'Dynasty' is as effective as trickle-down economics

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 3:52pm

NOSELL

The CW

 

On the night of Oct. 11, I sat down on an incredibly comfortable couch with a La Croix and some crackers, expecting to be entertained. I was horribly disappointed.

The CW’s new show “Dynasty,” a reboot of the classic 80s soap of the same name, is a tacky soap opera trying to disguise itself as something with actual substance and artistic merit. At this, it fails miserably. The show manages to have all the cringe-worthy and nausea-inducing aspects of a soap without any of the fun that usually comes along with the genre.

Before I go on, a personal disclaimer: I am not a guilty-pleasure hating, no-fun-having monster. In fact, I unironically and unapologetically love soap operas and for a large portion of my childhood, I harbored an unhealthy emotional investment in ABC’s “General Hospital.” But even that show, where characters are played by new actors within the span of an episode and everyone has slept with each other on at least four separate occasions, is more agreeable than what The CW is now trying to feed its audience.

The premise of the show is essentially this: Rich White Man is engaged to Younger Minority Employee with a mysterious past and gives her special treatment in the company, which shockingly makes Rich White Man’s Daughter and Rich White Man’s Son upset. Drama ensues. The show not only follows this expired, overused plot line, but utilizes every single washed-up trope that it can dig up from a cancelled Hallmark Channel sitcom. Rich White Girl having a secret love affair with a poorer minority? Check! Wealthy men discussing something serious while drinking scotch? Check! Two women whose hatred for each other escalates to a catfight because isn’t it funny when women don’t respect each other? Check!

Perhaps in happier times — if anyone can remember when those were — this show could be tolerated and maybe even enjoyed. But in our current society, the plot and characters are so ridiculously out of touch with reality that I was truly embarrassed every time a line was delivered. “Dynasty” does attempt to satisfy the contemporary demand for representative entertainment by modernizing both the characters and storylines of its older counterpart. Instead of both of the main wealthy families being white, one of them is black. Also, unlike in the original, the fact that Rich White Man’s son is gay is not a point of contention. Still, while “Dynasty” may try to portray itself as a progressive and inclusive version of “Gossip Girl,” it doesn’t take long into the premiere to understand what this show really is at its core: just another boring, unrelatable TV show about beautiful rich people galavanting in a world where real problems don’t exist.

Like when Rich White Man’s son and daughter talk about how fun it is to be rich and the son says, “When the revolution comes it’ll be your head they come for” and the daughter replies, “Well I’ll be sure to get my hair done.” Or when Rich White Man’s daughter complains to her father, “You were my age when your father handed you the company” to which he replies, “He didn’t hand it to me, I earned it.” When I heard this, I’m pretty sure Donald Trump actually appeared on the screen and proceeded to flip me off. Because, with a presidential cabinet that collectively owns more than one-third of what the American people do, jokes that come at the expense of the poor aren’t that funny.

I understand that The CW isn’t necessarily known for pioneering socially aware and culturally significant television, but that is not an excuse for filling a primetime slot with an hour of cheap one-liners, predictable plot lines and CGI so bad it’s almost as comical as it is pathetic. We’ll all be better off if “Dynasty,” along with leg warmers and trickle-down economics, stays in the 80s where it belongs.