Monday, October 22, 2007

Weighing in on Dirty Sexy Money

So far my favorite show of the season. (My previous favorites have been disappointing, but more abut that in another post.) I hadn't intended to watch this one, because the title, well, turned me off. But I happened on it with nothing else tempting in that time slot, and I was hooked.


The premise:
Nick George's whole life has been lived in the shadow of the Darling family, but as an adult he's leading the perfect life as an idealistic lawyer, until his father's suspicious death. The absurdly wealthy Darlings of New York have asked him to take over his father's job as their personal lawyer, but the money that will allow him the freedom to be an altruistic do-gooder is only part of the picture. That same money pulls him into the dubious doings of the Darling clan. Power, privilege and family money are a volatile cocktail.


Okay, maybe I did want to see Donald Sutherland. He can play any character, and I will believe it. He has charisma. I saw his first movie in the theater. I was an infant in 1970, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Oh, no wait, I wasn't born then. I must have been remembering seeing it on TV. Yes, that's it.

Robert Altman’s unparalleled 1970 war comedy “MASH” quickly made Sutherland a megastar. Playing the lead role of Capt. ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce, Sutherland led a talented ensemble cast in the quirky dark comedy, which chronicled the daily lives of amusingly amoral, bored Korean War medical workers. Altman’s unique ear for naturalistic, overlapping dialogue combined with the pitch-perfect performances of Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Tom Skerritt, and others made “MASH” one of the most memorable films of the 70s. The film has become a veritable modern classic, and spawned one of the most popular television shows in history, which saw Alan Alda take over Sutherland’s role.

Sutherland has starred in over 60 films since 1990, with highlights including
“Six Degrees of Separation”
“A Time to Kill”
“Cold Mountain” and
2005’s “Pride and Prejudice” as Mr. Bennet.
He won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his supporting role in the 1995 TV film “Citizen X”. He's like the Energizer bunny! 2006 saw him in the period drama “Ask the Dust”, the gothic horror flick “An American Haunting”, and the NBC drama series “Commander in Chief” as a villainous Congressman. The respected actor is also the father of “24” star Kiefer Sutherland. Truly one of the greatest actors alive, Sutherland brings a sophistication to the screen that has made him one of the most revered performers of his generation.

There was a scene two weeks ago that was riveting. I thought about it all week. There's a prolonged silence as Nick sits with a briefcase that belonged to his father. Everyone has tried to open it without success. Tripp darling, sitting at his enormous desk with a view, appears to be gazing out the window as he says,

"Try seven one two."
"Why seven one two?" Nick asks.
"It's Tish's birthday." (Tish is played by Jill Clayburgh)
Now Nick knows that Tish had an ongoing affair with his father for forty years, but doesn't know whether or not Tripp knows. This is some powerful stuff.
Tripp nonchalantly gazes out the window.
Nick takes his time. He adjusts the combination on the briefcase.
And in the silence of the room the locks open.
A look of acute pain crosses Tripp's face. He had only suspected. Now he knows.

Wow. Heart stopping emotion.


The twins are hilarious, the Juliet character in an arch-enemy battle with the rival who stole her bangs in junior high. When Juliet pouts and refuses to sit for the family photograph for a magazine spread, Nick asks his secretary to handle it. We don't see until the picture has been taken that the woman secured a stand-in for the spoiled Juliet, and no one noticed until afterward! Funny.

So, okay, I'm hooked on this one. If you've missed it and want to catch up you can watch full episodes on ABC.


  1. I LOVE this show - my favorite new show of the season. The premise of this show is great and the casting is wonderful. I got hooked on Six Feet Under starring Peter Krause and was thrilled to see him in the role of Nick.

  2. I admit I haven't given it a chance becasue of the title. I just figured with a title like that they must have nuthin'.
    I still like Chuck.

  3. I was the same. With a title like that I wasn't going to watch it. I may have to give it a chance.

  4. May check it out- thanks for a way to get up to speed. Ditto Mary & Betsy.
    I saw MASH 4 times the first week it was in theaters. GREAT cast & music & story; love MASH tv reruns, too.
    My initial view of Peter was '98-2000 when he portrayed the character Casey McCall on the ABC comedy Sports Night, created by his friend Aaron Sorkin. Hubby gave me both seasons on DVD for Xmas. (For Sorkin I continued with West Wing until final episode-relatives/friends knew not to call unless there was blood or death)
    I saw some of Six Feet under, just didn't have time. He is a FINE looking 42!!