Snow days and ‘Dynasty’

By: Joe Weaver - Contributing columnist

A lot of us in my part of the state got hammered by a winter storm last week. This part of the country is unaccustomed to ice and snow and because of this, I got a few days off. Who wouldn’t take a few days off? I wound up with Thursday and Friday off, and since I had the weekend scheduled off, I was rewarded with four days off with the family. In the house. Unable to go anywhere.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really enjoy sitting around doing nothing. I need to be doing something pretty much all of the time. My wife told me this was fate and life was telling me I had to slow down and actually take a few days to sit in my recliner and do nothing.

I watched movies in the morning. In the afternoons, my wife and I binge watched old television shows on Netflix and Amazon. I would like to say we watched things of educational, social and intellectual importance, but I would be lying more than a politician looking for votes. My wife and I got our snacks and hit the couch. I asked her if she had seen this show and that and she said she had not. She was too young when they were broadcast originally and her parents did not allow her to watch them. Challenge accepted.

This is the tale of how my wife got hooked on — well, no, actually obsessed with — “Dynasty.” I am not talking about the current reboot. I am talking about the lurid, obnoxious, cliched and hilariously shoulder-padded nighttime soap opera classic. We were awash in diamonds and champagne and whisked away to a time that never really existed. I was old enough in the -80s to remember them and I do not recall them being that decadent. At least for me they weren’t.

Within three episodes, my wife was sucked in to the backstabbing, lying, scandal, adultery and such that enthralled audiences more than 30 years ago. She would ask me which character would do what when they found about this person and that person. She was nervous when one character would have to confess something to his father, knowing darn well that the father would not take it very well. She began to guess, sometimes accurately, the fates that would become some characters. She liked one character and not another and would loudly exclaim her thoughts about them to the television as if they could hear her.

These people were not her friends — not even real people — but on these snow days, we spent more time with the Carrington and Colby families than with anyone else. I had not seen the show in over 30 years and I don’t recall seeing any of the last few seasons. I know a lot of the readers of this column are of a, well, mature age and watched the show when it was originally on television. Take a moment and remember the shock and surprise you felt when you saw and heard some of the stuff coming from your television on Wednesday nights way back when.

What I find amusing about the show was it was peppered with dialogue that, even in our more permissive times, folks would find controversial. My wife was quite surprised that it was broadcast on television in a less-permissive time. It’s campy and ridiculous now, but in 1982, it was quite something. Escapist entertainment in high style for the era. We’ve spent more than a few nights watching. We usually can get three or so episodes in each night and we are working our way through the end of the second season right now. Imagine my delight when my wife reminded me that there were nine total seasons. I know what’s coming in later seasons and if my wife thinks it’s goofy now, she has another thing coming in a few more seasons.

Carringtons and Colbys aside, hysterical blindness and infidelity and catfights with wealthy women also aside, this has afforded us well-deserved downtime. This is time we have spent together, mutually enjoying something and having a good time that doesn’t cost anything. Above all, that’s what’s important. That, and whatever Cecil Colby is scheming against Blake Carrington.

Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.

Joe Weaver

Contributing columnist