Unfortunately, the Season Pass list on our Tivo just got a little leaner with the announcement this week that FX is cancelling one of our favorite shows ever, the pitch-black satire of American consumerism, “The Riches”.
Maybe it was too dark, or too weird, or, hell, maybe it was too freaking awesome for TV! But for whatever reason, the brainiacs at FX have decided to let the show go the way of it’s God-awful sister show “Dirt”. Cancelling “Dirt” I understand, that show was just plain stupid, and Courtney Cox? Wow…bad.
But “The Riches” had it all, baby! Juicy storytelling, totally original characters, a super cool concept — a family of modern-day gypsy “travelers” assumes the identities of a normal, all-American “buffer” family in the burbs in an attempt to go straight — and some of the best acting you’ve ever seen on the small screen.
Sure, the leads were awesome, Eddie Izzard can do no wrong in my book, and Minnie Driver’s tragically-flawed character broke our hearts on a nightly basis — I’m not kidding, yo, she rocked! — but this was a show were even the smallest part was amazing. Seriously, even the crazy, catatonic Grandma with like, four lines, was incredible.
And though the kids were all out-of-this-world-good, I gotta say our favorite character was Driver’s neighbor, Nina, played by the rocking Margo Martindale. Martindale has guest-starred in practically everything, but here she was given a chance to really explore a character over time, and she totally ran with it!
Married to a gay alpaca farmer — hilariously played by “Passions” regular, Bruce French — Martindale’s repressed, self-medicating housewife evolved over time into the one person Driver could truly confide in. In lesser hands, these crazy characters could become types, but Driver and Martindale made Dahlia and Nina into living, breathing women of substance, and watching their relationship blossom was really beautiful to watch.
And when Driver lied to her about something major on the season finale, and Martindale knew she was lying, the look on her face was just…wow…I mean, give this woman an Emmy already!
So, though we’ll never know how things turned out for the Malloy/Rich family and their strange, Southern-Gothic brood of extended friends, co-workers and enemies, I gotta tell ya, our lives have been richer — no pun intended — for knowing them. Rock on in rerun heaven, amigos!