Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete First Season - Exposed
R1 - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James Teitelbaum (28th October 2008).
The Show

Peter Krause plays Nick George, a good-guy lawyer who works in a tiny office for very little money taking on charity cases. The reason for his profession is his father, who was also a lawyer, and the reason for his specific practice is also the influence of his father, who was just the opposite sort of lawyer. The father (called "Dutch") was neglectful of Nick as a child, and also drove Nick's mother out of the marriage, due to his slavish devotion to a single client: the Darling Family. Dutch was basically more of a member of the obnoxious and fabulously wealthy Darling family than he was a member of his own family. When Dutch expires in a plane crash, Nick ends up taking over his father's practice, becoming the chief babysitter for Tripp Darling's brood. Tripp (Donald Sutherland) seems to be a grounded and decent guy, but his offspring and their spouses are all mean, exploitative, spoiled, and miserable. Nick and his wife Lisa (the perky Zoe McClellan) do not like these people, and are determined not to have their family become torn apart by the Darlings, like Dutch's family had been was during Nick's childhood. Within hours of reluctantly agreeing to take over his father's position, Nick has to bail several of Tripp's offspring out of various calamities.

Karen (Natalie Zea) is a floozy who can't hold a husband, but who once dated Nick when they were young. Of course, he's the only guy who ever really loved her. Brian (Glenn Fitzgerald) is a self-absorbed and violently bitter priest, and is a complete prick to everyone around him. He's got a special hate-on for Nick. Jeremy (Seth Gabel) is a coke-snorting playboy who is always getting arrested. Juliet (Samaire Armstrong) is a talentless actress with emotional problems. Patrick (William Baldwin) is in line to become a senator, and seems to be the only well-adjusted Darling, except for his secret affair with a transsexual. Nick defends these people as they are continually getting into trouble, but will all of their messes cost Nick the opportunity to practice the aspects of law that he truly believes in? Will they cost him his family? Will they cost him his sanity? And of course, there is a mystery surrounding his father's death. Nick decide to stay on as the Darling lawyer until he can determine which Darling killed his father.

So begins "Dirty Sexy Money." As this pilot episode ends, the characters are set up and well defined, but I was not necessarily drawn into the plot enough to care about what happened to Dutch, or whether or not the various Darlings manage to stay in or out of trouble. The further episodes become fairly fomulaic. Nick and his wife get into disagreements over Nick's past with the floozy Karen. They always make up by the end of the episode. Each episode functions as a little morality play - the concepts of truth and the consequences of being honest (or not) are dealt with quite often. someone lies to someone in every show, and they always end up regretting it. Inexplicably, greed, materialism, and the corruption that comes with having the ridiculous amounts of cash that the Darlings have ($35 billion as stated in one episode) is not touched upon as much as one would think. These people are comically rich - witness one scene in which Nick sees their vault full of cash, or the way that Tripp and his offspring toss their millions around. It isn't hard to imagine unhappy viewers at home longing for the same sort of material wealth that the Darling's have, and becoming even more disaffected when deprived of it.

As Nick, Peter Krause is merely adequate at best, but it is the ever-reliable Southerland who elevates things a bit and perhaps inspires the actors playing his children to find the best within themselves.

Disc one of this set contains the first four episodes, disc two contains episodes five through eight, and the tried disc contains episodes nine and ten:

- "Pilot" (43:01)
- "The Lions" (43:01)
- "The Italian Banker" (42:40)
- "The Chiavennasca" (43:01)
- "The Bridge" (43:00)
- "The Game" (43:04)
- "The Wedding" (42:58)
- "The Country House" (43:02)
- "The Watch" (43:03)
- "The Nutcracker" (42:50)

Video

Aspext ratio is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. I was surprised to see a few speckles and flaws in a few of the episodes. Modern productions like this one that are sent straight-to-DVD months after their original broadcast are usually pretty clean. The issues were minor, and were not a big deal. Other than this, there is a fair amount of detail and clairty present, and the digital effcs are seamless enough that I was unaware of them at all until they were mentioned briefly in the documentary on disc three. This transparancy is a good thing; these effects enhance the sow without calling attention to themselves.

Audio

"Dirty Sexy Money" is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1, with subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. For a 2007 television production, the sound is perfectly up to snuff and I was neither disappointed nor particularly impressed with any aspect of it.

Extras

This set contains three audio commentaries (one per disc), four featurettes, bloopers, deleted scenes and bonus trailers. Below is a closer look at these extras broken down per disc.

DISC ONE, TWO & THREE:

This set contains three audio commentaries on each disc, with creator/executive producer Craig Wright. Wright is joined by a rotating group of cast members on the episodes "Pilot" he's joined by actors Peter Krause and Natalie Zea, on "The Bridge" he's joined by actors Zoe McClellan, Seth Gabel and Peter Krause, and finally on "The Watch" he's joined by actors William Baldwin, Candis Cayne, Will Shadley and Glenn Fitzgerald. Each of these episodes contain decisive moments for certain characters, and for the most part, the actors that play the chracters in question are on hand to discuss their feelings on the events of these key episodes. It might have been nice to hear from Sutherland, but barring his absence, the rest of the key players each chime in at least once, for a solid peek inside their pespectives.

The rest of the extras are all on the third and final disc and include:

"The Road to Excess: Making Dirty Sexy Money" which runs for 20 minutes 24 seconds; this is a basic making-of featurette containing interviews with the cast and crew.

"Enter the Penthouse: A VIP Set Tour" featurette runs for 7 minutes 17 seconds; a tour of the set with production designer Steven Wolff.

"Haute Couture: Dressing the Darlings" featurette runs for 6 minutes 48 seconds; and is a short feature on the wardrobe department including interviews with costume designer Roberta Haze.

"The Other Woman: Candis Cayne" featurette runs for 5 minutes 25 seconds; and is a short clip on the transsexual actress.

"Tripp Ups" Dirty Sexy bloopers runs for 3 minutes 4 seconds and is a standard on-set blooper reel

8 deleted scenes are next:

- "Making it Work" runs for 54 seconds; Juliet and her mother argue.
- "Another Day at the Office" runs for 3 minutes 47 seconds; Nick and Tripp talk in Tripp's office.
- "Two Copies For Two Offices" runs for 1 minute 43 seconds; Tripp is drunk at Karen's wedding.
- "Part of the Family?" runs for 41 seconds; Nick tucks his daughter into bed.
- "I'm Not Jealous" runs for 2 minutes 9 seconds; Nick and Karen talk about Simon.
- "You Already Apologized" runs for 1 minute 15 seconds; Ellen is still mad about her husband's affair.
- "Not My Someone" runs for 1 minute 19 seconds; Nick and Kevin talk about love.
- "Gracious Reminder" runs for 2 minutes 26 seconds; Tripp and his wife talk on Christmas.

Bonus trailers are included for:

- "Ugly Betty: The Complete Second Season" which runs for 1 minute 10 seconds.
- "Lost: The Complete Fourth Season" which runs for 1 minute 3 seconds.
- "Dirty Sexy Money on ABC" spot which runs for 32 seconds.
- "Brothers and Sisters: Second Season" which runs for 1 minute 17 seconds.
- "Miramax Films" spot which runs for 2 minutes 36 seconds.
- "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" which runs for 2 minutes 6 seconds.
- "Wall-E" which runs for 2 minutes 33 seconds.

Packaging

Packaged in a digi-pack housed in cardboard slip-case.

Overall

The Show: B- Video: A- Audio: B+ Extras: B Overall: B

 


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