Dynasty Season 3: Streaming wars collateral damage?

2020 is set to mark a new era and challenge for Netflix as more Fortune 500 companies try to carve a piece of the market they dominate.   From Disney to Apple, HBO, YouTube Red and Amazon Prime are throwing down their gauntlets. Unlike cable television, market research says most of us are open to having 3 to 5 subscription services when it comes to streaming TV and current subscribers could be seeing more of these delays that could see more of our favorite shows taken off the fast track.

Operating two years longer than YouTube Red, Netflix had an edge securing exclusive international distribution rights to programs for Warner Bros and CBS among others.   It opened up new territories for shows like Riverdale, The Flash, Arrow and Supernatural.  It complemented the viewing experience with its own original films and series luring small and silverscreen stars into major production projects.  It struck a balance of locally produced programs through its network – notably Spain, Russia, Germany, Korea successfully overcoming language barriers with its premium and multi-audio dubbed content.  It breathed new life into forgotten films and continued the stories by rebooting many movies and series that free to air networks shelved – Full House, Breaking Bad, Masters of the Universe.

Why hasn’t Dynasty Season 3 aired on Australian screens yet?

In anticipation of these new players entering the market, previous distribution deals that dictates the curation and availability of programs of Netflix may not be renewed, are on hold or with terms altered like in the case of Dynasty.    Dynasty normally screens internationally a day after it airs in the U.S.  The impact on licensing and distribution agreements affect audiences in up to 188 countries in these international territories and the abscence of Season 3 on the Netflix line up last October was a surprise even to Dynasty cast members who addressed the issue on social media.   Unlike Season 1 and 2, the third season will be released in July this year, just after the season finale airs in the U.S. all in one go.

This could be the start of many changes that affect the fast track viewing and exclusive experience that Netflix is known for.   One consolation though is that despite changing distribution agreements, viewers are promised that shows already on-air with Netflix will run their course and not be dropped from the current program lineup.   However when it comes to new shows from the same U.S. network – Batman, Riverdale spin-off Katy Keen for example won’t necessarily end up on Netflix.


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Season 3 – The first 8 episodes:

The mid season finale of Dynasty season 3 went to air in the first week of December in the U.S.   The first 8 episodes offer the camp and quick wit of the dysfunctional yet endearing Carrington family maintaining its spark despite an unstable casting roster.

Questions audiences have been waiting for at the end of the last season were finally answered.   Season 2 ended with two bodies being discovered in the Carrington estate lake, Liam’s lifeless body floating in a pool, Jeff staging his own death, Sammy Jo acquiring a new hotel and taking Anders with him, Michael arrested by the FBI and Fallon selling her publishing company to Kirby for $1.

One of the highlights so far in the new season is a musical episode featuring Blake, Adam, Sammy Jo, Crystal and Fallon busting out some tunes after a gas leak at the estate leads to a series of hallucinations.   Admittedly, the first few seconds of the surprise number which took place during a confrontational scene between the two rival sublings was a little cringe sending flashbacks of the strange Wizard of Oz episode last season but each number surprisingly helped layer the story while adding to the show’s sense of humour. Scene stealers of episode were the father and son team with their Tears for Fears rendition of Everybody wants to rule the world.  Yes it really IS the cast singing!

Third time’s a charm:

James McKay (Steven Carrington) left in the second season, Nathalie Kelley (Krystle Carrington) left after the first and there’s been a revolving door of casting changes to core members of the Carrington clan ever since.  Alexis and Krystle / Crystal will be recast for a third time.

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Nicolette Sheridan’s departure came quite suddenly with a strange impromptu recast last season. Elaine Hendrix most known for her role in Parent Trap steps into the role in the final moments during Blake’s court hearing and is introduced to the jury as Alexis Carrington (wait for it) Colby!   Dominique is mortified and we have to wait until January 17 to find what the effect of Alexis’ testimony will do to Anders’ testimony who was offered immunity moments before perjuring himself and confessing to the crime that Blake was accused of!   It’s hard to tell what Hendrix’ take will be on this third version of Alexis having just one line during the mid season finale in episode 8.

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Netflix viewers last saw Daniella Alonso in Season 1 of Animal Kingdom after Smurf ordered her execution.   

There’s a certain toughness Daniella has brought to Cristal’s character which we are seeing more using her family connections to make some serious manouevres of blackmail to help Blake’s court trial.

She’s also now on Adam’s list of people he likes to torture and scheme against this season and finally walks down the aisle with Blake after last season’s nuptials were interrupted by Fallon and the two divers who found dead bodies in the lake.

Jeff and Monica have a secret half-sister:

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We learn more about Dominique Colby (Michael Michele) during the first eight episodes as we are let in to more of those mysterious phone calls surrounding her secret life in New York.   It’s hard to tell whether the connection she’s making with Jeff and Monica is genuine and we discover the cocktail mixologist hired during the opening of Sammy Jo’s hotel, La Mirage is Dominique’s step daughter who she raised after her father left them.  Apparently her return to Atlantic City was to get Vanessa a residency at Club Colby and have her music streamed through Jeff’s online music platform.  Long time Aaron Spelling fans will remember Michele from the shortlived post Melrose Place soapy, Central Park West.

Adam goes blind:

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The highlight of the season is the musical episode that plays out as a result of a gas leak.   The resulting explosion during the Carrington’s wine label launch party, Adam goes blind for about three and a half episodes.  Sam Underwood plays the Cruel Intentions fuelled sibling rivalry well against Fallon with a series of confrontations full of great one-liners, an altercation involving a cake.  After Fallon tricks him into believing Blake slept with his new lady friend, he burns down the wine vineyard.  It was a relief they didn’t overplay the faking after he regained his sight.  Underwood’s most memorable role was as Zach in Season 8 of Dexter.

Building a hotel empire, new love on the horizon?

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Even though we are wondering how he still has a place at the Carrington dinner table with Cristal dead and ex-husband Steven seen only in one flashback this season, Sammy Jo (Rafael de la Fuente) is more of a Carrington after so many casting changes and shakeups these past three seasons.   After buying a hotel with his divorce settlement last season, they find a secret room in the building after its revealed the building was designed by a famous artist.  The Historical Alliance want the building to be listed as a heritage site and the main source of conflict for Sammy Jo so far is that the artist who gets a plaque on the wall of his property was an advocate of gay conversion therapy.  Yawn.  A glimmer of hope after opposites attract with a PR consultant he brings on board to manage the crisis.

Fallon shoots someone in the buttocks:

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Sigh of relief as we learn in the season opener that Liam did survive Adam’s attack and didn’t drown at all thanks to one of the Carrington staff members saving the day.  She’ll spend the first few episodes sparring with Liam’s ex “Trashley” whom he thinks is still his girlfriend after amnesia erases all memories of his relationship with Fallon.  Funny sparring moments between Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and Liam’s mother, Laura before he inconveniently recalls everything after Fallon decides to move on and start things up with her new lawyer, Evan.  In between the mess of her personal life, she schemes against Kirby who still refuses to sell Femperial back to her before accidentally shooting someone in the ass during a Turkey hunting trip.

Jeff stages his own death but no one notices:

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For the most part of the Season so far, Jeff (Sam Adegoke) has been relegated to the backburner as the focus of the Colby story centres around Dominique.

At this point it’s hard to believe he is the strong African-African ruthless business man he is suppose to be after he disappears to Europe and drops in and out through the season for a family dinner, some conversations with Dominique and Monica and some trash talk with Adam and Blake.

He does get his moment in the finale as it’s revealed he married Alexis while he was away.

Blake on trial for murder:

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Bribing staff to arrange for Porterhouse steaks to be served in the prison dining hall, paying his cell mate to stab him so the judge agrees to let him out on bail and under house arrest, rebuilding the Carrington empire with his new wine vineyard, marrying Krystle in prison, witness tampering, refereeing his children at odds with one another – all in a day’s work for this super billionaire.

Grant Show‘s singing in episode 4 was a surprise must watch.

It looked like he was going to be acquitted until Alexis entered the courtroom at the end of the mid season finale.

The rest of Season 3 recommences on US screens on 17 January and at time of writing the scheduled premiere on Netflix Australia later in July this year causing an extra long break in seasons for viewers this year.   Season 1 and Season 2 are still available to stream.

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Photography:
Elaine Hendrix (Alexis Carrington), Michael Michele (Dominique Carrington) / S. Bukley
Sam Underwood (Adam Carrington) / Feature Flash Photo Agency
Adam Huber (Liam Ridley), Rafael De Fuente (Sammy Jo Carrington), Daniella Alonso (Crystal Carrington) / Kathy Hutchins
Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon Carrington) / Jaguar PS
Sam Adegoke (Jeff Colby) / Jamie Lamor Thompson
Grant Show (Blake Carrington) / Tinseltown

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