Is everyone wearing their brightest sequins and biggest shoulder pads, with their hair teased and sprayed up to high heaven? Good, because Dynasty is back on TV, and it is simultaneously a modern-day update and a total homage to the original series.
We open on Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies) wheeling and dealing on her way home to see her father, Blake (Grant Show). She makes a brief detour to hook up with the chauffeur, Michael Culhane (Robert Christopher Riley) — an affair that appears to be long-standing — and then heads to the Carrington estate for what she thinks is a promotion to Chief Operating Officer of the family’s oil company, Carrington Atlantic (CA).
Except that’s not at all why Blake wants Fallon and her brother, Steven (James Mackay), to come home. He’s actually getting engaged to Cristal Flores, a PR associate at the company who has big ideas about dragging Carrington Atlantic into the 21st century — ideas that earn her the COO position over Fallon.
Cue the Fallon-Cristal rivalry, which should be a cornerstone of the first season — at least until Fallon and Steven’s mother Alexis Carrington blows into town, which may happen this season or may be held off until season two like in the original series. Either way, the cast is already very excited at the prospect of Alexis joining the fray. (More on that later.)
But Fallon has other problems besides her new stepmother. She gives her dad a business tip for Windbrier, an energy company going up for sale. But Blake gives the deal to Steven, and that, combined with Cristal getting Fallon’s promotion, sends Fallon running into the arms of Jeff Colby (Sam Adegoke), a billionaire tech guru who used to work for Carrington Atlantic. Fallon convinces Jeff that she’s more than capable of running her own energy company, so he just kind of hands her a company to run — by buying Windbrier and turning it into Carrington-Windbrier with Fallon at the helm. Must be nice to have friends with deep pockets.
Meanwhile, Cristal may have great ideas for Carrington Atlantic, and she may be charming the pants off Blake, but there are obviously some major skeletons in her closet. Her nephew, Sammy Jo (Rafael de la Fuente), hooks up with Steven and then threatens to expose Cristal to her new family if he isn’t allowed to stay. Plus, Blake’s majordomo Anders (Alan Dale) says he also dug up all the dirt on Cristal via a background check — and if she gets out of line, he’ll expose her as well.
Not only that, but Cristal’s ex-boyfriend Matthew (Nick Wechsler) is a geologist for CA who was gravely injured on an inspection job (and may be dead, though it’s unclear how much we can trust what his wife says). But did Blake set up Matthew to be killed? That seems a little extreme, but from what we know of the original series, “too extreme” is not a phrase in Dynasty’s vocabulary.
It’s a tangled web these Carringtons weave, but we’re totally on board. It’s beautiful, flashy, and full of soapy drama.
Also, if you aren’t familiar with the original primetime soap that ran on ABC from 1981 to 1989, this reboot is so far following the original very closely. Some intriguing updates have been made, like Cristal being Venezuelan, which will come into play in a major way this season, but the bones of the update are the same and that’s a lot of fun.
Odds + Ends
- Is Matthew really dead? It appears so, which is an interesting change from the original series. In the original, Matthew played a big part in the first season, as a foil for Blake and a possible love interest for Krystle. So will some other character take over that role now that Matthew has (seemingly) been disposed of?
- Actress Nathalie Kelley told Brit + Co at the 2017 TCA summer press tour that everyone in the cast has a few ideas of who they would like to see cast as Alexis Carrington, a character played by Joan Collins in the original series.”It’s obviously going to be somebody with enough of a name and a gravitas to fill her shoes, so in picking potential people, there have been some exciting names in the mix,” Kelley revealed. “But there’s one name, I’m not going to say who, that they keep circling around that is just our dream.”
- Anders: “Your friends amount to about one percent of the guest list. This is for the 99 percent.”
Cristal: “That’s ironic.”
- Sammy Jo: “So what kind of butler are you, more of a Bates or a Belvedere?”
What did you think of the premiere? Are you joining this Dynasty? Tell us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Art Streiber/The CW + Mark Hill/The CW)