In this groundbreaking and richly-sourced study, Jostein Gripsrud investigates the life and times of "Dynasty," how it was made, how it came to international television screens and how it was received by its audiences. Through his discussion of this ultimate soap, Gripsrud offers a critique of many central positions in media studies, including notions of "audience resistance" and the "sovereign" audience and its "freedom" in meaning-making, arguing against uncritical celebrations of the soap-opera genre in much contemporary media criticism.
From the operatic camp of Krystle and Alexis's fights or the Moldavian wedding massacre to its unprecedented gay sub-plot, "The Dynasty Years" follows every convoluted twist in the soap that achieved international success and heralded a profound transformation of European television. Combining insights from semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism, and classic and critical social theory, Gripsrud presents a theoretically informed and empirically grounded study challenging many of the current assumptions in the field of media studies.
"One of the most sensible books I have read about the meanings and demeaning of television ... a clear-headed analysis of the Dynasty phenomenon. Gripsrud's reflections on the static and wistful academic celebrations of American television are sorely needed.."
-Todd Gitlin, University of California, Berkeley
"Jostein Gripsrud's study of "Dynasty provides an original perspecitive on the processes and consequences of one of the main themes of our era -- the internationalization of popular culture.."
-Nick Browne, University of California, Los Angeles