13 February 2011

There's probably a good football metaphor here (Review: 'Hustle' 7.5)

Hustle is now coming to the end of its seventh season and I wouldn't be surprised if the show goes on past ten. It may not be a show with massive amounts of depth, but at the end of the day it's highly entertaining and that does the job for most people.

After Ash Morgan, one of the five-person team of loveable con artists, has his favourite football team go into administration, he's not happy about it and wants to go after the corrupt agent responsible. He makes a passionate speech about the state of the beautiful game, which you could quite happily use in many a serious drama with only slight changes, then reminds the team that they could get a lot of money. The latter convinces them.

The target is Don Coleman, played by David Harewood, previously best known to me for Robin Hood. Like all the marks in this show, Harewood brings the ham and brings it well. He's a thoroughly slimy piece of work, without any redeeming features, but that's par for the course.

The con is reasonably standard but good nonetheless; the group decide to pass off Sean Kennedy as an elite Canadian football player - despite the fact he can't actually play (I won't reveal how they get around that). That's the convincer. Then they try to sell Coleman a US football club and then do some switcheroo that persuades Don to give the gang a lot of money.

There's a rather large snag involving a head injury here that is a refreshing little change to the show; the team's setback here isn't faked as part of the plot and it's only Coleman's sheer hubris that actually makes the con work.

All in all, it's a very enjoyable episode. It does drag somewhat, especially around the 20-minute mark, but there's some brilliant little gags and even Eddie the barman, who sometimes feels like an unnecessary source of comic relief, is actually rather funny for a change. Now, guys, pay your tab!

Emma, the sole female in the group, doesn't get a lot to do this week. Possibly for the best; she's the weakest character in the gang.

I've wondered recently who pulls the better cons; this crew or the Leverage team. Based on this, I'd have to say that the jury is still very much out.


No comments: