DIRTY SEXY MONEY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON – EXPOSED
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Peter Kruase as NICK GEORGE
Donald Sutherland as TRIPP DARLING
William Baldwin as PATRICK DARLING
Natalie Zea as KAREN DARLING
Glenn Fitzgerald as BRIAN DARLING
Seth Gabel as JEREMY DARLING
Jill Clayburgh as LETITIA DARLING
Samaire Armstrong as JULIET DARLING
Zoe McLellan as LISA GEORGE
Studio: ABC Studios
BY KEVIN CARR
Since I review most of the DVDs from ABC and Disney, I watch as much of the regular television season that gets broadcast each year. This saves me many sleepless nights in August and September when I would otherwise be watching dozens of hours of DVD episodes.
However, I seem to have missed “Dirty Sexy Money” when it was first broadcast. It’s not that I wasn’t aware the show was on, since it was advertised heavily in the other ABC shows. It was just that aside from a kick-ass title, the show didn’t interest me at all.
Now that I’ve had a chance to see it on DVD, I will say that it’s mildly interesting. It’s not as bad as I thought it might be, but it’s not nearly as good as the title would lead you to believe.
“Dirty Sexy Money” focuses on the uber-wealthy Darling family. Tripp (Donald Sutherland) and Letitia (Jill Clayburgh) are the parents to a group of dysfunctional, spoiled adult brats who have no idea what the real world is like. When the family’s long-time lawyer dies, his son Nick (Peter Krause) reluctantly takes over the job. Although he insists he won’t let the Darlings rule his life, he finds himself constantly sucked into their drama, but he keeps the job in hopes that he can one day discover the real reason behind his father’s death.
I understand what they’re trying to do with “Dirty Sexy Money.” We’ve seen too many trust fund kids in the news – from Kim Kardashian to Paris Hilton – to not catch the parallels. However, the show puts up its own road block by trying to give some depth and humanity to its main characters.
The truth is that the entire Darling family is a wretched bunch. However, instead of going down the road of successful shows with awful people in the lead (like “Seinfeld,” “Arrested Development” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), “Dirty Sexy Money” tries to have the characters grow.
This works with some of them, like Juliet (Samaire Armstrong) and Jeremy (Seth Gabel), who are basically just spoiled twins who need a reality check. However, other characters from Tripp on down are basically despicable characters that lose any interest if they were to change.
Nick is meant to be the hero, but he is as corrupted by the money as the Darlings are. I have no sympathy for him because he brings this terrible life on himself. Likewise, his wife Lisa (Zoe McLellan) gets no sympathy either because she allows Nick to be sucked into the life rather than putting her foot down.
The DVD comes with a making-of featurette, a tour of the set, a spotlight on the costumes (featuring a cobalt-blue-haired costume designer with no personal sense of style), a look at the transgender supporting character played by Candis Cayne, bloopers, deleted scenes and audio commentaries.
I suppose if the show comes back in its second season and actually makes the corrupted family the antagonists without softballing their characters, the show could really shine. But right now, it’s not living up to its full potential.