TV Critic’s Corner

‘Dynasty’ shows its age in CW reboot

Elizabeth Gillies (left) and Nathalie Kelley in “Dynasty.”
Elizabeth Gillies (left) and Nathalie Kelley in “Dynasty.”Mark Hill/The CW

I haven’t heard anyone calling for a reboot of “Dynasty,” the 1980s shoulder-pad epic about rich families set amid the gold-plated décor so adored at Trump tower. But here it is, with the Carringtons and the Colbys up to their old tricks beginning Wednesday night at 9 on the CW. The network is hoping there’s still life in the old brand name yet, and “Gossip Girl” and “The O.C.” producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are on board to pep things up.

There are a few updates, to mark some of the cultural shifts of the past few decades. This time around the Colbys are black, and the new wife of Blake Carrington (Grant Show) is a Latina named Cristal (Nathalie Kelly). Is Cristal a gold-digger? Blake’s mean-girl daughter, Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies), certainly thinks so, and within the first half-hour of the premiere the two have engaged in a ferocious wrestling match. Fallon versus Cristal appears to be the show’s central battle; no word yet of an Alexis character — played in the original by Joan Collins.


Blake’s son, Steven (James Mackay), is still gay, but his sexual orientation is not a problem with his father. This time around, the rift between them has more to do with Steven’s rabid environmentalism. Careful Steven; in the reboot, Sammy Jo (Rafael de la Fuente) is a gay hustler who has set his sights on you.

I wasn’t impressed by the premiere, which, despite its more sexually explicit tone, is fairly bland. The script strains to make it all relevant, referencing other current dynasties including the Kardashians and the Trumps, but the whole
enterprise nonetheless feels dated.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.