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100 TV Shows-#41-Dynasty


On the surface, Dynasty was going to be another Dallas. Take a former affable sit-com male star and cast him as a powerful, possibly corrupt, sexually powerful oil honcho, but Dynasty grabbed me in a way that Dallas never did, and to be honest, the main reason was the sex. Hot sex. Nasty sex. Sometimes less than consensual sex. And rape.

Incredibly sexy men-Gordon Thomson as Adam, John James as Jeff Colby, Jack Coleman as Stephen Carrington and more than almost any other man I have ever seen or heard on television in myself, Michael Nader as Farnsworth "Dex" Dexter.

Not particularly interested in Mark Jennings (too much a Magnum clone), Roman on loan from Days Of Our Lives, and by the time both George Hamilton and the dearly departed Rock Hudson showed up they were past their prime and the writing was going downhill in a big way.

Some examples: Many of them still live in my memory and in my libido.

Adam raped Kirby Colby. It wasn't "dub-con." It was clearly a rape scene. And the way it was filmed was IMAO, one of the hottest things ever on television.

Dex and Alexis-hot hot hot hot hot! He basically walked in and took her and for awhile they were the sexiest couple I'd ever seen. One time he caught her in a hot-tub with a sheikh played (improbably, but still sexily) by John Saxon. They had a screamingly sexy fight and she stayed with John Saxon, because HEY, JOHN SAXON, but eventually got back together. I never really believed her with any of the post-Dex love interests. It was clear they were as close to soulmates as anyone could be on a show like that.

You can make fun of a lot of the fashions of the 80's and the ludicrous stuff the women often wore on Dynasty, but as sure as Joan Collins could rock those shoulder pads, there have been few things sexier than Michael Nader is straight-legged jeans and a blazer with his sexy, husky voice, saying the word "Alexis." SEXY MOTHERFUCKER.

I wrote one my self-insert novels (Yes, my character was SUCH a Mary Sue, even though she was supposed to be the "smart" one as opposed to the pretty one, based on my best friend.) basically about me and Michael having what started as a purely sexual relationship which ended with us falling in love. Hey, no one said this shit was original.

Aside from the sex, it was Alexis who MADE that show. The moment in court when the mystery woman tilted up her hat and Fallon say, "Oh my god, it's my mother," started such an amazing character arc for Joan Collins as the awesome Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan. The way she manipulated men was incredible. The way she wore the clothes and made "older women" sexy. I wasn't all that interested in the Alexis/Krystle bitchfests because Blake (much as I'd had a crush on John Forsythe back in his Bachelor Father days) just didn't seem worth the trouble.

So let's talk about Steven Carrington, or as I like to call him Poor, Confused, Steven. Also, SEXY SEXY SEXY Steven. I speak only of Steven as played by Jack Coleman. Sorry Al Corley. You were just supremely lacking in the hotness that occurred the minute those bandages came off.

Steven is gay. Or at least he keeps telling us he is. And we see men he's had or is having relationships with. Not a single one of whom (IMAO) generates a single iota of chemistry. Yet when he shtups Crazy Claudia or even bitchy Sammy Jo...hold the phone. There was also some seriously messed up chemistry with Alexis. Obviously Alexis has it with EVERYBODY because she's ALEXIS, but there were times where she was practically slithering over Steven. (To be honest, it happened with Adam and Jeff too.) Then we cross into fanfic brain, because I could see it happening almost too easily.

The men that Steven did have chemistry with onscreen were all in fairly adversarial plus incesty combinations. The brothers and the business rivals. As the lovely dref22 has pointed out with screen-caps there are "confrontation" scenes that look a lot like sex about to happen. And yet with Ted (the "bad" ex), Luke (doomed), and Chris (I'm sorry, Grant Goodeve? REALLY?) I just don't see it. I think my slash credentials are good enough and I was already on my route to fag-hagdom (Paul Lynde, anybody) that it's not me NOT wanting to see Steven actually being gay, instead of just being told he was gay.

Presumably it's the fact that it was the 80's and just saying a character was gay was shocking enough. Actually giving him a hot pairing would have been a bit much for the time when Rock Hudson couldn't come out. I realize that saying it was ground-breaking, and I'm looking back with spoiled-rotten, post-QAF eyes when I can bitch about lack of chemistry in graphically depicted gay sex and kvetch about fanservice from TPTB.

Bottom line: I can ship Steven with Claudia, Alexis, Dex, Adam, Jeff, and maybe even Fallon. (That would be hot.) With any of the men he was ever actually involved with? Not so much.

By the time they brought in the incredibly annoying Amanda (I refuse to believe Dex really did her even once.) things were on the downhill slump and then the Moldovian nightmare/Rock Hudson/George Hamilton crapola goes into effect and I lost interest. I know I wasn't watching when Fallon somehow became Holly from General Hospital and got abducted by aliens. I might have been following plotlines in Soap Opera Digest, but I didn't care anymore.

What stays with me are those amazing sex scenes and the pretty people with all the awesome chemistry and the sound of Michael Nader's voice saying "Alexis."


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
I'm sure I watched this, and yet I can barely remember it. The only part that triggered a memory was the opening titles, especially the music. Otoh, if the best part was a voice, than of course I missed that.
It's impressive to me how many tv shows have been meaningful to you. With me it was many less, and often they were Japanese cartoons.
Jul. 30th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Daynasty was never one of my shows, and I'd completely forgotten about Pamela Sue Martin's involvement. (I remember various other things she did, but this was off my radar.) And when you mentioned Grant Goodeve, my connect-the-dots brain went, "Eight is Enough?!". Yikes, the things rattling around in my head.

Jul. 30th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Grant Goodeve...and he didn't look all that different from his Eight is Enough days at that point, so yeah...sorry Grant, type-casting's a bitch, but there was no way THAT was ever going to be hot. *shudder*
Jul. 30th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
got abducted by aliens

Was this a catalyst for the frequent claims of alien abduction in the far reaches of sparsely-populated states? Maybe if they'd had a better cable TV package the phenomenon would never had gathered pace.
Jul. 30th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
I tend to think it was more likely to have been inspired by the claims. There was nothing about the situation that made sense even by Prime Time Soap (or any other soap) standards.
Jul. 30th, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
Hahaha awesome post! :D And honestly, I don't remember another Dynasty article this detailed! Yay for the shout out! :D

Back in those days, we knew about Dallas, we knew about Falcon Crest and our state TV used to air them, but we weren't lucky with Dynasty and the reason was the gay son. I remember how we watched Dynasty thanks to the illegally recorded and distributed betamax tapes and how we enjoyed it. Well, I don't really remember the plots etc but I always know about Alexis, Blake, Krystle, Adam and Steven! I gotta confess, I didn't even realize Jack Coleman was Steven no.2 when I first watched him on Heroes. XD In fact, I didn't even think he resembled Steven! That is a fail on my part. XD I watch Dynasty sloooowly nowadays and I am now even more aware how shippy it is LOL.

Btw I'd like to take this opportunity to post this excerpt from a very recent Jack Coleman interview:

Q: Dallas is making its big coming back this summer on the TNT, if they did the that, would you like to be a part of it? Would you enjoy that?
JC: You mean a follow-up to Dynasty?
Q: Yeah.
JC: Um… if the circumstances were right, I would. I would have to know that it was going to be done well and that the plot would have to be good… it’s good that it’s on cable, I think cable is where the show would have to be, because they’re a little racier, there’s a little bit more room to… um, for language, for content, and I think for shows like this to reinvent themselves, it cannot just be what they were 25 years ago, it has to really be new, different, even if a lot of the people are the same, if the characters are the same, the show has to feel [new]. So I think that cable would be a place to look.

How awesome is this guy? :D
Aug. 5th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
I loved his HRG Files blog on TWoP during Heroes' run. It's great that he has such a sense of humor about himself, while still understanding how important Steven was at the time. (I still have this RPF-ish vision of young Zachary Quinto watching Dynasty and having it be the first time he'd ever seen a gay character on-screen.)
Aug. 5th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
*makes note for next ficlet prompt post*
Jul. 31st, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
I confess to being a Dallas fan and I never could get into Dynasty, but being the mixed up little girl in a woman's body that I am, I really liked John Forsythe. Yes, I admit it, I have a thing for much older men. But aside from that, I was struck by how pretty John James was. I didn't like that British actress as Fallon either. I couldn't look at her and not see Holly. Bah! It did get quite ludicrous at the end.
Aug. 5th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
John James was hot, but didn't quite hit my buttons the way Michael Nader did. Also, Jeff tended to be a bit too nice for my taste.

I definitely had thing for John Forsythe back in his Bachelor Father days. Let's face it, the show was MADE for girls with daddy figure issues.

Jul. 31st, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
I think I'm glad that I never knew about Grant Goodeve (though I always thought he and Leigh McCloskey looked similar so it's amusing that he turned up on Dynasty), because, yes, typecasting...

John Forsythe was in a sit-com? Well I know he was in a lot but somehow he's always Charlie's voice to me.

Yes to all the sexy men and oh god totally agreed on Roman. I love Wayne as an actor but never got how he was supposed to be sexy (now John Black, I get).

Adam and Kirby yes, totally, so hot and so sexy. Not a lick of chemistry with Jeff and Kirby imo - too much "past love that she got a chance at and it would never have worked" and that rarely works, plus Jeff and Fallon were too iconic.

Agree with everything about Alexis and Dex and that was John Saxon? Should've been a threesome.

Alexis again yes.

I actually, after a few years of perspective, decided that Stephen was actually bi but that was even less likely to be admitted in the 80s (or, honestly, now, it still feels like characters are gay or straight most of the time), but yes, and also it makes actual sense given the story and the chemistry.

I kind of liked the idea of Stephen/Luke when I looked back, but mostly because of who Luke was played by (and speaking of actors who still look good), and I think I could RPF ship Jack/Billy but then I could RPF ship Jack/almost anyone.

I think I essentially stopped sometime after Moldavia, because I don't remember the rest, though I wasn't entirely opposed to Dex/Amanda (but considering one of the things I remember about her is that she was about the same height as I was perhaps something subconscious and self inserty was going on too).

I also do remember watching when Maxwell Caulfield came in because it was the resurgence of my very first crush, but I think it was sometime after all of that that the show stopped airing.
Aug. 5th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
Steven is clearly bi, but I think you have to just fanwank that he'd invested so much emotional energy in his gay identity as part of the rebellion against Blake, that there was no way he could let go of that identity---even when he and Claudia were absolutely burning up the sheets and even though I doubt he had all that much trouble performing with Sammy Jo.

I understand that sexuality is fluid and Steven gets to identify how ever he wants to (being a fictional character and all) BUT it's somewhat annoying when there's such a discrepancy between what we're told and what's obviously happening.

Aug. 5th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
I think that works, and also a bit of self-denial in there - "I have to be gay, all this effort to be accepted and I can get it up around Claudia/Sammy Jo?" Especially as being bi is still more misunderstood.

Honestly I also think we can blame network interference and censorship and the time for half the discrepancies.
Aug. 6th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
I'm always happy to blame network interference.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )



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