'Dallas: The Complete Thirteenth Season'
(Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Barbara Bel Geddes, George Kennedy, Howard Keel, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / Warner Home Video)
Overview: For J.R. Ewing, Season 13 is as unlucky as a steer at a Texas barbecue. He starts by lying and cheating Ewing Oil to the brink of destruction and ends by kicking and screaming in a psychiatric hospital. In between he tires of his pretty young wife, seethes while Cliff Barnes’s political star rises and bumps into a past he didn’t know he had.
DVD: The oil saga continues with all the action from Southfork and Ewing Oil in this penultimate Season 13 DVD with its many brand new and fresh stories. This season has some good and imaginative plots but also a couple of mediocre ones, and there are many light-hearted moments and some great one-liners too. The great Larry Hagman puts on his ten-gallon hat for another terrific performance as that lovable villain J.R. Ewing who is nastier and meaner this season and, as always, he is up to his tricks and schemes.
In this refreshing thirteenth season J.R. plots to stir up trouble for his new illegitmate son James as he is against him continuing his affair or even marrying "that money-hungry little bitch" Michelle! The excellent and eventful episode "Black Tide" starts a good story arc of a battle between Ewing Oil and Weststar after their tankers collide spilling oil into the Gulf. The classic Barnes-Ewing feud restarts with Cliff plotting to ruin J.R. in cahoots with Carter McKay (played by Oscar-winning movie veteran George Kennedy).
There's high drama and suspense early in the season as an old enemy plots an explosive end to Bobby. It's time for another Southfork wedding but it lacks the sparks or fireworks of previous Southfork weddings. There's murder, mystery and suspense when Miss Ellie and Clayton get entangled in a Will's murderous intentions, and this is a more interesting story than the lackluster one of Miss Ellie and Clayton going on a treasure hunt.
New cast member Kimberly Foster is good as the show's new money-hungry bitch Michelle Stevens who is busy scheming and manipulating. J.R. pulls his classic tricks in an attempt to win over the members of Cliff's investigative committee so as to save Ewing Oil, and he also blackmails his wife's friend Alex Barton before running him out of town. Lesley-Anne Down - who starred in UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS - joins the cast as publicist Stephanie Rogers who learns to never say never to J.R. Ewing after he hatches a blackmail plot against her.
Evil J.R. is at work as he plots to destroy his wife Cally, tear down Cliff Barnes' career, manipulate his son James' future, and get rid of "that gold-digging little tramp" Michelle. This season's final two episodes contain the rather outlandish and lackluster plot of J.R. committing himself into the mental hospital in an attempt to gain a block of Weststar stock. Never has J.R. been filled with such intense fury and rage as in the end-of-season cliffhanger. [DF] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.