Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dirty Sexy Money: The Facts (2.7)

After a run of episodes with more twists than a hula hoop factory, it's puzzling why the powers that be intended to interrupt the show's crazy momentum with this glorified clip show. Far more interesting than the cut-and-paste shorter-than-average episode we have here is the background to how all of this came about. Supposedly, from day one, events conspired which made working on Dirty Sexy Money pretty much hell on earth. Everybody, from ABC's top-brass to series creator Craig Wright to show star and producer Peter Krause, had their opinion of how the show should work, creating numerous areas of conflict and re-writing of scripts. This isn't totally out of the ordinary for freshman TV. What is unusual is that six complete episodes of Dirty Sexy Money were shot, before being scrapped and hastily re-written to form the opening of season two.

Those six episodes, titled The Fantini Brothers, The Silent Auction, The Little Boy, The Fashion Show, The Witness List and The Monster, cover some similar ground to what we saw in season two, most notably Leticia's arrest for Dutch's murder, and the entire Nola character. What ended up scrapped were subplots including Juliet getting wrapped up in a cult, Tripp's attraction to an old friend played by Lolita Davidovich, and increased screen-time devoted to Carmelita's disappearance. The Facts consists almost entirely of footage from those episodes, that could theoretically make sense when thrown into the middle of the season we're watching right now.

It's kind of a mess. The Fantini story is of little importance, likewise Patrick's TV interview, while Karen's annoyance with Simon's son and ex-wife feel hollow when shrunk down to ten minutes... which isn't at all surprising. Only Juliet's story feels necessary, as it not only explains where the hell she's vanished to, but also features a tearful goodbye between Juliet and Jeremy, a pair that spent so much of the first season together.

The wrap-around device (Clark telling each story to a tabloid reporter) feels especially leaden, dragged down by clunky dialogue devised to open up each barrel of clips. The ending is interesting, but again pretty vacuous. I guess the show didn't want to entirely waste the money they spent on all those scrapped episodes, but that doesn't make The Facts any less of a drag. Only watch if you're a Juliet fan, and skip forward to her couple of scenes if you are. D

Guest stars Samaire Armstrong (Juliet Darling); Donna Mills (Society Lady); Shawn Michael Patrick (Clark); Rena Sofer (Kate Scott); Laura Margolis (Daisy); Tamara Feldman (Natalie Kimpton); Elijah Kelley (Elon); Gina Torres (Ama); Louis Giambalvo (Fantini Brother); Joe d'Angerio (Fantini Brother); Alex Nesic (Kai); Dana Cuomo (Renata Lennox); Dan Rather (Himself)
Writers Christopher Landon, Lakesha Walker, Peter Elkoff, Jake Coburn, Sallie Patrick, Daniel Cerone, Bill Chais Directors Matthew Gross, Jeff Melman, Tom Verica, Bob Berlinger, Michael Grossman, Tim Matheson

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