Dynasty's problematic pacing and Alexis

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Michael Torrance, May 28, 2017.

  1. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    One of the statements Esther Shapiro made was that they "run out of stories for the older characters at some point," although season 9 showed that even that was not true--Alexis and Blake sure had plenty to do there. But after the first season which many find on the slow side, the other seasons just burned through storylines without having characters reflect on them in a meaningful way like they did in season one and frankly often tossing aside storylines or concluding them too quickly. The very same thing that most of us praise the most as catapulting Dynasty to stardom, Alexis' introduction to the mix, was also the catalyst that created the problems. In season 1, for instance, there are separate storylines and when the characters and threads come together it is in some cataclysmic, big pay-off episode like Blake's trial. But Alexis has to be in every single story: she messes with Krystle, with Sammy Jo, Steven, Blake of course, Cecil, even poisons Claudia against Krystle, and manages to even often Fallon marital advice, and of course to conspire with her. What was a more or less medium paced ensemble show turned into a hurricane with Alexis as its eye, but then it was easy for a story to lose steam if it presented no potential for Alexis. Mark, for instance, after Alexis brought him and tried to use him to break up Blake and Krystle, had to become her bodyguard to stay relevant. Similarly the writing team's desire to have her as head of Colbyco pushed Cecil out, whereas having him around for a season while she is by his side and is trained by him would have made more sense. Even Cecil taking Adam under his wing as revenge for Jeff defecting to Blake would have been more sensible.
     
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  2. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I totally agree with this point in particular
    Cecil was dispensed with way too soon, I always liked the idea of Adam being befriended by Cecil abd finding in him a genuine father figure while Jeff bonds with Blake, Blake would be furious by this of course.

    TPTB realised what a success Alexis was in season 2 and decided to make her all supreme empress of Colorado from season 3, overnight which wasn't a good idea in hindsight

    Dynasty was best when it wasn't a Blake vs Alexis scenario but involving family was much better.
     
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  3. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Exactly. All the wasted potential between certain family members (coughFalloncoughAmandacough) is highly evident by this point.
     
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  4. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I'm one of the few which enjoyed the pacing of Season 1. Much like Dallas the characters were not thrust down our throat from the get-go. The problem was Dynasty was a creation to counter the already established and roaring success of Dallas on CBS. Dynasty was failing and was nearly cancelled until the arrival of Blake's mysterious ex-wife. When it returned the following season with the master stroke of introducing Joan Collins as Alexis it immediately drew you in. But I believe it wasn't until that horrid scene of Alexis firing off the shotgun causing Krystle to lose her baby which set Dynasty apart from Dallas.
    The character of Alexis was mysterious. Where had she been all these years? How were Fallon and Steven going to interact with their long forgotten mother. What potential lies had Blake told his children regarding Alexis fleeing Denver. How was Krystle going to counteract the intrusive ex-wife? There was so much potential there for dramatic conflict between Blake, Krystle, Fallon, Steven and Alexis. But it appears the writers didn't just want Alexis to be an annoying mosquito. They weren't content on her having residence at the Carrington mansion and fulfill her days painting. To get her on a level playing field with Blake they quickly had her marry Cecil and so he was dispensed with. Alexis could suddenly have zillions of dollars to purchase her lavish outfits and inflict caustic remarks.
    Somehow (overnight) this woman was injected with business steroids. The public (viewers) loved it and the writers and producers ensured they kept up the premise. The problem arose when the character became the main focus of Dynasty. Much like JR Ewing on Dallas. Rather than understanding how to keep check of the monster the writers had created it was all too late. I pitied the other characters, especially Krystle because it appeared they simply remained relevant to the series for Alexis to beat up on. And by the way. Why would Alexis have any beef with Krystle? Her issue was with Blake.
    I think Dynasty lost me during the back half of season 2 or early in season 3, I'm to clear on that. But you're correct by saying Dynasty leaps from gob-smacking plot line to another. I would have kept the main focus on Blake, Krystle, Fallon, Steven and Alexis. The other characters would have become secondary to the story. I even would go so far as to say the introduction of Adam and Catherine was plot driven to add further shock value. How the hell did Alexis manage to have two other children without Blake knowing of it was beyond comprehension.
     
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  5. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    You mean Adam and *Amanda.*

    Um, Blake already knew about Adam, he was their firstborn that was kidnapped as a baby. As for Amanda, she had been conceived right before Alexis left Denver. Plenty of time to get out from under Blake's radar and have a child of his without him knowing. Especially when you have other people raise the baby as their own.
     
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  6. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Oops. Got the actress and character mixed up. Prior to Alexis arriving on the scene was there any indication that Adam existed? Just curious.
     
  7. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Adam was mentioned, briefly, at the end of season 2 I think, in the episode after Steven leaves Denver, I doubt very much Adam was part of the original outline.
     
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  8. AndyLaird

    AndyLaird Soap Chat Active Member

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    I generally liked the faster pacing, but if they'd known they would have nine seasons I doubt they'd have killed off Cecil and had Alexis take over ColbyCo quite so quickly. Watching her battle her way to the top over a longer period would have had much storyline-generating potential.
     
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  9. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I think even without a plan for 9 seasons these things happened too quickly. She moved out of the studio too fast and married Cecil (then became the head of Colbyco) too fast. And I agree with all the comments about the completely unrealistic way in which she was suddenly such a success in business. I understand that once Krystle found out about the gun there would be hell to pay between her and Alexis, but why did Alexis act so stupidly in covering her tracks with Blake and why did Blake believe her so fast? If they had let the tension and the suspicion between Blake and Krystle (on account of Nick) longer, Alexis could have been driving a wedge between them for another half season if not more. The problem is that the show started going for the quick payoff and cliffhanger at the end of every episode, but any story's potential has only so much candle to burn. They went through theirs like wildfire.
     
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  10. Chippie

    Chippie Soap Chat Member

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    After season 1 they made the characters one dimensional which contributed to the poor/ridiculous story lines and the quick firing/letting go of characters which were never given the opportunity to develop - it became rather monotonous the Blake-Alexis hate each other - in Season 7 they should have resolved the Blake and Alexis issue and allowed them to move onto other storylines - season 9 - the external power which was manipulating from behind the scenes
     
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  11. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    You are correct. In fact the show's first season (written by Edward De Blasio based on story developed by the Shapiros) had created a narrative that was begging for the introduction of Alexis. Early on Steven and Fallon were discussing whether their problems were the result of growing up without a mother and remembering being abandoned by their mothers and having only each other to rely on. But as soon as Alexis appears, with the mystery came some sloppiness. For instance, why did Alexis stay away for 16 years? Blake says it was for the money. Alexis says it was because Blake had arranged to pin Grimes' beating on her. The show kinda allows Alexis' story to be seen as a lie (based on dialogue between Blake and Andrew and Blake and Krystle) but if that is the case Alexis and her (apparent) love for her children is cast in a very problematic lie. It was one of the early misfires, but a key one since the past was the main allure for Alexis' character.
     
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  12. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    The thing is is that Alexis wasn't actually all that threatening for most of her run on the series,
    If we including the Reunion as a "season 10" then Alexis was only really legitimately a threatening, insidious, mysterious, cold force of evil for only 3 seasons out of the 9 she was there.

    Seasons 2, 4 & 9 were her best seasons simply because it was Joan Collins playing Alexis and not Joan Collins playing Alexis playing Joan Collins playing an old timey 30s/40s Hollywood startlet playing Alexis.

    In season 2 she arrives, we the audience aren't sure what to expect from her, only that she's in Krystle's territory now, Fallon and Steven react differently, Fallon's reactions are to immediately stand in between Alexis and Blake as Blake's defender, whole Steven is naturally hurt but pleased that he has a parental ally in Alexis, Joseph and Alexis have a mysterious past where it dominates the present day, Alexis is a soldier for Cecil in his war against Blake, and other than this there isn't anything JR like about her, until she causes Krystle's miscarriage, like JR caused Pam's miscarriage just three years earlier on Dallas only Alexis went out of her way to kill Krystle's unborn baby, then its a different ball game, Alexis is a cold murderess who will stop at nothing at causing misery for Blake's 2nd wife.

    Then in season 3 after a whole season of being a henchman, she's now the Supreme Goddess of Denver, literally overnight, which took away her mysterious nature, she was now just focused on destroying Blake yet wanting him back, it became a one trick pony.

    Season 4 reverts Alexis to her cool, season 2 persona, so cool she is she could freeze Antarctica twice over, she wasn't the supreme empress, she was another inconvenient cog in a machine, out to get any one, not just Blake, she thinks things through, she a strategist,
    If there was a perfect place in the shows timeline where Alexis should've taken the reins off Cecil its season 4, and it pulls of perfectly, Joan Collins delivers every line with icicles and cold wind this season without overacting, and she's perfect,

    Then for the next few years she shrieks and shrills her way around Denver, delivering overly pretentious put downs worse than 5 year old in the playground, put downs that could never have looked good written down, let alone said out loud.

    In just two seasons she went from this:



    To this:



    I'm one scene she is icy, in control, legitimately evil and powerful in the other, just two years later, she's rambling on, with put downs that you just have to laugh at.
     
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  13. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Another great Alexis scene from season 4, her first meeting with Dominique;



    What possessed TPTB to turn Alexis into a shrill, mono-focused woman from a woman who could freeze hell?!? I could believe this Alexis running a multi billion dollar company, and taking over the mansion two years later, in fact she wouldn't have needed Ben at all.

    Its like TPTB had come out of season 3 realised their mistake tried to put it right but not always perfect but there was an attempt to make Dynasty intriguing in season 4, then by season 5 its thrown out the window again.
     
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  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    In all fairness, so does Dominique. I have absolutely no idea what she's trying to say there.
    Then again, Dominique was never good at having the upper hand, because she was a defender rather than an attacker.
    Perhaps she should have picked a different enemy, anyone but Alexis.
     
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  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Which begs the question if she had to be there all the time. We couldn't expect her to kill a baby every season.

    Imagine if she actually had to spend all those years in jail, for something she hadn't done. Ha-ha.

    Use her to the fullest and then write her out, only to have her return in season 8 or 9.
    Perhaps the destruction of DC/mansion take-over should have happened at the end of season 3.

    I think the seasons would have looked more like "chapters" if they had allowed other characters to be the main villain in season 5 to 7 (or 8).
    Ben, Dominique and the others, it was always overshadowed by the Carringtons-Alexis feud.
    (incidentally, DYNASTY is often described as the Carringtons-Colbys feud, which isn't true).
     
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  16. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Actually, I think that's a great idea: Alexis kills one baby every season.

    LB, Danny, Kwystheena, Laurel -- no infant is safe.

    Blake even has to put a guard on the dumpster behind Sammy Jo's favorite abortion clinic.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    "I like the male fetuses best of all!"

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    "...and then I'm having my outfit as a dessert."

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

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    Well we could've had smaller feuds for one season at least
    Krystle vs Fallon vs Alexis, Blake vs Cecil, Blake vs Alexis etc,
    The good thing about seasons 4 and 9 is that I wasn't just the tired
    Alexis vs Blake (and everyone else) feud.

    In Dallas, JR was obviously the shows regular big bad, but there's were other, worst enemies the Ewings had to fight together, Jeremy Wendell was more insidious and odious than JR at times, JR would never attempt to kill a child, JR could be brave and vulnerable, he could be at times an anti hero, a bad person who can do good things,
    JR was a multi dimensional character,

    Alexis became one dimensional, and any character who could become a potential enemy of Blake, soon after became his bff and aimed their hatred at Alexis.
     
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  20. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    I still think Dominique was just the worst at delivering those bitchy lines. She always sounds like the words are just clunkily falling out of her mouth. It's phonier than Joan Crawford on the phone to Bob Aldrich from her hospital bed in a turban saying she cant come to work because of her mystery illness.
     
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