THE RICHES: SEASON 1
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Eddie Izzard as WAYNE MALLOY
Minnie Driver as DAHLIA MALLOY
Shannon Marie Woodward as DI DI MALLOY
Noel Fisher as CAEL MALLOY
Aidan Mitchell as SAM MALLOY
Todd Stashwick as DALE MALLOY
Created by: Dmitry Lipkin
BY KEVIN CARR
Do you remember that famous cliche from movies where someone describes a plan, and someone else says, “That’s so crazy, it just might work.” Well, I kind of feel that way about the FX television series “The Riches.” It’s such a crazy premise, it just might work.
“The Riches” follows the Malloys, a family of Irish Travelers (more popularly known as gypsies) who live off the grid in the American South. Wayne (Eddie Izzard) is the father, who has been keeping the kids afloat while his wife Dahlia (Minnie Driver) is in prison. After she gets out on parole, the family returns to the Travelers’ camp to find themselves in a family scuffle. To protect the kids and his wife, Wayne stalls the family bank and goes on the run.
While running, they are involved in a car crash that kills a husband and wife. The Malloys soon discover that this couple was moving to a big house in a swanky new neighborhood. Seeing the opportunity, the Malloys double as the Riches and actually steal their life… until their former life starts to seek them out.
Like I said, it’s such a crazy premise that it just might work. The most surprising thing about “The Riches” is that the series actually works. Much of this can be credited to the actors, who bring a level of humanity to the characters. I found myself liking them, even though they live a life of crime.
The show is at its strongest when the Malloys are successfully inserting themselves into this stolen life. The screwball moments, such as when Wayne manages to win legal cases with his wits in the guise of Doug Rich, don’t hold up as well.
I only felt the series would break down when the family becomes its own worst enemy. Too often they give into tradition and feel tied to their family back home that they robbed and fled. Ultimately though, the show offers a unique perspective on the American dream, and it makes some really deft observations about our society and its worship of material possessions.
The DVD comes with audio commentary on selected episodes featuring Eddie Izzard and creator Dmitry Lipkin. There’s also a gag reel and two Fox Movie Channel featurettes. However, the gem of the special features are seven webisodes that show Wayne and the kids teaching each other classic con games.