The Carrington family on the Netflix drama Dynasty is rich. Like, really rich. So rich that Steven (James Mackay) doesn’t realise when someone snatches a wad of hundred-dollar bills from his pocket, and his sister, Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies), travels in a private jet as casually as you’d get into a car. Their Atlanta mansion is so sprawling it barely fits in the camera frame.
Observing the show’s lavish interiors and couture garments worn as loungewear, I realised that Dynasty satisfies an itch I barely knew I had: seeing outrageous displays of wealth on TV. What makes the (fictional) super rich such intriguing figures for me, I wondered? Do I like to watch them scheme, so that I can feel morally superior? Am I fascinated with a life lacking in financial limitations? Or, like a magpie, do I just find shiny objects irresistible?
I’m probably not the only one who has binge-watched Millionaire Matchmaker with a mixture of disgust, fascination and glee. For more of that feeling, watch these shows about wealthy families.