Would you buy this for a dollar? Richie Rich returning in live-action series.

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Like all South Africans of a certain age I have read a lot of Harvey Comics. Hands-down my favourites were the giant baby bird Baby Huey and the devil Hot Stuff. But I always had time for Richie Rich, much like how Archie fans really prefer Jughead, but they’ll tolerate Archie’s dysfunctional love triangles.

Richie is a super, super rich kid in a super, super rich family. Pretty much every story was about the absurd things he could do with his wealth, though they were always nice and caring things that he did with poor kids – unlike the pretensions of Richie’s cousin, Reggie Van Dough Jr. I think the point was to make the super rich as not being awful people, which given the state of the world today has failed completely. I definitely do not recall a Richie Rich story where he uses his wealth to life a society out of poverty. Sorry, Richie, but you’re still a one percenter.

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There have been spin-offs for the comic series, notably two animated TV shows and a live action movie starring then-popular Macaulay Culkin, plus a direct-to-nowhere Christmas-themed sequel. Now he’s headed back to television as a live-action show airing exclusively on Netflix next year. The formula is rejigged: instead of being heir to a fabulous fortune, Richie made his trillions from inventions and retires to a kitted-out mansion as the world’s richest kid. We go along for the ride as he has fun with his fabulous wealth, fabulous friends and stuff common people don’t do. So no going to supermarkets.

By ‘audience’ I’m guessing anyone who can stomach those Disney comedies – this sounds like a Hannah Montana or Wizards of Waverly Place deal: teen sitcoms with dubious jokes at the expense of us old folk and the unfortunate resurrection of canned laughter. Either way, unless you are between the ages of ten and fifteen, you’re not likely to watch this anyway. I mean, just look at the grin of this smug idiot.

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He makes me feel like Billy Ray Cyrus at the wrong end of a fart joke…

Last Updated: October 30, 2014

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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