Monday, September 13, 2010

Dirty Sexy Money: The Nutcracker (1.10)

Considering it was never intended to be a season finale, Dirty Sexy Money does a pretty good job at crafting a tantalizing teaser for next season, even if it doesn't necessarily follow through on its promises. While the continuing Nick/Tripp/Simon/Karen saga frustrates, there are enough enjoyable "moments" to make it at least entertaining, from Gina Torres' great cameo as Simon's ex-wife, to that great moment with Karen waltzing into The Nutcracker clearly disturbed by her recent actions.

The revelation that Tripp is, essentially, pimping out his daughter is a little gross. But it does provide an added element of manipulation and twisted family interaction to the series. Karen's tears could imply that she's in over her head, and experiencing the one thing she wasn't supposed to: actually have feelings for Simon. Poor girl. She can't help herself.

Elsewhere, I still like Lisa and Jeremy together, and for the first time Lisa actually got to me on an emotional level. Her hysterical "I'm losing my husband" was particularly affecting, since it wasn't an outburst rooted in jealousy over Karen, but a general perception that she's losing Nick to power and the Darling family in general. The irony is that Lisa is playing with fire herself, putting herself in the position where she, too, could be lost to the Darlings.

For the rest of the subplots: adios Sofia. You won't be missed. I can't remember what happened with Carmelita's disappearance, but it's got to be Ellen behind the act, right? She would clearly do anything to keep Patrick close to her. Juliet's relationship with creepy Kai is intriguing, but it vanishes after this episode. Literally. I remember reading she was supposed to be sucked into some religious cult. But the strike and Samaire's "issues" halted that. Sad.

The show's first season hasn't nearly been as uneven as I remembered it being. Both Tripp and Brian were far stronger characters the second time around; and certain storylines (Brian's paternity, Tripp's machinations) were a lot more interesting than I thought they were when the show first aired. But, at the same time, a couple of character arcs were pretty flat. The entire Patrick storyline with Carmelita didn't follow through on such a juicy "idea", while Karen is too disjointed as a character to be completely enjoyable. There's also the elephant in the room: Simon Elder is just entirely redundant. There's a vagueness to his character that doesn't seem intentional, and the writers don't appear to have a specific direction in mind for him. This becomes further muddled in season two.

You can see why ABC stepped in to pull the show in a certain direction, but they may have only dented its creativity in the long run. The fact that a lot of the storylines witnessed in The Nutcracker and over the last couple of episodes are quickly vetoed in early season two is just frustrating. However, standing on its own and without knowledge of where the show is headed, this was pretty great. B+

Guest stars Sofia Vergara (Sofia Montoya); Robert Pine (Bishop); Chloe Grace Moretz (Kiki George); Alex Nesic (Kai); Gina Torres (Ama); Bellamy Young (Ellen Darling); Candis Cayne (Carmelita Rainer); Jonathan Schmock (Gallery Owner); Shawn Michael Patrick (Clark)
Writers Craig Wright, Jill Soloway Director Tony Goldwyn

No comments:

Post a Comment