Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Riches: not so rich

I’m still watching The Riches, but I’m beginning to pray that the truth comes out about the titular characters, a family of grifters who have stolen the identities of an upper-class couple conveniently killed in a car crash. Eddie Izzard is good, Minnie Driver is great, and Margo Martindale is fabulous as a pill-popping neighbor, but I’m already tired of seeing the Riches barely elude discovery — by the authorities, by their employers, and by the band of “Travelers” they used to belong to. Last night, one daughter was arrested for possession of pot, and it briefly seemed as if the police would uncover everything, but a well-placed bribe negated the plot development. Two of the other Travelers have discovered what’s up, but I fully expect a freak accident to take care of one or both of them. And with every close call, the already-implausible plot becomes a little more inconceivable. I don’t want years of this. I’d rather see the family arrested, or go running back to the Travelers, or turn on each other. Maybe this is all frustration that comes from seeing Tony repeatedly survive attempts on his life on The Sopranos, and the castaways repeatedly failing to get off the island on Lost, and the crew of Rescue Me never meeting anyone outside the firehouse who isn’t a psycho or an asshole. By contrast, I have to give Big Love credit for last year’s season finale, in which the polygamous protagonists are unmasked in humiliating fashion. Most shows would have dragged out their attempts at secrecy for several years.

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