In the 80s, watching the season finales of Dynasty was always a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, you knew your favourite US soap was going to be off air for a few months but on the other, you also knew that the writers were saving the best till last resulting in finales full of shocking revelations, twists and cliffhangers.
Well, I got the same feeling about the first season finale of the rebooted Dynasty when it aired on The CW last night (11 May 2018). For a start, I had genuinely looked forward to it in the same way as I couldn’t wait to watch the season finales of the original. Even better, the episode was everything I had hoped for. By the end of it, I almost (but not quite) threw my fist up in the air with excitement and shouted with joy, “Yes! The Carringtons are truly back!”
From Lukewarm to Hot
The rebooted Dynasty had a lukewarm reception when it started in October 2017. The ratings were mediocre and fans were not happy with the changes made in the new version. I am not talking about the changes made for the sake of diversity or political correctness such as the Colbys being portrayed as a black family or Sammy Jo being retconned as a gay man. Rather, the changes fans did not like were those that did not need to be made such as Crystal being the same age as Fallon (and the former’s name’ spelling being altered from Krystle) and the character of Jeff Colby being completely reinvented, from the boy-next-door/nice guy who idolised Blake Carrington to a revenge-angry self-made billionare whose ambition in life is to destroy Blake.
With ratings averaging below one million in the US, everyone, including me, was surprised when it was announced that Dynasty was going to get a second season. I think it was mainly the Netflix deal that saved the show from the axe. The show was profitable even before it started to air because of Netflix’s exclusive rights to the show outside of the US. I am delighted that the show is going to get a chance to shine because it improved with leaps and bounds in the second half of the first season. The introduction of Alexis certainly helped though, unlike with the original, the show’s most iconic character cannot take full credit for re-igniting interest in the show. The writers deserve a pat on the back because they went back to the drawing board and made the new Dynasty more like the old Dynasty with focus on the core characters and adding ingredients that made the original such a huge worldwide hit … such as the catfights.
Yes, in the finale we saw the first (fans hope) of the Alexis-Crystal catfights. We saw a lavish wedding with many hitches. We saw someone being shot. We saw someone announce a shock pregnancy. And we saw the Carrington mansion going up in flames, putting a few of the characters in danger. And if those weren’t enough, the finale also boasted a nostalgic 80s soundtrack which included Devo’s Whip It and and We Belong by Pat Benatar. The first season of Dynasty went out with a bang. Like Fallon told Blake, “This is how new dynasties are born.”