"Dallas" & The Cloud Drive – Wow!

The words “cloud drive” in the revival of “Dallas” jumped screaming from my TV screen. Said drive was mentioned twice in the season’s recent finale, and once the week prior. The prop was used, among other things, to send a guy to jail, charged with murder (among other things).

No specific product was mentioned, but as the storyline had video that was said to be transmitted automatically from a character’s phone to other devices, I’ll assume the character used Apple’s iCloud.

In any case, this must be the fastest transition ever for an IT industry term to make that leap from geek reporting to big-time Hollywood production. (And yes, I’m putting the “Dallas” revival in the latter category, as it has apparently drawn pretty strong ratings from its location on TNT, and will definitely be back in January.)

I was further astonished that cloud computing made it onto a self-consciously retro show like this “Dallas” revival, which took pains to recreate the original show opening, featured almost every key actor still alive from when the original ended more than 20 years ago, and had a truly merciful lack of whiz-bang technology featured throughout the show.

Oh yes, an email played a key role in driving the plot. But hey, we had email in the 80s. And there was some texting. But I don’t recall Facebook being mentioned, or Google, or YouTube. No ostentatious display of WiFi. No “gesture” interface, no biometric security, no yammering about pods and pads.

A thumb drive seemed to be the most leading-edge tech on the show – until that initial, breathtaking mention of the “cloud drive.”

I mean, one of the show’s main plot devices was the use of an old-fashioned, sleazy Private Eye poking his nose into things, for crying out loud. Another key plot twist involved a microphone strategically placed on one of the character’s bodies and what looked like a Soviet-era recording device.

And then – a “cloud drive.” Wow.

I count “Dallas” as one of my guilty pleasures, and can seriously say that JR Ewing, as created by Larry Hagman is one of the two or three greatest characters in the history of television. Mr. Hagman is 80 years old now, and has had some serious health scares in real life. Without him, the show simply cannot exist.

So come to think of it: How great is it, that even today in 2012, acting, an ancient human talent, can still trump technology?

Oh, rule you cloud drive! Sing your siren song! Dance your delirious dance! But remember, in the end, you just can’t beat JR. Nobody can.

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