Question: A while back, you responded to someone who disagreed with your lukewarm review of The Riches. You said you found it "intriguing" but not "compelling." You also mentioned that you planned to continue reviewing the series in depth as it continued. Now that a few more episodes have aired, I would like to hear what you think. I believe the show is an absolute gem, totally original and fabulously enjoyable. The acting (particularly from Eddie Izzard, Minnie Driver and the wonderful Margo Martindale) is outstanding, as you noted. I also think the two newest episodes have been the best yet, with a perfect blend of comedy and drama as Doug tries to phone it in as a lawyer, and Dahlia struggles with her pill addiction and the sheer boredom of being a housewife. How did you like the recent episodes, and how are you feeling about the series as a whole at this point? I really believe that this is one of the best shows on TV right now.
Answer: I wish I could agree with you on this one, but I can't. I was left even colder after screening Episodes 4 through 6. I simply don't buy the situations, the characters, the milieu, and I found the balance of comedy (Wayne/Doug lecturing a class was perhaps the last straw, along with Dahlia's short stint as a dental hygienist) with what appears to be drama (Dahlia's crying jags, the dentist's death) to be jarring and mostly unsatisfying. I agree the show takes some original and unusual twists, and I would add Gregg Henry to the list of actors who are doing outstanding work on the show. Funny thing. I surveyed a handful of critics I know who had given the show a positive review to see if they felt the next batch of episodes held up, and none had bothered to watch yet. (If they have since, they mostly haven't gotten back to me.) Which made me wonder how deep their support for the show was in the first place. Being in an out-on-a-limb spirit today, I'll go on record as saying The Riches is probably the most overrated series of 2007 to date. Which isn't to say that I can't see what others may like about it. I'll keep watching, and if I experience one of those game-changing moments (like the H.R.G. twists in Heroes this winter), I'll share. Otherwise, I'll probably keep my yap shut.