Family Business


Jay Gatsby would invite them to a party. Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s fame would see them as kindred souls. They are the Malloys, the family of con artists at the center of The Riches, a cinematic new series that is wrapping up its first season on the FX cable channel. Tense as a thriller, but plotted with the breathless extravagance of a farce, The Riches is on one level a barbed satire of modern American materialism and ambition. Like Gatsby and Golightly, the Malloys reinvent themselves with thrilling audacity, and their story comments wryly on the American Dream.

If you’ve missed the show to date: The Riches is available on iTunes, and FX has just renewed it for a second season. In other words, there are plenty of opportunities for meeting the Malloys, who are “travelers”-members of a brazen, light-fingered, gypsy-like tribe that lives on the fringes of American society. Clan loyalty exerts a powerful pull on this shady group-but the free-thinking Wayne and Dahlia Malloy (Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver) and their three children, Cael, Di Di, and Sam (Noel Fisher, Shannon Woodward, and Aidan Mitchell), set off in search of a new life. After witnessing a fatal car accident, the Malloys take on the identities of the victims, who had been driving to a new home in a snooty gated community called Edenfalls. The Malloys locate the property and move in.

From an outsider’s perspective, Edenfalls...

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About the Author

Celia Wren is Commonweal’s media and stage critic.