Season 3 is off to a great start. We get some set-up for future storyline, while other storylines are resolved. The show works out some of the kinks leftover from season 2, and begins on a fun, entertaining, and exhilarating ride. Things get better as we go on, with the show finally, finally, living up to it's potential, and resurrecting itself like a phoenix after almost dying after it's interesting but boring first season.
I watched season one a few years ago and was mostly surprised by how boring it was. It's generally understood that the show only got on a roll in the second season, and so I gave it a shot. Once again I was taken by surprise, but this time by the frantic attempts of producers and writers to find the correct formula.
Throughout the season story lines start, develop and mostly fizzle out. Nearly every story line of the first season was done away by the fourth episode. The arrival of Joan Collins, who is often cited as the reason of the show's turnaround, fails to impress at first. New characters are introduced as the next big thing, and then nothing happens. The classic example is Dr. Toscanni, who is a mysterious foe at first, then becomes a friend, changes his medical speciality and becomes a villain again. Quite a few episodes start with characters mentioning that some time has gone by since the events of the previous episode, as if to stress that certain story lines are now over. One of the strangest jumps concerns Blake's sudden blindness. He gets his sight back, hides it from everybody else and during a party at his house he admits to his wife in private that he can see again. At the start of the next episode the party's over and he's seeing everyone off (no pun intended). The big reveal to his guests has been left out.
To make up for all of this mess the finale gets three cliffhangers. (And imagine the writers congratulating themselves for calling it 'The Cliff'.) One of these is cleverly prepared (the mysterious nanny), another one is completely predictable (the heart attack), the third underwhelms (another fall from a horse?).
There is a marked difference in the tone of this episode and the final installment of Season 2.
It gets worse, but the seeds are sewn. Observe Krystle and Blake on the rainswept "hill" once she finds him, or Fallon confronting the nurse in the study, or Blake's hospital plea of "I must get home" as he "falls" against the wall.
The beginning of season 3 is when the producers implemented this frozen-acting thing (no, it wasn't the actors' faults), thinking it would make the show seem even more "special", trying to make already poised actors seem even MORE poised.
The result is a disaster, causing scene after scene to feel increasingly cardboard and fake. Add to that plotting and florid dialogue that begins to do little to hold together or propel the plot, and you have one of the all-time ALMOST great TV series beginning to systematically commit suicide.
Hype, star appeal and glamour would keep DYNASTY high in the ratings for three more years, but the REAL problem starts HERE.
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