Dec 26

Dirty Sexy Money

ABC’s new television series, Dirty Sexy Money, premiered in September 2007 delighting audiences with the absurd lifestyle of the rich and famous.  The show presents the life of Nick George, an idealistic lawyer lured to take his father’s job as the personal lawyer of one of New York’s richest families, the Darlings.  Peter Krause plays Nick, who swore never to follow his absentee father’s footsteps and become a slave to the Darlings but ended up eating his words after his father died in a plane crash.  Tripp Darling, the family patriarch, offers the job to Nick for a whopping US$10 million a year for his charity works over and above his regular salary.  Nick justifies accepting the job with the charity money and the chance to discover the circumstances surrounding his father’s mysterious death.

However, being the Darling’s personal lawyer not only entailed handling the family’s legal affairs but also babysitting Tripp’s 5 children.  Babysitting meant getting the kids out of jail, paying ransom to blackmailers for sex tapes, arranging birthday parties, and even giving advice.  The eldest of the Darling children is Patrick (played by William Baldwin), the incumbent attorney general, who is also running for the Senate.  I found Patrick to be the funniest of all the children because of the irony of his situation.  William Baldwin plays the role perfectly as the distinguished eldest son with a big secret.  The big secret made me laugh so hard when I found out in the pilot episode because it involved a mistress who had a voice deeper than Patrick’s.  Patrick’s dilemma is how to keep his transexual mistress under wraps while he is running for the Senate.

I’m not sure what it is about the show that got my interest.  Maybe it’s the unusual lifestyle I never even imagined or the idea that rich people had bigger problems than me.  I was shocked when the youngest children (fraternal twins), Jeremy & Juliet,  held one of their parties spending more than US$10 million.  The location of Jeremy’s party was held on the Brooklyn Bridge which had to be shut off from traffic.  Despite the extravagant celebration, it still ended with Jeremy drunk and singing “All by Myself” while he dangerously trodded on one of the beams of the bridge on the brink of falling off.  Could the filthy rich really be sadder than us normal people?  Most likely.  Like Jeremy, the second child, Karen, had been divorced three times and botched her 4th wedding with a whirlwind annulment which was done 25 minutes after the wedding ceremony.  Apparently, Karen can buy anything she wants, except the love of Nick, her childhood sweetheart who is now happily married.

Another thing that makes the series a hit is its blatant representation of the power of money.  We normal honest working folks always have the pride to say that our value and worth does not have a price.  Can that be true?  Even if Nick insists that he does the job to be able to help more people with his charity funds, is it certain that he is not motivated by the seduction of power and money?  If I was offered a ridiculous sum of money, would I turn it down just to pride myself in thinking that I do not work for a family who flaunt their wealth and use their power for their selfish gains?  Or will I find an excuse to take the job like Nick?

If only to find out how unfair the world is and how ridiculous and absurd the wealthy can be, I suggest you go and watch the show.  I did enjoy it regardless of the inequity in the world it represents.

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