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This has become my favorite show on television. It has its own special charm to it. I love the characters in the Darling family. The acting is superb for nearly all of them. Donald Sutherland is incredible as always in the role of Tripp, the tactful businessman. Then you have Glenn Fitzgerald as Brian, the flawed priest; William Baldwin as Patrick, the spineless politician; Samaire Armstrong as Juliet, the spoiled daughter; Seth Gabel as Jeremy, the reluctant playboy; Natalie Zea as Karen, the impetuous harlot; and Jill Clayburgh as Letitia, the spaced-out mother.
The character of Brian is the one I find the most entertaining. He perfectly pulls off being a complete jerk, which makes his contrasting moments of humanity that much more impressive. His relationship with his son brought some of the funniest and most heartfelt moments of the season, which is really saying something considering the strength of the rest of the show. The character of Jeremy is intriguing as well, as he's somewhat of a security blanket for Juliet. Fitzgerald and Gabel show off their acting talents in these roles, but it's Sutherland that steals the show.
The well-acted characters don't stop there, though. Peter Krause nails the role of Nick, the lawyer/babysitter for the family. Will Shadley is adorable as Brian Jr. Blair Underwood adds mystery as the rival billionaire. Daniel Cosgrove gave a memorable performance as Karen's boytoy Freddy. Shawn Michael Patrick adds even more talent as the obedient limo driver. Zoe McLellan is stuck in that middle as Nick's wife Lisa, along with fascinated-by-rich-life daughter Kiki, portrayed by Chloe Moretz.
There are precious few flaws with this show. Leticia, Patrick, Juliet, and Karen can grow tiresome, partly because their characters are sometimes intended to annoy the viewers with their actions. However, the truth is that Clayburgh, Baldwin, Armstrong, and Zea simply don't possess the acting talent of the rest of the cast. I can hate and love Brian at the same time, and I can't say that for the rest of these characters who are supposed to elicit similar feelings.
The only reason I gave it a 9 instead of a 10 is because the latest episodes haven't been quite as good as the early ones. Still, I think that speaks more to the excellence of the show's beginning more than anything else. There's plenty of potential to develop all the characters much further, as you could make a lesser series based on any one of the characters. I don't know what the future holds for this show, but I can only hope that we haven't seen the last of it. If they give this enough of a chance, I think it will be truly great.
I worry, though, because nearly everyone I try to talk to about it hasn't heard of it, and we're going on a few weeks now without a new episode. It seems pretty high-budget as well. I think a little more promotion or patience could save the show. I fear the worst, but I'll breathe a sigh of relief if I see another new episode in the new year.
Please, ABC, keep this show going. If it disappears, it will be sorely missed.
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