Friday, January 30, 2009

Hustle: Diamond Seeker (s5 e4)

I like Hustle. It's one of those comfortable, no-nonsense, always-delivers-the-goods shows that is neither groundbreaking, highbrow nor even spectacular, but is nonetheless consistently entertaining.

Hustle is about a group of conmen - or grifters - who, in a sort of Robin Hoodish way, con/steal from the bad/rich and give to the good/poor - and themselves. Although these conmen lie, cheat and blatantly bend the law their way, they are the good guys and the people they are conning are pretty much always shown as the bad guys. It's very like Ocean's Eleven (and spin-offs) but slightly smaller on scope and budget. And like the Ocean films, it relies on two things: the elaborate cons and the interaction of the characters.

This week’s episode was as good as always. The team mistakenly come into possession of a stolen, near priceless necklace and there's a ruthless, highly intelligent, rich guy out to get it off them. He collects "love jewellery" and will stop at nothing to get the necklace, including hospitalising the lecherous thief that stole the jewel in the first place. Of course, Mickey Bricks, Three Socks, and the new guys Emma (who looks like a slightly younger version of Kylie) and Sean (a good old ex-Eastenders actor) manage to come out on top and, in addition, make some decent money.

The little scenes between the characters are great. Sure, the con wouldn't work in real life because it, like most of them, relies too much on luck and coincidence (here, the intelligent recluse decides to interrogate Emma in his impenetrable vault rather than, say, in an office. Which was lucky). And I could see how it was all going to work way before the reveal. Also, unfortunately, there wasn't one of those special FX bits where the action around them slows to almost a halt and the gang move around them talking about the con (like the bits in Heroes when Hiro freezes time). But still.

Like all the other episodes, this was wonderfully entertaining. Surprisingly, after four previous seasons, there's still plenty of life in this ol' show. It's a pity each season is so short! So, for me, it's getting a steady Fine grading.

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