Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Dirty Sexy Money" Recap & Review - "Pilot"

Dirty Sexy Money

Original Air Date: September 26, 2007

Shawn P - TwoCents Staff Writer

“The love of money is the root of all evil,” so says Nick George (Peter Krause) in the opening voiceover of “Dirty Sexy Money.” We watch as a plane wreck is pulled from what looks like the Long Island Sound but seems to be far enough away from the East River as to retain a natural water-like hue and was completely oil-slick and hypodermic needle free in the wide-shot. We flashback to learn Nicky’s mom went out for the proverbial pack of smokes when he was a wee lad because pops, a lawyer for the monied Darling clan, was a bit work-obsessed. Uh, hello? Leaving your family because the bread-winner is upwardly-mobile with a high-powered job? Sounds like the American Dream. Open letter to Mrs. George: Feeling neglected? Get a hobby. Flirt with the dry cleaner. Buy lots of flashy things you don’t need with all that scratch your better half is earning. Learn a foreign language and rub your caste-rising awesomeness in the noses of all the people you didn’t like from high school. Don’t run out on your maternal obligations. Think of the children!

Anyway, Nick pledges to never work for the Darlings and vows to never be like Dad, who in all fairness didn’t seem too bad to me. Flash-forward to Nick doing good works as a lawyer trying to save a playground for the Sisters of Eternal Mercy. The nuns love them some hopscotch. How come do-good lawyers never protect corporations from class action lawsuits? Nick’s off to Pop’s funeral (draw an inference to the crashed plane), where we meet the Darlings – Papa Tripp (Donald Sutherland), mama Letitia (Jill Clayburgh), daughter Karen (Natalie Zea) and her golfer hubby, politician Patrick (William Baldwin) and his brood, and Paris (Samaire Armstrong), who everyone calls Julia, the celebutante who babbles about the fun plane ride to the press and calls a reporter poor (which begs the question of what she’d call a burger-flipper). Inside the church we meet the Reverend Brian Darling (Glenn Fitzgerald), who manages to insult Nick with an “I hate you” in the middle of a condolence, which seems like something they’d teach you in seminary not to do, but ever since they stopped saying mass in Latin, obviously the bar’s being set lower.

After a short commercial break featuring the ubiquitous Feist iPod commercial (1, 2, 3, 4, I just can’t stand this song no more…), Nick’s wife (Zoe McLennan) asks him why he’s meeting Tripp for drinks. We get the answer when we see the Tripp family discussing (also while drinking) making Nick the family lawyer. I missed a brother earlier, apparently: Andy Dick’s sitting on the sofa, swilling a martini in his smoking jacket and some very strange detachable eyewear. It’s not really Andy Dick (but an actor playing Andy Dick named Seth Gabel), but that’s what I thought the first time he spoke, so that’s what I’m calling him from here on out.

Momma Tripp makes an impassioned plea on behalf of Nick to the group that somehow involves smashing a vase that probably cost more than the poor reporter makes in two months on the beat. It’s a moot point, since Tripp’s already in process of the hard sell. I think the scene was merely to work in Andy Dick’s smoking jacket, so fine by me.

Tripp makes his pitch to Nick over red wine. Red wine goes with job interviews, I guess. $5 million bucks, above and beyond salary, to do good works and close the deal. Okay. Sign. Me. Up. Nick sees it my way, and makes some perfunctory demands, then says he’ll do it for $10 million. Is that $10 million for good works, or in salary? Because sending me to Tahiti for Christmas would be a good work. Tripp says “DONE!” which makes me think Nick could have gotten more. Apparently an instinct for return on investment isn’t Tripp’s strong suit, which reminds me the old saw about the best way to become a millionaire (start out as a billionaire).

Nick’s wife (Mrs. Nick, I think) asks if they just won the lottery. Nick explains he sold out, so Mrs. Nick naturally asks about the charitable foundation windfall and not how much Nick is actually going to get in take-home pay. Because, I guess, love of money is the root of all evil.

Andy Dick immediately calls, and he’s wearing the hat from Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” video. Definitely Andy Dick’s best work since Newsradio, even if it’s not Andy Dick. The costumes are worth the price of admission alone. Nick promises to help him on something not worth noting, to which Andy says “thank you Nick, you are the wettest.” I really need to get close captioning, I notice. Or maybe that’s just Andy being Andy.

Karen drops off the check for $10M in Nick’s office, her hubby in tow, then announces apropos of nothing that Nick deflowered her. I guess Hallmark doesn’t make a card for that particular occasion. Nick immediately responds he’s giving a cool million to the nuns. Nick, as a lawyer with knowledge of these types of things, you should really request applications for grants and have these requests vetted. I know they’re nuns, but I know of a least one person of the cloth who’s undeserving of charity because he blurts out inappropriate remarks during funerals. That’s right Reverend Brian, I’m looking at you.

Speaking of Reverend Brian, he calls in Nick to try to intimidate Captain Bly (don’t ask, only know that an eye-patch is involved) to admit a kid into the Maple Grove school. Apparently the good Reverend has a love child. And it’s at this point we learn Nick has a rocking Hall & Oates (“Rick Girl”) tune as his ring tone, which makes me love him just a little, but also kills my theory that Nick is a Nick Carraway reference, because Nick Carraway would probably have some Jazz Age standard on his phone. I should also state, for the record, that if his ring tone was Feist, I’d have to watch the rest of the show with mute on; I know it’s a good song, but, follow me here - I love pizza, but if I ate pizza for 2 minutes at a time 17 times an hour, I’d slit my wrists.

It’s Paris on the line, and she’s not happy with her Scottish-brogued director. Seems she’s in a play – from the set design, I’d say “Noises Off,” but she’s dressed like Hattie McDaniel in “Gone with the Wind,” so maybe it’s “Newsies,” which wasn’t ever on Broadway, but probably should be. I can’t make out a word the director is saying, but everything sounds cooler in a brogue.

Now Nick is bailing out Andy Dick from something at Chelsea Pier that involves him wearing a red velour jacket. Is it too early to give the costume designer an Emmy? Oh yes, Nick forgot to pick up his daughter.

Paris gets a pep talk from mom that leads her to immediately try to overdose on pharmaceuticals and Diet Soda. Tony Robbins she is not. We can’t see what was in the pill bottle, but it definitely wasn’t pop rocks. Nick escorts Andy Dick from his arraignment. Free Andy Dick!

Promo for “Big Shots” during this commercial break. Guess what I’ll be reviewing tonight? Ah, premiere week on ABC…

No Feist sighting in 20 minutes. Must be a something wrong with the satellite.

Andy Dick says dad is going to kill him for winning a yacht in a poker game. And Nick thinks his dad was the bad one? Nick gives him a pep talk, which doesn’t lead to a suicidal gesture, so maybe he should be the one talking to Paris, no?

Nick apologizes to his wife for missing the kiddie pick-up, to which she responds with, $10 million dollars! She doesn’t, but should have. It’s a party, and the entire cast is there. Letitia references Doug Henning, and somewhere a tear runs down Doug Henning’s cheek. Letitia’s playing the “remember when” game, which is the lowest form of conversation. She’s flattering Nick’s dad on his parenting skills, which devolves into a discussion on the cosmos coming apart. Tripp interrupts with “what are you talking about?” I hear that, Tripp. I hear that.

Golf Pro hubby gets a case of delayed jealousy, which washes away when he learns he can take the family jet on a golf outing. Nice. Meanwhile, Patrick’s talking politics when he gets called to the door to meet his part-crashing transvestite lover. Nothing to add there. I report, you decide.

Tripp announces his love for his wife, which gets a round of applause (congratulations, you love the woman you swore before God and the state of New York to love, honor, and obey). Andy Dick invited a horse to the party, because it’s a reminder of the racetrack the Tripp’s met at, and because he’s Andy Dick. Can’t wait for the deleted scenes on the DVD from this one. I predict the horse ends up in the velour jacket before the night is over.

Nick runs into Karen upstairs. She’s not happy with Freddy (Golf Pro hubby has a name, unlike Mrs. Nick or Mrs. Nick’s daughter). Karen is totally flirting here, between crocodile tears. I guess Golf Pro hubby is only Golf Pro boyfriend, so there’s an out for Karen. She kisses Nick on the cheek like he’s a dancer at the Crazy Horse II and she’s down to her last dollar, at which point Mrs. Nick walks in. Smooth move, Nick. Nick chases his wife outside, where Reverend Brian wants answers on Maple Grove. Nick says Bri-Guy has to acknowledge the kid, which leads to another “I hate you.” I guess Nick’s tolerance for frustration ends at one “I hate you” because now he’s tackling Brian and threatening a little ass kicking. Karen comes running down to scream that Paris needs a doctor (although I assume there’s Valtrex in any of the 20 bathroom cabinets in this mansion). It gets serious for moment, as Tripp and Nick huddle to discuss matters. Nick quits, because the love of money is the root of all evil, and there’s only so many shenanigans one can reasonably handle in a given night.

ABC lets us know Thursday’s “got it going on” in this penultimate commercial break. Duly noted.

Nick tells Patrick he can’t talk now, still need to smooth things over with Mrs. Nick, but he relents and jumps in a limo with the future Senator. Patrick asks Nick to break it off with his tranny hooker (Nick’s words, not mine). Nick asks if the tranny hooker (he says it again) is more of a man than Patrick, which spurs Patrick to take matters into his own hands.

Nick goes home to argue with Mrs. Nick. We learn Nick has a different ring tone for different numbers, and his ring tone for Karen is Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.” He says Daisy, his secretary, set up his ring tones as a joke, which explains a lot, at least to me. Mrs. Nick says thank you, and I have to say you got me why that gets a thanks, and proceeds to answer the phone. Karen says we need to talk about your dad.

Karen says that Reverend Brian paid $10k to someone named Exley, not the LA Confidential cop, but an airplane mechanic. He also says Brian wasn’t happy about the affair Nick’s dad was having with Letitia. Nick’s in shock. I thought this was obvious for the last 20 minutes.

Nick learns that the helicopter wreck doesn’t contain his daddy’s body, and that it was probably an explosion that caused the crash. Was Nick’s dad a pilot? Was the pilot’s body found? The world may never know, because the cop says there’s nothing to do and that the DA wouldn’t be interested in Exley because of the information’s providence. Okay. That’s not what Law & Order leaves me to believe, but whatever. There’s a water-tight lock-box on the plane full of personal effects, because why wouldn’t there be? Tripp arrives to give Nick a hug, which is thoughtful, I’d say. Nick asks if he’s really asking if Tripp wants Nick back. Nick mentions the water-proof box and Tripp gets all shifty. Somewhere in that back-and-forth Nick took his job back. We’ll have to go the instant reply to figure out where.

Nick asks if the love of freedom, not money, is maybe the root of all evil while we watch Paris announce she loves her family. Maybe it’s the love of fame he posits while Andy Dick talks about Space Camp on his yacht. Or the love of virtue as Reverend Nick talks to his baby mama who immediately gives her kid away to the priest. Because there’s no red flags in that sentence! Or the love of vice, which takes us to the tranny hooker, who threatens to hurt him/herself if Patty leaves. Or the love of romance, where Golf Pro titillates himself with talk of Japanese golf courses. Or having too much of anything, where we see Nick, who announces he’s going to find out who killed his dad and make them pay. Wow, I wouldn’t have been able to match the dialogue to the scenes we saw at any point in that montage if you gave me a week and an answer key. But whatever, scenes from next week show the Tripps’ getting some public relations love. I mean they get worked over by someone in PR. I mean they go on a relations offensive. Nevermind what I mean, just tune in next week, we’ll get it straightened out then.

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