MONDO EXTRAS

Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure

by Jessica January 12, 2005
Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure

This is actually the first moment of many in which Richard Shapiro is made to look like a deeply irritated and totally put-upon individual, and whether that is true or not, I cannot say. I can say, however, that he wrote a totally brilliant soap opera, to which this movie does not do justice in any real way. Buck up, Richard. I love you for the time that Adam decided to paint Jeff's office with poison paint alone. And of course I love you for what happened later, when Jeff found out about this and he and Adam had the gayest man catfight ever, on the top of a skyscraper. People, there was thrusting and grinding involved. And hair-pulling. And maybe some biting. At least, I think that fight was about the paint. Jeff was definitely angry about something. Maybe it was because Adam knocked up the butler's daughter, whom Jeff accidentally married because the paint was driving him crazy? ["It was because Jeff found out Adam raped the butler's daughter -- but in the end they were all fine with it, because Adam didn't realize he'd impregnated her in the process and that's apparently a fine excuse even though it's after the fact, and anyway, he loved her. For a show that was so ahead of itself on gay issues (temporarily), it really enjoyed glossing over rape." -- Heathen] Anyway, Jeff was peeved with Adam and it culminated on top of a skyscraper and it was awesome. Tragically, this movie never mentions Adam or Jeff, never mind poison paint.

Anyway, what you need to get from this scene is that, at some point during the '80s, Dynasty was really, really, really popular, and also that no one appreciated poor Richard Shapiro, because the writer is never appreciated (a trope writers have been working into their projects for years). You see, poor Richard gets locked out of this merchandising event, and when they open the doors to let the poor man inside, all the fan girls stream in and there's a riot and Joan and Linda and John are all whisked out the back, because fans? Crazy for the Dynasty!

Four years earlier. Richard and Esther are eating lunch in the park and watching little rich kids ride ponies. You know, as you do. Esther takes a bite of her cheeseburger and announces that she thinks this is what they should be writing about: "The trappings of wealth and its effect on the American family." Richard sort of just grunts. "It's classic drama. It's modern-day I, Claudius,," she says. Richard: "Uh-huh." This is the first mention of many of I, Claudius, which seems to be being bandied about to show that Esther Shapiro is very cultured and artistic and that, therefore, she never intended Dynasty to be so very soapy, but anyone who's seen I, Claudius knows that it is TREMENDOUSLY soapy, even if it was on PBS and populated solely by people who graduated from the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. There was tons of murder, plentiful incest, and a huge gay orgy. I, Claudius was a total soap opera. Anyway, Esther is all yammering about the new American dream and blah, announcing that "this is what people really want," "this" being "loads of money and all the personal problems that come with it." Richard swallows a bite of cheeseburger and says that he doesn't want it. "You're an artist. You don't count," she says. "I'm talking about normal people." Richard just looks thoughtful. ["He's thinking, 'You know, this just might be the place for that scene I've been wanting to use about a pregnant heroine on a horse who falls and loses the baby when her husband's scheming ex, clad in a tam-o'shanter, fires a skeet-shooting rifle at the horse.' I mean, it's written all over his face." -- Heathen]

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27Next

Comments

Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure

by Jessica January 12, 2005
Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure

This is actually the first moment of many in which Richard Shapiro is made to look like a deeply irritated and totally put-upon individual, and whether that is true or not, I cannot say. I can say, however, that he wrote a totally brilliant soap opera, to which this movie does not do justice in any real way. Buck up, Richard. I love you for the time that Adam decided to paint Jeff's office with poison paint alone. And of course I love you for what happened later, when Jeff found out about this and he and Adam had the gayest man catfight ever, on the top of a skyscraper. People, there was thrusting and grinding involved. And hair-pulling. And maybe some biting. At least, I think that fight was about the paint. Jeff was definitely angry about something. Maybe it was because Adam knocked up the butler's daughter, whom Jeff accidentally married because the paint was driving him crazy? ["It was because Jeff found out Adam raped the butler's daughter -- but in the end they were all fine with it, because Adam didn't realize he'd impregnated her in the process and that's apparently a fine excuse even though it's after the fact, and anyway, he loved her. For a show that was so ahead of itself on gay issues (temporarily), it really enjoyed glossing over rape." -- Heathen] Anyway, Jeff was peeved with Adam and it culminated on top of a skyscraper and it was awesome. Tragically, this movie never mentions Adam or Jeff, never mind poison paint.

Anyway, what you need to get from this scene is that, at some point during the '80s, Dynasty was really, really, really popular, and also that no one appreciated poor Richard Shapiro, because the writer is never appreciated (a trope writers have been working into their projects for years). You see, poor Richard gets locked out of this merchandising event, and when they open the doors to let the poor man inside, all the fan girls stream in and there's a riot and Joan and Linda and John are all whisked out the back, because fans? Crazy for the Dynasty!

Four years earlier. Richard and Esther are eating lunch in the park and watching little rich kids ride ponies. You know, as you do. Esther takes a bite of her cheeseburger and announces that she thinks this is what they should be writing about: "The trappings of wealth and its effect on the American family." Richard sort of just grunts. "It's classic drama. It's modern-day I, Claudius,," she says. Richard: "Uh-huh." This is the first mention of many of I, Claudius, which seems to be being bandied about to show that Esther Shapiro is very cultured and artistic and that, therefore, she never intended Dynasty to be so very soapy, but anyone who's seen I, Claudius knows that it is TREMENDOUSLY soapy, even if it was on PBS and populated solely by people who graduated from the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. There was tons of murder, plentiful incest, and a huge gay orgy. I, Claudius was a total soap opera. Anyway, Esther is all yammering about the new American dream and blah, announcing that "this is what people really want," "this" being "loads of money and all the personal problems that come with it." Richard swallows a bite of cheeseburger and says that he doesn't want it. "You're an artist. You don't count," she says. "I'm talking about normal people." Richard just looks thoughtful. ["He's thinking, 'You know, this just might be the place for that scene I've been wanting to use about a pregnant heroine on a horse who falls and loses the baby when her husband's scheming ex, clad in a tam-o'shanter, fires a skeet-shooting rifle at the horse.' I mean, it's written all over his face." -- Heathen]

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27Next

Comments

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

The Latest Activity On TwOP

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

The Latest Activity On TwOP