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.
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.
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.
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.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: The outfits were the piece de resistance as far as the 1980s go. Not to mention ridiculously expensive.
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.
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).
The Other Marty: George Peppard played Blake Carrington but he was hard to work with and replaced by John Forsythe a few weeks into shooting the pilot.
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.
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.