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Craig Wright Talks Dirty Sexy Money

Published August 30, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of ABC.
Dirty Sexy Money Dirty Sexy Money

ABC's new fall drama Dirty Sexy Money benefits from a catchy title and premise. A wealthy family hires a lawyer to keep them all out of trouble. In a world where rich celebrities make headline news every day, the time is perfect for such a show..

Wright on Dirty Sexy Money

"My main goal in working on the show was to make the people human and the money is just sort of an exacerbating factor," said creator Craig Wright. "I think a lot of times it's tempting to look at a show like this and say, 'How is it relatable to the average American?' I think the reason it's relatable is that the way that it's written and the way that these amazing actors portray it, the stories are about people. They are about a family and they are about the struggles of what it means to be a human being. The money is just the fun and the glitz and the glamour that we are using to deliver the story, but on a week to week basis, the stories are really about people."

Dirty Sexy Money also harkens back to the shows of the '80s, focused on melodramatic family issues. "When Greg [Berlanti] and I were talking about creating this show, we knew that to take the Dallas and Dynasty model that hadn't been done for like 20 years and update it, we knew that we had to change it. We decided that the way in to doing that, 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, sort of a very relatable guy as a way in so we could look at the world but also have a point of view about the world."

Peter Krause plays Nick George, the lawyer trying to keep his morals in the world of the Darling family. "This show is very much an exploration of what that position is. What does it mean to be near this kind of privilege, near this kind of excess, near this kind of wealth? Like what's it like to be near this kind of thing and then look at yourself and say, 'Do I want to do it? How much do I want it? What would I be willing to do to become a part of it?' As the weeks go on, we will really see Nick's journey into not just the family but into his own nature as he gets closer and closer to this world that he has to decide whether he wants to be a part of it or not."

With the hot topics of today's celebrities, Wright assures the tabloid fodder that he wasn't writing about them. "I'm going to seem disingenuous but I'm being absolutely honest with you when I say I don't even get a paper. I don't read the tabloids, let alone the New York Times. So I wasn't basing this family on anyone specific. I was basing it on what I think I know about people. Once I started creating the characters, we amass a staff of writers and we started pulling in information from the greater world, but under no circumstances should any single character in this show be viewed as a snapshot of anyone that's out there."

His goal is to avoid portraying the Darlings as villains. "I actually think that the key to the show is that we view this family with great compassion and that they are in a very difficult position, having all of this money. The easy thing to do is blame them. Coming out of Six Feet Under and that sort of counterintuitive investigative aesthetic that I was sort of raised on on that show, I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to do what I thought was the easy thing, which is accuse these people of shallowness. I wanted to say, 'How are they having a hard time?' I tend to think that the Darlings on a moment to moment basis are really trying their best and they just have a lot of big problems."

Dirty Sexy Money premieres September 26 on ABC.

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Sources: Image property of ABC.

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