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Snarky Oracle

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Unfortunately, this is the longest version I can find of the famed pilot scene in which Blake and Steven get into it over his sexuality.


Opinions on the scene, and how the topic was subsequently (mis)handled?
 

Willie Oleson

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One of those storylines (and scenes like this and Ted Dinard's death in particular) that never gets old. Perhaps it's become even more powerful after all these years.
The first thing to notice is the absence of religion. Apparently, Steven is not a sinner who's going to burn in hell.
In this case, homosexuality is perceived as a disease, or even an addiction.

"I'm offering you the chance to straighten yourself out".
To me, it seems that this is about everything Steven stands for, not just the homosexuality.

I'm not even sure if Blake is an out-and-out homophobe. Would he refuse to do business with a gay man? I don't think so.
But this is his son, his heir and successor.
I think it's all about that old "betrayal" thing again, and to make Steven feel guilty for not living up to his father's expectations.

(not quoted from Dynasty): I built this empire for you, and you turned your back on it. I want to help you and now you're dismissing me (and my empire) again.

It's narcissistic - "can't you see what you're doing to me?"
Blake and Alexis were so two of a kind it's almost uncanny.

Can I understand Blake's disappointment? Yes I do. I can understand why he feels as if he's lost a son (his only son).
But it's his problem, not Steven's.

"I'm even prepared to say that I could find a little homosexual experimentation acceptable".
Here's it's Blake who struggles, struggle to use those words in a sort of positive way. Not that I believe him, absolutely not.
I mean, what's a "little homosexual"? A kiss? A ...eh..lemon? A relationship for only 2 days?
 

Ked

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One of those storylines (and scenes like this and Ted Dinard's death in particular) that never gets old. Perhaps it's become even more powerful after all these years.
The first thing to notice is the absence of religion. Apparently, Steven is not a sinner who's going to burn in hell.
In this case, homosexuality is perceived as a disease, or even an addiction.

"I'm offering you the chance to straighten yourself out".
To me, it seems that this is about everything Steven stands for, not just the homosexuality.

I'm not even sure if Blake is an out-and-out homophobe. Would he refuse to do business with a gay man? I don't think so.
But this is his son, his heir and successor.
I think it's all about that old "betrayal" thing again, and to make Steven feel guilty for not living up to his father's expectations.

(not quoted from Dynasty): I built this empire for you, and you turned your back on it. I want to help you and now you're dismissing me (and my empire) again.

It's narcissistic - "can't you see what you're doing to me?"
Blake and Alexis were so two of a kind it's almost uncanny.

Can I understand Blake's disappointment? Yes I do. I can understand why he feels as if he's lost a son (his only son).
But it's his problem, not Steven's.

"I'm even prepared to say that I could find a little homosexual experimentation acceptable".
Here's it's Blake who struggles, struggle to use those words in a sort of positive way. Not that I believe him, absolutely not.
I mean, what's a "little homosexual"? A kiss? A ...eh..lemon? A relationship for only 2 days?

Had the writing for Steven and the way how everyone reacted to him remained as good as it did here...

But I can't help but wonder, even if the writing *had* remained good, when Adam (a *straight* son) came into the picture, would Blake have started to care less about Steven's sexuality? I mean, here Blake would have a brand new heir and successor, who also doubles as his firstborn; and who's going to end up giving Blake grandchildren. Would it really matter to Blake afterwards if Steven preferred men? Probably, yet I can't help but get the impression that Blake would have ended up caring less and less. Which still could have caused tension, because Steven could have taken that to mean that he was no longer important to his father, now that he had a "replacement son."
 

Willie Oleson

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because Steven could have taken that to mean that he was no longer important to his father, now that he had a "replacement son."
I'm not sure if Steven wanted to be or feel important.

It's really how Alexis would react: he doesn't hate me anymore and I can't stand it!
But Steven wasn't like his mother at all.
 

Alexis

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Do you get a Diploma from The Steven Carrington Institute for the Study & Treatment of Faggotry? Or just told to marry a handsome woman and try to blend in?
 

Ked

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I'm not sure if Steven wanted to be or feel important.

It's really how Alexis would react: he doesn't hate me anymore and I can't stand it!
But Steven wasn't like his mother at all.

Excellent point.
 

Zara

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The character Blake seemed much more stupid in the early seasons. And I don't mean just about the homosexuality.
 

Matthew Blaisdel

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Blake seemed always stupid to me (maybe except for S9), but he was much less agressive and displeased later on.
 

Angela Channing

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This is a good scene, even though the acting is a bit wooden. Blake was like many people from his generation who had very little understanding of what being gay was like and found it difficult to come to terms with someone close to them being gay and the writers did a good job reflecting that with this scene. I also liked how Blake had more of an edge than the insipid goody-goody character he became later in the series.
 

Snarky Oracle

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Except that this scene is all about the things they'd rather not say to eachother. I think it perfectly captures the passive-agressive tension between these two men.
Yeah, I don't find the acting wooden at all -- it's formal; it's their discomfort with each other.
 

Willie Oleson

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it's formal; it's their discomfort with each other.
And that's what makes it such a terrific scene, not just the topic of discussion itself.

Watching that scene makes me want to wrap my arms around Steven, beautiful blond Steven with his beautiful watery eyes, and protect him from the menace and rejection coming from his father.

edit: and I never ever felt that way about Steven II.
 

Michael Torrance

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Unfortunately, this is the longest version I can find of the famed pilot scene in which Blake and Steven get into it over his sexuality.


Opinions on the scene, and how the topic was subsequently (mis)handled?

How did I miss this thread? What Peter De Vilbis drugs was I on?
When ABC and Spelling decided to create "a Dallas for ABC," their sole purpose was to create ratings and money. Despite all her subsequent faults, when Esther Shapiro sat down to create "Oil," she had four more reasons: Krystle, Steven, Fallon, and Claudia, four characters never before seen on TV. This scene is such a gem for showcasing Steven, and the relationship between him and Blake.

Before that scene, which starts with a very tender music theme showing Steven's vulnerability (also shown when he knocks on the library door with trepidation) Blake tells Steven that it's been two years since he got a degree so useless he can't even bag groceries with it, and after two years finding himself in New York (Steven is a gay cliche) Blake expects that after his honeymoon, Steven will come to work at Denver Carrington. "Take a little vacation. Rest up from... resting, gather your strengths, and then you report to work." He offers him three choices: refinery, plant supervision, or PR. Then when discussing Steven's opinion of DC, Steven is incredulous that Blake wants him sharing that with the public, but Blake mentions any opinion would be welcome as he didn't believe Steven "had any opinions about anything."

And then Steven lashes out--how would you know anything about me? Since mother left, you wouldn't even know I was around if I didn't come in wearing a name tag. Blake completely refuses to answer Steven's real accusation, and goes "yeah, about my business--you had a comment to make?" Right from the pilot the absent mother and the ripple effects of that are front and center--Alexis casts a shadow before even cast. When Steven starts his accusations, Blake replies, "Steven, I heard this garbage from people I almost respect. Do you suppose I am going to take it from you?" Apparently you can't go lower than being Steven in that house. Then begins the above clip.

Some of the things Steven says, hearing them now with middle-aged ears, sound quite sophomoric ("Ok, I don't work, but at least I don't steal from the people of this country"--aren't you spending the very money of the person you say steals? I am sure receiving stolen goods is also a crime). As soon as Blake mentions the homosexuality, the camera zooms on young Steven on Blake's desk (at a time when props themselves told stories on Dynasty). Al Corley plays Steven so hurt, and we don't know why he is hurt. Is it because his father dismisses anything he says because he is gay? Is it because he refuses to even discuss his lack of fatherly love toward him? Blake's apology is that he hoped everything would go away--which I guess has been his answer with problems in general. When Steven pleads "dad look at me" Blake still actually doesn't. His dime-story psychoanalysis is in fact brutish--Steven is hiding his sexual dysfunction behind hostility for his father: he would love Blake if he weren't gay.

Blake is brutal, and I find the acting by Forsythe pitch-perfect. It is a shame he did not want to keep this Blake around longer, but went from the epitome of the capitalist Patriarch to the old geezer CEO in a couple of seasons. Al Corley is, as others have noted, showing a performance that tears at your core. I find the eventual interaction of the four characters I initially mentioned anything but incidental. Krystle becoming an ally of Steven, same as Fallon, much as they don't get along. Claudia getting to love Krystle even as coming to despise Krystle. It was like Dynasty in season 1 tried to take complexity and gray areas as far as they would stretch.
 
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