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Primetime Show Reviews

"Windfall" Review by Danielle 8/29/06

Windfall is a new show that premiered during the summer on NBC. It airs on Thursday nights at 10PM ET. The pilot featured the young Schaefer family (husband Peter played by a much older looking Luke Perry and his wife Nina played by Lana Parilla) hosting their turn of the routine lottery parties where friends and family gather and all contribute a dollar toward a lottery pool. The host then goes out and buys tickets with the same numbers on the idea that if those numbers won, everyone who contributed gets a share of the winnings. That nightís ticket ends up winning and about 20-30 people in attendance that night each end up taking home several million dollars from one of the biggest jackpots.

The show now features on a core group of those in attendance that night, their personal lives and how the money has affected them. Peter Schaefer invested his and part of his best friend Cameronís winnings into his dream of a bike business. Unknown to Peter until recently, Cameron and Nina have been cheating on their spouses by having an affair. Cameronís wife Beth (Sarah Wynter) figured out the affair but has decided to stay married in name only because of her desires to adopt a child. A teenager, Damien, contributed his dollar that fateful evening and to avoid having his parents control him and his money, decides to marry a woman from Russia so he can be declared an adult. The relationship does not work out after the woman is revealed to have been stealing from Damien. Damien now dates fellow teenager Frankie whose mother won that night but Frankie chose to run away rather than move to New York with her mom. The Schaefers had pizza delivered to the party that night and the pizza delivery woman, a single mom, contributed her dollar on a whim and now lives in a hotel suite. Sunny, a woman who has coveted after Peter, filed a lawsuit lying about having been the extra dollar truly left by the pizza delivery woman, and only dropped the suit when everyone agreed to give over $1 million from their winnings to Sunny. Sunny later admitted that she lied when she got her dream of spending the night with Peter but still has a large monetary backing in Peterís bike business.

Another winner quit her job as a nurse and used the winnings to open her own restaurant. Missing the joy she felt at helping people but not the stress of working for a mean boss, she offers her services at a local clinic. The rest of the main cast is rounded out by a shady guy with a past, Sean (D.J. Cotrona) who asked a woman to collect his winnings because of his legal troubles. The woman, Zoe, ends up running off with the money and making it look as if she was killed. Sean sets out to find her killer and ends up falling for Zoeís sister, Tally. Later, Sean finds out that Tally has known all along that Zoe was alive and has now admitted to having killed Zoe the night Sean confronted them both. The cops think, given Seanís shady past, that he killed Zoe so Sean tries to get Tally to turn herself in.

The show delves so much into personal lives and has such a large ensemble cast despite their often-intertwined lives and situations that it can be confusing. The first few episodes left me desiring more by the end of the episode but even with characters finding out about secret affairs and secret conspiracies, the latter episodes have been less enticing.

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Updated 8/29/06 


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