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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Revolution in Moldavia which so rudely interrupted the wedding of
Amanda Carrington (Catherine Oxenberg) and Prince Michael (Michael
Praed) with the odious spray of machine gun fire resulted in a lot of
overpaid night-time soap actors hitting the floor of the extravagant
chapel perhaps with their characters deceased or merely playing dead.
Steven (Jack Coleman) watches as his beloved boyfriend Luke (Bill Campbell) succumbs to his wounds. Lady Ashley Mitchell (Ali McGraw) bought it too. Alexis, assumed dead was really just incapacitated as Joan Collins remained in extended contract negotiations. Claudia (Pamela Bellwood) ex-wife of a bunch of guys on this show, rumoured to be on the way out suffered no more than a grazed shoulder. Prince Michael was also winged.
The military junta comprised of formerly loyal soldiers aided by formerly loyal bureaucrats pack the surviving wedding guests/filthy imperialists on a one-way jet ride back to Denver.
If one happens to be entertained by watching terrible things happen to rich people (the main appeal of any soap opera I should think) then the shoot 'em up finish to Season 5 of Dynasty was a thoroughly enjoyable extravaganza.
In a season finale, a time when series regulars get killed off the logic suddenly was that you may as well have a cliffhanger where a whole bunch of actors who's contracts are up have a permanent exit from the show. It can be a plane crash or a boat sinking. Whomever has representation reasonable enough to lower salary demands can come back.
The brazen negotiating posture and violent product of it which aired on prime-time was viewed as being in poor taste. Some consider it the "Shark-Jump" (Moment in a series where it begins to decline) of Dynasty though it was the most discussed and watched TV moment on episodic network television of 1985 and had 60 million viewers. It was not the cliffhanger that was the Shark-Jump. It was this episode - the opener to the sixth season, one which saw the show drop from first place in the ratings to seventh.
Ali McGraw, who never should have been added was addition by subtraction. They should have dumped Catherine Oxenberg whom they would end up firing anyway but they wanted to keep the character as evidenced by the fact that they replaced her with a different actress in the same role a year later. Prince Michael could also have been killed off but his exit came later in the season.
As camp and absurd a series as it was one notes no decline or apex - just a lot of nice scenery, expensive clothing, luxury cars, bizarre directing choices and disappointed actors going through the motions of injecting humanity into characters with ruthless senses of entitlement. The original actor to play Steven - Al Corley split early on in the series. He was followed by Pamela Sue Martin - the original Fallon not long afterwards.
The series had deteriorated so much that they fell back on the old standby of a having one of the stars (Linda Evans) play the character she had been playing - Krystle Carrington, as well the role of her evil double Rita. Worse they became preoccupied with launching a spin-off series - The Colbys begun by having an amnesiac Fallon (Emma Samms) wandering L.A. looking for her past life and meeting Miles Colby (Maxwell Caulfield).
I know this happened way back in 1985, I know there are three more
seasons, I am watching this belatedly on DVD. These are my thoughts
today on Season 6 Episode 1.
The ship is sinking. There is no way it can stay afloat. The great Moldavian massacre got one unnecessary cast member taken care of, but why did they not get rid of 'the singing sensation' as well? The new Fallon cannot hold a candle to the original. Blake looks good, but Jeff looks so washed out (okay, so it fits in with his loser of a character) and the show's only reason for existence is Heather Locklear's performance as scheming Sammy Jo.
The wheels really came off this show. They fired Al Corley and we have to live with seeing a surgically remade Steven? They lost Pamela Sue Martin, and we have to live with the poor imitation? It's bad enough Fallon became a watered-down character since the grand old Season 1 days when it was a wonderfully politically-incorrect show, with Fallon having 'a tongue like a buggy whip' and Blake giving his anti-gay speech. Hell, those were the days! What we have here is a shoddy mess. We have revolutionaries that are absolute pansies. Ever heard of revolutionaries who'd let the capitalist captives walk around wearing their expensive jewelry? They'd have ripped it off their necks for the glorious cause. Instead, they allow them to openly conspire, and barge into Herr Kommandant's office, even.
Emma Samms is way too bland here to be the shadow of the shadow of Pamela Sue Martin. Fallon, in the absence of Pamela, should have rested in peace.
Catherine Oxenberg also let the side down in this episode, not your fault, baby, I'm sure, but for the most part she looked lie a common extra instead of the small screen goddess she was last season.
Like I said, there's one bright point, Heather Locklear, who keeps the spark of interest aflame. The others are a buncha losers, the show should have been canned.
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