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TV and movies about the wealthy and how they live
February 1, 2014 10:11 PM   Subscribe

My guilty pleasure is entertainment featuring the obscenely wealthy and how they live, the clothes, the houses, the drama, the trashier the better. Think tv shows such as Revenge, movies like A Perfect Murder, The Game and Wall Street with Michael Douglas, Bonfire of the Vanities, Gossip Girl, Wolf of Wall Street, you get the idea. I'm not so keen on the Real Housewives, that's a little too real. What else can you suggest? I'm quite keen on New York based ones, but I'm open to others if you have them. I know a similar question was asked a few years back but I'm wondering if there's anything new out there that I've missed.
posted by Jubey to Media & Arts (34 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Separate Lies with Tom Wilkinson was the first that popped into my mind after I read your question. And another one with Wilkinson, Cassandra's Dream, a serious Woody Allen movie, also came up when I was trying to find the title of Separate Lies, though Cassandra's Dream isn't consistently about the wealthy ... Wilkinson plays an obscenely rich uncle, I think. And while we are on Woody Allen, I am reminded of Match Point which I think you will like very much.
posted by jayder at 10:19 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


If you're interested in documentary: The Queen of Versailles
posted by scody at 10:21 PM on February 1 [10 favorites]


Nthing Match Point!

I'm pretty sure this is what the 80's triumvirate of Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest was all about!!

I'm hoping those are available online....

More recently, House of Cards on Netflix touches closely on this.

Californication (first few seasons) and House of Lies on Showtime.

Lastly, I'm going to recommend you read (or re-read!) F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY.


Best. Novel. Ever.

If you want to bookend that novel...

Read Fitzgerald's LOVE OF THE LAST TYCOON: A WESTERN.

It's an unfinished novel, as Scott died before finishing it. GATSBY takes place on the East Coast in the twenties. LOVE OF THE LAST TYCOON takes place on the West Coast in early Hollywood. Both novels deal with the theme of wealth, power, and those adjacent to such that have neither... And yet, do.

Fucking genius, that Fitzgerald fellow.

2014 and not much has changed. Not much at all. *sigh*
posted by jbenben at 10:36 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


It wasn't on for very long (2 seasons), but Dirty Sexy Money was super fun.
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:39 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


The tv series dirty sexy money, about the decadent and drama filled lives of the uberrich Darling family vines to mind. I think it is on Hulu or Netflix.
posted by anitanita at 10:42 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


There is also a Fitgerald short story called, DIAMOND AS BIG AS THE RITZ that you will enjoy.

ABC network had a show called, DIRTY, SEXY, MONEY that was pretty great before the IRL writer's strike a few years ago in Hollywood tanked it... because writers are poorly paid, cue Fitzgerald and Love of the Last Tycoon...

So meta!
posted by jbenben at 10:42 PM on February 1


Ack! Weeping Angel beat me to it!
posted by anitanita at 10:43 PM on February 1


Ha! anitanita and Weeping_angel beat me to Dirty , Sexy, Money by seconds!!
posted by jbenben at 10:43 PM on February 1


...and jbenben brings it home with a triple play. Please tell me you're going to watch it now.
posted by anitanita at 10:44 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


If you don't mind books, check out Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.
They're not just rich, they're richer than God.
And it is very, very trashy. So good.
posted by exceptinsects at 11:15 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


Arbitrage (2012)
posted by bluecore at 12:19 AM on February 2


After you read the Great Gatsby, you can watch the 2013 Baz Luhrmann film version - I just watched it and it was the first thing that came to mind when I started reading this question.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:26 AM on February 2


I really liked Metropolitan (1990), Whit Stillman's first film about rich college WASP kids in New York, although it's sympathetic and insightful rather than "trashy."
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:34 AM on February 2 [5 favorites]


The Bling Ring was trashy I guess.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:40 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


For a bit of old school, there's always Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Not a drama, but still entertaining and posh.
posted by Gneisskate at 1:12 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


Mob Wives on VH1 - so trashy, and addictive!
posted by floweredfish at 1:38 AM on February 2


Nthing The Queen of Versailles (youtube trailer)
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:08 AM on February 2


The Thomas Crown Affair is about an art heist in NYC involving an insanely wealthy man and his various rich-guy dalliances. The 1968 original version of the film is good too.
posted by ladybird at 3:02 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


If you don't mind Asian dramas, there's a Japanese drama called Hana Yori Dango about a young woman who goes to a school with lots of rich people. In the first ep, some of them are talking about taking vacations/holidays on the moon! They're so rich it's ridiculous.

There's also a Korean drama called The Heirs but it doesn't focus as much on spending.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 3:17 AM on February 2


Tenuous, but you might enjoy Royal Pains. Concierge doctor working in the Hamptons, some rich people scheming, lots of blue skies and attractive people.
posted by peteyjlawson at 3:29 AM on February 2


If you like Gossip Girl, don't forget its forerunner The O.C.!
posted by telegraph at 7:07 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Six degrees of separation?
posted by BlerpityBloop at 7:17 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


The Bling Ring reminded me of Marie Antoinette. I'm not sure it's quite at the level of trashy, but it's definitely 'OMG can you believe all this food/clothes/party?'
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:04 AM on February 2


Pretty Little Liars? (Caveat: I have only read the books, not seen the tv show, but I assume Rosewood and its inhabitants are just as Main Line Philadelphia rich in the show!)
posted by lysimache at 8:57 AM on February 2


Born Rich is a fascinating documentary about the filthy rich made by one of their own (and who got sued for it by one of his friends!).
posted by Quaversalis at 9:49 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Previously... may be helpful.
posted by mochapickle at 10:28 AM on February 2


White Mischief (Trailer):
If there was a place untouched by war in the last months of 1940, it was Kenyas Happy Valley. The life of pleasure established by Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll, and his companions over the preceding fifteen years went unchecked by fear of uncertain future. In a society in which adultery was routine, his flamboyant affair with the beautiful Diana, wife of Sir Jock Delves Broughton raised no eyebrows. Only murder could shatter the complacency of their decadent world.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:31 AM on February 2


Pretty Woman
Pretty in Pink
The Devil Wears Prada
posted by yawper at 8:31 PM on February 2


Nthing Queen of Versailles! You might also like Made In Chelsea - a scripted reality show about rich kids in London.

Cybill has a character called Maryann, a borderline-alcoholic divorcee who spends her time mostly shopping, bitching and stalking her ex-husband.

Also, it's a novel, but Wilton Barnhardt's Lookaway Lookaway follows the fortunes of a grand old Southern family during their rise and decline. It reminded me very much of Jonathan Coe's What A Carve Up!, which has a similar theme but the family are British upper-crust.
posted by mippy at 8:03 AM on February 3




NYC Prep on Bravo made me cringe, but it follows a group of kids who have ultra wealthy parents. One of them even has her own luxury apartment, where she lives alone. In high school.
posted by reenum at 8:45 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


The Riches originally aired on Showtime and is now on Netflix. It's about an Irish Traveller family (headed by Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard) pretending to be a wealthy family in Louisiana.
I found it fascinating and entertaining but it did end rather abruptly.
posted by rubster at 6:05 PM on February 3


You might enjoy the short lived MTV series Rich Girls, featuring Tommy Hilfiger's daughter. I loved it, in a really trashy way.
posted by moof! at 4:57 PM on February 5


Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! Everything I've not seen yet has been marked as best answer. I've already started watching House of Cards (not really about wealthy people, more political but still really good!) and Crazy Rich Asians. So very, very trashy. I love it! If I didn't mark yours as best answer it's because I've already seen it, and probably love it! Great Gatsby and the O.C, I'm looking at you... Thanks everyone.
posted by Jubey at 6:35 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


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