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Did the Carringtons need a genuinely blue-blooded family with which to socialize?

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Snarky's Ghost, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Even if DYNASTY hadn't suffered the flaws that it did as a series, at its very best it still wasn't ever going to be a real blueblooded, high society kind of family.

    And why not?

    Because it's Hollywood: they're on TV, it's cast with movie-star "types" of actors (even if they weren't all actually movie stars) hired for their charisma and looks, and the goal is to appeal to a somewhat bourgeois audience who likes those things and only feel they can relate to these rich people when they're chosen by producers for beauty and likeability.

    And I think that's fine.

    But did DYNASTY need to show the Carringtons in the social milieu of other families or at least a single family which really, really seemed more upper crust than Blake's clan did or ever could?

    Maybe not The Colbys, because they needed to be similarly star-like, as they were spinning off to their own series... But perhaps the Fallmonts?

    Instead of the boring, clinically-depressed Fallmonts we saw, perhaps they could have been more of a high-society, east cost, ivy league kind of political family, one that lived mostly in Colorado because of Dad's local career but had the proper level of snootery and polish and prim sophistication that a New England/Washington D.C. dynasty might.

    Obviously, some cast changes with the Fallmonts would be in order to achieve this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Star

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    Those are some good points, Snarky. Personally, I wouldn't change the casting for Clay or Emily. Clay for obvious reasons, haha; but I'd keep the actress for Emily because, despite the material written for her, she gave one hell of a performance. She was so soulful, so committed, that it reminded me of how Linda Evans was in season 2... which made her acting in season 7 all the more painful. Plus, appearance-wise, the actress for Emily seemed fairly realistic for the wife of a governor: she was nice-looking, but not exactly a raging beauty. She looked respectable and kind, and that endeared me to her.

    But Buck and Bart... well, I don't know if the actor for Buck could pull off the snooty, polished, sophisticated, Ivy League type... if he could, keep him on. If not, find someone else. But yeah, go ahead and get someone different for Bart. And rename him "Fox." ;) (Cuz I actually do like that.)
     
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  3. lbf522

    lbf522 Soap Chat Active Member

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    A New England political family could have been interesting.
     
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  4. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 13 Years

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    Like the Kennedy's but less pretty.
     
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  5. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 20 Years Staff Member

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    I think doing this would have placed Dynasty closer to the typical formula of daytime soaps, where two or three (sometimes as much as four) 'core families' all interact with another in an effort to reflect different socio-economic backgrounds. Just about every soap from the 1970s onward had at least one wealthy family (usually nouveau riche like the Carringtons, though they might also have an old-money family on canvas as well for 'contrast'), one middle-class, and one struggling/blue-collar. Daytime had (still has) to write so much material in order to fill 260 episodes a year that it would be difficult (though not impossible) to focus solely on one family.

    In Dynasty's case, introducing a second family would definitely have provided some contrast, but it would have been an admission on the part of the writers that the Carringtons alone were "not sufficient" to provide an hour of good entertainment. I imagine there would also have been a certain amount of backstage discord as the lead actors would likely feel their star power was being diluted as these newcomers were being handed more screen time. Dynasty's Carringtons, much like Dallas's Ewings (and to a lesser extent the Channing/Giobertis of FC), were likely meant to be the central family, and the show would live or die by what happens with that family. Part of what ruined FC in that final season for me was the drift away from the Channing/Giobertis' struggles in favor of...well, whatever that stuff was they wrote instead. Since so much of the family had been dispersed, there wasn't much they could do, I guess, but still...
     
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  6. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Well, a soap is also a romantic story, a fantasy, and people (bourgeois or not) like to fantasize about beautiful things.
    See, that kinda contradicts the idea that Really Important People can't be pretty.

    It all depends on how significant this other family is. Supernumeraries shouldn't look too important or too pretty, as it would confuse the viewer ("who is that beautiful woman?")
    At the same time I don't think that a family like the Fallmonts should upstage the Carringtons.

    Of all the soaps, Dynasty had the most aristocratic feel.
    [​IMG]
    Yes, the Carringtons had it, and the only DC that mattered was Denver-Carrington.

    The Colbys came close, but it was hard to create that same mystique atmosphere during the hardcore eighties, mostly because of the glamour-for-all-and-sundry frenzy.
     
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  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    But the Fallmonts could have sufficed, giving them more of a D.C. and/or ivy league connection than they did.

    DYNASTY already had several families present at one time. And at least after the first season (the only year that really gave us much of a glimpse of the middle class) they were all pretty much rich.

    I'm just suggesting that one of those families feel a little but more like old rich instead of Hollywood rich.

    Sure, and I'm not suggesting that they shouldn't have done that. Just that another side of the upper crust be reflected -- one that wasn't quite as showbiz rich.

    Oh, certainly not.

    But only at the beginning, and that was the problem. The DALLAS Ewings, for example, seemed like white trash nouveau riche in the beginning, but over time ripened into something more statured (before the show itself collapsed, of course) while DYNASTY's Carringtons seemed like Old Rich in the beginning and then turned Ameri-Trash very quickly.

    I wouldn't mind DYNASTY being a blend of both sides -- Old Rich and new rich -- but the Old Rich vibe was gutted pretty early on, and I think the show was the lesser for it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  8. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict EXP: 10 Years

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    In a way the families of Dynasty filled every cornerstone of each type of family:

    The Carrington's: New money
    The Colby's: Flash old money
    The Fallmont's: Ivy league aristocratic
    The Blaisdel's: Upper middle class
    The Grant/Jennings/Dean clan: Lower middle class

    In a way Knots Landing was a show based not just on one family but on several families that over time became interwoven through marriages, The Clements were related to the Ewing's, who became related to The Cunningham/Fairgate clan, they in turn were.linked to the MacKenzie family.

    Season 1, tried this with the Carrington, Colby and Blaisdel families being central to the plots, which worked really well, and was missed in later seasons' of the show, a better casted Buck Fallmont could be condescending towards Blake who in turn would do the same with Matthew Blaisdel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Structurally, perhaps. But I'm not sure the Fallmonts ever actually felt like that.
     
  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    But did they even try to make them look like that? Wasn't the Fallmont family simply a plot device, and then Clay sort of outstayed his welcome?
    It was a dysfunctional family, at least they had that in common with the Carringtons.
     
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  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    But that's what I'm saying: they should've made the Fallmonts feel like that. Or somebody.
     
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  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Yes, however, consequently (at that point in Dynasty's run) they would have upstaged the Carringtons.
    Isn't that sad?
     
  13. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict EXP: 10 Years

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    A large part of that is to do with the casting, Emily and Clay Fallmont were perfectly cast I thought, Buck and Bart, not so much.
     
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  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    True. And do you think they should have looked a little younger?
     
  15. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    I don't really see why. If they're not given too much screen time, such a family would simply be "atmosphere," wouldn't they?
     
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  16. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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  17. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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  18. Soapwriter12

    Soapwriter12 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    We kind of had it with the Scot's Morrells, but maybe not depending on how connected they really were.

    We do get the impression that Tom, and blake Carrington did begin as blue collar wildcatters, genuine blue bloods would not have been in the field, they would have hired people to go out for them.

    Blake may have looked like a blue blood, and learned how to act like one, but he still began like Walter, but he went to school, brought i investors, and learned how to turn his work as a wild catter into a sustainable future. He then sent his kids to the finest provate schools, finishing schools, and universities where they learned toact, and interact with blue bloods.

    Blue bloods would have looked down on Blake, and his family, if they hadn't learned how to play the game of million dollar spit in the ocean.

    Tom was obviously with Blake, and Alexis when Fallon shot roger Grimes, so he would have been there as they learned how to play the game.
     
  19. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    DYNASTY equivocated a lot on its backstory, as many shows do. But the early episodes suggested the Carringtons, Blake's father, was from Pennsylvania and of modest means. Later, his father is wealthy and leaves Blake a lot of his estate. Then we're told Blake was left a huge crater by his mother. And Adam asserts that he belongs to one of the oldest, most respected families in Colorado. And Blake's father buried the nazi treasure he was paid to ship half the Third Reich to South America.

    I like umbrella explanations to be used whenever possible which can accommodate such contradictions (which requires the brass to know those contradictions occurred in the first place).

    Blake could very well have come out from Pennsylvania to Colorado post-WW2 to wildcat. About the same time, his ne'er-do-well preacher father transfers those nazis to Venezuela or Brazil, gets paid a bundle, and then, in an effort to salve his damaged relationship with his son, offers Blake some badly needed funds to help with his drilling operations (Blake never knowing the money came from Hitler's minions). They later bury the Collection on Blake's property, but Tom becomes wealthy from having points in Denver-Carrington which Blake gave him in exchange for the earlier financial assistance.

    Makes sense.

    We can also learn that one of the reasons Blake decided to come to Colorado in the first place is that his mother's family, the prominent and privileged Fallon dynasty, originated there -- and they'd looked down upon their sweet Ellen Lucy Fallon marrying such a vulgar nobody. The Fallons did not help Tom Carrington financially when they were newlyweds, all but cutting off his new wife.

    By the time the fire kills Ellen Lucy Fallon Carrington in the mid-'50s, she and Tom were well-off from all that nazi loot and she leaves her son, Blake, that crater in her will.

    And why did Blake tell his daughter, Fallon Colby, in Season 2 that his mother died when he was four? Obviously, the man who never lies fibbed ever-so-slightly so he would never have to reveal the horrific fire which took her grandmother to avoid traumatizing his own children. Just as he never told Fallon and Steven that Adam ever existed.

    Jeez, the '50s sure hold a lot of sordid Carrington secrets!

    Anyway, that's how Blake can have bluebloods in his background without actually having been one until middle age.

    Not that that addresses the Carringtons having a family more sophisticated than themselves to hang out with on the show.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  20. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 3 Years

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    I never understood how that “ne'er-do-well preacher father” came to have his own shipping company in the 1950s (as Blake reveals in Paulsenian Dynasty). Tom would’ve already had to have the funds to set up that company to be in a position to provide his services to the Third Reich. …Also, never understood why Pa Dexter, along with Jason & dad, left their respective original home states and line of work to be in Colorado, mining.

    I just think Paulsen & Co re-set Dynasty back to its roots – as they saw them, where (for example) the origins of Jeff’s wealth lie with his aunt Connie (as SybilSable reminds her nephew in D.S9) and not his uncle Cecil – something we learnt about rebooted Jeff & Co in D.S8.

    Might be best for Dynasty 2.0 to let everything before Paulsenian Dynasty go.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017

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