Monday, August 14, 2017


THIS ‘N That:
By Liz Smith & Dennis Ferrara

... ”AH, yes, the sterling Krystle!”  In almost every episode of TV’s epic eye-shadow and shoulder-pad saga, “Dynasty,” Joan Collins, as Alexis Carrington Colby, etc, would make some sort of wisecrack, playing on the name of her nemesis, Linda Evans (aka Krystle Jennings Carrington).

"OH, here, Blake, let me give you a hand with that.  We can bury her near lily pond."    
Those were the good old days when “Dynasty” ruled on Wednesday nights and much of America — and the world — would come to halt for “dinner and Dynasty.”  (This sounded even better in Britain, where it was pronounced “dinner and Dinasty.”)   

Well, if you’ve a hankering for the over-stuffed 1980’s exemplified in “Dynasty,” be aware that CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Video are releasing “Dynasty: The Complete Series” on October 10th.  All nine seasons, 57 discs, 220 episodes. 

Sure, the final three or four seasons lost steam — thanks in part to ABC launching the almost-equally-delicious (if unsuccessful) “The Colbys” off of “Dynasty’s”Nolan Miller-clad back.  Still, there was always fun to be had.Joan Collins, in particular, managed to the end to make her mantra to John Forsythe — “I hate you Blake, and I’ll make you suffer no matter what!” — sound like she meant it.

The first four seasons, in particular, are high art in high camp with everybody either over or under acting hilariously.

Remember the eternally sullen Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon? Or the relentlessly slutty Sammy Jo, played with snarly abandon by Heather Locklear?
Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon.
Heather Locklear as Sammy Jo.
And of course, Diahann Carroll as Dominique Deveraux, “the first black bitch on television!” as Miss Carroll herself joyfully proclaimed.  (In the first scene between Dominque and Alexis, Miss Deveraux shudders at Alexis’ offered goodies — the champagne “is burned ... obviously frozen in the bottle at some point.”  And the caviar?  “This is Ossetra, and I prefer Petrossian Beluga.”  No surprise that a few more episodes in they’d be slapping each other around.) 
Diahann Carroll as Dominique Deveraux.
Sure there were men — Forsythe, John James, Al Corley and Jack Coleman as the often-gay-but-sometimes-not Steven Carrington. (Corley left after the first season, so the producers put the character in a fiery oil rig accident that returned him home, still very handsome and blonde, but looking entirely different in the person of Mr. Coleman.  Back in those days, accidents didn’t disfigure, one just came back in an altered state of attractiveness.) And of course, there were all of Alexis’s lovers and husbands. 
Jack Coleman as Steven Carrington.
But the guys were just around as occasional eye candy and a respite from the phantasmagorical collection of silks, satins, beading and dead animals that were thrown at the ladies.  (Especially Joan Collins, who bloomed under the excess — Collins never met a giant lynx collar, a turban, a Medusa-like wiggy wig or a carton of double-thick false eyelashes she could not wrestle to the floor and dominate, through sheer force of personality.) 

I’m putting my order in now.  I couldn’t possibly wait until October!

They say April is the cruelest month. Perhaps. But August is turning into the scariest.  I need distraction.