Although Star on Disney+ has so far loaded up Disney+ with all kinds of movies from the combined libraries of Touchstone, Fox, Hollywood Pictures, and a few others, its TV offerings have been iffy at best.
Most of them have either been TV shows on Fox or ABC that have then been transported to Star to see if European audiences will latch on to any of them. 'Filthy Rich' is the latest attempt, but it's telling that the US audience has bailed on it as the show was cancelled only a month after it first aired.
It's not hard to see why, in fairness.
The show opens with the death of Eugene Monreaux, the fabulously wealthy president of the Sunshine Network, a billion-dollar televangelism business where his wife, Margaret, is the lead star of the business. Eugene, played by veteran character Gerald McRaney, died in a plane crash and just so happened to be accompanied by two young women in lingerie who weren't his wife. Margaret, played by Kim Cattrall, is distraught when she learns of this and then gets even more pissed at said dead husband when she finds out that he's had three children outside of their marriage.
One runs a marijuana farm, another is an MMA fighter, and the daughter runs an adult webcam business, all of it completely apart from the two children who are as virtuous and pious as you'd expect being the children of televangelists. If you think that's way too heavy-handed a metaphor, that's about as light as it gets in this show. Indeed, by the end of the episode, the preceding thirty-odd minutes will have been upended by a soap opera twist you could see coming a mile off and waving a giant flag.
It's one thing to satirise the world of televangelism as being filled with grifters and charlatans. Everyone with a working brain stem will tell you that it's a business of liars and fakes. Setting a soapy comedy-drama series in that world then should work wonders, right? Sadly, 'Filthy Rich' has neither comedy nor drama in its opening episode to speak of. The events that take place in it are treated with such wooden responses from all concerned that it's hard to get invested in it.
Not only that, Kim Cattrall is so clearly acting as a Southern Belle-type that it's just as hard trying to take her seriously when she clearly isn't taking herself seriously. Sure, there's supposed to be a wink and a nod to the audience that this is some kind of high camp, but it isn't nearly soapy enough and it's not even close to being clever enough to get away with the terrible acting or the woeful dialogue. In fact, it's all done in such a cack-handed that you're already rolling your eyes at it by the end of the second commercial break.
No doubt that Disney+ and Star are sitting on a goldmine of content. The libraries that it has access is enough to dwarf Netflix and Amazon Prime and, yes, it's possible that shows that never found an audience in their terrestrial lives may find another in streaming. 'Filthy Rich' isn't that, however. It's tired, bland, and has nothing going for itself in the first episode, and nothing worth sticking around for the second episode.
If you're looking for something soapy and trashy on Star on Disney+, try 'Desperate Housewives' instead and give this a wide berth.