The Riches, Virgin 1

by | Oct 1, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

It was Virgin 1’s launch night flagship (indeed, the only vessel that didn’t sink without trace) and we’ll definitely stick with it.

What was good about it?

• Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver impressed as Wayne and Dahlia Malloy – a couple with three kids on the run from their Irish-American travelling community. After being involved in a road accident, they take on the identities of the couple killed in the other car – the Riches – and move into their brand-new mansion.

• Characters with depth (Dahlia is a junkie); intriguing back-story (the Travellers come across like a semi-civilised tribe) and a clever set-up had us sucked-in after this opening episode.

• The pre-credits sequence where Wayne and the kids crash a high-school reunion – and Wayne pretends to be one of the ex-pupils – was a wonderful way to introduce this family of grifters. From his eldest daughter Di-Di testing him on characters from the school yearbook, to youngest son Sam dragged-up as a 10-year-old girl lifting purses from unattended bags, you were under no illusions that the Malloys were anything but n’er do-wells.

• Dahlia’s dramatic first appearance, freshly released from jail, in which Minnie Driver was almost unrecognisable – cornrows, no make-up, chugging on a bottle of methadone with a convincing Southern drawl.

• The supporting characters of the travelling community. The Malloys are on the run because the Travellers want to cement a bond between two large families by marrying Di-Di off to a guy that looks like he should be in the film Deliverance. Unsurprisingly, Wayne is having none of this, and steals the savings of the head of the clan before they do their moonlight flit.

• In a nod to Izzard’s transvestism, Sam’s love for dressing up as a girl was a nice touch.

• There was a lot of light and shade throughout. Some very funny sequences – Wayne turning down the marriage proposal in no uncertain terms, “Why don’t you go shit yourself?”– were followed by some pretty heavy stuff: Dahlia shooting up and the aftermath of the car crash as Doug Rich sits behind the wheel of his BMW with a wooden branch skewering him to his seat.

• Having been inside for two years, Wayne and Dahlia’s eagerly awaited first sex session lasted all of 15 seconds. “Is that it?” asks Dahlia. “What do you expect after two years?!” replies Wayne.

What was bad about it?

• Eddie Izzard’s Yank accent was all over the place and we weren’t fully convinced that he wasn’t going to burst into one of his surreal flights of fancy when he was in close-up.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

01/10/2007

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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