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Brenda Strong

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REVIEW: Dallas Doubles as '80s Nostalgia & Fresh Guilty Pleasure | Brenda Strong, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy

Dallas Doubles as '80s Nostalgia & Fresh Guilty Pleasure

Originally posted 06/13/2012 08:35AM

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Like finding an abandoned Teddy Ruxpin at a garage sale or discovering a Swatch watch at the bottom of a Trivial Pursuit box, hearing the theme song to Dallas opens an instant wormhole to the '80s.

Wisely preserving the iconic tune – along with the now-retro scrolling opener – this updated take on the classic nighttime soap pulls off a 10-gallon-hat trick: It's both old and new, a comfy piece of nostalgia that doubles as a fresh guilty pleasure.

The secret is the blended cast, which successfully mixes fan favorites from the original (only Victoria Principal, who played Pam, is M.I.A.) with sexy Southfork newcomers. Ewing brothers J.R. (the ever-irascible Larry Hagman, letting his overgrown eyebrows do the heavy dramatic lifting) and Bobby (a still-buff Patrick Duffy) remain at odds, while their sons carry on the family feud.

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Desperate Housewives: Five Memorable Moments

Originally posted 05/14/2012 07:00AM



Desperate Housewives, ABC's groundbreaking dramedy, came to a close Sunday night after eight breezily entertaining seasons full of gossip, backstabbing, friendships and frenemy-ships, and many, many instances of rigor mortis setting in. Here are five of Wisteria Lane's most treasured snapshots – but do add your fondest memories in the comments below:

The mystery of Mary Alice, season 1, Oct. 3, 2004: The series hooked me right from its opener: Wisteria Street resident Mary Alice Williams (Brenda Strong), the show's narrator, tells us in a soothing, almost sunny tone how one day she reached into the top of her closet, took down a revolver and shot herself dead. Even though the mystery of her suicide was eventually solved, Mary Alice has remained the voice of the show ever since, commenting with compassion and sometimes rather heavy irony on the adventures of Susan, Bree, Lynette and Gabrielle. I would have gone for a cheap stunt and had the occasional guest narrator – Joy Behar, for instance – but Mary Alice's voice, even more than the tidy lawns and slickly painted houses, was always the real, unifying vision of Wisteria Lane.

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