Culture Cafe 'Dallas' does the near-impossible by crafting a satisfying new show

'Dallas,' a continuation of the saga of the oil-rich Ewings, has an almost perfect cast.

Erik Heinila/TNT/AP

There seem to be two questions asked by two different sets of people when it comes to tonight’s return to the infamous Southfork ranch of DALLAS fame. Folks who loved the iconic original want to know if the reboot is worthy of the original, and those too young to have watched the classic wonder if they’ll be able to dive into TNT’s version (launching with a two-hour premiere tonight at 9 p.m. ET) without feeling lost.
Happily, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes.
As someone who spent the seemingly endless summer of 1980 wondering who shot J.R. — along with the estimated 83 million people who tuned in on November 21, 1980 to learn that the triggerman had actually been his sister-in-law, Kristen — the thought of a network attempting to reboot DALLAS sent shivers down my spine. It wouldn’t — couldn’t — be the same.