Rita Lakin Dynasty Season 7 writer speaks

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Tony, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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    What is odd, is that Rita Lakin previously worked with Esther Shapiro on Emerald Point NAS. She was a creative consultant for the last 7 episodes. She did not say a word about it on her biography.
     
  2. Majorfanofshow

    Majorfanofshow Soap Chat Member

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    How can you write a book and write for dynasty and not be Caress?!?! Everyone who writes a book must have it be a total tell all! Something Alexis would imprison caress over?!? Just spill spill spill!! That’s always best therapy according to many.
     
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  3. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    You remembered why I hated her so much!!!! :) Also I think she was a secret lush.
     
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  4. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I've heard this said before and it's a misperception. The Pollocks, whatever their titles each season, were the de facto show runners from Season 2 thru Season 8, and had essentially total end-of-the line control over the show and its stories (except for Aaron and the Shapiros, of course). People like Lakin and Heath and Marchetta were just brought in for additional idea duties, but were overruled and outranked by the Pollocks at every turn. Marchetta found the Pollocks disrespect for narrative logic a problem, and Paulsen told the Shapiros as he joined the show that he had no idea what the Pollocks were doing with the narrative and the Shapiros agreed with him (though Esther would never have said so publicly, always citing the Pollocks laughably as the "brilliant constructionists" they certainly weren't).

    Why was the work from the Pollocks in Season 2 so seemingly competent? Ed Ledding won't tell us.
     
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  5. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    They bought him off.

    Or maybe he's repressed all memories.
     
  6. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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    Actually, I have the bibles of four seasons (no pun intended lol) and for both seasons of "the Colbys" and people like Camille Marchetta were credited as sole authors. The name of The Pollocks appear only in the cover for season 3 (and I guess for seasons 2 and 4 but unfortunately I was not able to buy copies of them).

    I also own some material (story outlines, script outlines...) for seasons 5 and 6 and there were also written by Marchetta (with the occasional help of other writers) and Gould/Hamner. However, I do have some documents (revisions, recommendations, meeting notes) with the comments of the Pollocks (and sometimes from Esther but never from Richard) telling Marchetta and Gould/Hamner what to keep and what to change.

    I find interesting that the comments of the Pollocks sound just polite - if not a bit cold - at the beginning and very enthousiastic towards the end of season 5 (they are some comments like "it should make a damned good show"). On the contrary for season 6 the comments are more and more authoritarian as the season progress.
     
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  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    The Shapiros names and Aaron's don't appear on those scripts as "writer" either, one assumes, but they had control. The 'written by' credits is just that -- a credit given to whomever was assigned the duty of ostensbly typing out that week's script.
     
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  8. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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    But I was not talking about scripts but of seasonal bibles and story outlines - that is to say the cutting of the bible into episodes. Camille Marchetta and the others did not bring additional stories, they wrote the main stories, except during the retooling times (season 6B and probable season 7B too ).

    Of course, there is not doubt that the producers (the Pollocks included) had the last word on everything (and the people of ABC as well).
     
  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Anybody with a "producer" or "story consultant" title is potentially involved in seasonal bible construction.
     
  10. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    This is really interesting. Up until this thread, I never realized Rita Lakin became a writer on DYNASTY.

    There is more than one Lakin/Pollocks connection beyond the obvious.

    As the headwriter of the daytime soap THE DOCTORS for a couple years in the late 60s, Lakin was responsible for some really good, mature, psychological soap. Less than two years after she left that show, who should take over? The Pollocks. From what I hear, the Pollocks had plotdriven issues on that show too, although I don't know if they ever reached the lows of DYNASTY (I doubt it).

    Nearly two decades later, they all ended up on the same show again.

    Having seen Lakin's previous work, I know they would have immensely benefited from allowing her more say. As this interview makes clear, you can't see her talent onscreen because none of it was allowed, but what could have been....
     
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  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    And that's the thing -- you can never detect the influence of the other writers/story editors/producers brought in to DYNASTY because the retarded/lobotomy tone of the show remains entirely unaltered.

    No wonder Paulsen turned them down for Season 6, and what a shame they didn't agree to his terms for another three years (but I would have hated to miss his work in S10 per DVD count of DALLAS).

    BTW: Is Rita related to Howard?
     
  12. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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    Yes, Howard Lakin is her son.

    I never watched that show but I know the Pollocks were the very first writers on a daily soap to get a Daytime Emmy Award. Also "the doctors" had its highest ratings during their tenure.
     
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  13. Tony

    Tony Soap Chat Member

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    Yes Howard is Rita’s son.

    She got him a writing job on Flamingo Road in a great example of nepotism ;)
     
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  14. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I'm not sure Emmys mean anything -- and not even ratings, for that matter. DYNASTY became known as the most Emmy-nominated primetime show to never win one (although I think Nolan Miller got one for season 4, but I could be wrong) and the show had its highest ratings while sewing the seeds of its own destruction -- those ratings achieved thru hype and star appeal.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  15. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Daytime Emmys do not mean even as much as prime time ones do--the soap industry (back when there were many soaps) bemoaned the ridiculousness of submitting two episodes for an actor/actress when the body of work was 150+.
    Now, ratings are another matter--in daytime they are built slowly, and there was a reason the Pollocks were brought in by ABC, because they had an industry reputation as being good at story. One can't discount their early contributions to DYNASTY without discounting how they shaped Alexis. The problem was that they should not have been allowed the free reign they were given, or the expanded roles they acquired. The brass just didn't care to mind the store.
     
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  16. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Lakin said what we've said for years, that the Pollocks just weren't really writers, and the fact they were hired by DYNASTY based on "reputation" means less than what they actually did on DYNASTY, which was largely crap.

    And the Pollocks' contributions can't be discounted? Only Season 2 saw them seemingly turn in any quality work. And since the only key staffer there in S2 who was gone in S3 was line producer Ed Ledding, and the drop in narrative quality was marked, I'd like to know what Ledding has to say. But he doesn't seem to want to answer questions about it.

    I see no reason to give the Pollocks credit even for their earliest work, because we don't know who was hovering over them at that point. But, yes, they were left in control too long and much too late.

    Much too late.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  17. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I'd argue that the Shapiro's were still interested in the show in season 2 - it wasn't a huge hit yet, so they felt they need to nurture it. Pollocks originally wanted to introduce Adam as early as season 2 - a mistake - but were told to hold off by the Shapiro's. Ironically, as the show got bigger and bigger in ratings, the less the Shapiro's seemed to care except for the media spin.
     
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  18. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Interestingly, in S2 the Shapiros were mostly off the show --- Aaron called them and asked them to come back for S3 because the show was "out of control" (which had to mean budget, to Spelling).
     
  19. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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  20. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the Shapiros had the bigger picture in their heads--the Pollocks had Adam come in per their bible, so they wanted to have that happen in S2, but their bible had not included Nick Toscanni--that was an addition the whole team came up with. His storyline and interactions with Krystle, Fallon, and Blake took up screen time and so having the extra complication of Adam into the picture was too much. But that is the role of execs like the Shapiros, and I don't know exactly when, but they gave it up at some point and so the writing room became a free for all. I don't know if the Pollocks really had the network's/Spelling's blessing for consequent seasons to just do as they pleased or if new people like Larkin did not think they could stand up to the old guard like them and they themselves were too bossy.

    Which is exactly what I said: "One can't discount their early contributions to DYNASTY without discounting how they shaped Alexis"
     
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