A moment in TV history.
, but in Denver, replace Larry Hagman with Joan Collins
, and throw in a few catfights and lots and lots
of shoulder pads.
took off, Richard and Esther Shapiro created this series about oil families living in Colorado. which Aaron Spelling
produced. It initially focused on Krystle Grant Jennings being just married to oil magnate Blake Carrington, and her tempestuous relationship with the children from Blake's last marriage. The next season, Alexis, the wife from the first marriage, shows up and the fun really started.
Just as Charmed
would later top Buffy
in terms of Fantasy Kitchen Sink
, this show topped Dallas
in terms of every Soap Opera
trope the writers could think of (with one extremely notable exception
The show had a spinoff, The Colbys
, but it only lasted a couple of seasons. Dynasty
unfortunately didn't last much longer either.
To date, the first five seasons so far have been released on DVD.
Tropes shown on Dynasty and The Colbys:
- Back from the Dead: Fallon, late in season 5 (after having been declared dead and buried earlier on in the season). It turned out that it was another woman with a strong physical resemblance to her who got killed in the Cliffhanger car crash at the end of season 4; Fallon herself was inflicted with amnesia.
- Also: Steven, who was thought to have been killed in an oil rig explosion.
- Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: A season of Dynasty ended with a terrorist attack on a wedding... long story... and everyone apparently all dead. The first episode of the next season was one of the highest rated episodes in that show's history. The resolution was that a couple special guest stars from the previous season were killed off.
- Cat Fight - What this show is best known for nowadays.
- The show's writers obviously had huge fun thinking up new venues for hissing, spitting, slapping fights between Joan Collins and (usually Linda Evans, but sometimes whichever other actress was being featured at the time, such as Diahann Carroll or Stephanie Beacham) at least once a season.
- Cliff Hanger - Once a season.
- Evil Brit: Alexis - played of course by actual Brit, Joan Collins, whose cut-glass accent certainly enhances the character's Evil Is Sexy vibe.
- Fish out of Water - Krystle, upon arriving to the Carrington household. Not helped by how Blake is quite Workaholic
- Follow the Leader - Deconstructed: while clearly inspired by Dallas (and Alexis clearly being their attempt to create a JR-type character) the show did managed to find it's niche with strong female characters and featuring a gay main character. Ironically, as Dynasty leapfrogged over Dallas in the ratings, Dallas (having lost it's main show runner) tried to ape Dynasty with an Alexis-type villain and casting Donna Reed as the new Sue Ellen.
- Gambit Pileup - Well if half the cast is trying to manipulate things, this is inevitable.
- Manipulative Bastard - More than a few.
- Nice Hat / Nice Shoes / Opera Gloves - as with Pimped-Out Dress, all these tropes are on display in multiple episodes.
- No Bisexuals - Depending on what season and how it was written, Steven may or may not have had some genuine attraction to Claudia and Sammy Jo. Not that it ever lasted. By the reunion mini-series he had settled down permanently with Bart Fallmont, a love interest from a previous season.
- The Other Darrin - All the Carrington children were eventually re-cast.
- Al Corley left after the second season after taking issue with the network's decree that Steven's homosexuality be downplayed, and the part was re-cast the following season with Jack Coleman (after the character was in an oil rig explosion and required plastic surgery, explaining his new face).
- Pamela Sue Martin left after the fourth season, with Emma Samms assuming the role of Fallon the following year. Samms also played Fallon on the Dynasty spinoff, The Colby's.
- Catherine Oxenberg, who joined as Amanda in the fifth season, left after the sixth season, with Karen Cellini taking over for her the next year. This re-casting was not accepted with audiences and the Amanda character was dropped after 13 episodes in season 7, never to be seen again.
- Gordon Thomson joined the cast as Adam in season 3 and remained with the show until the end. However, he was unavailable for the reunion movie two years later, and Robin Sachs replaced him. Joan Collins has said that she felt Sachs was miscast, and felt very sorry Gordon couldn't return.
- In a rare reversal, Jack Coleman was not available to do the reunion movie either, and the role was re-assumed by Al Corley (even more ironic considering Steven had been the only child to have his "new" appearance explained in-universe).
- Parent with New Paramour: Fallon is very, VERY displeased to see her dad has remarried.
- Passive Aggressive Kombat - A staple of the show.
- Pimped-Out Dress / Costume Porn - Dynasty was the leading example of this trope during its glory days, with all its female characters being encased in glorious, often over-the-top outfits and gowns by Nolan Miller. Joan Collins' shoulder pads became iconic.
- Pretty in Mink - Dynasty could well be in the top ten shows of all time in terms of furs. If combined with The Colbys it likely tops them all.
- The Red Stapler - "Krystle" (in a myriad of invented spellings) and "Alexis" became popular girls' names in the 80's.
- Rich Bitch - Alexis is one of the most notorious in TV history, but actually about half the cast is like this.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money! - Again, about half the cast.
- Sexy Secretary - Krystle was this to Blake, before marrying him.
- Shoulders of Doom - All the shoulder pads.
- Soap Opera
- Something Else Also Rises - The opening credits are spectacular in this sense, with all the men being represented by skyscrapers, oil gushers, fountain and foaming champagne bottles.
- Interestingly, both Ted McGinley and Cassie Yates are represented by horses.
- Straight Gay - Steven. In particular demonstrated by his penchant for getting into fights with some of the other guys on the show, especially his brother Adam. He possessed no stereotypically gay attributes, which was fairly notable for a show that aired during The Eighties.
- Sweater Girl - About as common as the furs on that show.
- Wham Episode - Several, but the most famous is Alexis' dramatic courtroom introduction at the end of Season 1.
- Fallon being abducted by a FLYING SAUCER in the desert in the final episode of the Colbys has to be a close second.
- Artistic License - History: In reality, Moldavia (the country where the terrorist attack takes place) was part of the USSR and definitely not a monarchy.