[[quoteright:345:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_22dirty-sexy-money-cast_8946.jpg]]''"Money is the root of all evil."''

A PrimeTimeSoap airing on Creator/{{ABC}} from 2007-09.

Nick George grew up with the [[BigScrewedUpFamily Darling family]], the "first family of New York," because his dad [[PosthumousCharacter Dutch]] was their family lawyer. As a teenager, he dated/proposed to Karen Darling, who apparently said no. Now as an adult, [[EveryoneIsASuspect his dad's been murdered]] and he's been lured into being the Darling family lawyer himself. (And as it turns out, he's related to one of 'em.) He's the guy that gets to sit at the fancy table...and then gets sent out to clean up the mess when someone throws a plate. ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney might as well be the family motto.

Main characters include:
* Tripp Darling: head of the family. Seems way, way too fond of Nick.
* Letitia Darling: Tripp's wife, mother of five children. Had an affair with Dutch for ''forty years,'' which led to a LukeIAmYourFather situation with one of the kids. [[ClearMyName Is currently suspected of killing him.]]
* Patrick Darling: the requisite kid who has to go into politics. Kinda sweet and ineffectual. Having an affair with Carmelita.
* Ellen Darling: Patrick's wife, who at first tries to deal with the Carmelita situation in a relatively reasonable manner, then loses it entirely.
* Karen Darling: UpperClassTwit who's gone through many husbands and still conspicuously PINES for Nick, the only guy who presumably loved her for herself.
* Brian Darling: JerkAss SinisterMinister who gets kicked out of the ministry and goes to [[WellDoneSonGuy work for Tripp.]] TheUnFavorite. Has an illegitimate son he was forced to take care of and claimed he was a [[FanNickName Swedish orphan]], but who he later got attached to. TakingTheKids happens to him a lot. [[spoiler: He's also the son of Dutch and Letitia.]]
* Andrea: Brian's babymama, a GranolaGirl. One of the most reasonable people on the show, despite her love for Brian. [[spoiler: Has cancer.]]
* Jeremy Darling: TheCharmer. Sweet and kinda earnest, but with a short attention span.
* Juliet Darling: A blatant ParisHilton expy. [[PutOnABus Put On An Island]] due to RealLifeWritesThePlot.
* Nick George: [[OnlySaneMan our beleagured hero.]]
* Lisa George: Nick's wife, ClingyJealousGirl, ''for good reason'' thanks to Karen's blatant pushiness. Is very sick of the Darlings.
* Simon Elder: ArchEnemy of the Darling family, gets [[FriendlyEnemy romantically involved]] with Karen, both of them knowing why they're doing it to some degree.
* Carmelita: Patrick's {{Transsexual}} girlfriend.
* Nola Lyons: a lawyer who was originally prosecuting Leticia for Tripp's murder. Gets involved with Jeremy, which screws her law career (as Leticia intended), then talks Patrick into giving her a job as his chief of staff. [[spoiler: Is being blackmailed by Simon Elder, who kidnapped her brother.]]
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Examples of:
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: done by both Karen and Nick as their plane is about to crash. After it doesn't crash, Nick does his level best to pretend it never happened.
* ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount
* BargainWithHeaven: Brian promises to rejoin the church if his wife recovers from her cancer. Guess what happens?
* BettyAndVeronica: Nick between Lisa (Betty) and Karen (Veronica).
* BigFancyHouse: Which gets blown up
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: $2 million in cash for bail, anyone?
* BrotherSisterIncest: [[AvertedTrope Didn't go there!]] At the production meeting where the "one of the Darlings [[WhosYourDaddy is actually Dutch's]]" idea was conceived, the word "INCEST" [[MundaneMadeAwesome was written on the board in huge letters and then dramatically crossed out.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: Lots of these moments.
* CherylBlossom: During an episode with heavy focus on the Karen/Nick/Lisa triangle, Nick ends up going out with Wren, a young woman the family took in after hitting her with a car.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Lisa, Karen and Ellen.
* ConvenientMiscarriage: Karen. It solved all her problems with Simon and fixed things with Nick.
* DeathByFallingOver: [[spoiler: Ellen]]
* EasyAmnesia: Jeremy [[spoiler: who faked a case of it as a method of trying to figure out how to help his ex-girlfriend Nola.]]
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The first time we see any of the Darlings, they completely take over Dutch's funeral, Jeremy and Juliet in particular acting like it's a movie premier or something.
** Even earlier than that, we get a flashback where we see a young Brian and Karen.
-->'''Brian:''' ''(to Nick)'' I hate you.
-->'''Karen:''' I love you.
* FirstGirlWins: Karen
* TheFunInFuneral: Nothing livens up a funeral like the cops coming.
* FurAndLoathing: Juliet wore furs, but was largely a ditz.
* GenerationXerox: Nick becoming one for Dutch is a main part of the show. Karen also has a lot in common with her mother, which does not go unnoticed by Letitia.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Karen
* {{Jerkass}} / JerkWithaHeartofGold: Brian.
* HoneyTrap: Karen and Simon, Jeremy and Nola
* IdiotBall: Jeremy and Patrick share it, but Karen gets to hold it a few times too.
* IncrediblyObviousBug: Patrick didn't notice the BLINKING CEILING CAMERA?
* InLoveWithLove: Jeremy. Karen could also count, though part of her problem is her love for Nick.
* InLoveWithTheMark: Karen and Simon. Jeremy and Nola.
* InterClassRomance: Ultra-rich Jeremey Darling meets a beautiful woman named Sofia while temporarily working as a valet in one of his family's business. He falls in love with her, then pretends to be a starving artist to prove to himself he can win her over without disclosing his real identity as (essentially) an UpperClassTwit. The story doubles up on this trope because Jeremy was the poor boy going after the rich girl, when it was the girl who was the poor (well, okay, ''comparatively poorer'') one all along.
* LadyDrunk: Letitia, Letitia, ''Letitia''. Take a drink every time you see her with a martini.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Karen wants a baby and Nick, the love of her life, agrees to be the baby daddy once they get back in a relationship. Just as they start dating she finds out that she's pregnant with ex-fiancÚ Simon. Nick's conflicted and Simon refuses to leave her alone now. And then it's all subverted due to an extremely ConvenientMiscarriage.
* LetsHaveAnotherBaby: Nick and Lisa, later Nick and Karen following her miscarriage.
* TheMainCharactersDoEverything: Nick, constantly. For example, given that his boss's wife was being prosecuted for murder at the time, you'd think the family's only lawyer would have better things to do than plan the twins' separate birthday parties.
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Brian
* MissingMom: Nick's mother Claire abandoned him.
* MsFanservice: Karen
* OddlySmallOrganization: Considering their unimaginable wealth, the Darlings don't seem to put much money into their hiring budget. The entire family has a single lawyer and a single [[UniversalDriversLicense chauffeur/pilot]] between the lot of them; and despite the attendant workload of said positions, Nick and Clark end up [[TheMainCharactersDoEverything running a lot of other minor errands for the family]] as well.
* ParentalSubstitute: Tripp believes his is this to Nick. Letitia actually is, since his mother abandoned him.
* PutOnABus: Juliet is travelling the globe with a new boyfriend in Season 2. And none of her family ever so much as mention her.
* PrettyInMink: Juliet's furs were still glamorous.
* RichBitch: The Darling women, to varying degrees.
* SlapSlapKiss: Brian and Andrea
* StealthPun: The shows initials are DSM. The "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" is the standard-issue psychiatric textbook for mental disorders. [[BigScrewedUpFamily Sounds about right]].
** Let's hope they get to make two more seasons, then they can package it as "[[GeniusBonus DSM IV]]"
* UnwantedSpouse: Patrick's wife, all of Karen's ex-husbands, and one presumes that Dutch's wife fell into this category. Brian's (ex-)wife, Mei Ling Hwa, is somewhat more complicated; initially she was presented as a frigid ballbreaker, but her scenes with Brian (and his breakdown after she leaves him) shows that there is ''at the very least'' a lot more mutual passion there than in any of the other examples. If anything this greater depth to their relationship might have backfired on the writers a little; more than a few fans have been frustrated that she was PutOnABus so early.
* UpperClassTwit: Karen, and sometimes Jeremy and Juliet (who at least dabble in employment).
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler: In the end, Nick and Karen]]
* WeddingDay: Twice. The first season features the [[RunawayBride shortest marriage ''ever.'']] The second season has the bride [[spoiler:abandoned at the altar and her brother and his dying girlfriend stepping in to get married instead]].
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt: Simon and Karen
* WhyWasteAWedding: See one of the spoilers of WeddingDay.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: "The Facts" is apparently made up of every single cut subplot from the show that never made it in earlier, aired at a point where the viewer would be all, "Hey, aren't [[spoiler: Karen and Simon broken up by now?]] and things like that.
* WhosYourDaddy: Which one of Leticia's kids is Dutch's and not Tripp's? [[spoiler: Brian]]
* WomanScorned: Ellen

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