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JR Ewing Speaks From The Grave
By: Edwina Owens Elliott
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DALLAS has way over a million fans on Facebook. This blogger has been an FB fan since 2010, just when the rumblings of the new television series that premiered during the 2012 season were beginning to stir. I think it’s pretty clear to everyone why the bulk of the fans are there. For the same reason we watched each new episode all season with hopes for an appearance, no matter how brief. There’s only one character who kept us coming back every week. No question. It was and is Mr. JR Ewing.
 
As a fan, I’ve been wondering what in the world are they going to do now that the incomparable Larry Hagman is no longer with us. Can they keep the momentum of the show going and carry their fairly successful first season ratings on into season two? It hardly seems likely. JR Ewing is DALLAS. Always was and always will be. But on Facebook they’re giving it one helluva try. JR is still posting and talking to his fans. And it’s a little bit spooky. It’s advertising from the grave.
 
The DALLAS staff at TNT must be commended for their tenaciousness. Mr. Hagman’s ashes may be spread all over Malibu but JR Ewing is still alive and kicking online. His fans are being asked to exist with one foot in reality’s graveyard and the other planted firmly in the TV world of DALLAS. We know Mr. Hagman is gone. But long live JR.
 
The posts are funny and clever and full of JR-isms. Dissing his old enemy Cliff Barnes, he wrote on Thursday “That Barnes is all hat and no cattle. Some things never change.” You can hear his voice, full of amused contempt, just as clearly as if he was sitting right there beside you, sipping on a bourbon & branch. He rips on everybody; Bobby, John Ross, Sue Ellen, and the entire Ewing clan. And it’s working. Fans respond to his posts with enthusiasm. Many, of course, wonder what the show will be like without him and a few have noted how weird it seems for his character to be posting at all, but that one-liner about Cliff Barnes on Thursday has received 4,140 likes, almost 400 shares, and 251 comments.
 
It’s a brilliant use of social media. The folks at TNT are clearly going to keep it going for as long as they can. JR will indeed pass away on the series and his funeral is scheduled for sometime towards the end of the second season. But after they bury his character, what’s next for DALLAS the TV series? Can it possibly survive? Let the speculation begin.


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About the Author

Edwina Owens Elliott is a graphic designer, art director, illustrator and owner of FASHION+ART, an e-commerce art gallery. She has a lifelong passion for fashion, art, writing, music, movies, books, theater, cooking, gardening, plotting and planning and dreaming big dreams. Find her online here and here.

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