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As international art curator Georgina Clios bids on a painting in New York, her powerful banker husband Constantine is killed in a yacht explosion. In the aftermath, she’s left to determine who she can trust to help her uncover whether it was an accident, a murder, or if Constantine is still alive.
Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness cooked up the idea. While the show credits Neil Jordan as the creator (the writer behind The Crying Game and Michael Collins), he has distanced himself from the series — claiming his early episodes were rewritten. It stars Julia Stiles (best known for her role in Bourne Identity), Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace) and Lena Olin (Alias, Chocolat, Unbearable Lightness of Being).
If you’re looking for a glitzy, sexy, escape, Riviera serves up three seasons of a lush, soapy mystery series dripping in yachts, conspiracies, globe trotting art world intrigue, and spy thriller plots that include a somewhat timely Russian threat.
Watercooler’s Take: “A suspenseful, sun-drenched mystery set in mostly in the Côte d’Azur. While the series doesn’t aim for awards, it does set out to transport, and it drops you into spectacular worlds as it unravels its plots — kicking up just enough adrenaline.” – Vivian Chung
Critic’s Take (Season 1): “Like its opening credits, a dizzying kaleidoscope of villas and fine arts, Riviera spends as much time luxuriating in wealth as it does telling its story, which is a shame because the plot twists intrigue.” EW’s Kelly Connolly. Full review.
Is any of it based on true events? The scoop on the genesis of the story.
Playing Catch-up? Get a quick refresher with our Riviera season-by-season synopses and character guides: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3
Want to talk about it? Join the Watercooler’s Spy Club or sign-up for an upcoming after-watch event.
Add this one to your Date Night watchlist. With an 18+ rating and lots of sex, this one is strictly for the grown-ups.
The series set viewing records for Europe’s Sky Atlantic when it was first released in 2017. It was initially intended to be “very dark and complex,” according to Neil Jordan, who wrote the early drafts of the first two episodes, but distanced himself from the project when he saw how the producers redirected the series. He also disliked the expository writing and added sex scenes.