Riches review – prepare to be addicted to this Jackie Collins-esque drama

Riches review – prepare to be addicted to this Jackie Collins-esque drama

Soapy, slick and thoroughly enjoyable, this series about the battle to inherit a Black beauty brand is like Empire meets Dynasty meets Footballers’ Wives. It’s confident, escapist fun

‘We are at war!’ … Riches.
‘We are at war!’ … Riches. Photograph: ITV

There is a moment during a particularly climactic scene in the big, juicy melodrama that is Riches (ITVX) in which a scorned wife throws a bowl full of fruit across a boardroom table and screams, “You bitch!” It’s a good indication of the level of bombast this fantastically over-the-top series is going for, which seems to be Empire meets Dynasty meets Footballers’ Wives. So far, the new dramas launched by ITVX have been pretty straight and serious, but this is far more tongue-in-cheek. It is soapy, slick and thoroughly enjoyable.

Hugh Quarshie is Stephen Richards, the founder and boss of Flair and Glory, a Black hair and beauty brand so successful it has turned him into a titan of British industry. Riches begins with Stephen conveniently doing an interview with a journalist, allowing him to give us plenty of background on the story. Nobody would lend him the money to start the business, he explains. They said Black models don’t sell magazines. Nobody believed in his vision. But now look where he is. This is the kind of show that is built on buildings filled with framed magazine covers on the wall, big leather sofas and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Stephen has made it, and his family is filthy rich.

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