Was the De-emphasis on Business a Mistake?

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Snarky's Ghost, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    As John Forsythe said in an interview circa 2000 that, as compared to DALLAS, it was much harder to delineate an identity for DYNASTY. And he said at another point that the producers of DYNASTY didn't know what they wanted.

    Would it have helped DYNASTY to be a little more focused on business? Maybe not always to the degree that DALLAS was, but DALLAS' best years seemed to involve a season-long business story against which all the characters could bounce off. Otherwise, DYNASTY usually just gave us a slew of none-too-focused, and often isolating, romantic imbroglios that simply occurred in numerous corners of the show simultaneously, with no unifying factors.

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  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Yes and no, but I don't have the time to explain right now. But it has everything to do with the picture you've posted.
     
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  3. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    For me the biggest problem was that the DYNASTY universe started with three points of reference: The Carringtons and the mansion, the Blaisdels and their little horror house on the Denver prairie, and (little seen but looming large as in idea even in S1) Colbyco and Cecil. And three points define a plane, we learned back in geometry. Once the Blaisdels and then Cecil were out of the way, the construct got wobbly. There was no real antagonism if both Alexis and Blake would leave it all to their children. Cecil should never have been terminated--if anything, more COLBYS should have appeared already in S3 and instead of having Alexis be the empress of caviar, she should have tried to outmaneuver in-laws and exes on the COLBYCO side together with all the fighting on the Carrington side. Look at what happened when another Colby finally arrived in S9 and gave Alexis a run for her money--suddenly Alexis and her manipulations had a raison d'etre again.
     
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  4. Laurie Marr

    Laurie Marr Soap Chat Member

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    The DYNASTY business plots were always hazy affairs. They could have been used much more creatively. Uncle Lenny’s decision on DALLAS to move ‘from the boardroom to the bedroom’ was only one in a long list of blunders that plagued the show post-Pam.
     
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  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Even Dynasty's finest season (1) shows that this was not going to be another DALLAS.
    There was definitely a sense of business, mostly thanks to Matthew Blaisdel and Walter Lankershim, but Blake - unlike Jock and JR - was not a typical oil man.
    But the social-economic references (Fallon & Jeff) and Blake's attitude towards Blaisdel & Co merely showed the perception of the oil industry, and what it's like to be an oil tycoon.
    Blake Carrington was more of a Martin Peyton - someone who owned people, the man with the big house on the hill.
    The emphasis was on tyranny and control, rather than greed.
    And DALLAS was very, very greedy. And FALCON CREST was both.

    I wouldn't say that this was a flaw because DYNASTY had other qualities, and the title actually suggests that this story focusses on family.
    Unlike Ewing Oil and it's competitors (especially Cliff Barnes when he decided to get a piece of the action), DYNASTY hardly invested in a corporate rivalry.
    Cecil Colby was a rat but it was possible for both companies to co-exist, until they started the Logan Rhinewood story.
    There was even less business rivalry when Alexis took over, and it made perfect sense that the two companies would merge. But of course there was a catch.

    And then we have Alexis as a business woman. What's wrong with that - well, everything. They bring in this glamorous, theatrical soap-bitch only to waste all that wicked fabulosity in boring offices.
    So they decided to have their cake and eat it, hence the ongoing entrances and ridiculous threats in big fur and big hats.
    It wasn't intense enough to create big drama, and not clever enough to create a fascinating business atmosphere. So it kind of ended up being nothing.

    But a soap with big companies doesn't mean that they have to talk business all the time (and Dallas did it a little bit too much sometimes).
    We didn't really see what KNOTS LANDING's Galveston Industries and the Sumner Group was all about, but we did see how they were involved with other companies and projects (Oakman Industries, Empire Valley and also Claudia Whitaker's foundation...thing).
    And we also saw how the tv station put Abby in a position to manipulate Joshua.
    The Sumner Group was always very vibrant, sometimes all you have to do is "playing busy" to make it look like a real company.
    It's not like all and sundry had to walk in and out of in Blake's office, but did we ever see D-C and ColbyCo's main entrance?

    In what way could DYNASTY's companies have been more involved with the storylines, apart from the Carrington sons moving offices, to and fro?
    Apart from stealing tankers and international oil leases? Apart from the endless and empty "I'll destroy you!" threats?
    The best thing they did (ironically) was the fire at La Mirage because Blake owned it.

    The Moldavia storyline should have been connected with D-C or ColbyCo, or both.
    Heck, they should have started the Bank Of Moldavia plot before they were not-massacred. And then, back in America, being blamed by a third party for funding/being involved with the Moldavian revolution.
    The financial world demands a scapegoat, but who is it going to be? Blake or Alexis? To watch them both clutching at straws, hating eachother more than ever, a Dynasty divided. It looks as if Alexis is going to lose everything and then - bam! - unexpected support from Ben Carrington who turns the whole situation upside down.

    They knew how to create drama that was linked to a business storyline: the emerald necklace.
    But the D-C/ColbyCo "feud" became too isolated too soon. Blake had never met Nick Toscanni's brother, there was no connection. So...who cares?
     
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  6. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Thank God in heavens!

    As we have discussed in a different thread, it's not that DALLAS did business better, it's that DALLAS gave a sense of a broader canvas in which the Ewings fit. Season 1 did that (for example at the dinner party they are trying to impress a lot of moguls, and Cecil is but one of the players) but then the writers didn't just ditch the Blaisdels, but the whole of Denver with them. And in all the seasons there was a single reporter for a single fictional finance publication interviewing Blake and Alexis--please. When DYNASTY did business, it actually mixed business and pleasure well: Alexis and Rasheed in season 2, Ben affecting Blake's reputation in season 6. But the writers just did not overall bother to tell different kinds of stories other than the Carringtons playing musical beds (Jeff beds Fallon, now Jeff beds Kirby, now Adam beds Kirby) for the most part. Claudia and Nick had survived in season 2 as outsiders, but then everyone was somehow tied: an ex husband, the father of a niece, a lost half-sister and so on. Even in season 8 they missed a chance to have Krystle do some outreach as part of the campaign, something ironically Paulsen had her do just as she was out the door.
     
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  7. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    On DALLAS the Ewings had a work ethic, despite being old money, The Carrington's on the other hand were new money yet had all the pretences of being an old moneyed family and this seemed to work for DYNASTY for some reason, sure have them dabble im business but the Carrington's wouldn't really get their hands too dirty, unlike the Ewings, and to an extent the Gioberti's on FALCON CREST.

    However there should definitely have been more foes for both the Carrington's and Alexis, someone who could unify both camps,
    In truth Alexis was right about merging ColbyCo and DenverCarrington into one oil company because it would mean that they would have ultimate power and something big to pass on to their children and grandchildren.

    And in seasons one and two we this situation where there were outside enemies: Cecil Colby and the Blaisdel's, I've always said that they were dispensed with far too early, the Blaisdel's were Denver's middle class answer to the Barnes family and Cecil could have been to the Carrington's and Alexis what Jeremy Wendell and later McKay was to the Ewings.

    They tried this later on with Dominique, Caress & Ben but after half a season they would all join Blake's side against Alexis yet not being a real threat to her, the routine grew old until finally in season 9 when Sable immediately went to the side of Blake and Krystle while being the one person Alexis couldn't really outmaneuver.
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I think she should have been that outsider-villain, a mix of Jeremy Wendell and Angelica Nero.
    Dominique as a Carrington proved to be absolutely pointless because (apart from the surprise moment) it had very little effect on the characters and story.
    No emotional drama, no racial issues and from Dominique's point of view there really wasn't much to gain from it. She now belonged to a wealthy family, but she herself was a super-rich, super-famous international star, so it's not like she lacked recognition.

    But if she was the widow of an infamous gangster who wanted her share of Tom Carrington's estate (as a way to laundry the money obtained from criminal activities, especially if the Feds were after her) then it would be interesting to connect her to the snooty Carringtons.
    And imagine all the problems if she'd decide to make La Mirage her new headquarter. And maybe she could discover ColbyCo's arrangements with the Bank Of Moldavia...etc etc.

    But if being a Carrington was supposed to be her only storyline, then I think a short guest appearance would have sufficed. Like how Falcon Crest did it with Gina Lollobrigida.
     
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  9. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    There. Right there. That should have been Dominique's shtick on the show! :D Reminds me of what they originally planned for Fallon in Season 3, that a mafia member wanted to become the supplier for the hotel, and Fallon ends up butting heads with the manager about hiring a black singer. Would have been interesting foreshadowing for Dominique!
     
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Reportedly, Diahann Carrol was miffed over the hiring of Kate O'Mara to play another diva bitch..... I say, use that energy and write an ugly, paths-crossing backstory between the two women -- it could give both their characters more reason to be there and exist!
     
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  11. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    ??
    This is completely new to me!
     
  12. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Really? I've known about it for years. ^^ I know lots of people around here have talked about the alternate storylines for Fallon in S3.
     

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