Monday, June 19, 2006

TV: Windfall

Genre: Drama
Logistics: NBC, 9 p.m. (Central) Thursdays
Verdict: &&&

It taps into an everyman fantasy: Winning tons of cash, more than you can find ways to spend. It provokes imaginings of the different ways you might gleefully sever yourself from your employer and what might be the first self-indulgent major purchase. For me? A car, obviously, or maybe Sony's SXRD HDTV or a new Apple computer. That's just half the fun of NBC's summer series Windfall, which sees a group of friends win a huge lottery jackpot, only to have all kinds of problems come their way as a result. You can imagine the writers having their roundtable, dreaming up all the dirt to throw at these new millionaires. Then, they up the payout by filling the cast with hotties and basing the plot as much on their relationships as their issues with managing millions. From the moment Luke Perry was jumping around barefoot on his front lawn in celebration, I wanted to hate Windfall, yet I was pulled in as if by a horrendous car crash. Among the best plot threads: A rebellious teen steals his neighbor's mail order bride so that she can collect the cash for him, and a young man with a shadowy past convinces a straight-laced woman to claim his share of the cash in order to protect his identity. Like a cheap scratch card where you can lose ever so easily and a win isn't worth all that much, Windfall isn't a bad ticket for an idle summer evening.

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