I recently shared with you some wishlist titles I ogled at the bookstore and revealed a few impromptu purchases, too. You may have noticed from my choices that I have an interest in neuroscience–social, cognitive and behavioral. I work in an academic environment and I could perpetuate the idea that I only invest time in somewhat curricular topics. But truth in advertising…I do indulge in the occasional entertainment junk food!
I’ll set this up!
I was married in the early 1970s and Jay was a railroad guy! He was on the road quite a bit and by the time the 1970s came to a close I had two small children and was often alone with them on evenings and some weekends.I was very fortunate to have been home raising my children during those years, but we have a joke between us that I don’t remember the ’80s.
I’ve said this for years only because so often someone will refer to an event and I’ll question I was even there! I don’t know why my memory is so spotty during that particular decade, but I typically respond that I must have been so stressed that my memory vacated the premises! I don’t think I recognized anything as so stressful at the time, but in reality I was balancing a lot on my own. I was very young, and so I suppose there was stress. Not all stress is recognized as distress!
But I must remember more than I claim because the other evening watching the Tony Awards a commercial caught my attention sparking memory when I heard a familiar strain of music. It all came back to me! Every single Friday night from 1978 to 1991 I made sure that I was home and ready to watch the back-stabbing, deceitful and amoral Ewing family on the highly successful nighttime soap opera, Dallas! I might not have been in a position to go out with friends or even entertain in…but my Friday nights held plenty of enjoyment.
Whatever weekday stress I had accumulated was minimized as I sat engrossed in the tempestuous exploits of the notorious bad guy with the grin, J.R. Ewing, and his brother, Bobby–who also played a successful oil baron but without the bottomless bag of dirty tricks. Of course the family drama was excessive with a cast of characters that to this day remain some of my favorites. Dallas was included in Time magazine’s 2007 list of “100 Best TV Shows of All-Time” and upon conclusion in 1991 it was also one of the longest lasting primetime dramas in American television.
The now famous Who Shot J.R. episode was at the time the highest rated episode in history with an estimated 83,000,000 viewers. I wasn’t alone in my little Friday night addiction. In relative terms television was very simple in those days. There were far fewer choices and viewing options, limited recording devices, none until much later, and cliffhanger plot devices were still quite new, creating shocking season endings that held a regular viewer in suspense until the show started again a few months later.
Watching Sunday night’s Tony Awards I caught a lengthy trailer for the NEW Dallas, which is airing tomorrow night (Wednesday) in the U.S. on the TNT channel, but I also read it is airing in the U.K.–if not right now, soon-to-be. I don’t usually watch television on “school nights,” but unlike the ’80s, we have DVRs and I can record it to watch on Friday night–just like I used to enjoy it!
Dallas icon Larry Hagman, now 80, will reunite with original co-stars Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray and as one article put it, “bring the same sense of malicious joie de vivre” that hooked me thirty years ago. I don’t have high hopes for great drama. The era of soap opera obsession is over, I think, or at least it is for me. But I will be watching nonetheless, even if it is just to revisit some of the characters and chuckle along at the absurdity of the plot twists and turns.
I think it’s a good thing to indulge in a little junk food once in a while, even if it’s just to celebrate the fact that we don’t need it every day! Maybe I’ll just DVR the new episodes and hold them in abeyance to pull out any time I need a tool to help diffuse a little stress. Junk food is sometimes synonymous with comfort food–at least it is for me!
I saw something else on another commercial aired during the Tony Awards and it has me all stirred up–so next week I’ll share all about it! And it’s the opposite of junk food. A few clues–French, music, classic…that’s it for now! Stay tuned!
Humming the Dallas theme song I MUST breathe lighter…Debra
- WATCH: ‘Dallas’ Cast Picks Up Where They Left Off 20 Years Later (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘Dallas’ review: Giddily scheming JR steals show (sfgate.com)
- ‘Dallas': The original sinner returns (cnn.com)
- Larry Hagman On ‘Dallas’ Reboot: ‘It Feels Like Coming Home’ (huffingtonpost.com)