Even if you’re unfamiliar with the original run of nighttime soap Dallas, it had two plot twists so notorious that they’ve got a permanent place in pop culture: the “Who shot J.R.?” cliff-hanger, and the audacious reboot of a season’s worth of plotlines when the formerly dead Patrick Duffy turned up in the shower, revealing that the entire eighth season was a yearlong dream sequence. To market its update of the series, due this June, TNT has decided to zero in on the latter twist, and the result is this cast photo of eight nearly nude people, one age 80, posing awkwardly in a group shower. We need to discuss it.
First of all, let us not forget that this show is about a family, the Ewings, which means that TNT is basically advertising its new series with an exciting family shower orgy. Sorry, Keeping Up With the Kardashians: You’ll have to cross this ad campaign off your brainstorming white board.
But once you get past that … well, really, there is no way to get past anything with this key art. There is simply too much. Let’s break it down.
What catches your eye here first? Is it that three other people are ruining a pretty decent flyer for a Texas gay bar? Is it that Jordana Brewster has undergone a basic-cable transformation into Jennifer Love Hewitt? Or is it the fact that 80-year-old Larry Hagman is wearing nothing but two strategically placed towels and a cowboy hat? (Don’t worry, that hat is waterproof.) Are you also a little confused that Hagman has clearly been photoshopped onto someone else’s shirtless body, seeing as how Hagman — who recently underwent major surgery — looks like this with his shirt off? Are you imagining the day that the marketing firm auditioned Larry Hagman body doubles? Are you confused that they settled on someone who looked like a medium-setting manscaped Steve Carell? There is not enough steam in this steam room! Not enough, by far!
And here we have the other half of the cast photo, and a comparatively demure one at that. Apparently, Jesse Metcalfe is playing the adopted son of Patrick Duffy, and Brenda Strong is Duffy’s new wife, so it’s only quasi-incestuous that these people are one undone towel tuck away from total familial mortification. Still: um! We suppose Patrick Duffy is looking not too bad in a “Harry Hamlin on the last episode of Shameless” way, and it was also very nice of Jesse Metcalfe to cover up the girls, and when we say that, we are not referring to the actual girls to his right. But man oh man, this ad campaign. They have definitely struck something with it, and it is not oil. Discuss!