Doug Coutts’ TV Preview: Filthy Rich

FILTHY RICH |TV2, 8.30 Monday


By Doug Coutts

Back in the 1980s as local drama production wound down at the Avalon Studios, one of the last gasps was a thing called Seekers. The basic premise was three kids vying to inherit money from a mother they never knew they had.

Thirty years on, next to no drama comes out of Avalon. It’s all done in Auckland, and most of it comes from the same stable – they’ve brought you Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune and Nothing Trivial to name a few. And now they’re bringing you Filthy Rich.

The basic premise is three kids inherit money from a father they never knew they had. How we’ve moved on …

It’s a struggle. We’re a small country so while the ratio of good actors to people who can read lines and walk without falling over is probably the same as it is in, say, the US, once you get past the top couple of dozen the credibility drops off. (Much like the father they never knew they had …)

And the writing doesn’t help. “Your father had plans for this company which are at an advanced stage. I need to consider…” is not dialogue. Nobody talks like that. Especially not someone who just minutes previously has been effing and blinding, not to mention bonking the personal trainer.

There’s a distinct feeling of déjà vu – or it could just be a lack of originality.

Following in the footsteps of Nothing Trivial and Outrageous Fortune, Filthy Rich sticks to the formula – there’s nothing new here; it could be Gloss without the shoulder pads – in HD of course.

Doug Coutts has had a career in and around television for close to 40 years. He spent 13 years as a floor manager at Avalon Studios before going freelance and never earning as much again. His writing has spanned TV genres — from Shortland Street dialoguery and quiz shows to documentaries and comedy — while a lengthy stint as TV reviewer in the Auckland Star earned him two mentions in Metro magazine’s Hot List and an angry letter from Jon Gadsby. You can read more of Doug (the satirist) at:

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