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And no other show could boast the wardrobe of Dynasty, or the beauty of Linda Evans. I can still see her, bedecked in diamonds, walking toward Blake in a blue gown slit all the way up her thigh.
For me, once they had Alexis disguised as a nun and the whole Moldavian thing started, the show became self-conscious camp, as these shows often do, and I lost interest. But certainly Dynasty was a bright spot in the '80s and for a time, you couldn't beat it.
In 1984, when the news of broadcasting Dynasty in Serbia was announced, there was a lot of commotion because the communist government thought the show will have a negative influence on the nation by spreading capitalistic ideas with the story about wealth and luxury and this way destabilize the communist regime. It only made the nation more intrigues and with a lot of dust, Dynasty began airing. I remember sitting with my parents and my sister at our home when the first episode was on. No one said a word until its end. It was a beginning of a ferry tale in my the live of my family but also, the beginning of incredible euphoria in all country. It was the most popular show for years, and I couldn't face missing an episode.
Years went by and my country and the surrounding area was struck by war, bombarding and terror, communists fell, now my country lives in freedom with hope of a better life ahead, and all this time Dynasty was a refuge from problems, difficulties of every day's life. The show especially marks the period when I went to school to another city. Season 4 was on, I was in the dorm. We stayed awake even after our bad time because the show aired in late hours and my roomies and I watched it in secrecy sop that our teachers wouldn't catch us. We stayed awake 'till morning, talking about events and characters.
My imagination went wild, I pretended to be one of the characters, I imagined I was in the Filoli mansion, checking its every corner. The world of Carrington's was my world. It is still my great wish to visit America, meet some of the actors, visit the Filoli mansion. I spend years collecting pictures and episodes of the show. I almost have all Dynasty and the Colbys episodes taped, and it was time to create and present this site to you which is my all time wish coming through.
The memories today are still very much vivid and alive, I share them with my family, friends, fans. Dynasty is my dream and my reality.
Sincerely, Goran Markovic
The show, early in its run, was at its best when it nodded to classic Hollywood. The Steven-Claudia storyline, for example, was Dynasty's riff on the film Tea and Sympathy, and the sheer opulence of the show (and some of Claudia's crazier moments) were straight out of Sunset Boulevard. The writing was sharp, incisive, and not afraid to be funny. A brief implosion late in the second season got rid of half the cast, but one role (Steven) was recast, and another (Sammy Jo) would return sporadically for a couple of seasons before finally returning full-time. By the time the show had four seasons under its belt, it was a solid top ten hit that actually showed a lot of quality as the writers tackled then-borderline taboo topics such as abortion and homosexuality.
Then it started to go wrong.
The first blow was the departure of Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon, and the subsequent miscasting of Emma Samms in the role. Worse, the writing took a significant turn for the worse, and Samms had the double handicap of trying to compete against the memory of Martin and having distinctly inferior scripts to work with. Next, whereas previous cliffhangers had involved danger to one or two characters apiece, starting with the infamous fifth season cliffhanger, the producers decided that the majority of the cast had to be endangered in every cliffhanger - the Moldavian massacre, the fire at La Mirage, the siege of the Carrington mansion - which strained credulity to the breaking point. Once-promising characters, like Dominique and Leslie, were marginalized to the point of invisibility and eventually jettisoned with little fanfare.
Worst of all, the writers began to ape ratings bonanzas from previous seasons without seeming to understand why they worked in the first place. Krystle and Alexis' first catfight, for example, came at the end of slowly-increasing tension between the two over the course of the second season. Towards the end of Dynasty's run, the catfights had become almost ubiquitous, as if the writers felt that they weren't doing their job if they didn't include one every season, regardless of whether the scenes made sense from a storytelling standpoint.
The show enjoyed a brief renaissance in its final season, largely due to the addition of Stephanie Beacham to the cast, but with Linda Evans leaving the show in the middle of the season, it was more or less doomed at that point - the triumvirate of Blake-Krystle-Alexis, once broken, could not be repaired or replaced.
All in all, though, Dynasty was a pleasant way to spend an hour every Wednesday (later Thursday), and I'm glad I got to know the Carringtons.
While "Dallas" had a bit of the earthy element of the ranch and the land and their value (think Miss Ellie) mixed in with the big-bucks oil industry, "Dynasty" was all glitz, all the time. After the show found its way during the first season, and Alexis arrived for the second, the characters went great guns in their portrayal of '80s capitalism and high living. We all wanted to watch. Maybe, in a way, we all wanted to live those lives. But would we, really? Hmmm ...
Being a chick, I enjoyed the **fashions** and the intrigue as I watched the show originally in the 1980s. I was a teen who hadn't yet experienced the big world out there yet, and I think the show appealed to a lot of people my age for that same reason. I'm thankful that the show has been released on DVD now, because I talked to so many fans over the years who desperately longed for the videos (back before DVD)!
Blake's grown daughter Fallon is a promiscuous schemer. Blake's grown son Steven is sincere and gay. Remember, this is 1981 when this all starts, and twelve years later "Don't ask don't tell" is still considered controversial. The first season is rather a blah Dallas clone. But then at the end of the first season Blake kills Steven's lover - accidentally - and goes on trial for murder. Krystle discovers she is pregnant. And most of all "mama" shows up - Blake's long lost first wife, Alexis,who he divorced years ago - as a witness for the prosecution. This is no other than Joan Collins, and 25 years after her films at Fox she still can't sing, can't act, and can't dance, but wow can she can do evil camp with the best of them. She spends the next eight years being a thorn in Blake and Krystle's side, and this is the main conflict that dominates the rest of the series. Unlike Dallas, siblings Fallon and Steven get along just great and are mutually supportive - no feuding there.
There are mysterious disappearances, mysterious reappearances, weird alliances and odd affairs, many of which are one way romances, and of course the occasional hair-pulling cat fight between Krystle and Alexis is always rewarding, but eventually Dynasty works its way into a corner with just too many characters. How do they get out of this and hold on a few more years? For Dallas it was to say that life was but a dream, but for Dynasty it took a massacre! I'll let you watch and see the rest. I have always wondered how formerly dignified actor John Forsythe could keep a straight face and utter some of those corny lines he was given such as "You killed my child!", but it's all part of the fun. And probably nobody would remember Joan Collins fondly today if not for this role that fit her like a glove. Instead she would be remembered as the actress whose box set of awful 20th Century Fox films from the 50s on DVD pretty much killed off classic film on DVD for all time.
Very happy to hear there will be interviews with my two favorite Dynasty-ites, Pamela Sue Martin and Al Corley.
Fallon and Steven aren't number 1 and number 2 favorites, more like 1-A and 1-B Can't wait to get this - the digital transfer ought to be a stunner - I'm sure my two-year-old videos from SoapNet are fading just a little. Did I mention I taped all of these in slow speed?
"Dynasty" was a colossal prime time hit that was nominated for an impressive 24 Prime-Time Emmys winning the Prime-Time Emmy in 1984. It was nominated for 5 Golden Globes every year from 1981 to 1986 winning three Golden Globes respectfully in 1982,1983 and 1984. By the show's second season saw the ratings enter the top 20 of the Nielsens which by the fall of 1982 was one of the top-ten highest rated shows on television,and by the Spring of 1985,"Dynasty" was the Number One Show on television with it's competition "Dallas" becoming Number Two. Interesting to note that actor John Forsythe(of "Bachelor Father", "From Rome With Love",and "The World of Survival")was the only cast member to appear in all 220 episodes throughout it's entire nine season run. Actress Linda Evans(of "The Big Valley" fame)appeared in 206 out of the 220 episodes leaving the series after appearing in only six episodes of the ninth and final season. Actress Joan Collins appeared in 197 episodes of the series in Seasons 2 thru 9. Joan Collins made her debut as Alexis Carrington in the Season 2 opener "Enter Alexis" airing on November 4,1981. The phenomenal success of "Dynasty" spun the spin-off series "The Colbys" that ran for two seasons and 49 color episodes airing from November 11,1985 until March 26,1987. Actors Charlton Heston,Barbara Stanwyck,Katherine Ross,Stephanie Beacham,and Ricardo Montalban were regular cast members of "The Colbys" but also made guest star appearances in various episodes of "Dynasty".
The notable cast members and special guest stars that made "Dynasty" the top-rated series(prime-time soap opera for ABC)were some of Hollywood legends like Rock Hudson, Lloyd Bochner, and others like Pamela Sue Martin, Heather Locklear, Ted McGinley, Michael Nader, Paul Burke, Emma Samms, Billy Dee Williams, Diahann Carroll, Al Corley, John James, Gordon Thompson, Dale Robertson, Bo Hopkins, James Farentino, Kathleen Beller, Pamela Bellwood, Ali MacGraw, George Hamilton, John Saxon, Richard Anderson, Ken Howard, Brian Dennehy, David Hedison, Bradford Dillman, Troy Beyer, Richard Lawson, Anthony Zerbe, Hari Rhodes,and many more. Even former President of the United States Gerald Ford,and the former first lady Betty Ford appeared in one episode,as well as the former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger portraying themselves in a special episode titled "Carousel"(Season 4,Episode 11)that aired in prime time on December 21,1983.
When the show moved from Wednesday nights to Thursday nights in the fall of 1988 the ratings for the show were dropping. In the last ditch effect to save the show the final episode of the series which aired on May 11,1989 ended with the credits reading as "To Be Continued...." left audiences in a cliffhanger that was never solved. The series that eventually replaced "Dynasty" after nine seasons and 220 episodes was the ABC News magazine series "Prime Time Live!" that premiered a summer replacement on August 3,1989 with Diane Sawyer and Ted Koppel(of "Nightline"). ABC aired a four hour miniseries titled "Dynasty:The Reunion" that aired in two hour slots in prime time with Part One airing October 20,1991,and Part Two airing October 22,1991 that picks up where the series ending cliffhanger left off featuring the original cast. "Dynasty" as a series during the 1980's spawned a fashion trend of luxury products not to mention a look at the "gay" lifestyle that was not even mentioned and was daring for 1980's Prime Time TV with it's groundbreaking story lines and memorable catfight scenes that will go down in television history. "Dynasty" actually paved the way for future prime time soap operas to follow. Happy 35th Anniversary!!!
But things went downhill from there. According to Esther Shapiro, they actually listened to what viewers wanted, and gave them the show they asked for. Apparently people said they loved the show but Fallon was nasty. Hell, they watched to see the nasty girl tear into the others. Imagine people saying, DALLAS is a great show, but J.R.Ewing is such a bad guy, change it! And, horrors! the entire Carrington saga was changed, shoddily so, with Season 2 unrecognizable almost. Fallon lost her claws, and by Season 3 she's dumped at La Mirage with that tennis instructor/Tom Selleck-wannabe courting her. Boring. What a waste. And Alexis. What did the people see in Alexis? That old witch? And she was a style icon of her time. While both she and Krystle are dressed up so extravagantly they look overblown and downright silly. The only good thing about Season 2 is, of course, Heather Locklear, who is a long way off from being Amanda Woodward in MELROSE PLACE, a show that at least understood the allure of the vixen, and didn't try to hide them to please viewers who were just ashamed to admit how they enjoyed that tigress. But after Fallon takes a nose-dive, there is Sammy Jo Carrington who brings life into what is otherwise quite dull.
Okay, I'm currently watching Season 3 towards the last quarter, so there could still be surprises, but those first episodes were the best.
Until Alexis arrived.
Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan caught my attention the moment that she appeared in the courtroom. She was the kind of person that really caught your attention, whether you want to or not. Joan Collins, the moment she showed up, stole the show.
Don't get me wrong. All of the other characters were just as good, but when Alexis showed up, look out! Blake, Krystal, Fallon, Jeff, Adam, Steven...I loved them all.
The series itself began to get good for me and I watched every single episode, enjoying the bitch fest and the plots. I REALLY LOVED THE CLIFFHANGERS!!! (My favorite is when Alexis is in jail for murdering Mark Jennings, Krystal's ex-husband).
The fun times died when 2 things happened: The Moldavia massacre and the spin-off, "The Colbys" (Which was a TOTAL piece of crap!). After that, things went downhill from there. Story lines turned out crappy (Krystal being kidnapped and replaced by a double was just BAD). In the end, the show simply died. The sorry excuse of a reunion movie didn't help bring the magic back, either.
When I think about the series right now, I like to think about the times when the series was the cool thing to watch. If you've never watched the series, give it a go.
I don't usually review soap operas, but I always review campy TV dramas and Dynasty is about as campy as they get.
Each season ended with an over-the-top cliff-hanger ending which twice involved a building burning to the ground (with people inside) and once or twice involved people being shot. I loved it.
As a male, I never cared about, or hardly even noticed, the constant change of clothing given to the female leads...others found this so interesting...but not me...to me, Dynasty was all about the wonderfully acted out Carrington dramatics and amusing snotty comments given out by Joan Collins (Alexis).
The series probably should have ended two seasons sooner than it did as the last two years (seasons eight and nine) were missing some of the punch of previous years and Joan Collins sometimes even went missing in season nine to save budget costs.
Dynasty without Joan Collins is less pleasing (she is missing all together in season one) so seasons two to seven (six seasons all together) are when the show shined most brightly.
A much less talked about element to the series is the grand music scores that played over some of the early seasons, for example in the plot line when Blake Carrington (played well by John Forsythe) was blinded.
To me at least, music is vital to all kinds of TV drama and this is one of the very few 1980s TV shows that still cared about quality music composers (by about 1977 the quality of TV music went down hill).
So that is Dynasty, to be enjoyed by females AND males, for six seasons it set the world on fire, and it still holds up when watched today on DVD. Enjoy!
It was interesting seeing the wealth and fortune of the families, and I've especially remembered the character of the spellbinding, vain, trouble-making, villainous Alexis Carrington Colby, played by Joan Collins. Not a bad show, overall.
Dynasty emulated Dallas and did a good job. It featured John Forsythe (the voice of Charlie in Charlie's Angels) as Blake Carrington, the head of the Carrington dynasty. Blake had a few kids, a beautiful wife and an ex-wife Alexis played by Joan Collins. Being a rich capitalist, he also had several business enemies.
There were some great stories and this show was as good as Dallas, maybe even a bit better at times. There were some fantastic fights at times, especially between the women. Part of me hates seeing women fight each other but this show made it entertaining.
Whilst it wasn't as wacky as Dallas, Dynasty was relatively wacky at times and stretched credibility a bit too far. It was an expensive show to make and it showed. Also, just like Dallas, a fair few celebrities showed up at times. The final episode could be considered fantasy but it was entertaining all the same.
The TV world is a poorer place without Dynasty (what a sad person I must be).