Embracing The Riches
The Riches young Sam Malloy comes out (as if he was ever in ).
By Kate X Messer, 2:07AM, Tue. May. 15, 2007
The wealth of The Riches – the FX original TV series starring the delicious team of Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard as the heads of a family of gypsy-cons who've appropriated the lives of some loaded suburban dead people in pursuit of the American Dream – is in its indictment of the careening American express toward preening American excess, and the urge to don multiple personalities to survive this constant drive toward "success".
The show follows the Malloy family's concurrent ascent and descent – up social ladders and down into roller-coastering close-calls of being discovered as fakes – as it deftly illustrates the skin-crawling nightmare that living the lie offers.
Young Aidan Mitchell (holy crap, keep your eyes on this kid's career) portrays baby of the family, Sam Malloy, a boy who finds comfort wearing girls' clothing. In fact, amidst all of the grifting and shifting, it could be argued that Sam is the most quietly confident and comfortable character on the show. When young Sam puts on his lipstick and hair band and comes down to the big dinner thrown for dad's boss, he wears the truest "mask" in the house.
If two TV shows count as a trend, the unassuming presence of pre-teen Sam, along with the existence of Ugly Betty's somewhat fey Justin (Mark Indelicato) not only embraces (thereby culturally validating) the outsider reality for so many of us, but also marks a modest toe-tap in the dance of gender exploration on television.