I posted a piece on Associated Content that I thought I’d share here…Like a gigantic elm, I’m branching out kids – I’m branching out!
You can read all about how handy I am (not!), hear about how I developed Stigmata a few weeks ago, and see how I will take absolutely any opportunity that I can get to namedrop the greatest television show ever made:
Before you snicker or for those of you who were raised by animals that didn’t let you watch Dynasty when you were younger (No judgements, it’s just a statement!) look at the proof:
Exhibit A: Pamela Sue Martin played Fallon! That Nancy Drew certainly made me a Hardy Boy if you know what I mean. As a young teen I had raging hormones, the lithe muscle tone and awkwardness of a newborn giraffe, and a squeaky high-pitched voice. Well, who am I kidding? My voice is still that way. Her seductive eyes and lusty voice really showed me the impact TV can have…She left the show and was replaced by Emma Samms (Who was also hot which seemed to really help me through the transition!) That was dificult, but it taught me about depression and loss, and gave me a new-found appreciation for Heather Locklear. Heather was always on the show, but she really burned brighter when PSM left me…
Exhibit B) The many valuable everyday life lessons that I learned. Seriously, do you know why I don’t light candles? Hello – Season Six Cliff-hanger when crazy Claudia Blaisdel was all torn up about her well running dry (no pun intended – her oil well really did run dry.) In her devastating depression, she filled her hotel room at La Mirage with lit candles and promptly burned that mother to the ground! Also, I learned about the danger of horses – look at what happened when Krystle got dragged by that horse in Season two and lost her baby… And never tell your siblings anything incriminating! Remember when Caress got out of that prison in Caracas and tried to publish a tell-all book about Alexis? Or Ben coming back after all of those years trying to pin their mother’s death on Blake? Siblings should be blackmailed, not blackmailing you!
Exhibit C) Of the many, many, many lessons that I learned from devouring episodes of Dynasty, the most valuable was this: Life will Screw with you! Picture a 12 year old lad in May of 1985 wishing he had the power to fast forward through the next three months. Not to get back to school and not to get to my birthday quicker; I desperately needed it to be September 25, 1985. I remember it like it was yesterday because that’s when the premiere of Dynasty Season 6 was airing. Typically, you’d watch a show and when you got to the end of the season in May you knew that no matter what happened or what they went through – it would really all be OK in September. They’d work it out and call off the divorce, the baby would get out of the well, he’d still be choking her – but he hadn’t killed her, or like Nelly said it was all just a dream (Don’t even get me started about Dallas. I loved it as much as the next pre-teen boy, but it certainly was no Dynasty!) No, that summer I learned what anticipation and anxiety really were which probably laid the foundation for the neurotic mess that I have become in later years.
When those revolutionaries stormed Prince Michael and Amanda’s wedding that dark night in May, those guns went a blazing and I was screaming louder than Lady Ashley for someone to cover Krystle. I could take something happening to anyone else, but not to her. If Dominique got shot, OK. If it was Steven, I could probably get through it; but not my fragile little, chocolate covered raisin, Krystle. I knew Sammy Jo was safely back at home, Fallon was presumed dead with amnesia in Los Angeles, and in my soul I just knew nothing could happened to Alexis; but Krystle was in the thick of it all. I needed that summer to be over and it just crawled by like a snail in a garden.
To make it worse, Off-screen Joan Collins (who played Alexis) threatened to leave the show over the summer while they were negotiating with her because she wanted more money and and I just couldn’t take it. She was worth every penny she asked for and then some, but if Alexis died, I wasn’t only worried about me. I just didn’t see how Dex could make it through that and what would happen to Colbyco or those South China Sea Oil leases? It was too much for me to process, yet I could talk or think about little else. It really taught me that when someone you love is hurt or in danger, you can’t think of anything else and you’d do absolutely anything for them if you could. That was me in my depression because my beloved Carrington family was covered in blood on the floor of that Moldavian chapel.
September finally arrived and there was a distinct spring in my step again, but it was very short lived. My dreams were then pounced upon and life was very cruel to me; even crueler than giving me the genetic makeup of a shorter Dom Deluise. My dear innocent soul was thrashed in an instant – quicker than when that old lady shit on the floor after she tripped over her IV cord in Good Samaritan Hospital. And just like her, I was a real mess and needed a nurse.
As a young man, I didn’t ask for much. Sure, it would have been nice if I had some friends that weren’t imaginary or stuffed, but I always had the Carringtons to get me through. I could count on them and they could always count on me. At least until September 25, 1985 when a little bitch named Hurricane Gloria came rolling into my life. As the power went out, we were playing Manhunt in the pitch black house and it was great – I didn’t give it a second thought. Who cared that we had no power – it would surely come back on tomorrow, right? Little did I know that we would be without power for days – forcing me to miss the most important day of my life thus far: The season premiere of Dynasty. Do not roll your eyes – we didn’t have TiVo back then! They didn’t repeat those shows! If you missed it, it was gone forever…No Hulu, No ITunes, No renting the season on DVD!
I was a wreck. I was throwing myself to the floor and screaming and carrying on with that scrunched up, snot dripping, and ugly crying like Halle Berry when she won the Oscar for Monster’s Ball. She might be hot, but she was still a real mess.
I kept begging and telling my mother that if she really loved me, she would find a way for me to see it but she kept telling me that if I loved her I would get out of her face and stop crying. I kept thinking that she would snap to her senses and get her priorities straight, but it was to no avail. I was left to my fester in my pain like a deer shot in the woods. No one cared and even my sister Marlene wasn’t as fazed by this disaster as she should have been. Obviously, none of them seemed to grasp just how dire the situation was. Needless to say I missed the episode…
(It still hurts to talk about it, so give me a second…)
If that summer seemed like an eternity, imagine how it felt waiting ANOTHER week to see the recap and the follow-up episode. I read in the paper that Krystle was OK (Thank God) but Alexis was missing, and I couldn’t sleep or eat…I needed to know. Finally, next week’s episode came on and we had found out that Alexis was OK too, (Phewww) but I always felt that I let them down just a little bit. Sure, I guess it couldn’t be helped, but I still felt like if the roles were reversed and I had been shot up in a wedding massacre by revolutionaries in a foreign country – Krystle would have found a way to make sure I was OK. Such is the cross I bear.
As I said earlier, they didn’t rerun the episodes back then and I had tried to forget and move on, but I always thought about it and wondered what if…until one day something happened that made me believe in miracles again: EBAY. By some random act of luck – I found a woman selling complete seasons of Dynasty on EBay and I ordered it immediately and paid extra for expedited shipping. I tried not to get myself too worked up and just play it cool, but when that brown box arrived at my front door, I almost dry humped the UPS guy holding it! I was bouncing around like a little girl with a jump rope. I signed for it as fast as I could, thanked him, and ran inside. I furiously ripped that box open as if there was a bomb inside, put the tape into the VCR, and pressed Play.
Then I heard it: that old familiar theme song came on and my heart started racing…All the emotion came rushing back and I just knew there was good in the world again. I watched through the credits and it felt like I was looking back at an old photo album. When I tell you that I sat back in my papasan chair transfixed and sporadically pausing to explain to my dog Smokey who was who and what he had missed. (He was raised right, but he wasn’t even alive when Dynasty was on so he had an excuse for never having seen it.) As I sat there watching, I was transported back in time and the tears just started rolling down my face. As my wife will tell you, I am not an emotional person and am more prone to sarcasm than actual emotion, but a wave came rushing through me like never before: it was one of the best days of my life.
The downside of getting all the episodes on EBay was that I once again got sucked into their world all over again and was staying up until four AM watching. I had seen all the episodes and remembered like it was yesterday, but there were no commercials and I just couldn’t stop. I found myself calling in sick and staying home to watch…I was like a coke-whore: I needed my fix and I couldn’t get enough. My wife finally had enough with me consumed by it and said “It’s me or Dynasty” and so I stopped watching it to make her happy. Or at least, that’s what I told her. Don’t tell her, but I was already through the last Season and the Reunion Movie by the time she was fed up…
As a side note: I was told that I was too young to be watching Dynasty by my elementary school teacher when she heard me call someone a Bitch and asked where I had heard that bad word. I told her that it obviously wasn’t a curse if they were allowed to say it on Dynasty and you can just picture my mother unamused at that little nugget. If I was too young for it, then Marlene who is three years younger than me, certainly was too. Her and I would sneak into my mother’s bedroom and turn on the TV with the sound so low that you literally had to put your ear and face right up against the screen to hear anything. Every time Krystle and Alexis fought, you felt every slap. It’s no wonder my eyesight is so poor now – but it was worth it. Marlene would be standing in back of me holding a towel up around the back of us to keep the light of the TV from creeping out under the door and into the hallway which might give us away. I would have to repeat most things to her because she couldn’t hear a word standing behind me with the towel. Sometimes with great joy comes sacrifice. Or at least that’s what I told her to get her to hold the towel. Oh the good old days….
So go and check out my post and let me know what you think about it – Like the old saying goes “What’s the (Stig) mata with you?”