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Talk Back: FX's "The Riches"

Oh, Malloys, how I have missed you.

I raced home last night after Chuck's Paley Festival panel to catch the second season premiere of FX's pitch black dramedy series, The Riches ("The Last Temptation of Wayne"), last night. When we last saw the Malloys--who had assumed the identity of the dead Riches--they were about to flee Eden Falls after being discovered by so honest-you-want-him-dead Pete and dangerous-as-fox-on-acid Dale, who wasn't about to let them escape from their fate.

Eeek!

The second season finds them trying to escape their precarious situation by running into the night. Dahlia quickly packs up the kids and Cherien's senile mother as they hit the road--joined by jilted neighbor Nina who wants to leave behind her life of suffering for adventure on the open road--and Wayne stays behind to deal with Pete... who winds up bludgeoned to death in the back of Wayne's car, courtesy of sociopath Dale.

I was a little confused as to whether Dale intended to murder Pete or if he truly did "hit him too hard" with that hammer. Either way, he clearly meant to stuff the body into the trunk of Wayne's car and possibly (A) frame him for the murder or (B) blackmail him after framing him. Whatever the explanation, I think that Todd Stashwick's Dale is absolutely insane and his off-kilter perspective (and willingness to do anything to get his revenge on Wayne and steal a piece of his American dream) makes it impossible to take your eyes off of him. Good thing too, as he'd most likely hit you over the head with the hammer if you did.

These Travelers really can't catch a break. Dahlia's car breaks down, stranding her and the kids; Cherien's mother gets drunk and has to end up in the hospital, after Dahlia is accused of elder abuse; Wayne runs over a drunk Hugh as he tries to flee Dale and has to contend with an officious Eden Falls security guard; Cael manages to steal them a new car and they're taken hostage by the truck's owner.

And while these series of unfortunate events feel a little over the top, unbelievable, and ever-so-slightly manufactured, you can't help but root for the Malloys... or the Riches... or whoever they claim to be this week. And that, in a sentence, is why The Riches is a slam-dunk of a television series.

Comments

On last night's episode, things started bad and then they got worse. And worse. And worse.

And yet, somehow, they're able to take you along for the ride and make you believe that this is happening. And that is the brilliance of The Riches. Just when you think there is no way out, the crafty Wayne & Co. are able to weasel their way through (although, sometimes, into a bigger mess).

I really missed the show and am happy to see what adventures lie ahead of this band of travelers and how Dale (I love your description of him being dangerous as a fox on acid) will interfere.

Somehow, I think they'll make it through...as long as they keep grandma away from the booze.
Anonymous said…
I'm a little behind the times, because until recently, if I was on the computer I was working, one way or another. But, I've recently discovered a way to watch my favorite TV show of all time, The Riches. In the past two weeks I've watched the entire first season three times and part of the first episode of the second and sadly abbreviated season once on YouTube. I am furiously searching for the entire second season without having to join some club or other.

I love this show. I know that the coincidences abound, but they do in life too sometimes. Personally I think that life is nothing but a series of serendipitous
equations. But paraphrasing Shirley MacClain, there is no such thing as coincidence. So all those wierd coincidences are the guiding force in our lives. The Riches somehow expounds and expands on this to the point where I feel like they are family. I hope there is to be a third season, but in the mean time I will search until I find the full second season. I was working nights and suffering with no Tivo or even a lousy VHR at the time so I missed a couple of them and now I hear (reading blogs) that they may have cancelled the show entirely. How sad. I want to know what happens with the Malloys et al. (Who's Et Al?) Ask Wayne, he found out after demanding if the opposing lawyers had read Ratzen v. Katzen.

If anyone should read this plea, PLEASE continue with this terrifically well acted and brilliantly written show. I love it and the only reason it didn't do better than it did was that people didn't KNOW about it. That was before the "newer" networks were really looked to for great programming. Now pretty much everyone realizes that if you don't want to watch some idiotic model search or other forms of retardation in a box, i.e. reality programming, you watch FX or AMC or other cable made shows.

Don't take away my Riches please.

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