January 23, 2011

5 Reasons My Chicago Pals Should Watch HUSTLE on Sunday Nights

hustle on bbc
Originally uploaded by *Webber* TAIWAN
Dear Chicago Friends,

OK, you're sadly disappointed in the Bears' loss to Green Bay football wise...but here's a piece of advice:

Turn on Channel 11 Sunday evenings and watch Hustle.

But you're probably wondering why you should do so? Why should you spend Sunday nights watching a British show you never heard of, and which is leading to reruns of Season 4 of Doctor Who? Well, I have five reasons why you should:

  1. Each episode is a finely crafted orb of joy: Yes, this series had me read a book about confidence men and culture some time ago; but each episode is a well-told tale of someone who is rich and powerful...and is deservedly brought down. There's no pretense of this crew being noble unlike some other shows (*cough* Leverage *cough)...and the plots follow a 40 minutes of complications/10 minutes of getting out of it, but Tony Jordan (who created the show) and his writing team provide one hour of pure, unabashed entertainment and enjoyment. We need more stuff like that.
  2. The Gleinister Family Tradition of Cool: His brother portrayed the ultimate bad-ass, DCI Gene Hunt. Robert Gleinister plays "fixer" Ash Morgan. If all he did was serve as glorified background, the show would fall flat; he gives the character a nice veneer of awesome. But than again, so does the rest of the cast, including....
  3. That's Vaughn...Doctor Robert Vaughn: He was one of the Magnificent Seven in the 50s, The Man From Uncle in the 1960s, and your favorite villainous character in the 1970's (I won't mention Superman III). He is also a published author with a doctorate in communications. However, as "roper" Albert Stroller, Vaughn channels the kind of charm, wit, sense of humor, and grace that leads William Shatner to weep into his pillow late, late at night. (Shatner wishes he was this cool)
  4. The Rest of the Cast Sparkles as Well: The rest of the cast - Adrian Lester, Jamie Murray, and Marc Warren (aka "the Love and Monsters guy") - provide some serious acting chops, taking on a variety of smaller roles as part of each con. They also make some great eye candy for any gender or gender combination.
  5. This is a Television Show that Knows It's A Television Show...and Respects Your Intelligence - Yes, the characters break the fourth wall at times. Physics acts slightly differently in the show, with events slowing down for our team to observe them. But this is all done without one slight ounce of camp. In short, you could easily watch each episode repeatedly and be surprised. This is a well crafted show that's been on for awhile (seven years, if I understand correctly), and yet seems fresh and exciting.

So if you're in Chicago, tune into WTTW Digital Channel 11.1 Sunday nights at 10 pm. If you're not, several seasons are available on DVD - why not give it a view?

You'll thank me later, perhaps with either a drink on my birthday, or a date with your drop-dead gorgeous single female friend. Or even both.

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