Apr 4, 2019
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?
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.
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.
Chris knows that white people often suffer from unconscious racism that allows them to congratulate themselves for just saying hello to a black person. He expects to spend the weekend hearing about black friends and becoming a spokesperson for the black condition. But he goes.
The black servants, Georgina and Walter, act like zombies, like Stepford Servants.
That weekend, the Armitages invite a lot of their wealthy white friends to a party, where they all but drool over Chris. They obviously want him -- physically. Is this a club for black fetishists?
Turns out to be much worse. Spoiler alert:
Rich white people are transferring their brains into young black bodies, so they can be younger, stronger, more talented, more athletic, more hung, better in bed, better at practically everything.
Aha! Black people have always suspected that white racism is rooted in jealousy.
Afterwards the old personality is still there, but stuck inside, unable to act. That's why all of the transferred people act like zombies.
Georgina and Walter actually have the brains of Grandma and Grandpa Armitage in them.
Wait -- they wanted black bodies just so they could become servants?
Sometimes they kidnap the bodies they need, and sometimes Rose procures them by dating them and inviting them up "for the weekend."
Chris is next! Both Jeremy and Jim Hudson (Stephen Root), a blind art dealer (rather a poor career choice) want him. A desperate escape attempt follows, with everyone in hot pursuit, getting offed by Chris as he struggles to Get Out!
Beefcake: Not much.
Rose's previous conquests include 14 men and a woman (if each wooing takes about six months, that's a lot of work for someone of her age).
Chris calls his comic-relief buddy, Rod (comedian Lil Rel Howery), who suspects that something nefarious is going on. Remember Jeffrey Dahmer? Some black dudes went to his house, thinking "I'm just gonna suck some dick, maybe jiggle some balls," and they got decapitated.
Gay subtexts: Where to begin? Every white man in the movie is arguably gay, leering at Chris, commenting on his attractiveness. One assumes that they desire Chris's body. Only later do we discover that they want to live in it.
Plus Chris and Rod work together to solve the mystery. In the last, scene, Rod saves Chris, and they drive off into the sunset together, subverting the trope of male-female fade-out kiss.
Apr 2, 2019
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.
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:
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.
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.
See also: Riverdale, Season 3
Apr 1, 2019
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).
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.
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).
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.