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As international art curator Georgina Clios is bidding 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’s distanced himself from the series — claiming his early episodes were rewritten. Stars include Julia Stiles (Bourne Identity), Rupert Graves (Sherlock), Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace), Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones), and Lena Olin (Alias, Chocolat, Unbearable Lightness of Being).
If you’re looking for a glitzy, sexy, 18+ soapy escape watch — and not expecting much more than that — Riviera serves up three seasons of a lush mystery dripping in yachts, conspiracies, globe trotting art world intrigue, and spy thriller plots that include a somewhat timely Russian threat.
Variety’s take: “There’s nothing radical or challenging about Riviera: It efficiently combines elements of soap operas, murder mysteries and thrillers, and, as the frosting on top, it gives viewers a peek at the luxurious lives of the oligarch-adjacent global elite.” — Maureen Ryan. The full review.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s take: “The trouble with Riviera begins after you stop fantasizing about wanting to visit there and be on a yacht while doing it. The visuals — helicopter shots galore — can’t offset that this series feels like an episode of some lost soap opera that was patched together in several different languages.” — Tim Goodman. The full review.
“Julia Stiles Gets to Play a Female Michael Corleone” Read IndieWire‘s interview with Stiles for the back story behind Riviera.
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 he disliked the expository writing and added sex scenes.