Another 1980s staple, Aaron Spelling’s “Dynasty” is the prime-time soap opera to end all prime-time soap operas. Its nine seasons are full of evil twins, actors replaced by facial reconstructive surgery, marriages held hostage by terrorists and, of course, women wearing big shoulder pads. It wasn’t always like this, however; the first season, featuring the exploits of Colorado oil tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe) and his family, was a relatively straightforward drama, which even featured an LGBTQ-focused storyline involving Blake’s son, Steven (Al Corley), a rarity for 1981.
But, like Heather Locklear on “Melrose Place” or Danny DeVito on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” the show only became its best version with the addition of Joan Collins as Blake’s vengeful ex-wife, Alexis, in season 2. There, the series entered the stratosphere, both in terms of popularity and implausibility. The Carringtons and their rival family the Colbys (who got their own short-lived spin-off starring Charlton Heston and Barbara Stanwyck) faced every calamity known to man – and looked fabulous doing it. A reboot series created by Josh Schwartz (“The OC”) aired on The CW from 2017 to 2021, but unlike Latter Day’s “Dallas,” this version was a straight-up remake, with no “Dynasty” actors reprising their roles.