Dynasty: Reviewers putting the boot into Netflix's reimagining
The return of Dynasty has not been greeted with great enthusiasm.
While still focusing on the misadventures of the wealthy Carrington family, Netflix's reboot of the much-loved 1980s soap has updated several factors, including shifting the action from Denver to Atlanta, making the cast more diverse and, most controversially, changing the character of Sammy Jo from a woman to a gay man. The cast includes Melrose Place's Grant Show, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll's Elizabeth Gillies, The Vampire Diaries' Nathalie Kelley and Dunedin-born actor Alan Dale.
Set to debut in New Zealand this evening, reviews so far have been mixed at best.
Writing for The Washington Post, Hank Steuver opined that "even though there's an abundance of gilt and Gulfstreams these days, the sizzle is nowhere near the same". It was a sentiment echoed by The Hollywood Reporter's Dan Fienberg who thought that, despite the nods of 2017 society, "what it can't seem to effectively update is the risqué rush that helped Dynasty and shows of its ilk thrive".
Salon's Melanie McFarland offered a more detailed explanation of its faults. "Its downfall is a consistent failure to go far enough with drama and camp. The cast isn't taking the story too seriously, that much is obvious. But it's also plain to see that they want us to know that they're deadly serious about doing justice to the original. They shouldn't be."
Variety's Maureen Ryan agreed, saying, "this Dynasty's seriousness of intent is not balanced by enough wit and canny character development, nor is it offset by consistent injections of flair or fabulousness. The whole enterprise reeks of mere adequacy – and darling, the Carringtons deserve more".
Of the few critics who gave it more than a passing grade, Newsday's Verne Gay perhaps summed up the overall ambivalence towards the project best. "Updated, sharply written, socially conscious, this new version wants to improve on the original and often does. But what's missing is a compelling reason for a reboot in the first place."