It's true; you get more bees with honey than with vinegar.
Perhaps if Margaret and Eric took heed of her very words, then they wouldn't have bitten off more than they could chew with Ginger and her brothers on Filthy Rich Season 1 Episode 1.
With lies, scandals, betrayal, backstabbing, and a sprinkling of Jesus, Filthy Rich isn't reinventing the wheel here, but it's sinfully delicious, primetime-soap goodness.
Filthy Rich feels like Dynasty meets Empire with shades of the late, beloved series GCB (Good Christian B*tches) and Grand Hotel. It has camp and drama, but it also has the potential to be a heck of a lot of fun.
We're in an age where escapist TV is much-needed but rarely delivered -- or appreciated when it is. It's something I've griped about before, which is why Filthy Rich is such a comfort.
The pilot laid out the platform on which the series will build. It had bouts of pilotitis as it info-dumped as much as it could within the hour, spinning threads that the season will weave and pull going forward.
The cast is promising, and the characters, while not typically likable, have hints of complexity and heaps of potential regarding entertainment value. But let's be real; the premiere belonged to the women, particularly Kim Cattrall and Melia Kreiling.
Few can hold their own against Cattrall on a good day. Margaret's grandiosity overshadows nearly everyone around her, but Kreiling's Ginger matched Margaret beat for beat.
Rot in hell.Margaret
The most thrilling aspects of the hour were the two of them going toe-to-toe with each other. They're soap opera goddesses, and they leave you wanting to subscribe to weekly services as long as they're leading them.
It tracks that these two women are the show-stealers when the series subtly addresses the inherent sexism of the Southern Evangelical community and televised Christian business.
Christianity is but a backdrop for this series. They take a satirical approach, so it's appealing to both non-Christians and Christians who have a decent sense of humor.
Eugene: Look how far we've come.
Margaret: Twenty-five years. All things are possible in Him.
Eugene: In you.
Margaret: In us.
Rose: Oh, Lord.
It's amusing to hear these supposed upstanding Christians hurling out Bible verses while being shady and undercutting as hell, but then, it's nothing more than an exaggeration of reality, right?
But back to the sexism, of which they do well incorporating into the series in a subtle, organic manner. Behind every incredibly flawed man, there is an equally as so woman, and that's the best way to describe the Monreauxs.
On the surface, they're the perfect married couple. Eugene and Margaret are the pinnacles of Conservative, Southern Christian marriage and values. Their traditional family is as idealized as it comes.
The two of them are a packaged deal, and their family's wealth and successful Christian Network empire have reigned supreme for two and a half decades. They seemed untouchable.
There's plenty more where that came from because I am one rich son of a bitch.Eugene
Even though Margaret has made a name for herself as something akin to Oprah meets Martha Stewart hosting her Wings of a Dove show, and she's behind launching their networks very own retail line, Eugene seems to be the person who gets all of the credit.
It's a family business, but he's the head of it and treated as such.
From the sounds of things, the Sunshine Network wouldn't be the billion-dollar global enterprise it is without Margaret Monreaux.
Sadly, when it comes to running the joint in Eugene's absence, the men in her life have doubts.
The snake-oil salesman masquerading as a reverend, Paul, and Margaret's progeny, who really should be Erik with a "K," not a "C," have all but decided that Margaret's "place" is in Sunshine Network's kitchen, not sitting at the head of the table in the boardroom.
Effective immediately the new CEO of Monreaux Industries will be Margaret Monreaux.Franklin
It's what makes you root for Margaret, despite Margaret being, well, Margaret. And rest assured, she's all sugary sweet niceness on the surface, as her son alluded, but Margaret Monreaux is not someone of whom to trifle.
Meanwhile, Eugene has been having the best of all worlds, traveling wherever and anointing many women with his penis.
You would think a man who sired and periodically felt guilty about having three different children out of wedlock would ease up on the fraternizing.
However, when the plane went down, his companions were on their way too with a dancing, underwear-clad, and latently repentant Eugene.
The premiere had very little Gerald McRaney, but he's a fantastic actor, so there's no doubt he'll have a blast with this role.
It's a godsend that the series wasted no time getting to the juicy drama and grand reveal. Margaret barely had a moment to process her "loss" and this new information about stepchildren before she was in plot mode, flying Ginger, Antonio, and Jason to New Orleans to make them an offer.
I dealt with a lot of bastards to get where I am. These three will be no different.Margaret
Of the illegitimate children, Ginger made the biggest impression, and she showed early on that she's a force to be reckoned with because if anyone can have the Monreauxs in the palm of her hand, it's Ginger.
She's a straight-shooter and savvy as hell. No one will discount the Monreaux bastards on Ginger's watch, even if she has to drag her newly acquired brothers kicking and screaming into her mindset.
At first glance, you would assume Ginger is a girl who is in it for herself, but it was a pleasant surprise how easily she accepted Antonio and Jason. When she took control of the initial meeting, declining Margaret's million-dollar hush money, it was for her as much as it was for these strangers she now calls brothers.
Ginger comes from nothing, and she recognizes that Jason and Antonio don't either, and she refuses to let any of them settle for less than they deserve. You can't help but respect the hell out of her for that.
Ginger: I grew up dirt poor knowing that Eugene Monreaux was my father. Y'all built this place on the back of a secret I kept for you. I'm not walking away for a million bucks. You're valued at 2.2 billion.
Jason: You flew us coach!
Ginger: I'm going to need to talk this over with my brothers, and we'll get back to you.
She's accustomed to people looking down on her, and as she showed Eric, it's not going to work. Her exchanges with Eric were titillating, and you get a thrill whenever you see the ambitious eldest son with no filter get knocked down a few pegs.
Something tells me that those two will be butting heads as much as Ginger and Margaret will. Margaret and her son made the mistake of thinking they could erase or have the upper hand with Ginger, but even when they find ways to knock her down, she's not one who rolls over.
She has grit, and it's one of many ways class interplays within the series. Those who have money are always determined to keep it, and someone like Ginger wants what is hers on principle.
Spite drives her, and you can't blame her when dealing with most of the Monreauxs. Margaret and Eric see Ginger and the others as the enemy, but they pale in comparison to the snakes in the grass and opportunists who surround them.
There's no place for you in civil society. I'm offering you two million now which feels quite generous considering you represent no more than ten minutes of my husband's pleasure. You take the money and go home.Margaret
Margaret is catching on, though. She was preoccupied with humiliating Ginger, but through her brief connection with Antonio, she saw the potential in expanding her family.
Antonio is a sweetheart, and he's not resentful or hostile. He's content with enough money to take care of his son. He doesn't see Margaret as sly but rather as a kind potential maternal figure.
His instant loyalty to her will complicate things. Ginger thought she had her brothers as her allies against the Monreauxs, but the rich life beguiles Antonio, and Jason is a mystery.
Of all the new kids, we don't have much to go on with Jason. He's a self-absorbed, aloof pot dealer, and oh, he might not be the real Jason!
We're worth more. All of us are worth more. They're trying to erase us. If I'm going to be erased, it's going to cost her.Ginger
So, who wants to bet that Eugene's real son is whomever that is in the hospital, and Jason is impersonating him? His DNA test came back contaminated, presumably from drinking Antonio's tea. When Jason visited the hospital, he could've been extracting saliva rather than dosing his brother (?) with CBD oil or something.
It also would explain why they even bothered with the weird, unnecessary incest plot between him and Rose, and it also explains why he hauled ass at the press conference instead of showing his face onstage.
Speaking of Rose, while her relationship with Jason was a definite weak spot of the premiere, the dynamic she has already forged with Ginger is a highlight.
Rose has disappeared in the Monreaux family. She wants to pursue her fashion design passion, but she can't do that with Margaret stifling her dreams. She's the talented designer in Margaret's shadow.
Margaret: I knew they were one night stands, but I never dreamed there was a child.
Franklin: Children. Keep reading.
Margaret: Son if a bitch!
As her mother gets praised and hailed for her fashion sense, Margaret refuses to credit Rose and let her thrive. For some reason, there's no place in Monreaux Industries for Rose's fashion line.
She's a bit mousy and reserved, and she handled the news of an additional three siblings the best, in part, because of her craving someone of whom to be close. She has found that in Ginger.
It so easily could've been another case of catty women at each other's throats vying for their role as Daddy's favorite daughter, but it isn't.
Eugene probably loves Ginger in his way. He had a full-blown relationship with her mother for a year, and she always knew that he was her father. Margaret (or Franklin) wrote that letter to Ginger, but there was some truth in it regarding her similarities to him.
But instead, the two women bonded over always having to take care of their mothers. Ginger respects Rose's talent, and Rose admires Ginger's strength.
It makes you wonder what life was like for the "legitimate" Monreaux children growing up that they are looking elsewhere for a sense of family.
Eric doesn't feel invisible in the Monreaux family, but he does feel as though he's not getting his just desserts. Margaret taking over as CEO should've been a foregone conclusion, but Eric felt entitled to it because of his business degree (and his dangly bits).
Margaret and Franklin working together to pull the rug from beneath Eric's feet was brilliance. Eric doesn't have to like or agree with it, but Margaret is right about him.
Son, this may not feel like a loving statement but, you lack polish.Margaret
He has no couth. He's displayed it time and again, from his all too knowledgable unscripted diatribe about sexually explicit ads to thinking he would get anywhere by calling his new siblings "a hooker, hoodlum, and drug dealer."
He doesn't even have the good sense to keep things under wraps. He tells his wife, Becky, everything, and in turn, she runs her mouth to her Joel Osteen-Lite brother, Reverend Paul.
It's funny that Eric is concerned about the threat "the illegitimates" pose, but he doesn't see or rather he doesn't care that his wife and brother-in-law are scheming opportunists.
What went wrong in the Monreaux family, and what was the dynamic like between Eric and Eugene where Eric is more loyal to Reverend Paul than the other Monreauxs?
I'm the senior VP of operations. At least until the dust settles. And, uh, from my perspective, there is no way I'm giving a single piece of my family's company to a hooker, a hoodlum, and a drug dealer.Eric
Reverend Paul doesn't hide that he would destroy Margaret at a moment's notice. It's classless as heck to humiliate the woman a month after her husband "died" on national television by having Eric expose the new kids.
But the race to see who would spill the beans first was delicious, and in the end, Margaret made the ultimate Boss move by doing it herself. You have to control your own narrative.
It sucks that it was Ginger's ultimate move to get more power, but she's not down and out. With her mother coming to New Orleans, the trouble is just beginning. And her presence rattled Margaret whether she'd admit it or not.
All of these secrets and backstabbing have only just begun, and then we end on Eugene surviving the plane crash.
Eugene: Is this hell?
Woman: No, Louisiana
Throughout the hour, there was so much snappy dialogue and lines that made you chuckle. The elder woman responding to his question of whether or not he was in hell with, "it's Louisiana," as if to say there's no difference was funny.
Spilling Sweet Tea:
- Eric is played by Broadway star Corey Cott, who is the brother of Riverdale's Casey Cott. He has the smirk of the devil and the voice of an angel. He's perfect for this show.
- What was more iconic? Ginger in the hoop Southern Belle dress or Margaret descending from the sky wearing wings? Trick question. The answer is BOTH!
- So if Ginger and her mom set up their cam fetish business in the OTHER city of sin, New Orleans, can Rose make all of their costumes? She'll finally get the accolades she deserves.
- Margaret kept her "honey pot" on lock while Eugene was spreading more than the good word, but am I the only one feeling a little something between Margaret and Franklin?
- The sermons, prayers, and praise hands, and strategically tossed out Bible verses are so hokey but delightful.
- What the HELL happened in the four months between Eugene "dying" and Margaret burning the house down? And what's a girl got to do to find out?
- From Becky with the baby bump to Franklin, you know everyone here probably has some scandalous secrets, and I, for one, am ready to find all of them out.
Over to you, Filthy Rich Fanatics. Will you be tuning in for more? Who stood out the most for you? What are your speculations?
Let's discuss it below! In the meantime, if you want to experience the premiere all over again, you can watch Filthy Rich online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.