Take Me to the Pilots '17: The CW's 'Dynasty'

Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage's take on 'Dynasty' could stand to be trashier.
Mark Hill/The CW

Show: Dynasty (The CW)
The Pitch: "Dynasty"
Quick Response: The number of full original Dynasty episodes I've seen could be counted on one hand. I know a few character names and a couple iconic scenes and recurring tropes. I come to The CW's remake as a longtime fan of most things from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, but with few things I demand from the brand. In that light, I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed the show's sly humor, conveyed well through Elizabeth Gillies, James Mackay and Alan Dale, much more than I cared about anything soapy. Grant Show is effective within the limitations of wooden soap opera acting/expectations. Nathalie Kelley, unfortunately, is not, and her bickering and catfighting with Gillies in the pilot is essentially one-sided. Kelley's character is neither villain nor adversary, just pretty. Various other attractive supporting players are also initially flat. Tying the Carrington wealth into the modern energy economy has been reasonably well done. Tying the Carrington location into Atlanta has been more cumbersome, but at least references to the Braves and Buckhead exist. Isn't Dynasty supposed to be somewhat shocking or at least interestingly trashy? This is not. The little bit of catfighting feels like brand-service and doesn't even faze the characters involved, and most of the sexual trysts are pretty quaint. It's not that I was expecting anything hugely risqué on The CW, but Gossip Girl was much, much, much more effectively tawdry than this. In general, a pilot that's supposed to be about excess is plagued by a lack of visual flair or excess. A lot of that feels like it stems from a sensibility disconnect between frequent CW house director Brad Silberling and the material. If I'm coming away from a Dynasty pilot unimpressed by its opulence, something's off, right?
Desire to Watch Again: Middling. I'm curious, but as somebody who watched every episode of The OC, Chuck, Gossip Girl and even (or "especially") Hart of Dixie, I should probably be much more curious.

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