The Dowagers of 'Dynasty'...

Snarky Oracle

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These shows need a gothic bitch-diva grand dame, even though executives compulsively think "teenagers-by-the-pool" is always the answer --- a Hollywood business model that's failed many times.

It's like Jack Warner thumbing his nose at bankrolling WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? because he didn't want to waste a dime on "those two old broads" (only he didn't say "broads"). And then everybody is stunned when it's a hit and creates a new genre.

We've discussed this before, especially on the FALCON CREST page, because they got it most right with the introduction of Jacqueline Perot (Lana Turner) who was potentially the Soap Mother of Them All because she slept with nazis, sold her children (or other people's children) around like chess pieces, and was revealed to have generally unleashed all sorts of covert evil throughout her long and glamorous life, and was portrayed by a genuine movie legend. Even her post-mortem memory was vile and wicked. And even then they didn't take it far enough -- I wanted S7 of FC to have a spontaneous human combustion plotline due to nuclear waste having been buried under one corner of the vineyard by Jacqueline in the '50s eventually leaking out and tainting the chardonnay, causing anyone who consumes it to physically blow up. At the same time, we learn Julia's and Emma's mental problems are due to brain tumors that radioactive waste created, as was Maggie's tumor a few years earlier. Julia and Emma both have corrective surgery, but Melissa refuses to, even though her burgeoning psychiatric issues are probably caused by the same thing.

And this is why Jacqueline always tried to pressure Chase to move his family away from Falcon Crest.

People like old bitches. They just do. They like 'em and they can't get enough.

DALLAS had Lady Jessica, but she was only there briefly, and rarely referred to after her exit. She was brought back for a few episodes half-a-dozen years later, but that reappearance was wasted, her murder spree played for laughs and directed towards people we didn't know... She should have been killing off the cartel, Jessica having run the same scam Kristin had by extorting the cartel members for years over their trysts decades earlier, all led to believe they'd fathered Dusty.

But DYNASTY, which seemed to cry out for a gothic geriatric villain most of all, didn't really do it much. And Alexis just wasn't old enough to qualify. THE COLBYS had Stanwyck's Connie (I hate that much-too PEYTON PLACE name) but she wasn't used very much and they didn't do much with her, despite her scenes with Sable being the most watchable the program offered.

How could this have been remedied?

I wanted Bette Davis to make an appearance on DYNASTY and on THE COLBYS, arriving in Denver just after the Colbys have left to return home to Los Angeles. As Sable's and Frankie's mother, Agatha Scott is none-too-pleased that her youngest daughter is stealing big sister's husband, Jason; but most of Agatha's anger is directed at Jason. After having dinner at Blake's mansion, chatting on the phone with Sable to announce her upcoming arrival in California, dropping by Alexis' ColbyCo office at night to tauntingly praise her niece on her recent successes (they never liked each other, of course) , Agatha then ominously hands over an over-stuffed packet of data to her other niece, Caress, telling her "you'll know what to do with this when it's time..", the implication being that if Jason finally dumps Sable for Frankie, Caress is free to do what she will with the information her imperious aunt has just given her.

Intimidated by the responsibility handed her by a relative she never knew all that well, Caress never mentions it to anybody, even after we learn that Agatha has died within a year or two... Was it material about The Collection Jason, Sam Dexter and Blake's father had buried under the estate in Denver? Did Caress surreptitiously approach Sable before Season 9 and get the ball rolling on the disaster that digging up the old nazi art collection would unleash, perhaps?

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Then there's Alexis' and Caress' mother, Minx Morell (played by Gloria Swanson). She would only have to appear in a single episode early in Season 3 once she learns her eldest daughter has just inherited ColbyCo and is now very, very rich. Alexis walks into her knew penthouse suite to find her glamorous mom lounging on one of the white overstuffed couches. Daughter is contemptuous of her wildly opportunistic mother, but Minx holds her own. Swanson would be dead in less than a year, so Minx's various sins would be revealed over time. With affairs with the King of Moldavia as well as his father, Minx beds much of European royalty from WW1 to the post-war era, making friends (and enemies) in very high places. The Third Reich saw more than a little of Minx Morell, and by phantom Season 10, Alexis becomes alarmed that der Fuehrer himself was one if Mom's conquests and that she may even have bore him a daughter (!!!) leaving Alexis to scramble to discover the truth and, if need be, cover it up forever.

Alexis was a rank amateur in the ambitious whore sweepstakes in comparison to Mummie Minx. We later learn Caress had little relationship with her mother, due to Alexis' manipulations, jealousy and lies -- which is what started the bad blood between the sisters.

The King of Moldavia was so fond of Minx, that he convinces Alexis to move her mother's remains from Cornwall to the royal cemetery in his own country just before the wedding between Amanda and Prince Michael, making it impossible for Alexis to visit Minx's grave following the coup d'etat at the nuptials.

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And then there's Ursula Colby Fallmont, the half-sister of Andrew Colby and the aunt to Jason, Philip, Cecil, and, the niece she despises, Constance. Andrew's father, Jason's grandfather, had a doomed first marriage to a Fallmont which produced a daughter, Ursula, who herself then marries King Galen's father...

When Alexis is on the throne in mid-Season 6 for three or four episodes (before the inevitable reverse-reverse coup send her and the royal family packing to Colorado) she would taunt Ursula that her "Queen Mother" stature wouldn't be accepted in many European principalities. Naturally, Alexis cannot abide her new mother-in-law or Ursula's daughter, Magda, who view Alexis as unfit and too low class to rule the country alongside Galen.

But this allows Ursula to return home after the latest overthrow of the royal family, and she eventually winds up on THE COLBYS after Sable accidentally runs over Constance and then Jason's elderly big sister dies, followed by Connie's video will where she leaves most her estate to Jeff and calls Alexis, Caress and Sable, "you dirty, dirty whores!" before the tape runs out... Why she detests the three women would be unveiled in good time, but since I always want to combine King Galen with Zack Powers, Ursula likely resents the ongoing affair Sable was having with her son. And since Ursula always hated Minx Morell for sleeping with her entire family, she just assumes the daughters are cut from the same cloth -- and she isn't entirely wrong.

How nice to have a regal character like Ursula who's related to the Colby, Fallmont, and Moldavian dynasties simultaneously... And, of course, she knows everything about everything --- except, perhaps, what's in the oversized envelope Agatha hands off to Caress two-thirds of the way thru Season 6. But it might reveal that Constance vindictively funded the coup in Moldavia, the idea of Alexis on the throne was just too much to bear given Connie's unrequited love for the King.

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Willie Oleson

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Was it material about The Collection Jason, Sam Dexter and Blake's father had buried under the estate in Denver?
I think she got that information from pharmacy tycoon De Vilbis, something to do with dangerous drugs that he produced for Hitler.
And maybe she accidentally received that useful blackmail information during a phone call with her gay ex-husband (Phineas) who's had an affair with Peter De Vilbis aka Pretty Little Peewee.
Peter told him to spite his father but Phineas assumed it was just a joke and then he jokingly passed that information along to his ex-wife.
 

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I've imagined Sylvia Sidney as Buck Fallmont's mother, she'd be a cross between Rose Kennedy and Eleanor Iselin from The Manchurian Candidate. Edna Fallmont would know where all the bodies are buried, I mean that literally. Edna would be a bitter old harpy and a constant thorn in daughter in law Emily's side. When Emily would cry because of Buck's drinking Edna would say "I raised a strong young man, but you made him weak". Bart and Clay would of course be major disappointments to Edna and she would remind them of this constantly.
 

Snarky Oracle

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I've imagined Sylvia Sidney as Buck Fallmont's mother, she'd be a cross between Rose Kennedy and Eleanor Iselin from The Manchurian Candidate. Edna Fallmont would know where all the bodies are buried, I mean that literally. Edna would be a bitter old harpy and a constant thorn in daughter in law Emily's side. When Emily would cry because of Buck's drinking Edna would say "I raised a strong young man, but you made him weak". Bart and Clay would of course be major disappointments to Edna and she would remind them of this constantly.
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Although I'd booked Sidney as Eva Braun who shoots Sable and Caress from a wheelchair in a darkened corner of the mansion during the final episode of Season 10, vindictive in her failed search for the crystal skull Alexis has just squirrelled off to London, the crystal skull once part of The Collection which Adam found softly glowing in the basement and then gave to his mother.

All power comes from -- and goes with -- that crystal skull.

But Edna's fine... In fact, one of the reasons I wanted Dame Judith Anderson (who should never do anything as crass as allow herself to be billed with her title, yet the actress often did) to be connected to both the Fallmont and Colby families was so, once banished along with the rest of the royals from Moldavia, she could make appearances on THE COLBYS but could also sit around in Denver making snarky fun at her boring and clinically depressed relatives. Sounds a bit like Edna, for that matter.

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A Crystal Skull in The Collection? | Forums for television shows past and present (tellytalk.net)

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Snarky Oracle

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Why not Olivia De Havilland, Grant? She'd be perfect as the queen bitch of US politics.
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I like to keep my casting fantasies more or less feasible -- Katharine Hepburn and Olivia de Havilland would never do series television, but Bette and Gloria and Dame Judith would've -- but then, what's the point of fantasizing if I'm going to constrain it to some realistic standard? None, I say...!



But who would play Ursula's daughter, sister to the King of Moldavia, the Baroness Bouvier Faberge Faulkner Fonteyn, better known to the royal family as "Magda"? Perhaps Dame Diana...



And Bart Fallmont would never have existed: his name is "Fox" and he's played by a different actor --- maybe....

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(I knew I could squeeze him in somewhere)...
 

Willie Oleson

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Olivia de Havilland would never do series television
Kirstie Alley killed her in North & South
And Bart Fallmont would never have existed: his name is "Fox" and he's played by a different actor
In a perfect world that would have been Jon-Erik Hexum, and Lee Remick as Emily Rosemary Fallmont and Chuck Connors as daddy Drake Fallmont.
John Schneider as Clay Robert Lee "Bobby" Fallmont.
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I love perfection.
 

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I like the idea of a gothic bitch-diva grand dame ... Lana Turner was great on "FC" - even they could have used her much more! I would loved
to see Lana playing Constance ... she had the right glamour look "The Colbys" wanted to create but failed with Stanwyck, Heston and Ross.
I see Bette Davis playing Alexis´ mother who knows a lot of dirty secrets about her daughter and has a good relationship with Blake ...
 

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I see Bette Davis playing Alexis´ mother who knows a lot of dirty secrets about her daughter and has a good relationship with Blake ...
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But don't you see Swanson as being more like Alexis and Caress? And Bette more like Sable?

I don't know who's more like Frankie --- a slutty Donna Reed?
 

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More realistically speaking, Dynasty didn't have a grandparents generation like Dallas and Falcon Crest did.
We got Tom Carrington and it was laughable, not to mention the rubbish retcon created for no other reason than to confirm that Dominique was indeed Blake's half-sister. Which was supposed to be exciting and shocking, but it wasn't.
The only interesting thing that happened is that there was another character in the Dynasty universe besides Jeff who liked Alexis for herself (i.e. not as a wife or mother).
Blake and Alexis are the uber-monsters and the very beginning of this Dynasty paradise. What they did, achieved and destroyed, wasn't because of their upbringing but despite of it.
Like the evil in East Of Eden started with Cathy Ames, and not with her parents. It is what made these characters so exceptional and colourful, and the reason why there could be a Denver dynasty in the first place.
To give these characters monster parents would upstage the originals, thus taking the sting out of real Dynasty's wicked history.

Since the Colby characters had an air of "old money" I could see Bette Davis guest starring as Cecil's mother. And then have an epic insult fest with Alexis, but that's self-explanatory.
It's why Ellie Southworth could have a parent, but not Jock. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

It kinda works in season 9 because it looks exciting enough, but it's better not to think too deep about it.
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Having said that, I'd still love to see Vincent Price showing up during a foggy night when he visits his lovely daughters in the Carrington mansion in season 7.
He seems fragile and harmless and innocent, and the next day he asks Ben - such a healthy young chap! - to show him around the Carrington estate.
And then he locks Ben up in the old mine shaft aka Krystina's secret playhouse. "Sorry Ben, it's not Caracas but it's the best I could do". That Vincent Price, always the gentleman.

Ben is buried alive, and it will take another two seasons before Fallon and Krystina trip over his skeleton.
 
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Snarky Oracle

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To give these characters monster parents would upstage the originals, thus taking the sting out of real Dynasty's wicked history.

Reeeally??? :confuse:

I mean, I guess I could understand that if the geriatric generation had been there from the very beginning, but not if they'd slipped in later.. I mean, what wicked history is there there to ruin, given how it was all done? Everything was all set-up and no delivery. Or, as one pundit phrased during late-S6: "no revelation, no resolution..."

I just don't see how the introduction of the creepy elders could hurt.
 
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Snarky Oracle

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Patrician, puritanical sister of Agatha Scott and Minx Morell, the perpetually-single Matilda was particularly disapproving of her niece, Alexis, asserting, "the girl is a slut; that's all there is to it."



Yet another unmarried aunt to Alexis and Caress, Mary Beth looked more admirably on her promiscuous kinfolk, claiming Alexis had to become wealthy because her nicotine and free clinic bills were sky-rocketing: "penicillin costs something, you know..."

 

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Patrician, puritanical sister of Agatha Scott and Minx Morell, the perpetually-single Matilda was particularly disapproving of her niece, Alexis, asserting, "the girl is a slut; that's all there is to it."



Yet another unmarried aunt to Alexis and Caress, Mary Beth looked more admirably on her promiscuous kinfolk, claiming Alexis had to become wealthy because her nicotine and free clinic bills were sky-rocketing: "penicillin costs something, you know..."

Brilliant! I heard both actresses' voices in my head when I read those quotes.
 
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