Often, a TV show will have parts I absolutely love but won't quite hold up as a whole. "The Riches," though, is the rare show that's the opposite: It's lacking in the details, but over its first four episodes, I've found it well worth watching.
When I'm in the mood to nitpick, I can harp on a number of things about the show: Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver sound so fake as Southerners; the part of the story about the travelers' camp where they used to live, which I thought would be fascinating, has become the most boring piece of the show; and I simply cannot believe that the original Doug and Cherien Rich have not been found dead yet by curious relatives or friends.
And yet, the show has a certain overall effect that makes me stick with it. Wayne/Doug (Izzard), especially, is compelling as a con man piling lie on top of lie to keep his new life afloat. Dahlia/Cherien (Driver) — though still a caricature with her myriad addictions — is becoming more tolerable. There was a scene in last week's episode where Wayne (pretending to be someone else, of course) placed a phone call to Dahlia during a scam and turned it into an apology for the mess their lives had become, and it was absolutely heartbreaking, horrid accents aside. And while two of the three kids' stories aren't quite clicking for me yet, middle child Di Di is fun to watch as the member of the family who seems to be adjusting to "normal" life the fastest. For more on tonight's episode and to watch a video,
Tonight's episode sounds especially intriguing: Dahlia takes a job as a dental hygienist, presumably to have access to troves of her favorite drugs, and Wayne faces a tough situation at work that could expose him as a total fraud. I couldn't find a video preview, so check out this clip about the life of Doug Rich instead:
Photo courtesy of FX