Six points about the new “Dynasty” on the CW

Dynasty — Pictured (L-R): Grant Show as Blake and Nathalie Kelley as Cristal — Photo: Mark Hill/The CW

Posted Saturday, October 7, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The 1980s ABC soap “Dynasty” began in 1981 and ended in 1989, the perfect Aaron Spelling concoction capturing a decade known for financial excess, padded shoulders, sequin embellishments and oily gobs of revenge and betrayal.

The CW has decided to resurrect the concept for 2017, a time of massive economic inequity, where the rich have only gotten richer, where oil still remains king but maybe not for long, where a real estate tycoon is in the White House. The new version of “Dynasty” debuts at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Here are six notable points about the new version:

Welcome South, Brother: Given that Georgia is now a tax-credit magnet for TV production, the show has been moved from Denver to Atlanta, which has been long considered the business capital of the South. It’s shot at Eagle Rock Studios in Norcross. In a sly reference to the old location, Fallon in the opening minutes gets off a private plane and her chauffeur/lover asks: “How was Denver?” Fallon: “I miss the heat” in Atlanta. Chauffeur/lover: “Trust me, it wasn’t as hot without you.”

Snow-white no more: Since we are talking Atlanta and diversity is important for any show now on TV that is set in modern-day America, many of the key players now are black and Latino. Blake Carrington (played by “Melrose Place” and “Devious Maids” star Grant Show) is about to get married to young PR employee Cristal Flores (Latina actress Nathalie Kelley, fresh off the final season of Atlanta-produced “Vampire Diaries”). And the Colbys, the Carrington rivals, are African American.

No sign of original “Dynasty” cast members: Unlike the TNT reboot of “Dallas” earlier this decade, this is a new creation without a single sign of the original cast. That means no Linda Evans, Heather Locklear or Joan Collins. The closest connection is Snow, who was a key part of the 1990s soap “Melrose Place,” another classic Spelling creation.

Who will play Alexis? So far, the CW has managed to keep this a secret and it’s certainly not revealed in the first episode. Alexis was Blake’s evil ex wife, always scheming to take him down.

Fallon is no pushover: While Blake’s daughter Fallon in the 1980s version was a bit passive, the 2017 version played by Elizabeth Gillies, will be far more ambitious and calculating. She is head of acquisitions for her dad’s company. Her battles with Cristal will be epic (and begin not too long into the first episode) and far more central to the show than in the original incarnation.

Gay? So what?  Back in 1981, Blake’s son Steven being gay was a big deal. In 2017? Not so much. His clashes with his father are now more on the political scale: he’s now far too liberal for his dad’s taste.

TV PREVIEW

“Dynasty,” debuting Wednesday, October 11, 2017 on the CW

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