By Kevin McDonough
"Dynasty" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) is back, and it is ridiculous. But is it fun?
Clearly aimed at the children of fans of the original, this "Dynasty" offers just one casting nod to the days when Aaron Spelling ruled the world. Grant Show ("Melrose Place") plays Blake Carrington. He seems decades younger than the character John Forsythe played as a platitudinizing stiff.
Show's Blake is a slightly louche 50-something reluctant to give up the reins of power, lest he lose his mojo. Or something. So he takes up with a feisty Latina, Cristal Flores (Nathalie Kelley), decades his junior. She's not the goody two-shoes Linda Evans portrayed. She's clearly got a past and visions for the future of Blake's energy company. And that doesn't sit well with Carrington's scheming daughter, Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies).
For reasons unknown, Carrington Enterprises has moved from Denver to Atlanta. Jeff (Sam Adegoke), the head of the rival Colby family, is conspicuously black. The naughty Sammy Jo (Rafael de La Fuente), the character who launched Heather Locklear's career, is now Cristal's gay nephew, who has a thing for Fallon's brother, Steven (James Mackay), who rebels against Blake by working for clean energy.
All that said, does the world really want another "Dynasty"?
TNT's "Dallas" reboot was a bit of a dud. Does anybody remember the CW's 2009 "Melrose Place" reboot? The characters on this "Dynasty" are self-aware enough to compare themselves to other notorious dynastic broods, from the Murdochs to the Kardashians and the Trumps. And that may be the show's undoing.
When "Dallas" and "Dynasty" ruled prime time in the 1980s, their celebration of excess and zircon aristocracy was a relatively recent development. This "new" "Dynasty" could not be more of the same. Who is going to be shocked by a cat fight between two women in designer gowns when it happens on "Real Housewives" repeats 50 times a week?
• Archie finds it hard to recover after witnessing the shooting of his dad - at Pop's diner, of all places - on the season two premiere of "Riverdale" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
• Morgan Freeman hosts "The Story of Us" (9 p.m., National Geographic, TV-14), a series of interviews and profiles that put the accent on our common humanity. First up, interviews that explore a universal thirst for freedom, including a man who escaped a North Korean slave labor camp, a member of Pussy Riot and a boy who escaped life as a would-be suicide bomber and learned to embrace his life as a woman when he first hid under a burqa.
• The psychological thriller "Chance," starring Hugh Laurie, begins streaming its second season on HULU.
TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
• Cookie recalls her time behind bars on "Empire" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• "Nature" (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) follows a fox in its habitat in Newfoundland.
• Bad community relations hamper the investigation of an immigrant's murder on "Chicago P.D." (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
• A pandemic looms on "Designated Survivor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
• "The Shannara Chronicles" (10 p.m., TV-14) moves to Spike. The first season aired on MTV.
• The cryptic thriller "Mr. Robot" (10 p.m., USA, TV-MA) enters a third season.
The 1987 celebration "The Puppetoon Movie" (10 p.m., TCM) salutes the creations of animator George Pal. "Hosted" by Gumby and Pokey, with guest appearances by the Pillsbury Doughboy and Speedy, the Alka-Seltzer mascot.
A pattern of police shootings on "The Blacklist" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14) * Beverly meddles on "The Goldbergs" (8 p.m., ABC) * Ray fibs on "Speechless" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) * A crisis at sea on "SEAL Team" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) * A gruesome mutilation case on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14) * Backup duty on "Star" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) * Assumptions on "Modern Family" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14) * Playing the buzzkill on "American Housewife" (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-14) * Murder by drone on "Criminal Minds" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
Robin Thede is on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" (11 p.m., Comedy Central, r) * A trip to Israel on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS, r)* Expect Andrew Garfield, Tracey Ullman and Wolf Parade on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Jimmy Fallon welcomes Margot Robbie, Stephen Moyer, Rachel Feinstein and Daveed Diggs on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Taran Killam, Japandroids and Joe Russo visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) * Josh Gad, Rachel Bloom, Michelle Dockery and Charlie Puth appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
© 2017, United Feature Syndicate