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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

Dynasty: The Complete First Season (review)

Forget “Who shot JR?” It’s “Who’s testifying against Blake Carrington at the murder trial of his son’s homosexual lover?” here in this, one of the earliest primetime soap operas and a primo example of the overbaked glitz, dizzy glam, and enormous shoulder pads that dominated early-80s entertainment. It’s slow moving, even for a soap opera, but the tales of woe of the ultrawealthy Carringtons of Denver are so hilariously overwrought that you can’t help but want to gobble up the cheese, even though it leaves you with a kinda-sick-to-your-stomach feeling, like you inhaled too much junk food. Uber bastard Blake Carrington (John Forsythe: Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle), oil magnate and the second richest man in Denver, is marrying his former secretary, Krystle (Linda Evans), as the series opens, and it’s like throwing her to the dogs: backstabbing and business scandals are the least of the family’s hobbies, which also include fooling around with the chauffeur just to piss dad off (see: daughter Fallon, as played by Pamela Sue Martin [The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries]) and daring to be gay and also fooling around with women too, just to piss dad off (see: son Steven, as played by Al Corley). It could all be rated Ex, ’cause there’s no end of ex-spouses, ex-lovers, and ex-business partners. Four double-sided discs feature all 13 episodes from the 1981 premiere season, including the three-part debut, with commentary by series cocreator Esther Shapiro and actor Corley on select episodes.

MPAA: not rated

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