Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dirty Sexy Money: The Chiavennesca (1.4)

In the continuing Nick/Karen/Lisa triangle, the writers have made a good job of making all parties pretty sympathetic. Sure, Karen is a little obnoxious in her complete lack of awareness, but Natalie Zea's winning performance and the hints of sadness and regret that layer it definitely redeem any negative qualities about her character. Likewise, it's understandable why Lisa is so panicked. She's terrified of losing her husband not only to Karen but to the Darling lifestyle itself. The scene where she handed Karen back the shoes she purchased for her was revelatory in how much it said about her character.

Equally sympathetic were Tripp and Leticia. The idea of discovering one of your children isn't your own is ridiculously devastating, and Donald Sutherland completely sold it. Unsurprisingly, I guess. Brian's discussion about feeling left out and alienated from the rest of his family went a long way in implying that he's probably Dutch's son. It could also explain his latent anger issues. I did like that he seems to be bonding with "Gustav", and the final scene with the bully was a lot of fun.

A surprising amount of screentime is being given to Jeremy's affair with Juliet's nemesis. While I'm enjoying the work of all the actors involved (Juliet's shriek of horror was awesome), I'm not feeling the actual story. It's a little too self-contained compared to everything else that's happening on the show. The characters probably need to integrate with the rest of the cast a little more, if that's at all possible.

The show is becoming more soapy with so many storylines occurring at once with little connecting them, but it's not exactly bringing the show down right now. The actors are all selling their individual worries and regrets, and each character is pretty relatable. Considering this is only the fourth episode, that's a great achievement. B

Guest stars Daniel Cosgrove (Freddy Mason); Laura Margolis (Daisy); Chloe Grace Moretz (Kiki George); Michelle Krusiec (Mei Ling Hwa Darling); Bellamy Young (Ellen Darling); Tamara Feldman (Natalie Kimpton); Ted Shackleford (Dr. Peter Delafield); Erick Avari (Harold Templeton); Shawn Michael Patrick (Clark)
Writers Christopher Landon, Diane Ruggiero Director Michael Lange

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