TV Review: Windfall – Series Premiere

Show: Windfall (NBC)
Episode: Pilot – Series Premiere (Season 1)
Originally Aired: Thursday, June 8th 2006
Rating: 1½ out of 4 stars

Quick Synopsis: Twenty people win the Lotto.

Long Synopsis: At a party a group of friends and acquaintances and a couple of others pool their money to buy Lotto tickets and end up winning the $386 million prize. The show will be about how the money changes them and the people around them. How it affects their lives and their relationships.

Review: What can you say about a show like this? Well for starters if it would have launched last fall, we would be talking about it in the same category as Inconceivable and Head Cases. While not as bad as either of those it probably wouldn’t have outlasted them by very long. The worst thing is I was sitting there watching Boomtown alumni Jason Gedrick and Lana Parailla and thinking about how dumb it was that NBC canceled that show, not about whether Windfall was good or not. Which means it wasn’t.

The premise sounds interesting, 20 people win the Lotto and we see how it affects them. Yet they were able to take an interesting premise and fill the actual story up with every dramatic cliché they could think of. Let’s see just to name a few they have:

  • The poor single mother living in a trailer that puts a dollar in the can while delivering pizza.
  • Two middle class couples, half of each couple with a romantic history between them and one that wants to start it up again.
  • The kid who gets himself emancipated from his family and the father he doesn’t get along with so he can collect the money himself.
  • The bad boy with a past he is running from so he needs someone to collect his share for him.
  • A divorcing couple that the husband hadn’t signed the paperwork yet when his soon to be ex-wife becomes one of the winners.

I mean how many times on have you seen them portrayed on TV. What you need is a new take, spin or direction on these. What we got was another bunch of straightforward contrived dramatic situations. The only thing sort of new about this show is the premise in which these situations have been packaged and that just wasn’t enough.

Although given that it is the summer TV season and nothing much will be around to compete, it may do OK. Yet I don’t see it doing well enough that actors shouldn’t already be looking for new gigs.

What did you think of the series premiere of Windfall?

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