a ranch like Southfork.

Let's face it, the 1980s gloom is here to stay. We might have thought we'd progress dramatically in 20 years and that looking at Dallas in 2011 would be like viewing carbon copies of our rich, successful selves, albeit with fewer cowboy accoutrements.

Little did we know we'd enjoy the high life and the boom times and come crashing back to earth by the time Dallas rolled around again.

Sure the vintage soap has a new hottie in the shape of Jordana Brewster, but thanks to the return of that smarmy JR, our misery, carefully cultivated over the past few painful years, is finally complete.

Can we turn the time machine off now?

Enough. Please.

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