I'd saved this comment from an anonymous user on the old Dynasty soapchat forum:
"Okay, I've been having PM exchanges with a mysterious site member, and we're in agreement that DYNASTY should have attempted (and perhaps thought it was achieving) a certain Camelot parallel.
In the States, the first twenty years after WW2 was a unique time --- the country was recovering from the war while having the benefit of the war not being fought on American soil (not counting Pearl Harbor). The '50s has been referred to as "The American Decade" and "The Height of the 20th Century" because of how the American Myth, though not initiated in the '50s, seemed to come to fruition at that time... The rise of the unions brought about the rise of the middle class, and so that 2.5 children/1.5 cars-in-the-garage goal became nearly universal. A 40 hour workweek for Dad (which paid for everything a 4.5 person family in the suburbs could need), Mom in the kitchen icing a cake, vacations with ridiculously oversized picnic baskets taken in ridiculously oversized automobiles which were likely to be painted in primary colors to Yosemite National Park (or, gasp!!, even Europe for those with a little more disposable cash) with an "instamatic" camera or an 8 mm home-movie camera in tow to capture it all on what appeared to be a ruddy version of downmarket Technicolor.
It was all very seductive. A fairy tale. But one hallmark of the fairy tale is the proverbial troll under the bridge --- and the troll here was that much of this picture-perfect image was a lie. (Think PEYTON PLACE, the movie).
The image was very seductive, but not only were society's inequities bubbling up and becoming more apparent (the civil rights movement was getting its footing, and some of those mothers really hated icing those cakes), the sleepy "optimism" which defined the entire era was overshadowed by The Bomb, a brand-new threat which created a collective sense of hysteria just under the surface of the period's "Father Knows Best" denial.
The result is that there is a kind of Doomed Paradise flavor to the '50s which can still be observed in some of the news footage and TV shows and films (especially the better ones) of the time, the Eisenhower era... Ever notice the curiously cozy, black-and-white terror of those monster-movies of the '50s (or a very early Elvis concert!) or the strangely heart-broken night scenes from movies like, say, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE among countless others?
It's like it's five minutes from midnight. New Young Love doomed eternally for some terribly poignant reason.
It infected everything.
Much of that atmosphere, upbeat and downbeat, poured well over into the Kennedy era of the early-'60s... only by then, some (but not all) of the superficiality was being peeled away.
After the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, and the JFK assassination 13 months later (which really was a huge deal at the time, haunting the culture for years afterwards, despite the cliche which time and excess media exploitation have rendered it today) and other events, everything changed... The first and second halves of the '60s are almost like two different decades --- the eleven or so years between the Vietnam war getting started for real and the resignation of President Nixon under the Watergate scandal and the fall of Saigon in 1975 (and all the lies the people were told and that were exposed in the interim) changed the culture profoundly. It left a melancholy, disillusioned residue upon the '70s which essentially defined that decade, a not-entirely-unappealling bittersweet aftertaste which was in turn wiped away with the neo-conservative wave of the early-'80s which saw Reagan and Thatcher rise to prominence...