Who does Alexis Carrington better?
Why the reboot of the 1980s soap Dynasty is answered prayer while dressing up for parties is on hold
It’s been quite a while since Gossip Girl. What’s more, with the Internet canceling anyone and everyone brave enough or tone-deaf enough to blurt out a politically incorrect ew, the reboot of the ‘80s iconic soap Dynasty on the CW, streaming on Netflix in the Philippines, is answered prayer. It’s a show made just for those starving for repartee laced with barbed witticisms and for campy catfights, replete with back-stabbing, hair-pulling, and champagne-throwing, between beautiful people dressed in such swoon-worthy, frenzy-inducing designer things as pink lace Burberry trenchcoats, pussybow Gucci blouses, Jimmy Choo sequin pumps, Balenciaga sneakers, or Margiela sweatpants.
The center of it all, the true face of “one percent of the one percent,” is Elizabeth Gillies, who plays Fallon Carrington, the lead female protagonist, a role first played by Pamela Sue Martin in the ABC-helmed original, which aired from 1981 to 1989. Forget that Liz Gillies is such a joy to watch, she also gives the viewer major fashion envy on the show in which she describes herself as “really a Gucci whore.”
But there are more people to ogle at other than Fallon in the remake of Dynasty, her childhood frenemy Monica Colby, for one. Played by Wakeema Hollis, this character, who gives style a capital S, is a certified scene-stealer with her every appearance, ever-changing hairstyle, and look-at-me looks. I might add Sammy Jo, played by Venezuelan actor Rafael de la Fuente. He too is such a presence on the show as Fallon’s friend and former brother-in-law before he divorced Fallon’s brother Steven Carrington, played by Australian actor James Mackay, whose character, after the actor was fired, seems to have simply vanished without a trace.
And then there is the iconic Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan, alter-ego of the equally iconic Joan Collins, who played her first.
I didn’t watch Dynasty when I was young when I was out every night, but with COVID overstaying its unwelcome like Michael Michele’s Dominic Devauraux, another character worth watching on the show, at the Carrington Manor, I now have all the time in the world to sit through four seasons of the reboot, with each season running with 20 to 21 45-minute-ish episodes. A fifth season is in the offing, so I heard.
It goes without saying that I can’t say for sure which of Dynasty two-point-oh’s Alexis Carrington actors measures best against the original Joan Collins who made a mark in pop culture and fashion history as Alexis in the superexcessive, ultra-materialistic, homophobic, racist, politically incorrect, chi chi-worshipping, snoot-loving, we-just-wanna-have-fun-at-your-expense 1980s.
Desperate Housewives’ Nicollette Sheridan played the post-Collins role first in this remake. That’s her unfair advantage, but she must have played Alexis too well in the first two seasons she left Louboutins too big-ass to fill even for Elaine Hendrix, best known as Meredith Blake in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap.
Ah, Sheridan was pure evil in vamped up Saint-Laurent, as deadly as the 12-inch killer heels Heidi Klum wore on the McQueen fall 2009 runway.
Plus, at some point in Season 3, I found Hendrix playing Alexis, instead of being Alexis, but sometimes more like a middle-aged Meredith Blake still doing her Cruella de Vil stunt on Lindsay Lohan’s Annie and Hallie, replete with that signature bouncing-on-heels walk.
Sure, Elaine does bring something akin to human and sensitive out of Alexis, but I prefer the monster that Nicolette has so dressed to kill with diamonds and fur coats and Dom and Cristal, not Cristal Flores, not Cristal Jennings, Fallon’s two stepmothers, but Louis Roederer. I mean, who wants “human” and sensitive in a catfight?
Between Nicolette Sheridan and Elaine Hendrix, who is worthier of the character made iconic by Joan Collins in the superexcessive, ultra-materialistic, homophobic, racist, politically incorrect, chi chi-worshipping, snoot-loving 1980s?
So anyway, and the best Alexis Carrington is…
…no other than Liz Gillies! She does play the lead, Fallon, but in a plot twist, she plays Alexis too in at least two episodes. Slow clap!
The honey-washed, pink-hued Sekai Ichi apple does not fall far from the tree.
Dynasty also starts Grant Show as Blake Carrington, Adam Huber as Liam Ridley, Sam Underwood as Adam Carrington, Nathalie Kristie as Cristal Flores Carrington, Ana Brenda Contreras/Daniella Alonso as Cristal Jennings Carrington, Alan Dale as Joseph Anders, Robert Christopher as Michael Culhane, Sam Adegoke as Jeff Colby, and Maddison Brown as Kirby Anders.