The prime time soap opera Dynasty is a unique TV phenomenon. Many years after the first shooting, it still reruns and has the devoted and passionate fans all over the World.
The series had its opening night when the ABC network broadcast it on 12th January 1981 as a three-hour film. The first broadcasting season was a sort of introduction into the Dynasty history. As early as from the second season, the show rating began to grow abruptly and very rapidly. The Dynasty got very soon among the top 5 rated programs, finishing 5th for the 1982-83 season and 3rd for the 1983-84 season. It was the number one ranked program for the 1984-85 season. In those times, the Dynasty was announced the most popular program in numerous TV shows, as well as in the world most famous magazines, the authors and actors of the series won prizes in many different fields of the TV production.
In the years that followed, however, the popularity of the show started gradually to go down, thanks mostly to a very poor screenplay which included some extremely radical plots, replacements of some leading actors, to some new TV tendencies and many other reasons. The Dynasty was in the air till 1989, when the ABC abruptly and unceremoniously dumped it, leaving behind the series lots of pending stories and dramatic plotlines. To sum up, the series had 220 episodes broadcast in nine seasons, from 1981 to 1989.
Still, two years after being dumped, the Dynasty revived for a moment and it was broadcast on the ABC on 20th and 22th October 1991. That special four-hour long film Dynasty: The Reunion, passed pretty ingloriously among the viewers and the fans since the show lost its authenticity with shooting in somewhat changed indoor settings, replacements and absence of some very important actors and, in the first place, with the unconvincing plot.
Like other TV programs, the Dynasty also had its insecure moments in the beginning, the upward line, the climax of its popularity and its drop, but it is interesting to note that its end also marked the final stage of the era of the glamorous 80’s and the demise of the particular television genre - the prime time soap opera.
Now, from such a distance in time, there imposes a question about is there so magic in the Dynasty to attract such a enormous population of TV viewers throughout the world? It is difficult to find the right answer, but numerous TV revewers and researchers of the show's popularity are of the opinion that the spectators were charmed mostly with the story about a world of the rich, beautiful and powerful people, then there were the attractive and charismatic actors, huge houses, expensive cars, extravagant warderobe, gorgeous indoor and outdoor sceneries, as well as the intriguing script and exciting story lines.
The main plot of the show was set in Denver , Colorado , USA . The center of attention is Blake Carrington, rich oil tycoon, owner of the oil company called "Denver Carrington", who lives with his family outside of Denver City in a huge mansion with 48 rooms. The series focuses on the emotional triangle involving Blake Carrington, his former wife Alexis and his present wife Krystle. The center of attention also includes the Carrington children, relatives, friends and business partners. A big part of the story deals with the conflicts between the Carrington family and their business rivals, the Colbys.
Dynasty had a spin off show called Dynasty II: The Colbys. That program was broadcast from 1985 to 1987 and it consisted of 49 episodes. The story was situated in Los Angeles , following the lives of the Colby family members. Fallon and Jeff, the original Dynasty characters, were transferred to The Colbys for its entire run, and after the show ended they returned to Dynasty.
The creators of the show and actors entertained us for a decade with their exciting love adventures, friendships, business conflicts, intrigues and fights. Dynasty had its ups and downs while it was on the air. It had some successful recast and some less successful, there were mistakes in writing but one thing is for sure, the Dynasty occupies the special place in the history of television. Let us mention just a couple of the characteristics of the show... It promoted, as the leading characters, the actors in mature age on the TV screens, it dictated the fashion tendencies, the viewer had the opportunity to meet the first gay male television characters on nighttime television, there was introduced the first Afro-American character in a prime time soap opera; the Dynasty made extensive use of one soap opera staple--the return to life of characters presumed dead, and so on.
The Dynasty managed to attract its admirers in over 80 countries throughout the world, where as many TV and satellite channels keep re-running it. When we see today all the low budget programs we are bombarded with on television stations across the world, all we can say is that the Dynasty, both in its production and authors sense, was and is one of the most popular and the most glamorous TV show of all times.
Dynasty remains timeless!
Text by Goran Markovic