This should have been a debacle. How can you possibly remake one of the most iconic TV campfests of all time without seeming like a pale imitation?
If you’re The CW’s re-imagining of ABC’s 80s staple Dynasty, you throw as much what-the-fuckery against the wall as you can and hope that something sticks. If half of it does, you can consider your show a success. And if you can somehow pull it off without pissing off the legion of gay fans who grew up addicted to the show, it’s a near-miracle.
Let’s take a look at what worked in this re-imagining, and what caused us more pain than O.G. Steven’s face transplant.
The trickiest part of any remake is the casting. The actors have to make the roles their own, while reconciling the inevitable comparisons to the original performers. This is especially difficult with a show such as Dynasty, whose over-the-top characters leave little room for … subtlety.
But some of the new performers made a better impression than others.
BLAKE – John Forsythe/Grant Show. Actor George Peppard was originally cast (and actually filmed some of the pilot) but producers didn’t think his performance was “ruthless” enough, so they made the decision to replace him with Forsythe, who was best known as the star of Bachelor Father and the soothing voice on the intercom on Charlie’s Angels. His Blake was plenty ruthless, for the first few seasons at least, culminating in his attack of son Steven’s ex-boyfriend Ted, causing his death.
But Original Blake did soften over the years, and became kinder and gentler.
Grant Show’s Blake is now an Atlanta energy tycoon, and a billionaire (instead of the paltry multi-millionaire of the original). He’s still ruthless, with his finger in many nefarious pies, but Show lacks that spark that could ignite at any moment that Forsythe brought to the role.
Plus it’s difficult to watch Show and not think of Jake Hanson.
Krystle/Cristal – Linda Evans/Nathalie Kelley.