With tongues firmly in cheek, Dynasty took a new direction for it's second season, with the emphasis on melodramatic fun. Nobody embodied this better than Joan Collins, who arrives in the very first scene.
This was the season that earned Dynasty its place as a tv legend. Taking the cues for the sometimes outrageous plots from the trashiest American daytime soaps, whilst presenting them in the lavish style of Hollywood in the 40s and 50s - complete with a rich orchestral score, sweeping entrances, beautiful sets, carefully chosen dialogue and beautiful costumes, courtesy of Nolan Miller. These all became trademarks of Dynasty.
To start, at least four people from the main season one cast have disappeared, unceremoniously.
In particular, this drastically changes the role of one character - Claudia, who is now part of the Carrington action, whilst going slowly insane (something the actress was clearly having fun with towards seasons end).
The characters of Blake and Fallon - for better or worse - are mellowed to a degree, which adds for more of a contrast with the "evil" character of Alexis.
Several other new characters are introduced. The most notable new face is Heather Locklear, as Krystle's niece, Sammy Jo, who wants a piece of the Carrington pie.
Sammy Jo adds a fun, youthful vibe to the show - reflected in the music during many of her scenes. She slides down the bannister - straight into a seething Alexis, and roller skates round the estate (Alexis at one point gives voice to the idea of putting little bombs on the wheels of her roller skates. The way this show is, it could have happened too!); Just count how many times Alexis narrows her eyes, whilst spitting out the words "that little tramp" with delicious vitriol. Alexis' biggest gripe with Krystle's niece is that Sammy Jo has designs on Steven (whose network-pleasing "de-gaying" understandably infuriated the actor portraying him - Al Corley - driving him from the show).
Alexis' revenge-motivated rise fuels much of this season. She's given wonderfully theatrical (almost Shakespearean) dialogue. On seeing her estranged daughter, Fallon, Alexis comments "I'm glad to see your father had your teeth fixed - -- if not your tongue!".
Probably the most despicable act Alexis ever committed happens early on this season (in the episode "Viva Las Vegas"). You'll know it when you see it!!
The good news is that it eventually leads to the first of Dynasty's outrageous catfights, between the ex-Mrs Carrington and the current Mrs Carrington. Look out for the burly stunt-doubles!
Other events include a birth, a car crash, a bomb, a wedding, several trips to the hospital a lavish party or two... well - you get the idea!
The show itself looks great, lovingly remastered. The menus are simple but attractive - AND there's a "Play All" option on each disc too! The 6 discs, are single sided, so there shouldn't be issues with jamming, or lack of quality that has plagued other tv shows on dvd.
The box is very good looking. A lovely job. The cardboard sleeve - like the first and third seasons - is glittery in places, and the thick clear clamshell case has the episode guide on reverse of the cover. It matches the other seasons beautifully.
My only gripes with this set are that there are no bonus features at all, and the disc holder inside the case is VERY fragile and easily broken (two of mine arrived damaged - I'm on my third copy!). These are the only reasons why I don't give it a 5 star rating - although goodness knows, the show itself deserves it!
THE LAST WORD
The celebrated second season of Dynasty delivers the goods. This is as good as it gets until Season Nine. Even if you didn't like Season One, I'd suggest checking this out.
It's beautiful trash. Just don't take it too seriously!