Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete and Final Second Season Review
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I’ve had the worst luck with TV shows lately—I tend to get hooked on shows that can’t seem to make it halfway through their second season, while I skip the shows that go on to become The Next Big Thing. So, over the last year, I’ve mourned the loss of Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who?, and, of course, the dishy family drama, Dirty Sexy Money.

Dirty Sexy Money documents the exploits of New York’s richer-than-rich royalty, the Darlings, and their faithful family lawyer, Nick George (Peter Krause). In the second season, Nick discovers some fascinating things about his family while defending Darling matriarch Letitia (Jill Clayburgh) for the murder of his father. Meanwhile, his own family life is falling apart as he and his wife, Lisa (Zoe McLellan) struggle with their failing marriage.

At the same time, Patrick (William Baldwin) becomes a senator, while his beloved Carmelita (Candis Cayne) goes missing. Jeremy (Seth Gabel) falls for his mother’s prosecutor, Nola (Lucy Liu). Brian (Glenn Fitzgerald) doesn’t know where he belongs. And Karen (Natalie Zea) struggles with her feelings for both Nick and her father’s arch nemesis, Simon Elder (Blair Underwood). And, somewhere in the background, there’s always Tripp (Donald Sutherland), the family patriarch, pulling the strings.

It’s a tangled mess of deaths and cover-ups, weddings and divorces, rumors and affairs. It’s scandalous and often even humorous. And it only gets more outrageous (and more twisted) as the season continues, hurtling toward its swift and untimely end.

Now, I’ll admit that DSM has had its share of problems. In the first season, it was Samaire Armstrong’s Juliet—the show’s most irritating character. But, fortunately, in the second season, Juliet is out of sight and out of mind—she’s rarely even mentioned—and the rest of the Darling family is free to do its dirty work without their fluffy little sister getting in the way. And, once again, there’s plenty of dirty work to be done.

But, of course, the second season isn’t problem-free. As the story progresses, some of the plotlines get a bit extreme. The characters spin wildly out of control, sometimes crossing the line between delightfully dishy tabloid fodder and the kind of behavior that should have them either committed or incarcerated. Even previously likable characters move over to the dark side—until, by the end of the season, there’s really no one left to root for. Even Nick and Lisa—who kept the first season grounded—turn into cheating backstabbers in the second season. Lisa makes some horrible decisions, while Nick can’t seem to make up his mind about anything.

Sadly, the show was cancelled so suddenly that the end of the season doesn’t give fans much closure. Instead, it feels like the usual season finale, in which some storylines come to an end, while others are just beginning. It comes to an end with a pretty major revelation, too—one that obviously would have been more fully explored in the third season.

After two seasons of getting tangled up in the twisted lives of the Darlings, I’ll miss the Dirty Sexy Money—and I find it frustrating that I was left without closure. At the same time, though, I can understand why the show was cancelled. The second season still has plenty of scandal, but it loses some of its outrageous fun.

For DSM fans, it’s worth picking up a copy of the season on DVD—if only for sentimental reasons. But if you missed the second season when it aired, it’s probably best just to move on.

DVD Review:
Though Dirty Sexy Money was dumped mid-season, the three-disc DVD release still offers a handful of extras. There’s a blooper reel, along with seven deleted scenes—including one that was cut from the end of the final episode. There are also three additional featurettes. Directing the Darlings follows director Jamie Babbit as she works with the cast and crew to put the wedding episode together in just one week. In A Total Knockout, Natalie Zea (who plays Karen Darling) discusses her character while leading cameras through a day in her on-set life. And Dirty Sexy Crafty is, of all things, a feature on the show’s craft services. No, really. It follows the show’s wacky craft services guy, Josh Kuhn, around the set—and it’s actually really, really funny. So if you do watch one of the set’s special features, be sure to order up Dirty Sexy Crafty.

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