Tag Archives: “Passions”

FX cancels “The Riches”

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!

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“Passions” world-record!

As you may or may not know, one of our favorite shows, the twisted, supernatural sudser “Passions”, left the NBC schedule (after a bewitching 8.5 years on the air!) in September and moved to Direct TV’s subscription-only channel “The 101”.

Heidi Mueller (Kay Bennett) & Juliet Mills (Tabitha Lennox) @ PASSIONS event!

Since we don’t have Direct TV and have watched “Passions” daily since it’s inception in the summer of 1999 — come on, who wouldn’t watch a show with a talking doll and a witch? — the news of the move was kind of like the end of era, not just for us, but for our poor overworked Tivo, Snape, as well.

But just because we can’t watch “Passions” anymore, doesn’t mean that the trials and tribulations of the residents of Harmony have ended. Not by a long shot!

Emily Harper (Fancy) & Erin Cadillo (Esme) from PASSIONS

So, we were delighted to hear from a friend of mine at NBC that the bulk of the “Passions” cast was appearing at a fan event celebrating the character Tabitha’s 300th birthday (she’s one of three witches on the show) at Universal’s CityWalk.

Cast of PASSIONS @ Universal CityWalk!

Andrea Evans (Rebecca) & Kim Johnson Ulrich (Ivy) @ PASSIONS event!

Gathering as many costumed fans as they could, the producers were hoping to break a world record for most people dressed in costumes in one place. And though the crowd hardly looked big enough to break any records, the annoying dude with the mic (not a “Passions” cast member!) assured us they did.

But world records or not, the main draw for us was a chance to see all our old “Passions” favorites in person.

Cast of PASSIONS onstage @ CityWalk!

Christopher Maleki (Spike), Phillip Jeanmarie (Vincent) & McKenzie Westmore (Sheridan) from PASSIONS!

And talk about access! Security was so lax — guess they didn’t expect much of a turnout for a show that now airs exclusively on Direct TV! — that we had the rare chance to meet and greet almost all of our favorite actors from the show. Yeah!

Everyone was crazy-friendly and totally approachable, even when I called them by their character names. Yikes, stalker much? Sorry, guys.

Nicole Cox (Endora Lennox) @ PASSIONS event!

And since they were all dressed in Halloween costumes, it made the event kind of coolly seasonal too, so needless to say, we had a blast!

Below is a picture of Christine posing with her favorite villain on the show, the murderous hermaphrodite Vincent Crane, played by actor Phillip Jeanmarie. Yes, I said murderous hermaphrodite. Harmony’s full of them.

Phillip Jeanmarie (Vincent the hermaphrodite) & Christine @ PASSIONS event!

And I managed to pose not just with the super chill Justin Hartley — who originated the role of Fox Crane and has since appeared on “Smallville” and in the short-lived-cult-favorite “Aquaman” on the WB — but also with the Golden Globe award-winning actress (daughter of Oscar-winner Sir John Mills, sister of Hayley) and witch of the hour, Juliet Mills (Tabitha Lennox).

Wow…all that was missing was a pitcher of Martimmies! So cool!

Me & Justin Hartley (the original and best Fox Crane) @ PASSIONS event!

Juliet Mills (Tabitha) & Me @ PASSIONS event!

Although we couldn’t stay for the autograph signing afterwards, we did get to see the Guinness folks take a group photo for the record books and got so many great pics of our own, that it hardly mattered.

All in all, a great send off to one of our favorite shows! Vaya con dios, “Passions”!

Marianne Muellerleile (Crazy Norma) from PASSIONS!

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