Secret Millionaire Review | Variety

Granted, the producers overplay their hand, from the too-easy epiphanies that the wealthy participants achieve, to their Little Lord Fauntleroy wardrobes, to the persistent urgency and cloying sweetness of David Vanacore's music. In Secret Millionaire's world, the rich are benevolent if slightly detached and the poor are simply hard-luck cases helped by angels on Earth, without shades of gray.

The millionaires in the premiere were a father-son and husband-wife act - one dispatched to Imperial Beach, near California's southern border; the other to Buras, La., an area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. They're forced to survive on $150 for a week (think Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days, divided by four), while deciding how to dole out at least $100,000 of their money to those whom they encounter. The unsuspecting are supposedly told the producers are shooting a documentary about poverty, which sounds suspect, but perhaps best not to over-think these things.

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