Was DYNASTY 80s enough?

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Having watched the series again, I realised although DYNASTY is very much a 1980s soap with all the traditional soap tropes.

    Was it really reflective of life in the 1980s?
    Now I know the Carrington and the Colby clans aren’t your average everyday family, but the Ewing’s and the Channing/Gioberti families were also extremely wealthy, but somehow seemed more up to date (by 1980s standards) I never got that with Dynasty, it seemed to reflect a fantasy of how life was pre mid 1960s, I’ve said before that seasons one and two had the 1920s vibe going on, season 4 was more in line of the 1940s while
    Season 6 had all the headiness of late 50s to mid 60s life, even season 9 seemed more late 70s than late 80s.

    DALLAS, KNOTS & FC always seemed more up to date and less dated than DYNASTY was in my opinion.
     
  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    DYNASTY's wardrobe-fixation was most reflective of -- and by -- the 1980s. But, yeah, your point's a good one.

    I've always asserted that DYNASTY, which resided in more of a bubble of neurotic denial than the other shows, was intrinsically "more '80s" specifically because of that denial.

    Except for Seasons 1, 2 and 9, the media coverage and hyperbolic proclamations about DYNASTY were far more gripping than the oxygen-deprived show airing every Wednesday nights in the States... Then and now, it seems to me a strong parallel to the Reagan era's Emperor's New Clothes --- only in reverse, because new clothes was the one thing DYNASTY did deliver on... Well, I guess Nancy, too.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Alexis rifling through her DePeche Mode albums.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Grant Jennings

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    "Dynasty" was set during the 80s but it was of the late 50s and early 60s. Blake was a WWII veteran who was playing by mid-twentieth century rules. Alexis was a woman who reached maturity in the early 50s and whose sense of style was clearly inspired by 1940s and 1950s icons. Krystle embodied more of a late 60s and 70s sensibility as did Claudia and Matthew. I think the show's plot-points (Steven's sexuality and his family's reaction to it; Fallon hitting her head on the "glass ceiling") are what place the show solidly in the 80s so, yes, I think it was 80s enough where it really mattered (plot) than in a more superficial sense (New Wave music and Christian Lacroix fashions).

    "The Colbys" always struck me as solidly 1950s Douglas Sirk melodrama. "Dallas" was dust-bowl depression era meets the 70s. "Falcon Crest" was the 50s (Angela) and 70s (Chase, Maggie and Richard) being dragged kicking and screaming into the 80s. "Knots Landing" was the 70s doing its best to transition into the 80s; Abby Cunningham strikes me as the most 80s character of all.
     
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  5. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Makes me wonder, though... should Adam and Dana been a yuppie couple?
     
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  6. colbyco

    colbyco Soap Chat Active Member

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    - Like the idea.

    Some storylines, the fashion and Alexis´ behaviour (she acted like a male business man) were 80´s. The decadance reflected the Me-Generation a lot and when they had less glamour at the end it showed the taste of the people at the time.
     
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  7. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Absolutely. But I think the first season was 80s thematically and 70s cinematically, while the subsequent seasons slid to past decades plot-wise while the aesthetic (mainly through the wardrobe) advanced to the 80s.

    No show was better in tune with the decade's Zeigeist than our Denver Clan. It premiered when the Reagan 80s rose and when the "Black Monday" in October 1987 shook people's faith in the decade's greed motto, the show's decline began as well. So I think Adam and Dana were too late in the show to be yuppies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    I think this is a chicken and egg situation.
    Is (pop) culture shaped by its zeitgeist, or is it the other way round?

    If Dynasty was really reflective of life in the 1980s then the Carringtons should have been watching their own TV series.

    I'm not sure how relevant the influences from the other decades are because there's always some retro-trend going on.
    Madonna's "True Blue" is inspired by the 1950s but it's still very much an 80's song.

    Maybe it's different when (pop) culture is influenced by another type of (pop) culture from the same era.
    Falcon Crest is a good example because it adapted (or tried to adapt) the "cool" and synth-y style from Miami Vice, which creates the idea that Falcon Crest was more reflective of life in the 1980s, while it actually only reflects other pop culture from that era. And that other pop culture also shaped the look and zeitgeist of the 1980s, rather than being defined by the 80s.
    One could even argue that this was not the quintessential "Falcon Crest" anymore, which renders the comparison to the other soaps null and void.

    The glamorous soaps created a standard of TV glitz, and many other tv series, tv movies and mini-series tried to meet that standard (and not just the Spelling productions).
    Murder She Wrote, for example. And the mini-series "The Last Days Of Pompeii", that was simply Dynasty in ancient...well, Pompeii I guess.
    "V" the series was Dynasty In Space.
    All these productions reflect the Dynasty era, but not necessarily what life in the 1980s was all about.
     
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

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    Let me reiterate my previous point: the specific ways in which DYNASTY was so often bad is what made it so quintessentially '80s.

    [​IMG]
     
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