That's the situation we have in this episode. Wayne's trying to keep the big deal Hugh brokered alive while Hugh searches for his mojo. Dale is stalking around Panco looking for a job so he can be in on the deal. Only we know that the lummox has some information and a hell of a lot of muscle behind him. And Dahlia is having yet another crisis involving her sense of place in the world. Oh, and then we have the kids: Cael wants out, DiDi wants to fit in, and Sam wonders why there's blood stains on the stairs.
Looks like we're entering the darkest part of the tunnel in this show, aren't we?
What this sets up is, in a lot of ways, a "scam of the week" episode, something we saw a lot of last season. But I get the feeling this might be the last one we see for a while, mainly because the "big scam," which is Hugh's massive development deal, is going to swallow up not only the Malloys, but everyone around them.
I think Dimitry Lipkin realized this, as the abbreviated second season of The Riches brings us a number of seedy characters that are so heinous that it makes the Malloys look like heroes. The season premiere just sets the table for what's to come.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, FX's spring series Dirt and The Riches will both have shortened second seasons, airing only the seven episodes each series made before running out of scripts. The network is citing economic realities in the decision; I'd imagine rebuilding sets and getting new permits, etc. is a pretty expensive thing to do, especially for a cable network.
(S01E13) Well, there you have it. The big finale for the first season of The Riches. The thing that strikes me about the season is how much it was not what I was expecting. What we ended up seeing was very different than what the promotion FX tossed out all those months ago led one to expect. And I think that was a good thing.
This was a much darker show than those voiced over commercials with Wayne and Dahlia walking down the staircase hinted at. The Malloy family has some serious issues. But at the end of the day, they are a family, and that drives everything they do.
Give the writers credit for some nice planning with Pete (Arye Gross). Cael found the emails from him early on and I had wondered if and when they were going to deal with that. Wayne's plan to just play dumb seemed a little crazy, but what other option did they really have? It did make for quite the crazy scene for the "Mont Pierres."
Things got off to a great start with Wayne and Dahlia's fight over the drugs that Chunky left behind. It's interesting that he walked in on her before she could decide which way she was going. I think that she would have flushed the stuff eventually, but we'll never know for sure. The chaotic argument after Wayne snorted a handful of the crank was fantastic. Dahlia's reaction, "Of all the assholic things you have done, this is the most assholic." summed it up nicely. That was such a crazy thing to do that it warranted brand new words to describe it.
This episode is very much what I envisioned when we first met the family. It's a classic con, with all manner of stumbling blocks along the way. And each of those is handled creatively by the ever inventive team Malloy. If that wasn't good enough, how about a little Clancy Brown to go with it?
There was some great tension as the opposing attorneys continued to reference case after case, all of them going right over Wayne's head. I was wondering, how can they possibly get him out of this. And I was as surprised as everyone in that room when he just went to sleep. It was interesting how that move was deemed something of a cop-out by the rest of the family. What I really liked about it was that Hugh didn't buy into it for a second. His 48 hour deadline is the kind of thing I want to see. A little pressure for Wayne.
Jolinda, for instance. This was good, although it didn't go down at all how I expected. Having seen it hinted at in the promos for weeks, I was pretty sure that she was going to show up to meet Doug in person. And almost convinced of it when Hugh pointed out to Wayne that ex-wives always find you. Having Wayne and Dahlia head that one off at the pass actually worked out even better though.
But when I watched last night's episode (Brett and I are trading off reviews on this show), I noticed that Izzard's accent had smoothed out, and his British didn't seep out as much as it did in the first episode. This is no small feat; doing an accurate American accent is extremely difficult for Brits, as the many tiny differences between how each country speaks English are tough to keep track of. The effort to make the leap has sunk many accomplished British actors; even ones who do a reasonable job, like Emma Thompson, let their native accents leak through every so often.
We'll get to all of that in the coming weeks though. For now, there are setup fish to fry. For me, the best part of this episode was how they showed each of the characters dealing with all of these changes. Of those, I thought Dahlia's story was the most interesting. The burying of the money and the towing of the RV both served to show hard it is for Dahlia to let go of her old life.
FX continues to roll out edgy new dramas and comedies. Next up is The Riches, which premieres Monday at 10PM ET. But you can watch the entire pilot now at AOL Television.
The show stars Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver as the parents of a family of con-artist grifters. It starts off with Minnie Driver's character, Dahlia Malloy, getting released from jail after two years. The Malloys roam around in their RV, looking for ways to scam "buffers" (regular people), until an accident gives them a chance to live the American Dream.
Now after the missteps of Dirt, I was initially wary of The Riches. But the pilot is very promising and reminds me of Six Feet Under in some ways.
Check back to TV Squad for a review of the premiere sometime soon.
The Riches stars Izzard and Minnie Driver, who I think will both be attempting to cover up their British accents. They play a couple of American con-artists who take on the identity of a dead couple and move their family to the suburbs to live an "honest" life. It kind-of reminds me of My Blue Heaven, that movie where Steve Martin has to live a crime-free life in the suburbs.
You can see promos for the series here.
This spring, he is co-writing and starring in a dramedy on FX called The Riches (formerly Low Life). His co-star is Minnie Driver, and they play a married couple with children who decide to settle for a life in the suburbs after years of caravaning around with tricky con-artists. No, he will not be playing an "executive transvestite".
Eddie was kind enough to post all three promos for his new show on his MySpace page. In all of them, he seems to be struggling to cover his distinct accent and sound more American. The promos don't really hook me, but the fact that it's Eddie Izzard is why I'll give the series a shot.
One promo is after the jump, the others are here.
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