British comedian Eddie Izzard (Glorious
, Dressed to Kill
) brings his raffish charisma to The Riches
, a sneaky satirical drama about a family of con artists who lie their way into a wealthy gated community. Wayne and Dahlia Malloy (Izzard and Minnie Driver, Grosse Pointe Blank
) are travellers--a kind of American gypsies--who get in trouble with their clan and have to hit the road with their three kids (Shannon Woodward, Noel Fisher, and Aidan Mitchell). When a confrontation with other travellers causes a deadly car accident, the Malloys take over the dead couple's brand-new home--a mansion bought over the internet--and assume the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Rich.
The premise stretches plausibility, but that's part of the fun; any successful con game forces the mark to accept something absurd, because why would anyone tell such a preposterous lie? The pleasure of trickery drives the show. Wayne weasels his way into a job as lawyer to an obnoxious real estate developer; Dahlia persuades a private school to admit her kids after the admission deadline; and the kids find their skills serve them well in the surface-obsessed suburban world. But over the course of the thirteen-episode season, the Malloys' wily architecture of lies grows increasingly precarious, constantly threatened by fear of exposure and vengeful travellers. The final episode builds to a nerve-wracking crisis as someone who actually knows the dead couple comes to visit. Ironically, some of the most compelling moments are flashes of honesty--in an early episode, oldest son Cael realizes that the traveller girl he loves has set him up, and the two stare at each other across a diner table, wordlessly brokenhearted. The entire cast is great--Woodward shines as smart, conflicted daughter Di Di, and Margo Martindale (Paris, je t'aime
, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
) routinely steals scenes as the Rich's unhappy neighbor. But The Riches
rests on Izzard's shoulders; though Driver's acting chops are more polished (and her Southern accent is more consistent), Izzard captures the soul of a man who lives by his wits, a man who navigates the world with a wink and a stream of beguiling words. --Bret Fetzer
Complete first season of the Emmy-nominated US comedy drama series about a clan of crooks who assume the identity of an upper-middle-class suburban family in the Deep South. Wayne (Eddie Izzard) and Dahlia Malloy (Minnie Driver) spent their younger years with a travelling band of modern gypsies, roaming about the US, pulling cons on unsuspecting folk. Now years later, Wayne has hit a midlife crisis and begins to question their lifestyle just as Dahlia, newly sprung from prison, rejoins the family. They decide to finally settle down in suburbia where they strive to live a normal life while trying to escape their former friends and family members. Episodes comprise: 'Pilot', 'Believe The Lie', 'Operation Education', 'Been There, Done That', 'The Big Floss', 'Reckless Gardening', 'Virgin Territory', 'X Spots the Mark', 'Cinderella', 'This Is Your Brain On Drugs', 'Anything Hugh Can Do, I Can Do Better', 'It's a Wonderful Lie' and 'Waiting for Dogot'.