Dynasty

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A moment in TV history.

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 the Vampire Slayer 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 five seasons so far have been released on DVD.


Tropes used in Dynasty include:
  • 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 Cliff Hanger car crash at the end of Season 4; Fallon herself was inflicted with amnesia.
    • Also: Stephen, 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 extras got killed.
  • 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.
  • Cliff Hanger: Once a season.
  • Follow the Leader: Dallas, in case that isn't clear.
  • Gambit Pileup: Well if half the cast is trying to manipulate things, this is inevitable.
  • Manipulative Bastard: More than a few.
  • Nice Hat / Nice Shoes / Opera Gloves: As with Pimped-Out Dress, all these tropes are on display in multiple episodes.
  • Parent with New Paramour
  • 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.
  • Pretty in Mink: Dynasty could well be in the top ten shows of all time in terms of furs. If combined with The Colbys it likely tops them all.
  • Rich Bitch: Alexis is one of the most notorious in TV history, but actually about half the cast is like this.
  • Ruritania: The shows' writers seem to have thought Moldavia was this instead of a real country.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Again, about half the cast.
  • Shoulders of Doom: All the shoulder pads.
  • Soap Opera
  • Something Else Also Rises: The opening credits are spectacular in this sense, with all the men being represented by skyscrapers, oil gushers, fountain and foaming champagne bottles.
    • Interestingly, both Ted McGinley and Cassie Yates are represented by horses.
  • Sweater Girl: About as common as the furs on that show.
  • Wham! Episode: Several, but the most famous is Alexis' dramatic courtroom introduction at the end of Season 1.
    • Fallon being abducted by a flying saucer in the desert in the final episode of The Colbys has to be a close second.
  • You Fail History Forever: In reality, Moldavia (the country where the terrorist attack takes place) was part of the USSR and definitely not a monarchy.