What is it about primetime soap operas that make me love them so much? The double-crossing? The affairs? The oil businessmen? The absurdity? I just can’t say. Today I started watching season one of Dynasty and I’m hooked — just like Dallas and Knots Landing before them.
But seriously, Dynasty is hardcore. Maybe more hardcore than Dallas? I’m not sure.
All I know is that during the three-part first episode there was a scene between Blake Carrington and his son Steven that was so hardcore I’m still recovering.
It turns out that Steven may be gay (though, by episode four, his interactions with Claudia seem to indicate otherwise). Being 1981, this is a major problem for his dad, a super-rich oil tycoon (how original, yah?). During their argument, Blake breaks-out some philosophy!
I’m about as Freudian as you could hope for in a capitalist exploiter of the working classes…
After that statement, Blake goes on to tell Steven that he understands that Steven’s homosexual experiences may cause hostility toward his father, but that, ultimately, Steven is still a faggot. He also laments the fact that the American Psychiatric Association had declassified homosexuality as an illness and that he won’t have an opportunity to open a homosexuality treatment center in his son’s name.
Granted, the fact that Steven is gay is a major problem and it (so far) isn’t accepted at all, but I still think it’s a pretty brave thing for 1981. The same issues crop up in television shows today with only a smidgen more of acceptance.
In addition to being gay, however, Steven also appears to be a bit of a socialist. During the aforementioned fight (as I recall), Steven accuses his father of selling-out his own country in order to develop oil resources abroad and complains that the country is too dependent on natural resources and should focus on renewable energy. His sister, Fallon, however, is totally opposite and quite willing to make “a dollar and a half” using her father’s money and business.
Dallas (which debuted a few years earlier) that it feels extremely unoriginal. For some reason I can’t stop imagining Blake’s new wife Krystle as Pam Ewing (both being unaccustomed to their husband’s wealth and status). And for some reason I keep seeing Cliff Barnes in Matthew. I also see Lucy in Fallon because both seem somewhat sexual and very close to their rich uncle/father. Confusing Ray Crebs (Dallas‘ farmhand) and Mike (the driver) is the only one that really makes sense.
Anyway, I can’t say yet whether I like Dynasty or Dallas more so far. I’m inclined to say Dallas since it spun-off into Knots Landing (and I loved Knots Landing as a kid) and since I know my mom likes Dallas as well. Nonetheless, Dynasty is way hardcore and I’m loving it for the time being.