The Untold Truth Of The CW’s Dynasty

There’s nothing quite like finding a new show to binge-watch on Netflix — stumbling on a new series with plenty of episodes to entertain you can feel like hitting the jackpot — and Dynasty is one such show. The drama is so enticing, and all the characters are so good looking that it seems impossible to look away, and it kind of is.

But Dynasty is more than just a totally binge-able series — it’s also completely iconic. Dynasty is about a powerful family, yes, but some of the dynamics that take place in the Carrington household are familiar to anyone who has ever dealt with family drama of their own. Still, there’s more to Dynasty than meets the eye, and the drama doesn’t end on camera, either. The untold truth of The CW’s Dynasty is that there’s a reason it’s so addictive, and there’s a lot more to the show than you may have thought.

The CW's Dynasty is actually a reboot of an iconic 80s nighttime soap opera

If you’ve seen a commercial or ad for The CW’s Dynasty, then it’s clear that the show is modern and relevant. But actually, Dynasty was a hugely popular soap opera that aired from 1981 to 1989. The original series focused on feuding families in the Colorado oil business, the Carringtons and the Colbys, and the new CW version takes that concept to a whole new level. The new Dynasty is a reboot, but one with plenty of original content and ideas, that’s for sure.

While there are some key differences between the original Dynasty and the reboot, the excitement for the series remains. In fact, speaking to Variety, Elizabeth Gillies, who plays Fallon Carrington in the reboot, expressed her enthusiasm for the show. “You see the word ‘Dynasty,’ and you’re like, ‘Oh yes,'” Gillies said. Clearly, Dynasty is beloved by both fans old and new.

Dynasty's reboot has undergone quite a few recastings

Though The CW’s Dynasty is obviously full of intense plot twists and some pretty crazy scenes, the goings-on behind the camera might be just as interesting. The show features murder, cheating, scheming, drugs, and more, but between all the changes in Dynasty’s cast, it’s hard to keep track of the drama.

As Deadline reported, The CW’s Dynasty has dealt with more than a few recastings. While it’s not uncommon for a series to undergo some changes after the first season, Dynasty took this to a whole new level. A season 1 lead, Nathalie Kelley, who played Cristal, was recast with actor Ana Brenda Contreras in season 2; Danielle Alonso then took over the character in season 3. Additionally, the role of Alexis went from Nicollette Sheridan to Elizabeth Gillies to Elaine Hendrix over the course of the series. Dynasty has seen plenty of changes since it premiered in 2017, but that’s all part of what makes it so fun to watch.

Today's Dynasty is a progressive drama

It’s no secret that the world has come a long way since the 1980s — technology has evolved and people are more accepting of others who are different, for example — and it seems that Dynasty wanted to echo society’s progress.

According to Variety, the original Dynasty had some homophobic moments and undertones, but the reboot, which premiered in 2017, had a goal of being progressive. Specifically, the son of patriarch Blake Carrington, Steven, is not shy about his sexuality. “The relationship between Blake and Steven is not about sexuality,” executive producer Josh Schwartz explained. “Steven is confidently gay, Blake accepts him.” 

Additionally, the show included a more racially diverse cast, with Latina cast members. “The diversity of the cast really represents that,” Nathalie Kelley told Variety. “To weave that into the narrative of ‘Dynasty’ is really exciting and important to talk about the geo-politics of Venezuela on a CW show.” The Dynasty reboot really focused on making things modern in every way.

The CW's Dynasty knows it's just a little soapy

For any drama series, there is a certain level of cheesiness that you expect — shows like This Is Us and Grey’s Anatomy have plenty of dramatic and over-the-top moments in them, but we love them particularly for that reason — and Dynasty is no different. The series features some plot points that are pretty ridiculous and unbelievable, but that’s all part of what makes the show what it is.

As The Guardian reported in a review of the premiere of the Dynasty reboot, the show is every bit the soap opera it’s based on, and it’s not ashamed of this. “It’s trashy as hell, but every single piece of action comes from character. These people know what they’re doing,” the review stated. Dynasty might be cheesier than you would expect a twenty-first century primetime drama to be, but it’s also very aware of the fact that it is cheesy, and all the melodrama works for it.

The Dynasty reboot is a show about female empowerment

Though Dynasty centers on feuding families, money, and power, the creators behind the reboot also wanted to focus on female empowerment. Specifically, two of the main characters, Fallon and Cristal, are pretty successful at work, which makes for an important plot point and message for the show. “Both of these women are ambitious career women … they want to run this business,” executive producer Josh Schwartz explained in an interview with Variety. “Having [Cristal] have a more senior role in the company, not just being the secretary, makes her more credible of vying for control of this company with Fallon.” 

Additionally, executive producer Stephanie Savage added that the characters were both very deep. “They’re competitive, they’re both smart, they’re ambitious,” she said. Having strong female characters at the center of the Dynasty reboot isn’t something you would have expected from the original 80s version of the soap, but The CW’s Dynasty is much more more complex than its predecessor.

This is where The CW's Dynasty is filmed

You might assume that a hit primetime TV series like Dynasty would be filmed at a big studio in Hollywood. But the show, which takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, isn’t filmed in some big, expensive studio miles away in California. Dynasty stays true to its premise in more ways than one, it turns out.

According to The Cinemaholic, the series is actually filmed where it takes place — in Georgia. Dynasty is shot in locations all across Georgia close to the state’s capital city. Specifically, Dynasty is filmed at the Eagle Rock Studios in Norcross, Georgia for a large portion of the series. However, there are some establishing shots that take place at various locations across Georgia, including the front of Carrington manor, as seen on the series. Part of what makes Dynasty so great is that it’s fairly authentic in terms of setting, and we love it.

The Dynasty reboot took awhile to find its footing

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Dynasty, then you know that the series is pretty dramatic and intense, with plenty of fighting, yelling, backstabbing, and more to keep you on the edge of your seat. But all that said, the series reboot actually had a pretty slow start when it first premiered in 2017. Specifically, a review from Entertainment Weekly complained pretty loudly about the show’s boring start.

Yes, the review referred to the Dynasty reboot premiere as “dangerously bland” with too much talking and not enough action. Of course, the show would soon prove that review wrong as it picked up in the first season, thanks to new characters, explosions, and plot twists. Still, when it kicked off, The CW’s Dynasty was extremely bland compared to what fans of the original series thought it would be. To be fair, every show needs a moment or two to set up the plot, setting, and characters, but Dynasty might have taken a bit too long to get interesting.

The CW's Dynasty plays homage to the original

While Dynasty on The CW is certainly unique, it’s also based on the 1980s series and, therefore, borrows some of its characters and ideas from the original. In fact, several of the show’s most iconic plot points were inspired by the original iteration of Dynasty.

In an interview with TV Line, showrunner Sallie Patrick explained that the Dynasty reboot aimed to keep the original series in mind with every decision made. Specifically, when Dynasty’s producers decided to have Elizabeth Gillies, one of the actresses who played Fallon Carrington, play her own mother, Alexis, in a major plot twist, this was done because of the original Dynasty. “In the spirit of the OG Dynasty, we just went for the biggest twist possible as an homage to the double castings and doppelgängers they had on the original series,” Patrick explained. 

For Gillies, it was an honor to play such a homage to the original series and cast. “I’ve always loved the character of Alexis, even from the original Dynasty,” she said. “I’m a huge Joan Collins fan.” Though The CW’s Dynasty is its own show, it’s also proudly based on the original.

The CW's Dynasty is a drama-filled show full of catfights

As a primetime drama and essentially a soap opera, Dynasty’s characters fight A LOT. There are literally fights over everything — from lovers’ quarrels to fights over business handlings, and much more. Each fight has its own backstory on the show, but it’s the catfights that tend to be the most interesting and iconic. Despite the reboot’s feminist roots, it still doesn’t mind pitting women against each other, and it’s pretty entertaining.

In an interview with Variety, executive producer Stephanie Savage explained that the dynamic between the women before and during the catfight was so fun to watch. “You have the great head-to-head and [we’re] kicking it off with that great catfight,” Savage explained of the pilot of The CW’s Dynasty. 

Additionally, speaking to Vanity Fair, creator and executive producer Josh Schwartz explained that to really nail a catfight scene the producers needed “committed actors. Two women who are ready to blow off a little steam at work.” And that’s exactly what they have. Well, that and “a dress that’s been rigged to lose its shoulder over and over again,” Savage added. Who knew?

Family is at the center of The CW's Dynasty

Because of all the drama we see on Dynasty, it might be easy to assume that the show is more about money and relationships than actual family. But if you really pay attention to the series and all the plot twists, you’ll realize that the show is centered on family.

In an interview with Variety, executive producer Stephanie Savage explained that their biggest concern when developing the reboot of Dynasty was to focus on family, despite all the drama. “When we first sat down with the Shapiros to talk about rebooting the show, they talked a lot about family,” Savage explained of their meeting with the original Dynasty creators, Richard and Esther Shapiro. “No matter the villainous things that they did, they never stopped loving each other. I think we took that core concept and then just talked about how to place the idea in the historical context of our day.” 

Sure, the characters on Dynasty might betray their family members from time to time, but they still love each other.

Why Dynasty's Fallon looks familiar

Though Dynasty focuses on many different characters, with a ton of plot points, love triangles, illegal dealings, and much more, there’s one character who tends to rule all. She’s kind of like the Erica Kane of Dynasty. Fallon Carrington, played by Elizabeth Gillies, is without a doubt the series lead and for good reason. In the beginning of the series, Fallon is constantly belittled in the business world and launches her own company by the end of the first season, which, we should note, is exactly what the creators intended. “We wanted to tell a story of a girl who generally has been overlooked to be the next ruler of the ‘dynasty.’ And we wanted her to step out of her father’s shadow,” executive producer Sallie Patrick told Refinery29.

And there’s a reason why Fallon looks so familiar. Gillies has starred in some pretty big projects in addition to Dynasty, including Victorious, The Clique, and even an Ariana Grande music video. Not only is Fallon an enigmatic character, she’s fun to watch and familiar for a lot of fans, too.

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