Of the several television programs that lost momentum and were, in effect, cancelled by the Writers’ Strike, Dirty Sexy Money was the only one that was a grand, over-the-top, old-fashioned primetime soap – we’re talking Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, here, folks. Tales of the rich and fabulous – of ethically and morally dubious and, occasionally, sanity-challenged – told by writers who knew how to construct characters of every stripe and intrigues of all sorts.
The final season of Dirty Sexy Money played out the boardroom [and bedroom] chess game between Trip Darling [Donald Sutherland] and Simon Elder [Blair Underwood]; the love story about Jeremy Darling [Seth Gabel] and Nola Lyons [Lucy Liu] – a love that started as a ruse but became real; the disintegration of Darlings’ lawyer, Nick George and his wife Lisa [Zoe Mclennan]; the Lyons/Elder connection; the feeling that Nick and Karen Darling [Natalie Zea] might be fated to be together [if not for that Elder fellow… again] and… so many plot threads, twists and backtracks that it made the classic soap spoof, SOAP, look completely transparent.
Then, of course, there’s that classic cliffhanger – the one that’s so obvious that you know it can’t possibly be used because everyone would see it coming from a mile away. Except that, equally naturally, it was completely unexpected because it was too obvious. It’s the old misdirection thing. The old set things up so that a cliffhanger is so obvious that no one will expect it – then hit ‘em with it trick. And we haven’t even considered the Patrick Darling [William Baldwin]/Carmelita [Candis Cane] affair; two deaths that had major impact; the juicy tell-all book; the trial of Letitia Darling [Jill Clayburgh], or Brian Darling’s [George Fitzgerald] discovery that he actually loved someone.
Dirty Sexy Money was a very good series – a series that deserved better, like Eli Stone, The Reaper, Pushing Daisies, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Life [to name but a few]. The labyrinthine plotting and beautifully developed characters – who provided unexpected moments of reality to keep the camp capades from drifting away – made the show’s big, brash soap a source of great fun. It didn’t always hit the target, but even when it fell shy, it wasn’t by enough to pull its viewers out of the grand adventures of these strange and wonderful people.
Features: Directing the Darlings [series director Jamie Babbit talks about her adventures directing dirty Sexy Money]; A Total Knockout [spend a day shadowing Natalie Zea on the Dirty Sexy Money set]; Dirty Sexy Crafty [learn about frustrated singer/songwriter Josh, who provided the craft services for the Dirty Sexy Money cast and crew]; Faux Pas – Bloopers From Season 2 [better than average gag reel], and Deleted Scenes [most must have been cut for time, because they are more than just pretty good].
Grade: Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete and FINAL Second Season –B+
Grade: Features: C+
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Eclipse Review by Sheldon Wiebe
Posted on August 31, 2009