Filthy Rich: 6 Shows on Billionaire Families and Extravagant Lives—and the Dirty Ways to Get There - Arts & Culture

More money, more problems? These hit shows present that it might be the case.

“There’s no shame in enjoying the lifestyle pornography,” New York Times writes in a review on the drama-dark comedy series Big Little Lies. The show revolves around three moms with “seemingly perfect lives” given their looks, status, and wealth. However, it isn’t actually the case as their lives unravel and lead to murder. 

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Big Little Lies isn’t the only show that tells fictional stories about how the world’s wealthiest people can control their perception. In fact, it’s become quite the trend as more and more people start to enjoy “wealth-porn.” 

From plots based on America’s greed-fueled Gilded Age to a hedge-fund giant’s illegal practices to newly legitimized heirs chasing after their fortune—here are our favorite series that showcase ultra-wealthy lifestyles and the conflicts that come with it.


The Emmy award-winning series revolves around Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his family, the owners of a global media and entertainment conglomerate. Although the drama’s creator, Jesse Armstrong, says the Roys are a fictional family (or not based on any existing family-owned Fortune 500 companies), he admits the show’s writers draw on “rich” stories” about succession and about media and high politics.” 

In line with this, some of the plot lines are comparable with real-life media tycoons like the Murdochs (Fox Corporation), the Sukzburgers (New York Times), and the Redstones (CBS). 

The Gilded Age 

The new HBO show, which premiered last month, is set in the 1880s during America’s Gilded Age. Historically, it was the time the country saw enormous economic growth through the industry in technology. During this time between the Civil War and the 20th century, bankers, politicians, and avaricious capitalists enjoyed extreme wealth at the expense of the working class.

The Gilded Age’s screenplay writer is Julian Fellowes, who has the 58 Emmy-winning series Downton Abbey under his belt.  

Filthy Rich

When Eugene (Gerald McRaney), the patriarch of the mega-rich Monreauxe family, dies in a plane crash, his wife, Margaret (Kim Cattrall), is left to his television business. Eugene’s sudden death comes with reading his will, which reveals his three illegitimate children entitled to his fortune.

Margaret considers the new heirs a threat to the family name and fortune. As a result, she goes to lengths to control them.


While hedge-fund king Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) dominates the world of high-finance, his tactics don’t always abide by the law. US attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) tries to prosecute despite risking his flawless record of never losing an insider trading case. 

Rhoades digs deep for information to destroy Axelrod, which becomes tricky given the attorney’s wife (Maggie Siff) works as a performance coach for Axelrod’s company.


Dynasty’s glitz of extreme wealth, family drama, and corporate conflict collide in Netflix’s revival of the eighties series. It begins with heiress Fallon Carrington’s (Elizabeth Gillies) disapproval of her father’s remarriage. As the story progresses, we meet the Colby’s—another wealthy, feud-ridden family that either tries to expand the Carrington empire or take from it.

Banner photo from @succession on Instagram.

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