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Feature: Primetime

Dirty Sexy Money

Diry Sexy Money

Money can’t buy you happiness, Peter Krause discovers as he becomes the guardian to a family who’re so stinking rich that their lives are rotten…

Hold onto your TVs – here come the Darlings, one of the most outlandish families to grace the small screen. So absurdly wealthy, always getting mixed up with the wrong people and finding themselves in the middle of bad situations, they actually need someone to oversee them and protect them from themselves. Nick George, who as a child watched his father surrender his freedom and family as the Darlings’ trusted personal lawyer, is determined not to follow in his footsteps, but eventually succumbs to Tripp Darling’s ungodly salary offer and agrees to be their hand-holder, problem fixer, therapist and public relations expert.

Of the Dallas/Dynasty re-imagining for the 21st Century, creator and executive producer Craig Wright acknowledges, “Greg Berlanti and I knew that we had to update the model and, given how much access the average American has right now to the private lives of the very, very rich and the very, very famous, we knew that we had to have an average guy, a very relatable guy as the way in, so we could look at the world but also have a POV about that world.”

The producers went immediately to Peter Krause for the role of Nick George, but the actor admits after a long stint on Six Feet Under he really wasn’t looking for another seven-year commitment. In an act of inspiration, they invited him to watch the ‘Darling family,’ including Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh and William Baldwin, rehearse in New York. Krause laughs, “It was so entertaining and so good I started shaking my head, thinking to myself, ‘God damn, I’m going to be doing this for six years’.

“I’m taking the dare to walk in my father’s shoes, I think out of pride and out of ego,” says Krause of his character’s decision to do the job he despised so much when his parent did it. “I even say that I’m not my father, and I’m going to do it my way, and that begs the question, ‘Can you?’ We can say we’re not our father, we’re not our mother, and we’re not going to be like them; we’re not going to do what they do. The world looks an awful lot like it did when I was a kid and I thought everything was going to change.”

Juliet Darling, a petulant, spoilt celebutante who longs to be a serious actress, has Paris Hilton written all over her, but Wright disputes that assumption. “Juliet is a very specific character. I wouldn’t know enough about Paris Hilton that I could base a character on her. As you get to know Juliet in the weeks to come, you will see that she is very well-read and very erudite and really very sweet.

“The real meat and potatoes of the show is what it’s like to be a person in a very privileged world,” Wright concludes. “My main goal in working on the series was to make the people human, the money is just an exacerbating factor.”

by Judy Sloane

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TV Zone #220

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Feature © Visual Imagination 2008. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #220
October 2007
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