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."