Losing Adam : Dynasty's defining moment?

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Richard Channing, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Could Adam's kidnapping be that pivotal moment which set in motion a sequence of events that lead to Blake and Alexis' divorce and therefore laid the groundwork for what would come to be the whole premise of the show? Most marriages would struggle to survive such a shattering event, and both mother and father would forever be haunted by the mystery of what happened to their first born child. And did this event define who Blake and Alexis would become? Did the anger and rage each one was prone to stem from the pain of losing a child?

    Alexis, the original 'empty armed Madonna', all cried out and hardened by this cruel blow that life had dealt her. And Blake, throwing himself into his work to distract himself from the pain and uncertainty of never knowing what happened to Adam. Each one tormented and unable to let the other one in, the distance between them growing as the months went by. Blake found solace in building an empire, Alexis in the arms of Roger Grimes.

    Of course I'm not suggesting the powers that be on the show gave it that much thought, or attributed the end of Blake and Alexis marriage, or anything about their characters to this event, as the character of Adam probably wasn't even conceived until near the end of season 2. And of course soap characters tend to bounce back from tragedy so much better than ordinary folk, just in time for the next one. But I think one could make a good argument that his kidnapping set the whole story in motion.

    Could it really all have begun with Adam?

    adam.jpg
     
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  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Oh, sure. In fact, the writers -- amazingly -- implied just that several times.

    But the coup de grâce, implied by me, would be Caress telling Blake when and where to catch his wife with her lover.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Apparently, the two children they had after that didn't improve the situation.
    I tend to believe that their marriage (or the reason to marry) was based on love, or at least admiration.
    If Alexis had been an ordinary gold digger she could have married Cecil instead. Maybe she sensed that Cecil was a rotten person, and even if he had treated her like a queen, he'd never be the man she wanted.
    Blake was ambitious, he had a vision and he was in the process of becoming a self-made millionaire. Cecil was richer, but Blake was the winner.
    It seems that, for reasons unknown to me, she had not anticipated that it would take a LOT of time and energy to build that empire.
    So, while Cecil would have been fun (but nothing more than that), Blake was no fun at all.

    I got the impression that this was already going on before Adam was born, although their marriage wasn't on the rocks yet.
    Neglect/taking his wife for granted vs. adultery (and it wasn't just Roger Grimes). I think they were both responsible.

    But I kinda like it that Blake and Alexis have a different perspective on the situation - I don't really need to know who's telling the truth, because that whole maybe/maybe not is what kept the dynamic so interesting.
    Blake was ruthless and self-righteous, Alexis was narcissistic and self-indulgent. It was a match made in Soap Heaven.
     
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  4. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I did a post a while back regarding the nine year marriage of Blake and Alexis, their first three children were born pretty close in age
    Adam in 1955, Fallon in 1956 and Steven in 1958, I always had the impression that Adam was kidnapped when Fallon was just born or just a little bit before but I'm going to say Adam was kidnapped in late 1956.

    Had Adam not been kidnapped its fair to say that Steven and Amanda wouldn't have existed, Blake and Alexis had a child of each gender, my main point is is that Steven was conceived during a time when Alexis and Blake wanted to try and make their marriage work however it wasn't enough, hence why Amanda was born six years later, and I think Alexis had intended for Amanda to be that child which would save her marriage however things didn't turn out that way obviously and so to spite Blake she kept Amanda from him in London.

    The backstory involving Alexis and Blake's marriage quite fascinating and vastly unexplored
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    As JfL once pointed out, the thing that's so compelling about the Blake/Alexis backstory is that you suspect they're both largely telling the truth about each other.
     
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  6. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Me too. You get the sense that there was real passion between them and you can see what attracted each one to each other. Blake was strong, dependable and driven, qualities that Alexis admired, and Alexis was vivacious, highly sexed and had a lust for life. I'm sure Blake was mesmerised by her.

    Right, so it's hard to imagine them being able to pull together in the face of tragedy if the marriage was already strained.
     
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  7. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    It's hard to determine the how's and when's. You have to combine the pre- and post-Adam version, and the various (and maybe inconsistent) accusations.
    Blake didn't offer the support that his wife needed after the kidnapping, but why is that? And did he feel resentment because he stopped looking for Adam?
    She was having an affair with Roger Grimes (and slept with other men too, apparently) but did she really want to leave Blake? And take the children with her?
    Eventhough Roger was a nasty and violent man?
    Maybe Blake had a good reason to avoid his wife, maybe she'd become impossible to live with. I mean, look how she treated Dex, the man who adored her.
     
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  8. kitkat1971

    kitkat1971 Soap Chat Member

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    I'd say that once they retrospectively created Adam then the intention was certainly that his kidnapping was the root of them growing apart. It's implied this is the case onscreen and explicitly stated as such in The Authorised Biography.

    Alexis believed that if they hadn't involved the Police they'd have got him back so blamed Blake.

    On top of this, they had very different coping mechanisms for their grief. Alexis needed human support and comfort and when Blake couldn't or wouldn't provide it, because he needed to work through the pain by building an Empire, she turned to other men.

    It also had a knock on effect with Steven. He was the bandaid baby, born to replace (even.if subconsciously) their lost son so Alexis smothered him more whilst everything he did which disappointed Blake because he didn't behave as Blake thought his son should was magnified.

    Fallon meanwhile, the baby that was already there (either born or in the womb) at the time of the kidnapping was treasured even more but not subject to the same comparisons or replacement issues due to being a different gender. At least not by Blake. Maybe Alexis was more distant because she was Daddy's Little Girl from the start whereas Adam had been more Alexis'?

    Adam's existence and kidnapping is indeed incredibly important not only to Blake and Alexis' marriage breakdown but also Fallon and especially Steven becoming the people they are.

    So yes, I'd say it's pivotal and probably the most important part of the back story. Certainly equally as important as the Roger Grimes affair, Blake attacking him and banishing Alexis.

    Where this all falls down is is that Alexis' first affair happened before Adam was kidnapped. For Cecil to possibly be Fallon's father, Alexis must have been sleeping with him when Adam was at most a few months, possibly only a few weeks old since we know he was born Autumn 55 (he was kidnapped late September just before his birthday though his age changed from 2 to 1 year between seasons 2 and 7) and Fallon was born in 56.

    Really, having had the Paternity plot in Season 2 they should have had Adam be more than a year older than Fallon but I guess they were up against it for how old Alexis would have been when he was born.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  9. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I agree. Many on this site have argued, screamed in fact, that a prequel is itching to be told. Richard's masterfully crafted trailers is a testament how a solid story can be told of those early years between Blake and Alexis. In the right hands (keep the Shapiro's well away) I'd like to see a stylish Dynasty set in the 1950's. The series would require high production values. Put the series back in its rightful home, Denver, using the beautiful Filoli mansion. I'd also like to see locations like Monaco or the South of France, places where Alexis may have fled to after fleeing the suffocating Blake. I'm salivating just thinking about it. I'm off to re-watch some of Richard's trailers.
     
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  10. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    Why is Dynasty's backstory and hinted at past just so deliciously layered and fantastic? Out of all the big '80s soaps, Dynasty is the one that seems to have endless backstory possibilities and it sort of writes itself. It's just so fascinating and interesting. More so than Dallas, Knots, and Falcon.

    It's like a delicious recipe which includes only the very finest ingredients, only it was cooked by an ill equipped cook in an easy bake oven. In the dark. Without electricity. Or Water. Or utensils.
     
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  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    This point has been debated before in many different threads on several ostensibly different topics, many of which are at the bottom of Davy Jones' Cyber Locker when Soapchat crashed, burned and sank two years ago this very month.

    The backstory to DYNASTY is one of my favorite things to post about, even though I have to make up or extrapolate most of it, because they really didn't tell us that much about it -- and yet that doesn't prevent us from smelling its potential. And in that way, it is parallel to, and for the same reasons as, our sense of the series' then-contemporary potential, equally unrealized: it's an alchemy of different elements everyone knows are there, even if the brass didn't know what to do with it.

    The archetypal casting has tons to do with it, obviously, because that largely informs how the writers' background constructions convince us. And Blake and Alexis were cast with two actors who had a certain bitch-ass chemistry which led us to believe they really had been married long ago, and they really were still pissed off about it. That helps immeasurably.

    Also, DYNASTY was metaphoric for the '80s not just in terms of wardrobe and dish, but that its backstory happened to align with the same things the '80s culture was fixated on: the memories of '50s Americana when we pretended everything was perfect and in its place and the collective aspirations of the public were at its most delusional, that vibe continuing until everything began to overtly -- almost creepily -- fall apart in the mid-'60s, followed by the cultural meltdown of the psychedelic late-'60s, etc... Only the culture of the '80s could never quite finish and resolve the unfinished business of the '60s due to the current fibs of the '80s --- not unlike the Carringtons and their saga.

    And that wasn't planned, it just happened.

    We know the creative pathologies behind the camera which wound up disappointing us so, but it's that 'listening to nature' which constantly informs us of what should have happened in the present and, that mostly botched, what could have happened in past.

    I think that's probably the source of my continued focus on the show, that DYNASTic prequel in my head, and the places where the actual series (the pilot, S1, S2, S9 -- and numerous moments even throughout the most misguided of years) hinted at the potential.

    DALLAS had a great backstory but it was placed in the '30s, already fifty years before the series occurred and seemed, frankly, less compelling than what was going on in the present; KNOTS was about a neighborhood (at first) and all these unrelated people whose history with one another happened only fairly recently; FALCON CREST had Lana Turner and the ghost of Lana Turner -- and that's all they really needed, and while I've expounded on that and theorized about her post-war scandalous machinations, the show itself forgot it mostly.

    But it's funny how the '80s soap viewed as the most superficial (often justly) has the most three-dimensional backstory in terms of possibilities and how it all feels: DYNASTY.

    I've said before that the Ewings viewed themselves and their past in legendary iconic terms. While the Carringtons, despite their endless pretensions, had the more intimate sense of personal loss (even if the writers let us down there continually). The early pain of Krystle, Steven, Claudia, the ambivalent memories Fallon and Steven shared of the childhood, even Blake's implied Aloneness for a decade-and-a-half in that big and empty mansion, all felt somehow more palpable than the hurt feelings over Jock stealing oil and Ellie from Digger (not that any of that was particularly uninteresting, but the later generation of Ewings seemed to have the more intriguing tale to tell).

    Hence, my ongoing frustration -- and interests -- in DYNASTY. The woulda/coulda/shoulda is just overwhelming.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  12. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Esther Shapiro, despite her later neglect of the show, was someone who didn't just crawl out of a rock and started writing a pilot. She had done drama before, some of it dealing with social issues, and she did once upon a time get a PhD in Comparative Literature from Santa Cruz. Plus she had a personal family history that hailed from storytelling cultures. So I think the pilot and the initial creation were well crafted and created this rich tapestry of characters with a past worth exploring. It was there in season 1, and with Alexis coming on board in season 2 we thought we were going to get more of it (and to a degree we did). Adam's story added tremendously to the back story of Blake and Alexis, but at that time the writing team in charge did not care to explore the past much; it's funny that every now and then when the past resurfaced the show would come alive again (Amanda, Tom, Ben, Roger Grimes) but nobody in DYNASTY understood that was its strength, much less of course Shapiro who by season 7 had literally moved on to other projects. Then again the show was so tone-deaf by 7B that even bringing up past characters like Matthew or Sean (who was Joseph's son and Kirby's brother) meant nothing because they were not really written as if the past mattered.
     
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  13. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    If I remember well, $ynthia $idre also had one of those...Two birds of a feather? Maybe they were sisters parted at birth...? So many things would be understandable if they were...​

    [​IMG] upload_2018-10-6_19-7-44.jpeg
     
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  14. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    In fall 1978, Cidre had just enrolled into University of Miami’s doctorate program in Victorian literature when she found out that, unbeknownst to her, the professor teaching her undergraduate screenwriting class had submitted one of her works into a screenwriting competition, and that she had won it. Cidre left Miami for Hollywood with a stipend from Columbia Pictures to write a feature script.
    https://deadline.com/2015/06/cynthia-cidre-overall-deal-abc-studios-blood-oil-1201462407/

    So, no, not only did Cidre not finish the degree (she was just about to start year one), but her interest, Victorian literature, is all about moralizing (the bordellos, the drugs, the wife tied to an abusive husband) so it made sense what we got from the little she attended even as an undergrad. Thus, a very different background from Shapiro. The problem with Shapiro is that her ego grew as DYNASTY's ratings grew, so that she thought she was bigger than the show and could just create another one like that (THE COLBYS).
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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