The Men of Dynasty —in alphabetical order Joseph Anders He was the definition of the supporting character, his haughty demeanor adding layer upon layer in his dealings first with the new and then the former Mrs. Carrington. One look of disapproval was all he sometimes needed (as in, on anything Sammy Jo did) to express himself. But in an ironic demonstration of too much of a good thing, bringing his daughter along with a past rife with secrets actually reduced the character to a mere concerned father and erased his other sides, finally becoming what DYNASTY execs loved to call camp: a living, breathing cliché. The butler did it. Adam Carrington While he is my favorite, I always felt we got two characters in him. Michael Torrance was the evil one, the huge chip on his shoulder guy who had a usurper complex and schemed first, talked second. Unable to trust anyone and form genuine relationships with people, he either blackmailed his mother or raped the woman he liked or had sex with her while 15 and on drugs; and he was not above incestuous innuendo either. Adam Carrington was the decent guy, working on integrating into the family so hard he lost all personality and turning into a Krystle-like wallpaper in the process. The writers’ indecision on his character and the constant switcheroo were tiresome and made the character go in circles season after season, with season 9 turning him into a caricature of his season 3 evil self. (Note: my choice of alias has nothing to do with his two sides). Blake Carrington The patriarch of the family, Blake was an intriguing figure early on, clearly a ruthless mogul who worked with the mafia, had mafia ways himself (from beating up Walter to Michael Culhane) and had blackmailed his first wife into exile from Denver and her children after nearly killing her lover—and successfully killing his son’s former boyfriend. He did not mind the occasional rape of the wife, mind you. While Rita supposedly tried to poison his body in season 6, Krystle had him on some mind-altering wine by the fire season after season, so that pretty soon he was a dull shadow of his former self. While an opportunity for excitement materialized in season 5—Blake was again resorting to shady dealings and deal-makers, showing that when he was in a weaker position his newfound morality went out the window—once Kristina was born the tombstone was in place for any further character development. In season 9 Blake was once again a patriarch and one with possible shades of gray, and his conflict with his favorite daughter and his anguish over his family legacy showed that there was life after Krystle for him as a character. Steven Carrington In seasons 2-8, Steven changed every few episodes, from a new interest (nymphets! NASCAR!) to a new face (now with twitching!), to a new allegiance (Denver-Carrington! Colbyco!). The writers (and their apologists) often had the lame excuse that as a gay man in a homophobic world, Steven was pulled in all these directions, but of course why a man is on course in his early 20s and derails later in life made no sense. The real reason is that it is hard to write for a man like Steven from season 1, so they reverted to the stereotypes they knew. By the latter seasons he was a blanker moralizer like Krystle, and the worst sign of the character’s destruction is that there was not a single moment after he left where you could feel his absence. Steven Carrington Season 1 This is my favorite character of the show, decent and quietly strong and tormented by his conflicts but still sure of his footing painful though it were; when people who know me find out I like DYNASTY they think it is a joke, and unless I can introduce them to this character there is no explanation. Season 1 Steven was not simply a ground-breaking gay character on network TV, he was a ground-breaking young male, period. He wanted to be accepted by his family, and found that simply being loved by them was not enough, and he was not afraid to question not only others but also himself. I think the single good action of the REUNION movie was bringing Al Corley back. Cecil Colby One of the biggest lies about DYNASTY pre-Alexis is that it lacked a villain. Cecil was a great villain: he was an old money plutocrat, barely hiding his disdain on former wildcatter Blake, and he had what all great villains need: he believed he was in the right. He was buying a wife for his nephew because the wife was sexy and smart and because his nephew was an idiot, for instance. He simply worked behind the scenes and his character’s villainy was more subtle, an adjective that became a four letter word as soon as the Pollocs and their Alexis walked in. In order to destroy all that was built on season 1 in terms of character, Cecil turned into a Dr. No kind of villain, looking from his camera as his opponent was shouting at the fake persona, popping pills for his heart, and finally having a heart attack just as he was having sex with Alexis. Many points of the show have been suggested as the end of good DYNASTY: when Pamela Sue Martin left; the Moldavia massacre; when Alexis served burned champagne. But in terms of narrative possibilities, Cecil’s death deprived the show of a strong male antagonist, and a two-family rivalry, and instead turned the show into a post-divorce screaming marathon between Blake and Alexis Jeff Colby As a viewer, I went through different stages with this character. I found him pitiful at first with his puppy love for Fallon and blind devotion to capitalism, first Cecil and then Blake. He developed a backbone somewhere around season 2 and I thought he had found his way, but then he was again under the Fallon spell and was developing major jerk elements. The laughable plot acrobatics on THE COLBYS (Phillip was your uncle after all/Jason is your father/but look Phillip is back) together with the fact that his half-brother was sex appeal personified completely turned me off him. He continued being a jerk in season 8, but in season 9 with a renewed Fallon/Emma Samms and with Monica and Sable to play with, he started morphing into human again—one you wanted to often smack, but human nonetheless. Dex Dexter Though a late addition to the show, he was a welcome testosterone addition. While others were waffling (Steven between gay and straight, Adam between creep and human, Blake between osteoporosis and arthritis), Dex showed a steadfast loyalty to Alexis, compromised only by Camille Marchetta’s daytime soap idea of having him in a triangle with his stepdaughter. In DYNASTY years 7 &8 he was veering off into irrelevancy in one of the tubes of the Carrington-Colby pipeline, but season 9 brought him back with a vengeance, essentially making him the male protagonist of that season.