Big hair affair: Remembering ‘Dynasty’

By Jae-Ha Kim
Media Life Magazine
May 2, 2006

Last night’s Yankees vs. Red Sox battle had nothing on the tiffs that’ll be rehashed on CBS’s “Dynasty: Catfights and Caviar,” a reunion show of sorts that airs at 10 tonight. The knockdown fights between big-hair sporting Alexis Carrington Colby (Joan Collins) and Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) are the stuff of primetime soap operas.

Who doesn’t remember the first time they saw the heavily made-up mavens drag each other into a pond and pull each other’s hair (and shoulder pads) out with wicked delight?

Besides Collins and Evans, the special will include appearances by John Forsythe, who played patriarch Blake Carrington and is best known to moviegoers of a certain age as the voice of Charlie in the “Charlie’s Angels” films.

Pamela Sue Martin, Al Corley and Catherine Oxenberg also chat about their most famous roles. The over-the-top acting and heaving bosoms were a staple on the show, which aired during America’s real-life period that celebrated material hedonism.

This marks CBSs special big sweeps stunt during May, coming after Sundays decent outing for the Tom Selleck movie Jesse Stone. But dont look for the Dynasty rehash to give CBS a huge lift.

Aside from exceptions like last year’s “Happy Days” special, which drew 18 million, reunion shows traditionally don’t all that well in the ratings. And at a time when “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives” and “The Sopranos” are television’s it shows, “Dynasty” falls into a nether region where it’s not old enough to be a classic yet too old to offer any relevance.

So why would anyone tune in to this special (which, oddly enough, is airing on CBS even though the 1981-1989 series aired on ABC)? Perhaps to remind viewers of the weekly campy fun and mindless scripts that managed to weave in plots involving comas, massacres and kidnappings with twisted seriousness.

And then, of course, there’re those shoulder pads.

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