Dorian Lord: Chicken or Egg?



After listening to our One Life to Live 911 episode, longtime listener Gush900 sent us this clip of a cat-fight between Dynasty’s Alexis Carrington (Joan Collins) and Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) that you might enjoy. However, it was in the episode’s comments that several One Life to Live fans point out that Dorian (Robin Strasser) was "doing Dorian" long before Alexis Carrington came along and that it is Alexis who copied Dorian’s over-the-top divaliciousness, not Dorian who copied Alexis during the BE takeover storyline. I didn’t watch either show "back in the day" so I’ll let you all debate the topic.

Who copied who?

Dorian Lord: Chicken or Egg?

  • Alexis and Dorian are both unique and nothing alike. (43%, 57 Votes)
  • Dorian totally ripped off Alexis during the BE takeover. (17%, 22 Votes)
  • Alexis is totally a rip-off of Dorian. (40%, 54 Votes)

Total Voters: 133

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13 Responses

  1. Profile photo of ABCJunky73
    ABCJunky73

    Alexis ripped off Dorian! Dorian had was the queen of bitch before Alexis! BUT! BUT! That was a DAHM GOOD Catfight!! They don’t do them like this anymore! I love a good Dynasty Bitchfight!!!

    ABCJunky

    ***”You Only Have One Life To Live!”***

  2. Profile photo of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    Strasser’s Dorian is absolutely an original, imo, and I don’t think she has ever ripped off Alexis, certainly not during the BE takeover. Dorian had been doing that kind of one-upmanship, while dressed fabulously in sometimes vaguely 80s fashions, since, well, before there WERE the 80s or Alexis Carrington.

    I don’t think Alexis is a TOTAL rip-off of Dorian. Joan Collins brought her own kind of sass to that role for sure. But Dorian certainly is THE original diva of the two and she certainly has never been an imitation of Alexis, imo.

  3. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    When it comes to Dorian vs Alexis, both sides are only partailly right in the who predated whom debate.

    Dorian predates Alexis by about a decade or more, but the character was always presented as a scheming social climbing villainess who was obsessed with jealousy over Viki and most notable for her killing of her husband at the time, Victor Lord, Viki’s father. However, while Dorianw as a villianess, she was hardly the over the top superbitch.

    In the 80’s Dynasty premiered as ABC’s answer to CBS’ megahit Dallas and it was Alexis who was positioned as the over the top female version of mega-villain JR Ewing. Alexis was an immediate hit with viewers, but it was Alexis who was a copy of a hit character (JR), she just wasn’t a copy of Dorian.

    Many shows on prime time and daytime sought to have their own version of Alexis, either bringing in new characters or redefining existing ones. Raven Alexander was Edge of Night’s Alexis; Erica Kane was "amped up" on All My Children; Guiding Light had India von Halkien; Lucinda Walsh held the reins at As the World Turns; Abby Cunningham was the titleholder on Knot’s Landing; Doreen Marshall was Generations’ version; Helena Cassadine filled the slot at General Hospital; Constance Weldon filled the slot on Flamingo Road, and so on and so on. This includes Iris Carrington on Texas, who was redefined on that show into a bit of an Alexis clone after the character transitioned from Another World. ABC & Dynasty even copied themselves, with "the black Alexis" in Dominique Deveraux and The Colby’s "Sable." No matter where you looked in primetime or daytime, a variation of Alexis existed (some nicer, some meaner, some more complex than others) during the Dallas/Dynasty ratings wars which lasted for a better part of the decade.

    To that end, OLTL took the already villainess but more subtle Dorian and transformed her in the 80’s as the show’s version of Alexis to fit the "Alexis fever" that had gripped prime time and daytime.

  4. Profile photo of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    Nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty and their villains would never have existed without the daytime soaps and their outrageous plots and characters. I disagree that Dorian was “transformed” into an Alexis Carrington clone. She was a viper in the 70s before Strasser ever played her and Alexis was ever twinkle in Aaron Spelling’s eye. Dorian is an ORIGINAL soap villainess and businesswoman, marrying bastages like Victor Lord, trying to knock over her female rivals like Viki, and owning businesses like the Banner–and even getting a medical degree to boot (top that Alexis!). The clothes got brighter and the hairdos bigger in the 80s because it was the 80s, but characters like Alexis and even J.R. learned their book of conniving tricks from soap villains like Dorian and others that came BEFORE them, in both name and substance. That’s JMHO on it….:-)

  5. Profile photo of elbugten
    elbugten

    I never watched Dynasty (we didn’t get ABC where I lived in the boondocks growing up) and I wasn’t watching OLTL back then but IMO BOTH characters are actually taken from Robin Strasser’s original soap role, AW’s Rachel Davis Cory. Rachel as Robin played her was a schemer and would do anything to get her man, Steve Frame, who happened to be in love with Alice. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and soon Erica Kane came along, as well as all the others J. Bernard Jones mentioned. Yet, all these grand scheming dames can tip their Chanel hats to the Diva Goddess herself, Miz Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the WInd who way back in 1939 had men wrapped around her finger and knew how to make an entrance!

    In a nutshell, my answer is Scarlett came first, followed by Rachel, Erica, Dorian, Alexis and Dorian-as-Alexis! :)

  6. Profile photo of daisyclover1938
    daisyclover1938

    Doesn’t really matter to me. They both kick *ss :) Though Alexis is probably my favorite soap b*tch. And I used to love her fights with Krystal!

    Thanks for the clip Luke, it brought back a lot of memories! :)

  7. Profile photo of Jon
    Jon

    Dorian may have come first but ALEXIS is top bitch! Every bitch character since 1981 has been compared to her and found lacking! Joan Collins had IT!!!!

  8. Profile photo of lilyredd
    lilyredd

    I watched both Dorian and Alexis and loved them both. However,it has been Robin Strasser’s funny, outrageous, and heartbreakingly intense Dorian that has kept me tuned into One Life To live since the 80s. She has taken great material and made it better; taken bad material and made it work.

  9. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    It would be incorrect to interpret my comments as saying that the prime time soaps of the 80’s didn’t learn many of their tricks from daytime. How far could we take that argument back? No Dallas without Giant. No Knots Landing without Peyton Place? No television Guiding Light without…radio Guiding Light? That’s an exercise in endless regression. I never made that assertion daytime didn’t set many of the standards for prime time soaps, past and present. Of course, prime time learned a lot of its tricks from daytime, but that’s not the argument about Alexis v. Dorian at play here.

    While Dorian certainly was OLTL’s major female villainess long before Alexis hit the scene, she was not the completely “over the top” Normal Miller-esque big shoulder padded, glitzy scenery chewer that was Alexis’ hallmark in the 80’s when practically EVERY daytime or prime time soap copied some aspect of Dynasty or Dallas, including the various Alexis clones. Prior to the 80’s Dorian was always a force to be reckoned, but she wasn’t “Alexified” either. Nancy Pinkerton did not play Alexis that way nor did Claire Malis.

    The 1980’s version of Dorian that Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini celebrate — most famously during the Buchanan Enterprises takevover — is the one that is most well known to current audiences and was a clear homage to the “Alexified” characterization of Dorian:

    Check out this clip of Dorian’s takeover of BE last year:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ic5zi6fcJo&fmt=18

    and compare to Alexis’ courtroom testimony during her first appearance on Dynasty:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJwKCzlcKDI

    The fact that Dorian was amped up in the 80’s to be more Alexis-like is not a slam on the character of Dorian nor does it place Alexis on a higher level than the character in any way.

    Every daytime soap and prime time sudser wanted its own version of Alexis. Every mainstream and soap magazine used to make reference to “The Alexis Carrington” of this or that show. It is the nature of the beast that is television to copy itself when something or some character is successful. Ever heard of CSI or Law & Order? Richard Channing was Falcon Crest’s answer to JR Ewing. Flying High was “Charlie’s Angels with stewardesses.” There was LA Law in a tv station, WIOU. Ed O’Neill played the NYPD Blue Sipowicz character on a show called Big Apple on CBS. NBC tried to recreate the entire cast of Friends multiple times, most dismally with a remake of the BBC’s Coupling. And it is not lost on anyone that General Hospital virtually turned Sonny Corinthos into Tony Soprano-Lite. Even the wholesale introduction of the Buchanans as a family on OLTL (long after Clint’s arrival) was roughly analogous to the Ewings and in keeping with the nation’s obsession over all things country, complete with Asa as Jock and Bo as Bobby. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but on television it’s a long and time honored way of doing business.

    Therefore, it should come as no shock to anyone that ABC did the same thing back in the 80’s with Dorian, the vestiges of which live to this day.

    Of course, today’s Dorian is a far more complex creature, a canny mixture of 70’s Dorian (who, as ruthless as she was at the time, was also caring for her mentally ill sis, Melinda), 80’s Dorian (the over the top Alexis-style/BE takeover barracuda) and 90’s Dorian (fierce matriarch and protector of the Cramer women). This is a good thing.

    But, if this argument is going to persist about who predated whom and limit it to daytime televison, then it is Lisa Miller Hughes Eldridge Shea Coleman McColl Mitchell Grimaldi on As the World Turns who is widely credited as the first true bad girl superstar of daytime, who was so popular she even got a short-lived PRIME TIME spinoff, Our Private World. Neither Alexis NOR Dorian can make that claim.

    Before Dorian, Alexis, Raven, Rachel, Iris, Erica and all the rest, there was Lisa.

  10. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    A TOAST TO YOU FALCON CREST AND LONG MAY YOU LIVE!-Angela Channing-Giddens

    I’M NOT SAYING WE’RE HAVING AN AFFAIR, AND I’M NOT SAYING WE’RE NOT!.I AM SAYING, I CAN HAVE HIM ANYTIME I WANT! -Abby Fairgate-Giddens

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