Series / Dynasty

Imagine Dallas, but in Denver, replace Larry Hagman with Joan Collins, and throw in a few catfights and lots and lots of shoulder pads.

Once Dallas 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 seven seasons so far have been released on DVD.

Tropes shown on Dynasty and The Colbys:

  • Absentee Actor: On the parent show, everyone but John Forsythe.
  • And Starring: Bo Hopkins as Matthew Blaisdel.
  • Artistic License - History: In reality, Moldavia (the country where the terrorist attack takes place) was part of the USSR and definitely not a monarchy.
  • 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.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Possibly a Trope Codifier.
  • 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.
  • Cliffhanger: 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 its niche with strong female characters and featuring a gay main character. Ironically, as Dynasty leapfrogged over Dallas in the ratings, Dallas (having lost its 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.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The outfits were the piece de resistance as far as the 1980s go. Not to mention ridiculously expensive.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: Kirby fell pregnant after being raped by Adam in the middle of the third season but didn't lose the baby until the middle of the fourth season, well over a year after the rape had occurred in real time. This was due in part to the fourth season (and Kirby's pregnancy) picking up right where the third season left off, despite the five month gap in between episodes.
  • Manipulative Bastard: More than a few.
  • Mrs. Robinson: For much of the series' run, the fortyish/fiftyish Alexis was romantically paired with the noticeably younger (and hunky) "Dex" Dexter.
  • Nice Hat/Nice Shoes/High Class 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 Nth Doctor: Steven, due to Magic Plastic Surgery after the explosion on the oil rig.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Fallon, after British Emma Samms took over the role from Pamela Sue Martin.
  • Overly Long Name: Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan.
  • 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.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: Dynasty started out as a 3-hour TV movie.
  • 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.
  • Rich Bitch: A Trope Codifier. 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, Ted McGinley, Rock Hudson, 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 '80s.
  • 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.