Should Michael the chauffeur have been a hot black guy?

Michael Torrance

Telly Talk Mega Star
Messages
3,011
Reaction score
1,980
Location
Roaming
Member Since
2017 I think (unless it is 2016)
... in the old show, just like they're doing in nuDYNASTY today?

It would have been more daring in 1981.

The guy playing Michael now is the biggest contribution of the reboot. But I think it would have been a double-edged sword back then. Daring? Absolutely. But there is a different dynamic when there is a black rich family, the show is set in Atlanta (which actually has a majority black population), and then we have a black chauffeur, as opposed to a black chauffeur as the sole black character in Denver in 1981.
 

Snarky's Ghost

Telly Talk Oracle
Messages
7,955
Reaction score
5,657
Location
Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
Medals
7
Member Since
September 2000
The guy playing Michael now is the biggest contribution of the reboot. But I think it would have been a double-edged sword back then. Daring? Absolutely. But there is a different dynamic when there is a black rich family, the show is set in Atlanta (which actually has a majority black population), and then we have a black chauffeur, as opposed to a black chauffeur as the sole black character in Denver in 1981.
And when they wrote him out for Season 2, it might seem all racist-y. Unless we found out the black chauffeur ran off with Matthew and Lindsay!
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,886
Reaction score
16,084
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
Michael got beaten up, thanks to rich white daddy Blake.
Imagine...

But I thought the affair was provoking enough, no need to over-do it.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,886
Reaction score
16,084
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
But Michael Culhane was a member of the staff, an invisible nobody - which was emphasized by his sleazy looks. I wouldn't describe him as hunky or handsome.
And then somehow, because of Fallon's desire for off-limits affairs (to provoke her father, whether he knew about it or not, which seemed kinda sexual possessive) this guy got more screentime than he and I had anticipated (in spite of his opening credit*), and there was nothing unnatural about it.
But interracial relationships weren't so common back then (at least not on TV), so if Michael had been a black man, perhaps it would have felt too hokey, too much of a double whammy, or even shifted the focus of that storyline.

*is it just me or is there something dirty-sexy about the term "his opening credit"?
 

Gatsbyesque

Telly Talk Fan
Messages
351
Reaction score
288
Location
Washington, DC
The guy playing Michael now is the biggest contribution of the reboot. But I think it would have been a double-edged sword back then. Daring? Absolutely. But there is a different dynamic when there is a black rich family, the show is set in Atlanta (which actually has a majority black population), and then we have a black chauffeur, as opposed to a black chauffeur as the sole black character in Denver in 1981.
I think it would've worked. It plays into the class, culture, and race issues that Fallon mentioned regarding DC.
 

Gatsbyesque

Telly Talk Fan
Messages
351
Reaction score
288
Location
Washington, DC
Michael got beaten up, thanks to rich white daddy Blake.
Imagine...

But I thought the affair was provoking enough, no need to over-do it.
I think it would've made perfect sense. And much like the initial trepidation with Dominique, the viewer would've instinctively known that race played a part in it, even though not explicitly mentioned.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
Messages
13,886
Reaction score
16,084
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Medals
15
Member Since
April 2002
It plays into the class, culture, and race issues that Fallon mentioned regarding DC.
Yes, but to mention it and then do it 5 minutes later looks a bit obvious, and almost takes the power out of that statement.
We get what she said, it doesn't need to be illustrated.
 

JROG

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Messages
851
Reaction score
1,619
Location
Lotus Point
Medals
3
Member Since
August 05, 2005
A white woman having a hot, steamy affair with a black man in 1981 while, on the same show, one of the leading men was gay? It'd be great but WAY too scandalous for the time. I mean, even today all this is too much for the majority of America! (poor things :re:)
 

Gatsbyesque

Telly Talk Fan
Messages
351
Reaction score
288
Location
Washington, DC
Yes, but to mention it and then do it 5 minutes later looks a bit obvious, and almost takes the power out of that statement.
We get what she said, it doesn't need to be illustrated.
But illustrating the gay part was necessary? How, Sway?

I disagree as Dominique had interracial affairs on the show just a few years later.

It probably would have been tricky in the bible belt (but that's probably also where it would've been the most realistic :oops:). I believe one of us commented how society is usually a good ten years more advanced than the media likes to give it credit for and we dissected on the old board how that's been shown to be true over and over. An interracial affair between supporting characters, rooted in commonly accepted stereotypes, doesn't shift the moral compass of the show. Had it been Blake or Krystle, then yes, I could see it potentially being a hindrance in some markets.

Also, Fallon wasn't Krystle. She was Blake's rebellious, trampy daughter. She wasn't marrying him and awarding him stock in Denver Carrington. She was screwing him in the garage and then lying about it. And they had Blake's disapproving gaze through which to view, indict, and ultimately dismiss her actions in ways that they probably wouldn't have done with the lead actress and show's moral compass. It's kind of like The Jefferson's effect. George's disapproval of The Willis' marriage mirrored thoughts held by a portion of the viewers of both races, and that made them tolerable to people who might have tuned out had the show been produced without any sort of indictment of their relationship. Would a show that was built around them have lasted? No, but neither would a show built around Steven Carrington. The viewers would've dealt with Fallon's interracial dalliance just like they dealt with the Steven is gay thing.
 
Top