Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The New "Dallas"

Every Monday night, Richie and I have a standing date to watch "Heroes". Really, it's only one of two shows that he and I really agree to watch. The other is "Top Chef", because he would never watch "Project Runway" or "Ugly Betty" on his own, just as I would never watch the "Ultimate Fighting Championships" or "Ghost Hunters". It's all about the give and take in marriage, you know.

As a child, my mother never missed an episode of the television show "Dallas". My sister and I were never allowed to watch with her and Daddy, but we sure could hum the theme song. After high school, I took a year off to work before heading to college. That's when I got into it; watching the reruns on the now defunct Nashville Network. I don't think I missed an episode, either. I can still hum the theme song. Ok, fine. Y'all know that I can't just hum. I will "bom-bom-bom" it out loud, like I'm in a parade marching to a John Phillip Sousa theme.

It hit me at three in the morning, as I was lying there awake in bed, thinking about the episode of "Heroes" that Richie and I had just seen, how much the two shows reminded me of each other. Think about it--both are centered around powerful families in a central area. The Ewings had Dallas, and the Petrellis have Manhattan. In both shows, there is scheming, lying, and manipulating, as well as someone trying to stop it. There are power struggles within the family, as well as surprise half-brothers and illegitimate children popping up. The Petrelli patriarch's name was Arthur "Dallas" Petrelli. They even have family in Texas.

I began to think then, at three in the morning, if "Heroes" is the new "Dallas", then who is who? The cast of "Heroes", much like the cast of "Dallas" is quite huge. For that reason, I've stuck to the Petrelli clan and those immediately related.

Angela Petrelli= JR Ewing. The ruthless, diabolical silver-tongued schemer who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. This matriarch is no steel magnolia with a heart of gold like Miss Ellie. You mess with Miss Ellie's family, you get a good talking to. Maybe you get pushed into the Southfork pool. You mess with the Petrellis, Angela will have you killed, or will use you until you wish you were dead.

Nathan Petrelli= Gary Ewing. A season or two ago, I would have said he was the JR Ewing of this group. However, it's become more apparent that his strings are being pulled by his mother and by Linderman. I've chosen the seldom seen Ewing brother because Nathan truly seems to want to do the right thing, and he is increasingly moving away from the infamous Petrelli ways. Besides, Gary and Valene were married three times, and that just may be close to how many times Nathan has had a run-in with Jessica/Niki Sanders, er, Tracy Strauss.

Peter Petrelli=Bobby Ewing. The matriarch's clear favorite, always trying to do the right thing. But was Bobby this emo about saving the Ewing name as Peter is about saving the world? Sheesh, dude.

Gabriel/Sylar= Ray Krebbs. The fringe character has now become a full-fledged member of the Petrelli clan. Jock Ewing was Ray's daddy, but as of yet, we don't know the name of Gabriel's father.

Noah Bennett= Cliff Barnes, the thorn in JR's side, but not necessarily a good guy, either. Like Cliff, Noah has his own ways of getting things done, and it's not always the straightforward, legal way. Also like Cliff, Noah's main interest is his family's interest, and he will stop at nothing to protect it.

Sandra Bennett= Sue Ellen Ewing. Sue Ellen was a former Miss Texas and Sandra has Mr. Muggles, a show dog. Also like Sue Ellen, she has no control over her husband's comings and goings, and merely has to stand by and watch. This caused Sue Ellen to become an alcoholic. I wonder what will happen to Sandra?

Claire Bennett= part Pamela Barnes Ewing, part Lucy Ewing. The Pam parts: Deeply devoted to her biological and adoptive families. Just as Cliff, Pam's brother, was JR's worst enemy, Noah, Claire's adoptive father, is Angela's. The Lucy parts: Texas high-school student with a spotty attendance record. Not mature enough to realize the responsibilities of her station in life. Biological father lives in another part of the country, spotty relationship with live-in father figure as her independence increases.

So there you go. The Petrelli/Bennetts as the Ewing/Barnes families. Gives you a little something to think about, doesn't it?


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