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A Mighty 'Wind'

Five episodes in, I like Windfall, the new ensemble drama about lottery winners on NBC. It’s a morality play about wealth, and how a sudden major windfall brings out the absolute worst in people. Sure, the dialogue is ponderous at times (one exchange from last night: Character A: “Is this a case of one hand washing the other?” Character B: “Yes.” Character A: “Well, maybe we shouldn’t wash our hands in his dirty water.”)

But that’s Windfall: over the top, and unashamed of it. Last night featured a woman, hopped up on morphine, drinking out of the swimming pool in front of a party of startled onlookers. Surely a former Dynasty producer, sitting in a hospice somewhere, is wondering why they never thought of that. There’s a junkie mother with a newborn. There’s a pizza delivery lady—have you ever had pizza delivered to you by a woman?—who’s poor and black, but has a winning lottery ticket drop in her lap when delivering pizza to a party where everyone has bought a ticket for the big drawing. There’s a Russian mail order bride with much more substance than her blow-up doll appearance would suggest.

And there’s Luke “Don’t Call Me Dylan” Perry—sorry, Luke, you’ll always be Dylan to me. By the way, nice sideburns. Trying to tap into Dylan’s riches, the sleazy lawyer played by Jonathan LaPaglia woos him with a fishing trip to Mexico. I’m quite sure LaPaglia will later blackmail Dylan with photos of him in bed with hookers. Maybe Dylan never knew about the hookers because maybe he was dosed with a roofie. I suspect this because I read it in John Grisham’s The Firm back in 1992.

Windfall is a big, dopey, unironic summer soap. And I’m looking forward to next week’s episode.

By Michael Malone