Apr 4, 2019

Dynasty 2017: For Fans Only

Rebooting classic series is tricky.  You have a built-in audience of aging fans of the original, but after the initial nostalgia, they will get bored and leave -- unless you give them something to make the show stand in its own right.  After all, the original is still available on DVD, right?  And new fans want more than a retread of a show from dinosaur days.

Dynasty (1981-1989) was the quintessential 1980s show, a glitzy, trashy escape from the horrors of Reagan's America, about the scandals, schemes, backstabbing, and power-plays of a super-wealthy Denver family:  brutal patriarch Blake Carrington, his trophy-wife Krystal, his socialite ex-wife Alexis, and the scheming, catfighting, problem-of-the-week beset younger generation, notably Fallon (who falls in love with every man she sees) and Steven (who struggles with being gay...er, straight...er, gay...er..."confused").

It was all the rage in West Hollywood. There were Dynasty nights at the local bars. Drag queens would perform as Alexis and Krystal. We would bet on whether Steven was gay or straight in this episode.  But will a 2010's reboot work?

1.  The 2017 cast is much younger.  John Forsythe (the original Blake Carrington) was actually only five years older than Grant Show (left), and Joan Collins (the original Alexis) was younger than Nicollete Sheridan.  But we have gyms now, and nobody eats transfats, so the entire cast looks like twinks.

2. In the original, Fallon just went shopping and dated, leaving the business to the men. In 2017,she's a vice president of something or other, and is scheming to become CEO.  She still sleeps around, though.

3. In the original, Steven was closeted, conflicted, guilt-ridden, harrassed by his homophobic Dad, and constantly dating and marrying women (which was common on tv in the 1980s; audiences were rooting for the gay guy to "be cured").  In 2017, being gay is no problem.  Dad sets Steven (James Mackay, top photo) up on dates.  And Sammy Jo, one of the women Steven marries in the original, has become a guy (Rafael de la Fuente, left).

3. The cast is considerably more diverse.  Blake's competitor, Jeff Colby (Sam Adegoke) has become black. So has Michael Culhane (Robert Christopher Riley), the chauffeur Fallon is sleeping with. Trophy wife Crystal is Hispanic.

But is Dynasty 2017 worth a watch?  In a field overcrowded with soap operas about glitzy rich people, does anything make it stand out?

I don't think so.  Most of the fun is for fans of the original: "Look what they did with the Fallon character!  Look, Michael Culhane is black!   Look,Steven is not 'confused!"

Which is good for about an episode.  Then it gets boring. 

Then we pop in a DVD of the original and relive those golden days in West Hollywood when the drag queens all dressed as Alexis, and we bet on whether Steven was gay or straight this episode.

Apr 2, 2019

Eli Goree Keeps His Shirt On

Eli Goree was on Riverdale, briefly.  He had a total of three scenes in three episodes, and about a dozen lines. Most viewers didn't hear any of those lines, because they had fainted at the sight of his perfect face and breathtaking physique.  Nobody can get a glimpse of a Greek god and remain unfazed.

After I watched his scenes a dozen or so times, the initial shock of seeing perfection diminished, and I could pay attention to the plot.  After rushing to the IMDB to see if he has appeared in anything else.

Surprise: Some 26 credits.

 Eli grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  While attending Dalhousie University, he hosted The Big Black Rap Show on the campus radio station. He transferred to the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto, where he received his degree in Film and Television Acting.  Meanwhile he became a freelance journalist for Canada Now, hosted the Canadian teen talk show Street Cents, and started auditioning.

His most important roles are:

1. Da Kink in My Hair (2007-2009), a sitcom about Jamaican-Canadian women who run a hair salon, based on a play by Jamaican-Canadian queer playwright Trey Anthony. Eli played Malik.

2. Secrets of a Black Boy (2009) on stage.  Five friends meet in a Regents Park, Toronto recreation center to reveal their secrets.  Eli plays Jakes, whose secret is...wait for it...he's gay.

3. Pure Pwnage (2010), a mockumentary about a gamer. Eli had a six-episode run as Tyrel, a professional gamer who falls in love with a girl.

4. Race (2016), about Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics (even I know about that).   Eli played fellow athlete David Albritten, who was apparently straight.

5.Dead of Summer (2016 tv series), about "ancient evil" awakening at a summer camp in 1989.  Eli played Joel Goodson, who helps reveal the identity of the Tall Man.  The series features a trans character, Drew (Zelda Williams),who -- wait for it -- is not the killer.

6.  The 100 (2014-2017).  A space ship of teenagers try to settle on a desolate far-future Earth. Eli plays Wells Jaha, who is in love with Clarke (sorry, a girl) and appears to be at odds with every one of the male colonists. It has a gay male character.

I was disappointed to find no nude pictures, but then, if he's perfect beneath the belt, too, the effect might be overwhelming.  As it is, Eli rarely takes even his shirt off.  I guess he can't, or no one would be able to pay attention to ...um....to the...what was I talking about?

See also: Riverdale, Season 3

Apr 1, 2019

The Borg Twins, Kurt and Cody Wetherill

I've been watching Star Trek: Voyager.   Dreadful stuff.  A Star Fleet ship is zapped across the galaxy, 70,000 light years from home, and have to find their way back. They come across many species that are identical to humans in language, culture, and physiology, except for little things on their foreheads.

Earth today has far more cultural diversity than the galaxy as a whole.

I hate Seven of Nine, the most annoying of the endless "learning to be human"  characters.

But I sort of like Azan and Rebi (Cody and Kurt Wetherill), the twins who are rescued from the automaton Borgs wearing the male equivalent of Seven's bunny suit. They spend six episodes in 2000  learning to be human (that is, entering a school science fair and hearing ghost stories).

Cody and Kurt were born in Wyoming in 1986,  and then moved to Battle Ground, Washington.

They were originally planning to become tennis pros, but they got bit by the acting bug in 1998,and were soon cast as 12 year old Mitchel and Michael Loring in the pilot of Safe Harbor (1999). They did not make it into the series, as Aaron Spelling felt that there were already enough twins on tv.

Then came Voyager; small roles as Chet and Russell Lucre against Michael Angarano in The Brainiacs.com (2000); and Philip and Victor Kiriakis on a 2001 episode of Days of Our Lives.

And that's all.

But sometimes a short acting career is better than a long one; it gives you a chance to be a kid and a star.

They graduated from high school and majored in film studies at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. 

For their senior projects, Kurt wrote, edited, and produced Rock Bottom (2006), about a homeless man who meets a woman; and Cody wrote, edited, and produced Garden of Weedin' (2007), about a gardener.

Then they returned to Hollywood for some behind-the-scenes work, as production assistants, cinematographers, and so on: Meteor, Family Holiday, Be My Friend, and The Amazing Race (2006-2009).

Now they're back in Portland, where they own CinePrints, devoted to movie and tv posters.

Cody is on Facebook, but he mostly likes bands I've never heard of and may be married to a woman.

Or maybe they're gay.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...