A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, as the title suggests, this adult-targeted drama involves all sorts of dirty deeds. Affairs abound; one character, a senator, is sleeping with a transsexual, and there are scenes of them lying in bed together (no nudity), along with saucy dialogue (like a play on the word "come," for example). The adult children of a wealthy family exhibit lots of iffy behavior -- for instance, one is a coke addict who likes to gamble (and also smokes and drinks constantly). That said, the main character is honest and has the best intentions, though he's tugged in dodgy directions by the family he works for.
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What's the story?
DIRTY SEXY MONEY's title says it all. This glitzy drama is all about a ridiculously wealthy family, their misdeeds, and the honest lawyer who's lured into representing them -- getting dirty, sexy, and a good deal of money in the process. Nick George (Six Feet Under's Peter Krause) reluctantly follows in his late father's footsteps as the Darling family's lawyer. The ultra-rich Manhattanites are a little like the Hiltons, with a few more children to keep track of. Patriarch "Tripp" Darling (Donald Sutherland) manages his brood with a mix of love and disdain, accompanied by his wife, Leticia (Jill Clayburgh). Their five grown children range from politico Patrick (William Baldwin), who's having an affair with a transsexual, to spoiled-but-sweet aspiring actress Juliet (Samaire Armstrong), whose greatest put-down is "you're poor!"
Is it any good?
With some captivating actors and a juicy, scandal-ridden plot, Dirty Sexy Money is a sort of modern-day Dynasty that's shed its hokey soap opera skin. Besides tracking the Darlings' assorted depravities, the show ponders greater questions about self, identity, and family -- especially how these concepts intersect with money, power, and privilege. Plus, there's a mystery to latch onto: Who killed Nick's father?
Because it has so many adult themes and situations -- including a transgressing reverend and his illegitimate child, the senator and his "girlfriend," multiple affairs, and a cocaine-addicted playboy -- Dirty Sexy Money is best for mature audiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about balancing your ideals with reality. If someone offered you $10 million for charity in exchange for doing work you didn't agree with, would you take the job? What would be a deal breaker for you in that situation? Why do people do work they don't love? Is making sacrifices for money a necessary evil? Families can also discuss how wealthy people are depicted in TV shows and movies. How realistic do you think these portrayals are? What might get exaggerated for drama's sake?