April 22, 2008

Cable Boxing: The family that cons together …

The RichesSeason 2, Episode: Trust Never SleepsFX, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Aired April 15. Starring Eddie Izzard, Minnie Driver, Shannon Marie Woodward, Todd Stashwick, Aidan Mitchell, Noel Fisher and Gregg Henry.Synopsis: Living the straight life continues to prove difficult for Dahlia, and Wayne receives a surprise visitor while at work.Mat: This episode is now almost a week old, but because Izzard performed last week at the Palace, we’re still timely.His transition from standup comedian/executive transvestite to vagabond con artist Wayne Malloy on FX’s newest original series sounded like a quantum leap. But the overall plotline to “The Riches” is smarter than, say, “Gossip Girl.”Sara: Hey, I take offense to that. Why must you put down something in an attempt to compliment? I happen to like “Gossip Girl” in all its tween glory. But back to “The Riches,” which you forced me to watch this week. I liked the actors — Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard are usually solid in any role — but I got a little lost in the storyline, probably because this was my first viewing. It’s hard to come into a show in the middle of its second season. But I tried. Can you give me some background?Mat: When Wayne, wife Dahlia (Driver), sons Cael and Sam (Fisher and Mitchell) and daughter Dehliah (Woodward) kill an elderly rich couple in a car accident, they assume the couple’s identities. It turns out keeping up appearances is harder than it looks.The family that cons together stays together, but this episode shows cracks in the Riches’ façade. Dahlia’s con unravels when a cop busts her after she’s carjacked outside her “apartment.” But the gumshoe lets her go! Unbelievable.Sara: You know, I couldn’t help but think Matt Damon and Ben Affleck would come to her rescue during that scene. Not some husky-voiced detective whose intentions seemed questionable. How ’bout dem apples? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)Mat: It’s nice to know that kids today still look up to their parents as role models. Even if dear old dad’s covering up a brutal murder by stealing evidence from a private investigator’s hotel room.That Sam had the presence of mind to wipe his dad’s blood off the hotel room door should earn him a few brownie points — and a new ride when he turns 16 — from pops.Sara: Yeah, my dad used to take me to Dairy Queen when I wiped his blood off seedy hotel doorknobs. Mat: During the dialogue between Wayne and Sam at the hotel, Izzard’s British accent creeped out for a brief moment. Driver was close, but her Southern, aw-shucks lilt was more believable. The next phone call should be to a dialogue coach. If it worked for James Gandolfini, it can work for you. No one wants another Kevin Costner.Sara: I must say the fake accents were off-putting. I thought Driver’s character was conning the cop by using such an over-the-top Southern accent. But it turns out she’s just trying to con the viewing public. Well, shucks, ain’t that a pity! Drop us a line at leo@leoweekly.com, or check out our TV blog at cableboxing.blogspot.com