McMillion$ (HBO Docu-Drama) Series Thread *spoilers*

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by astrohip, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Feb 4, 2020 #1 of 61

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003


    (from wiki) McMillions (stylized as McMillion$) is a documentary series about the McDonald's Monopoly game scam that occurred between 1989 and 2001. The series premiered on February 3, 2020 on HBO.

    McMillions "examines the $24 million worth of fraud that corrupted the McDonald’s Monopoly game between 1989 and 2001, in which there were almost no legitimate million dollar winners in the contest."

    This premiered on HBO last night. I'll confess to not remembering any of this. My wife remembered the game, but not the scandal either.

    I thought it was an interesting first hour, doing a decent job of setting up the players. At the same time, it seems to be drawing everything out. This is a six part mini-series, and it seems like it could be covered in a two hour movie. But it was certainly good enough to keep watching, and see how it unfolds.

    They managed to get many of the key players to appear as themselves, FBI included.

    Who else is watching?
  2. Feb 4, 2020 #2 of 61

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    I remember hearing it had been rigged, but not any of the details.

    I liked the 1st episode, though I wish it had been edited down a little tighter; seemed to move too slowly. Guess we'll see if the remaining 5 are packed more fully.
    Though wow, I do not like that overeager newbie FBI agent. Working with him would drive me up the wall in about 2 seconds flat!
  3. Feb 4, 2020 #3 of 61

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Mar 23, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I read an extensive article about this whole thing a couple years back. It's really a fascinating story. I seem to recall Ben Affleck and Matt Damon acquiring the rights to it after a bidding war, but this is obviously a different project. I thought theirs was supposed to be a movie.

    Edit: I found the original article. It's a fascinating read, but it obviously contains spoilers for the documentary ...

    How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions

    I also found an article that talks about how Affleck and Damon paid $1M for the movie rights. I'm assuming this project must have stalled ...

    Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Paid $1 Million for McDonald's Monopoly Scam Story
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  4. Feb 4, 2020 #4 of 61

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    Not sure if the movie project is stalled...
    Review: HBO’s ‘McMillions’ Reminds Us That Every Era Has Its Scam
    Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are making a feature movie about this case, and the Matthews role seems like a plum one. (The movie is based on the terrific 2018 Daily Beast article about the case; the “McMillions” filmmakers James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte say they were working on this before that article came out.)
  5. Feb 5, 2020 #5 of 61

    TiVo'Brien Now with 2.6% Fewer Organs TCF Club

    Feb 8, 2002


    My wife and I really liked it. Agent Doug was a tad annoying, but probably just the right person to go undercover as the fake producer.

    The tension early on about who to trust with the secret was palpable. Good thing the FBI reached out to McDonald's security and not the marketing company's!
  6. Feb 5, 2020 #6 of 61

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

    Mar 27, 2001
    I really enjoyed it, and especially liked the overeager FBI agent. He was a hoot!

    For some reason I thought this was only 3 episodes. It's six? (ETA: yup it's six)
  7. Feb 5, 2020 #7 of 61

    trainman Nice to see you

    Jan 29, 2001
    I knew the basic story, and was wondering before watching the first episode how they could drag it out to be 6 hour-long episodes. I'm not wondering anymore -- there was obviously a lot going on, involving a lot of interesting characters.

    My understanding is that the events of 9/11/2001 went a long way toward keeping news about the scandal out of the public consciousness. I wonder if that'll be addressed in a future installment.
  8. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    Starting to lose my interest in episode 2. I really hate documentaries with the phony reenactments, I mean when the McDonald’s rep mentioned that she even took the tape recorder to a wedding, did they really have to show someone dressed for a wedding playing the tape?
  9. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I have really liked it so far. I'm fascinated by the whole thing. I like the sort of deep fake of the two Jerrys. I love agent Doug. He seems like the kind of guy I'd love to swap stories with over a beer (if I actually drank beer). I loved the grandfather of one of the characters who won sweating profusely because he couldn't get his story straight. I could see myself doing that! But yeah, i think they probably could have done this in 3-4 episodes. But maybe there's a whole lot more going on that they haven't told yet.
  10. SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    May 25, 2006
    Second one seemed to go a lot quicker. Was getting into it and it was over.
  11. SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    May 25, 2006
    In the credits it said that Mark Wahlberg was one of the producers.
  12. vertigo235

    vertigo235 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Oct 27, 2000
    I'm enjoying it for sure, and I have not read any spoilers.
  13. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    Yeah, was thinking about this. I wonder if it would have been better to binge this one rather than watch weekly.
  14. Donbadabon

    Donbadabon Bored TCF Club

    Mar 5, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I haven't listened yet, but just saw there was a McMillion$ official podcast out there. Around 30 minute episodes that cover each of the TV episodes. I subscribed through the Podcast app on my iPhone.
  15. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    Ep 3: The Church of Fuzzy Bunnies

    This ep was very good, much better than ep 2. I felt sorry for Gloria.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
    Markman07 likes this.
  16. crazywater

    crazywater USS TiVo NCC-1780

    Mar 7, 2001
    This is an excellent and fascinating story. I've listened to the first 3 podcasts as well to fill in the gaps. They have some deleted scenes and interviews with the main players, Robin Columbo and and Gloria Brown are interviewed in ep 2 & 3 of the podcast. And I love Doug. What a character.
  17. vertigo235

    vertigo235 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Oct 27, 2000
    Yeah, at first I was like is this Doug guy for real? Then I found his personality refreshing that "normal" people seem to work for the FBI, :D
  18. Hoffer

    Hoffer Eat Lightning ----- Poo Thunder TCF Club

    Jun 1, 2001
    Twin Cities, MN
    Episode 3 was good. I had heard about this Monopoly thing, but didn't realize the mob was involved. The woman who "won" the million dollars only getting $10k of the $50k per year winnings was nuts. It seems that woman that "won" $100k, might actually lose money? Episode 3 was left that she gave the $100k to the Colombo guy, and maybe won't get any of it back, and maybe will have to pay taxes on that $100k out of her own money. Some of the winners in this scam appear to be victims of the mob more than anything.
  19. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    There is a short documentary about this on Netflix somewhere. I watched it a couple years ago. But can't remember if it was part of a series or standalone.
  20. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I wondered what the motivation was for the woman who had to give the up front money, with really no guarantee she wouldn't be getting scammed. Anytime something that doesn't seem on the up and up requires money up front, gets my antenna raised. There would have been no way I'd ever do it.

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