If, like me, you were a fan of the 1980’s pop culture iconic television show Dynasty, no doubt you were looking forward to the premiere of the reboot on The CW Wednesday night. The episode titled “I Hardly Recognized You” that aired on October 11 was properly named, if you ask me. Some parts of the show are now hardly recognizable.
Let’s start with the beginning. The introduction begins with Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies), daughter of Carrington Atlantic energy mogul Blake Carrington (Grant Show), narrating a bit about dynasties. The first picture to pop up was the Trump family, naturally, and then the Murdochs and the Kardashians. Were the show writers not able to find any photos of the Kennedy family or maybe the Cuomo family?
Fallon: Like it or not, we live in an age of dynasties. Who else can you trust to run the family business... Except family? I'm a Carrington. And our business is literally power. If you drove a car today, charged your cell phone, or made breakfast, chances are Carrington Atlantic had something to do with it. For generations, this has been our dynasty and today my father gives it to me.
The original series pushed the envelope on social issues and timely issues of the 1980’s, to be sure. In the reboot, trying to fit into the narratives of 2017 seems to be of the greatest importance. Blake Carrington marries his fiancée, Cristal (Nathalie Kelley) in this episode. The 80s secretary Krystal Carrington, played by blonde and blue-eyed Linda Evans, is now Hispanic Cristal Carrington, a P.R. associate at Carrington Atlantic. Sammy Jo, who was Krystal's straight niece played by Heather Locklear in the 80’s show, is now Cristal's gay nephew. Blake’s son, Steven (James Mackey), is more secure in his homosexuality than in the 80's when his being gay caused a rift with his father, but he's still obnoxiously progressive in his politics. He’s responsible for a protest against his father’s fracking business that ended up costing the company $600 million dollars.
The locale is different, too. The story was originally set in Denver but has now moved to Atlanta. The house is opulent, but, frankly, not any more so than some we see on shows like any of the Housewives series. The family’s butler is still a snarky character coming to terms with the new wife. The Carrington personal driver is now a black man who is sleeping with Fallon. The Colby family – arch enemies of the Carringtons – is now black, too, for some reason.
Fallon is trying desperately to win her father’s confidence and wrestle control of Carrington Atlantic, but Blake gives that honor to Cristal. This brings on a bit of nostalgia as the two women get into a catfight. Visions of Krystal and Alexis danced in my head but, sadly, this fight included neither a robust slap nor a cocktail thrown into a face. It was a lackluster moment at best. In the 80s the original scene was all the buzz for several days. The rebooted scene could be on any number of shows today.
Fallon: You look so elegant, I hardly recognized you. A moment with the bride, please? Hmm.
Cristal: It was Blake's idea. We were already having a party, so he thought, why wait? But something tells me you hate surprises.
Fallon: Oh, that's not what I hate.
Cristal: You should be having this conversation with your father.
Fallon: After Matthew I thought we were done talking about you.
Cristal: Actually, thanks to your stalking, your dad and I are closer than ever. We've moved up the wedding day, obviously, but we have another announcement, too.
Fallon: Now, don't tell me you're pregnant. What, you let him knock you up to lock him down?
Cristal: Fallon. That is no way to talk to your new boss. That's right. He offered me the C.O.O. Position.
Fallon: That was supposed to be mine.
Cristal: Which is why I turned it down the first time. Then I met you. Let go, bitch!
Fallon: Get off of me!
Cristal: There will be plenty of time for this after the wedding.
Fallon: Bite me, Cristal.
Cristal: Please. Call me "Mom."
I hope the show gets better. Maybe my expectations were too high but all the unnecessary changes catering to every demographic seems too forced and gimmicky. The only group not represented was the transgendered community. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that worked into the script in the near future. This isn’t the fun old show of the 1980’s, that’s for sure.