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    THE SPIN-OFF

The impact of Dynasty

Rove

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at one point Dallas, a ratings juggernaut, felt they had to become more Dynasty-esque is a testament to the show’s impact.
And Dallas was left poorer because of it.
My heart belongs to Dallas. I will however give credit where it's due. Whenever the media wish to reference the 80's in particular Dynasty is there go to. I think this had more to do with the fashion and style then anything else.​
 

James from London

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they always knew how to create the illusion of momentum.

It's like the gravy without the meat but at least the gravy looks perfect.
And because it's a soap, an ongoing drama, and has no choice but to keep going and continue the story, it ends up treating the gravy as if it were the meat. And because they never break the illusion, never wink at the camera and say "We know that you know that we know that you know that this is only gravy" (the way New Fallon does and FALCON CREST sometimes did), the illusion, at least within DYNASTY's own world, might as well be real.

I now find the moments when DYNASTY has written itself into a total corner and then somehow has to keep going really fascinating. The post-massacre opener of Season 6 has become one of my favourite episodes, and I love how solemnly Season 8 treats the aftermath of Fallon's UFO experience, somehow turning it into a cinnamon-scented "Scenes from a Marriage" scenario between her and Jeff .
 
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Willie Oleson

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I think this had more to do with the fashion and style then anything else.
And also the bitch empowerment of an older female character who was considered to be sexy and desirable.

And because they never break the illusion, never wink at the camera and say "We know that you know that we know that you know that this is only gravy" (the way New Fallon does and FALCON CREST sometimes did), the illusion, at least within DYNASTY's own world, might as well be real.
I agree with that, but purely based on the looks of the show it feels like as if it's becoming much more aware of its aesthtics, and without that blasé attitude it looks like playing rich people.
I love Nolan Miller's work and of course the fashion would change regardless, but it's not only what you wear but also how you wear it. To wear it as a Carrington or to wear it as a Dynasty character, it's similar but not exactly the same thing.
THE COLBYS seemed to have a (slightly) better understanding of that (showing Sable's dressing room being just one of those things).
and I love how solemnly Season 8 treats the aftermath of Fallon's UFO experience, somehow turning it into a cinnamon-scented "Scenes from a Marriage" scenario between her and Jeff .
I applaud them for tackling an impossible scenario that could easily have been ignored altogether. It's not like they'd never ignored their own narrative.
We still don't know for sure what really happened but that doesn't matter in Dynasty, and that's why I think any kind of aftermath would have been less successful in THE COLBYS.
 

Rove

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And also the bitch empowerment of an older female character who was considered to be sexy and desirable.
From the few seasons I watched of Dynasty I never felt that for Alexis. A bitch? Yes. But I never saw Alexis as sexy or desirable. On the other hand I could have given Peter Richards a left hook to get close to Sue Ellen Ewing. I found her oozing sex appeal.
 

James from London

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I love Nolan Miller's work and of course the fashion would change regardless, but it's not only what you wear but also how you wear it. To wear it as a Carrington or to wear it as a Dynasty character, it's similar but not exactly the same thing.
That's interesting. I think I know what you mean. But as you say, fashion changes and even though it's hard to pinpoint, there is a definte difference between early '80s and late '80s fashion on all of the soaps -- something to do with primary colours and loud jumpers and mullets. Everyone's still wearing big hats and big hair and shoulder pads, but somehow they don't look quite as (for want of a less overused word) "iconic" anymore. They're not photographed in the same way either. Everything's brighter, less mysterious. Glamour's become the new normal.
THE COLBYS seemed to have a (slightly) better understanding of that (showing Sable's dressing room being just one of those things).
Yes, THE COLBYS arrives just as glamour has been normalised, so I guess it can't be as reliant on it in a way.
 
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GillesDenver

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And because it's a soap, an ongoing drama, and has no choice but to keep going and continue the story, it ends up treating the gravy as if it were the meat. And because they never break the illusion, never wink at the camera and say "We know that you know that we know that you know that this is only gravy" (the way New Fallon does and FALCON CREST sometimes did), the illusion, at least within DYNASTY's own world, might as well be real.
Except when Michael Praed was in. There were several times when he seems on the verge to giggle which has always irritated me. There is no doubt that his role, especially during season 6, was often ridiculous but his inability to play his role seriously made the role even more painful. How many times did he raised an eyebrow after a (silly) argument with Amanda ? He almost broke the illusion in more that one occasion.
 

James from London

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Except when Michael Praed was in. There were several times when he seems on the verge to giggle which has always irritated me. There is no doubt that his role, especially during season 6, was often ridiculous but his inability to play his role seriously made the role even more painful. How many times did he raised an eyebrow after a (silly) argument with Amanda ? He almost broke the illusion in more that one occasion.
Hmm, I see it differently. To me, it looks as if he's trying to play Prince Michael as smug and flippant, but actually feels quite awkward about it. It's like he isn't quite sure where to pitch his performance. I find his discomfort quite compelling to watch: it adds to the fascination rather than takes away from it.

There were times when Leslie Carrington seemed to play her scenes as if she were in a wacky screwball comedy, but as everyone else was playing it straight she couldn't undermine that fundamental DYNASTY "seriousness".
 
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Snarky Oracle

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Years later, Praed said he'd run across old episodes he was in from DYNASTY and said it looked awful.
 

Tony

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Hmm, I see it differently. To me, it looks as if he's trying to play Prince Michael as smug and flippant, but actually feels quite awkward about it. It's like he isn't quite sure where to pitch his performance. I find his discomfort quite compelling to watch: it adds to the fascination rather than takes away from it.

There were times when Leslie Carrington seemed to play her scenes as if she were in a wacky screwball comedy, but as everyone else was playing it straight she couldn't undermine that fundamental DYNASTY "seriousness".

As usual, James is spot on. I read an interview with Michael Praed saying if he could go back, he'd pitch his performance as Prince Michael a little differently ie; more sympathetic and less stuffy, which would have made his portrayal more popular with the audience.

And Terri Garber did enjoy her scenes with Ted McGinley saying they were like two goofballs in a screwball comedy. But she preferred her second season as it was more fun to play the bad girl.
 

James from London

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I'm guessing it's probably easier to walk into a show like DYNASTY if your character has a strong emotional back story from the start, so you've got something definite to play (or play against): Daniel's love for Krystle, Ben's hatred for Blake, Caress's for Alexis, etc. Michael didn't really have anything like that. He was just a pleased-with-himself prince from some vague fictional country using gobfuls of purple prose to chat up Amanda : great fun to watch, tricky to play.
 

GillesDenver

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Yes the role was terrible, especially in season 6 when Diana Gould and Scott Hamner made a buffoon of Michael, always chastising Amanda for not acting like a princess where she never was a princess in the first place (basically she had the title for about 2 hours and it was during a hostage).

But I don't blame Michael Praed for playing the role as written, I blame for him for not playing him straight. I don't see him as awkward but as someone who thinks he could improve the role by making his character aware of the stupidity of what is going on around him. In most of his scenes, he is rolling his eye and raising an eyebrow and smiling in inapropriate times, like if Prince Michael is aware that he is stuck in a bad soap opera. Like Fallon in nuDynasty !
No to mention the fact that he is often doing something unglamorous (on purpose ?) as rubing his eye and looking the crap he took from his eye (rewatch the bed scene in "the quarels") in a show where all other actors are barely moving in order to always look good, making Prince Michael of Moldavia like a countryman.
 
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Tony

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Yes the role was terrible, especially in season 6 when Diana Gould and Scott Hamner made a buffoon of Michael, always chastising Amanda for not acting like a princess where she never was a princess in the first place (basically she had the title for about 2 hours and it was during a hostage).

But I don't blame Michael Praed for playing the role as written, I blame for him for not playing him straight. I don't see him as awkward but as someone who thinks he could improve the role by making his character aware of the stupidity of what is going on around him. In most of his scenes, he is rolling his eye and raising an eyebrow and smiling in inapropriate times, like if Prince Michael is aware that he is stuck in a bad soap opera. Like Fallon in nuDynasty !
No to mention the fact that he is always doing something unglamorous as rubing his eye and looking the crap he took from his eye (rewatch the bed scene in "the quarels") in a show where all other actors are barely moving in order to always look good, making Prince Michael of Moldavia like a countryman.

It was probably Michael Praed's ill advised attempt to make the Prince seem human. I rarely watch those stretch of Season 6 episodes, but I do remember the Prince eating caviar from a bowl and licking his fingers which I thought someone of Royalty would never do! I'm surprised he wasn't called out by the director. Apparently Praed was let go because he also failed to fill the niche left by John James.
 

GillesDenver

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It was probably Michael Praed's ill advised attempt to make the Prince seem human. I rarely watch those stretch of Season 6 episodes, but I do remember the Prince eating caviar from a bowl and licking his fingers which I thought someone of Royalty would never do! I'm surprised he wasn't called out by the director.
I was thinking as you do until I found it was on the script (even it is said "bits of caviar" no half of the tin).

Apparently Praed was let go because he also failed to fill the niche left by John James.
He was fired because the viewers hated him (and everything that was reminding them of the Moldavia's mess).
 
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Willie Oleson

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No to mention the fact that he is often doing something unglamorous (on purpose ?) as rubing his eye and looking the crap he took from his eye (rewatch the bed scene in "the quarels") in a show where all other actors are barely moving in order to always look good, making Prince Michael of Moldavia like a countryman.
And for that he deserves a medal.
 

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I guess I just didn't dislike Praed as everyone else seems to -- no, they did nothing with Prince Michael, but they didn't with anybody else. On DYNASTY we had a potentially rich cast of characters, mostly with the right actors, and a writing staff which seemed to have absolutely no idea what to do with them, the program further hindered by the static acting directive.

I mean, the show just couldn't breathe.

I'd've kept the prince through Season 7 where I'd have him romancing Sammy Jo and then force-aborting his own baby to comply with Alexis' demand that he cease the affair as she's planning to finance a reverse-reverse-reverse coup in Moldavia (which never occurs, so don't worry...). I'd even keep him around for early-S8 where, at the Olde English Faaaiyrrre, his face is ripped off by a circus animal after Sammy Jo angrily shoved him into a cage. He dies. But Alexis witnesses the act, and this allows her to cease the blackmail scenario Sammy Jo had going ever since she'd witnessed Alexis "accidentally" shove Claudia into traffic near the end of Season 6, which is why a wheelchaired Claudia can't escape the fire she set at La Mirage: the wheels get caught in the carpet.

And maybe Prince Michael can look like this ...

 

James from London

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he is rolling his eye and raising an eyebrow and smiling in inapropriate times, like if Prince Michael is aware that he is stuck in a bad soap opera. Like Fallon in nuDynasty !
I think there's a world of difference between the two. New Fallon's smug self-awareness is representative of New DYNASTY's nothing-really-matters vibe. I think, as Tony says, Michael Praed is going against the DYNASTY grain by trying to give his character some recognisable human traits. Her behaviour is fully endorsed by her show whereas he's a bit of an outlier on his.

No to mention the fact that he is often doing something unglamorous (on purpose ?) as rubing his eye and looking the crap he took from his eye (rewatch the bed scene in "the quarels") in a show where all other actors are barely moving in order to always look good, making Prince Michael of Moldavia like a countryman.

This reminds me of a recent interview with Bill Nighy where he says he used to feel really awkward doing Shakespeare on stage because he felt he had to stand very straight and stiff. And then he suddenly thought, "Who says I can't scratch my head just because I'm in a Shakespeare play?" and from then on he made a point of being more physically naturalistic. It's the same thing: why shouldn't Prince Michael rub his eye and look at it just cos he's a prince? Rubbing your eye ain't no thing in real life, on DYNASTY it's positively subversive! Like Philip Colby avoiding eye contact with other characters on THE COLBYS, it's kind of fascinating. But I think ultimately, he's trying to make the scene/the character/the performance more real, not less real.
 
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