DVD Review – HU$TLE

HU$TLE: Seasons 1,2 and 3
BBC Warner

Hustle is one of those rare shows, an ensemble cast with a classic theme that manages to remake it and make it feel like a classic in the process. Five grifters working together as a team in London, always on the lookout for the next big score. Created by Tony Jordan who is also the genius behind Life On Mars and EastEnders this show has what is becoming a signature look for him, interesting camera angles, great editing which includes switching to slow mo and back at just the right times and cutting from angle to angle creating a full on feeling of being in the room. It also has some great shots when all but the cast are frozen. Add to this a perfect blend of music and a terrific group of actors and you’ve got gold.

The series opens with Mickey “Bricks” Stone ( Adrian Lester) getting out of prison. In need of cash he falls back on what he does best, con people out of money. He puts together a crew of his old friends Ash Morgan (Robert Glenister), Stacie Monroe (Jaime Murray) and his mentor, Eddie (Robert Vaughn). During their first con together since Mickey’s release a new kid to the game bullies/cons his way on to the team. Danny Blue played by Marc Warren is the newbie with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. He also has a lot to learn. And learn he does.

Each episode is another con, perpetrated on people who deserve it and can afford to get fleeced. I love watching the set up for each gig, in particular I liked the modern day take off of the con that Redford and Newman used in The Sting. Updated cons include land fraud deals, stock manipulations and

The show is smart, hip and incredibly watchable. I love the music, it feels like a sixties caper film shot now. The dynamic between the different characters is terrific, Mickey would love to make a move on Stacie but knows he shouldn’t. Eddie is dealing with getting older while Mickey has moved into his role as the teacher with Danny. Ash is the gadget guy, but also seems to relish the job the most and as a result fits in well with everyone. Attention is paid to the history between the characters and also to showing that they do indeed follow a set of their own morals.

The show moves fast and has plenty of action, each episode feeling like a mini movie. Especially satisfying is the explanation for each hustle they do. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good caper, or just likes damn entertaining television.

Season Three has just been released.

Jon Jordan