Two things shaped my impression of Dallas as a teenager in the
early 1980s, as they may have done for millions across the globe: Dallas, the TV series (a
prime-time soap opera focusing on the Ewing family, translated and dubbed into
67 languages in over 90 countries) and Debbie Does Dallas, the adult movie (‘Everyone on the team
scores when her pom-poms fly’).
One about pistol-packing, face-slapping, greedy, scheming oil tycoons with big
personalities and bigger hats; the other about pistol-packing, bum-slapping
people with limited personalities and big everything. I’d heard whispers from my uncle, who had
lived in Dallas, that residents didn’t actually walk about in ten gallon hats and wear fist-sized belt
buckles; I’d heard rumours
that Dallas was sophisticated, that the women weren’t just charity-lunching ranch-wives and
the men were more interested in Ferraris than cattle farming. It was time to
challenge what I thought I knew in the one-off feature-length episode: DENCH
A full text is available on request.