The Rare Series That Lives Up To Its Name
Filthy Rich Review
I always was of the opinion that Kim Cattrall got a raw deal from Sex and The City. All of the other characters were given a chance to evolve at least a little over the course of the series; Samantha’s main job seemed to be getting used for the explosive sex scenes every episode. I’ve always felt that there was more potential in her acting that Darren Star and company refused to allow. I’m beginning to get a sense of what they could have been in Fox’s endlessly amusing Filthy Rich.
Cattrall plays Margaret Monreaux, the matriarch of a Christian family that is at the head of an empire that now values in the billions. The head of a daytime show Wings of a Dove, she seems to be the model of Christian faith. We know, because we’ve been watching TV regularly, that this façade is bound to crack; we just don’t know how fast. Her husband Eugene (Gerald McRaney) is involved in the crash of their private jet. The fact that their was prostitutes on it soon becomes the least of her concerns when she learns that Eugene fathered three illegitimate children — with three different women. There’s an adult website designer Ginger, single dad and MMA fighter Antonio and marijuana grower Jason, whose connection may be the fuzziest. Worst of all, he left each of them stock in the company in his will, along with his two grown children — devoted Sunshine executive Eric and fashion designer Rose.
Margaret’s reaction to all this is to try and hold on to her power and money more, aided by the family lawyer. (It’s good to see Steve Harris again). This involves the ability to piss off all her children, including the ones she raised. Eric thinks he’s entitled to the family business because of his father’s instructions, and Rose wants some independence, none. That Margaret doesn’t seem to respect her own children may explain why Eugene’s illegitimate ones are more balanced than her. Especially interesting in Ginger, who is just as skilled and manipulative a business woman as Margaret, and surprisingly nearly as educated in the gospels as the rest of her family. Of course, this leads to her trying to build her brand on the top of the Montreaux, which plays out very well.
Of course, there are always secrets for this type of series. We see in the opening minute that in the future Margaret will blow up the family house. We know that there’s the plane crash may not have been an accident. And we also know that Eugene managed to get out of it alive — and is on his way back to the family.
Now, I know Filthy Rich probably wouldn’t have gotten this kind of launch if it weren’t for the conditions besetting television production in general. And I’m not going to pretend that its anything other than a glorified comic soap opera. But a guilty pleasure can still be a pleasure. And the fact that everybody on this series plays it just in the right balance between real people and out and out camp is more than enough joy for the messy world we seem to find ourselves in these days. It’s not Peak TV, but its still fun, and we need fun right now.
My score: 3.5 stars.