'Dallas' returns to TNT: Does the new show do right by the Ewings?

josh-henderson-jesse-metcalfe-dallas-tnt.jpgThe rebirth of "Dallas" on TNT Wednesday night (June 13) felt pretty familiar -- in both good and bad ways.

On the good side, it's clear that Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray still enjoy the heck out of playing J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen. There's nothing like a 20-year break (give or take a couple of TV movies) to refresh an actor's approach to a familiar character, and all three commanded the screen in their scenes.

The downside of that, though, is that the three "Dallas" veterans tended to overshadow the new cast members. The focus of the new show is on the conflict between J.R.'s and Bobby's sons, John Ross and Christopher, but as mentioned in Zap2it's review of the show, it often felt like they were playing out things we'd seen many times before in the show's prior iteration.

It would also be nice to see Jordana Brewster's Elena, Julie Gonzalo's Rebecca and Brenda Strong's Ann come into their own more. They were mostly reactive characters in the premiere, which may be a necessary evil dictated by all the scene-setting pilots and early episodes have to do. Here's hoping they get more to do as the rest of the season unfolds, because all three are capable of a lot more.

A couple other thoughts on the premiere:

- Nice cameos by Charlene Tilton and Steve Kanaly as Lucy and Ray, who returned to Southfork for Christopher's wedding. As a whole, it felt like the premiere did a pretty good job of balancing old and new -- if, say, you don't know who Lucy and Ray are, you can just accept that they're relatives, but if you're a fan of the first "Dallas" you likely got an extra kick out of the scene.
- Another nice touch: The opening credits don't just use the classic theme song, but mimic the look of the old show almost perfectly.
- You knew the Del Sol Conservancy woman was double-crossing Bobby, right? But did you also peg her as the person in the Ferrari?

What did you think of the "Dallas" premiere? If you're a fan of the old series, do you think TNT did right by it, and if you're a newcomer, will you be sticking around?
Photo/Video credit: TNT