Larry Hagman RIP

It’s just over two weeks now. Two weeks since the sad passing of the TV legend that was Larry Hagman.

Even though I am massive fan of the show and it was plain to see that Larry wasn’t in the best of health, I had no idea that he had suffered from cancer. There are those that seem to know everything about everything that there is to know about things they are fans of. I am not one of those people.

I am a Spider-Man fan, yet I don’t know everything there is to know about him. The same can be said about my beloved Arsenal football team. I couldn’t name every member of the squad or run off every trophy we have every won.

I guess what I am trying to say is, much like in any loving relationship, you don’t have to know all about the person or thing that you love.

Even the things you love to hate.

And let’s face it, we all loved to hate JR Ewing. Or did we? We like to say about ‘villains’ that we ‘love to hate them’. Is that always the case? If so, is it because it is not socially accepted to love them? Are there some villains we just love to love.

I mean, how could you not love JR Ewing? In the scheme (or rather, scheming) of things, he was a villain. Always up to some dodgy deal, backstabbing someone or doing someone out of something, when he wasn’t busy cheating on his long-suffering alcoholic wife, Sue Ellen. Surely we can’t be allowed to actually love someone who did all those things?

But we did.

I personally was always on the side of Bobby. Bobby, the ‘nice one’, but like Batman and The Joker, one couldn’t exist without the other. Being a geek, I love to make comic book comparisons and analogies and JR Ewing was like so many of them.

Like The Joker, Loki The Trickster, The Green Goblin; all megalomaniacs who wanted to rule the world. Or their world at least anyway. But those dastardly intentions aside, it wasn’t with them –  as someone put it recently – all about the winning.  JR was very much the epitome of the old adage “It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part”. He never always won, but in true cowboy fashion he kept getting back on the proverbial horse.

He treated life like a massive game. Doing the shady deals, wooing beautiful women, tricking someone into selling him something that they didn’t really want to sell. And all with a glint in his eye and a cheeky smile on his face.

How could you not love him? Someone that loved life and loved living it. Much to the resentment and frustration of his family and his peers. But his passion for life and playing games was something we could all do with a bit more of. He enjoyed everything he did. Good and bad. And we lapped it up.

Surely a villain that we all loved to love. One of the most famous villains and characters in history. I am also a Michael Jackson fan and while it would be hard to say that the JR character achieved those lofty heights of dizzying, almost celestial fame and recognition, he surely wouldn’t be far off.

But those of you who have seen the last couple of episodes of new Dallas would have seen those moments that showed that he did have a heart and loved his brother and adversary Bobby. Albeit in a very strange and unconventional way.

And from what I know of Larry Hagman’s real life, he was a genuine nice and caring man, who was happy and with his wife for a very long time. He also appeared to enjoy the odd tipple and various substances from time to time. A man who lived his eighty-plus years to the full.

A man who will be sorely missed.

It has been said (and nobody could begin to argue the point) that Dallas will not be the same without him. It won’t. But as a massive fan of the show, all I can hope is that the new, exciting and brilliant characters can carry the show forward for us all to continue to enjoy.

I’m sure that’s what our dearly beloved Larry would want.

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    Nik Coppin

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