I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Monday, October 17, 2005

"Dynasty" (1981-1989)

"Dynasty" was ABC's answer to "Dallas", which was on CBS. The show exemplified the attitude of the go-go 1980s, with a heavy focus on glamour.

Just like the Ewings on "Dallas", the Carringtons had made their money in oil. They were based in Denver, Colorado. Blake Carrington was basically a decent man, although early episodes presented Blake as a rat. During the first season, he married his secretary, a former farm girl named Krystal, who had a good heart. Blake had two adult children--Fallon, who was a spoiled party girl, and Steven, who was gay. Blake also treated Jeff Colby, the son of a business rival named Cecil, like a son. Jeff eventually married Fallon.

Blake really had a problem with Steven being gay during the first few seasons of the show. An arguement took place between Blake and Steven's lover, and the lover ended up dead. It was an accident, but the prosecution was looking to take Blake down. During the last episode of the 1981 season, a mysterious veiled woman entered the court as a surprise witness for the prosecution. The following season, the audience learned that the woman was Blake's first wife, a spiteful, vengeful creature named Alexis. The addition of her scheming character was a big boost for the show. Blake didn't have to do jail time, but Alexis was an albatross he and Krystal would have to contend with for the rest of the series.

Unlike "Dallas", "Dynasty" didn't get much into the business problems faced by Blake and Cecil. The plots were steamier, focusing on the private lives of the super-rich characters. Some of the most memorable moments were between Alexis and Krystal. Their fist fights were legendary. There was another moment when Alexis was in bed with Cecil, when the man had a heart attack. She slapped him over and over, demanding that he not die on her. Later, she married him while he lay in the hospital. Alexis inherited his company after he died, and became a major business rival to Blake. Alexis did everything to ruin Blake, hiding the fact that deep down inside, she still loved him.

Another plot development saw the appearance of the son that had been kidnapped from Alexis and Blake years ago. Adam joined the business, and proved to be as ruthless as Alexis. Adam and Jeff had their differences. Later, it was revealed that Adam wasn't actually Alexis and Blake's son, but Blake adopted him anyway. Alexis dropped a surprise on Blake when Amanda showed up. Turns out that she was Blake's daughter, conceived right before the time he divorced Alexis after she cheated on him. Alexis never told Blake she was pregnant. Amanda married a prince in one of the most lavish weddings on the show, but it was short lived. A military coup took place on the day of the nuptials, and a lot of people ended up dead. Amanda and the prince survived to run back to America, but their wedding fizzled not long afterwards.

Blake discovered he had a half-Black sister, Dominique, an illegitimate daughter of his dad, who arrived with her own set of problems. Alexis' sister, Caress, whom she railroaded into jail, showed up for some revenge, along with Blake's evil brother, Ben, who had an eye on the oil empire. Jeff and Fallon's marriage had numerous ups and downs, while Steven, confused about his sexuality at one point, was married to trampy Sammy Jo. Sammy Jo's dad turned out to be a old--and very rich--flame of Krystal's, and some drama flared up out of that situation. Alexis kept hooking up with men who assisted her with trying to bring Blake down, with the exception of Dex, who begged Alexis to stop her revenge campaign.

The last episode of the series ended on a cliffhanger, which found Fallon and little Krystina (Blake and Krystal's daughter) trapped in a mine shaft, Alexis and her husband Dex falling over a balcony during a scuffle, Krystal struggling with a deadly medical condidtion, and Blake in a shootout with a crooked cop. A TV reunion movie that aired years later had Blake coming out of prison after serving two years for killing the cop, Dex having expired after breaking Alexis' fall, Fallon and Krystina rescued from being buried alive and Krystal back to full health. Fallon was also caught in the middle of a love triangle with her now ex-husband Jeff, and his cousin Miles.

"Dynasty" had a short-lived spinoff called "The Colbys" (1985-1987), that followed the tribulations of Jason Colby--Jeff's uncle--and his family.

Alexis Carrington, as played by British actress Joan Collins, was one of the bitchiest characters on TV, as well as one of the sharpest dressed women on a TV series. Linda Evans, who played Krystal, had been a cast member on a western called "The Big Valley" along with Lee Majors ("The Six Million Dollar Man") back in the 1960's. She also had a guest role on "Bachelor Father", a sitcom that starred John Forsythe, who played Blake Carrington. Forsythe was also the voice of Charlie on the detective show, "Charlie's Angels". Emma Samms was a popular daytime soap actress who was the second actress to play Fallon Carrington. Pamela Sue Martin, who had been a girl sleuth on "The Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Mysteries", played Fallon first. Heather Lockyler was bad girl Sammy Jo. During the same time she had a role on "T.J. Hooker" with William Shatner. Lockyler was also a bad girl on another nighttime soap, "Melrose Place."


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