It shouldn’t be very hard to laugh at a family of obtuse celebutants so wealthy they find the idea of throwing a party on only $500,000 unthinkable–but it might be hard to like them. And in fact, it is easy to laugh at the Darlings, the family at the middle of the nutty, chewy Dirty Sexy Money. While not as intricately woven together as the Bluth family fortunes (who could be?), the Darlings are far enough removed from normal social mores that passing off an illegitmate child as a Swedish orphan or mistaking a sex tape for a lovestruck teenager’s mix tape doesn’t seem impossible.
What elevates the Darlings to being likable as well as laughable, however, is that they are like youngest daughter Juliet’s expensive, polished party favors: they’re chocolate aristocrats. The only important difference between the family and cheap candy Easter bunnies is that the Darlings know they’re empty inside. It’s the characters’ regret over missed opportunities and tender care of each other’s wounds–no matter how ridiculously acquired–that creates the show’s sweet, creamy center. Is Dirty Sexy Money empty calories? Well…yes. But it’s the kind of tasty treat you can allow yourself once a week, and the balance of sugar and pepper makes this treat better balanced than many others on TV today.