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|Index||26 reviews in total|
I agree that the Brits seem to be able to produce well written shows that can make you laugh out loud one minute and then be tearing up at the sincere drama of the next minute. This is a unique and entertaining crime drama with good humor and great actors. I became a fan of Amanda Redman in spite of first seeing her in a terribly crap TV movie called "Suspicion". She was clearly working hard to make that script interesting and I knew an actress that determined must be good. Now that I'm seeing her in a decent show I am not in the least disappointed. She is great (and getting more beautiful with each year). She's completely believable as the tough policewoman in charge of this motley crew of men, and the guarded, reluctantly vulnerable woman sort of dating a younger man. The entire cast is superb. Alun Armstrong has never disappointed in anything I've ever seen him in and he is hysterical as the cop on multiple meds in this show. It's nice to see real looking people rather than bimbos & himbos. These are talented actors having a good time and creating something extremely entertaining.
What is it about British crime drama that makes them so good? While
Americans produce one run of the mill series after the other that
centers on fancy technique and the minds of killers the Brits
constantly come up with new concepts and interesting character line
New Tricks is probably the best of the current breed closely followed by my personal favourite, "55 Degrees North". I pity the so called young and hip series which feel the need to give identification figures to every focus group the entertainment industry cares about - "New Tricks" manages to make you care about the characters because they simply feel real and because it uses their genuine faults and quirks to propel exquisite and hilariously entertaining story lines.
The actor all are veterans of crime drama and the fun they are having with this one is palpable. These old dogs having plenty of new tricks up their sleeve to make he viewer eagerly ask for more.
We are just at the conclusion of 5 episodes, the end of the 2003 series I would imagine and therefore hopefully expecting additional episodes to be made available later in the year. This programme, unique in its storyline, tells of a senior Detective Superintendent,a lovely blonde who commences to address older cases, unsolved, with three senior ex Detectives. All have unusual characteristics such as photographic memory for one, excellent detective skills with another and criminal contacts with the third. The scripts are well written, full of humour but are still a serious crime drama series. As good as Dalziel and Pascoe, Taggart etc., and is recommended for scripting, acting and humour. Good English series
Few series about cops - albeit in this case retired, but re-activated -
and criminals are as original, thought-provoking and fun as New Tricks!
Even if I love 'A Touch of Frost' this series runs rings around it, and
even more so compared to another favorite: 'Hetty Wainthropp
Excellent plots (every case has to do with an unsolved serious crime, or murder), excellent actors, very good scripts, professional directing, nice twists, and lovely characters, like Gerry (Dennis Waterman), who's has a host of ex-wives, who occasionally wine-and-dine him, but has contacts everywhere, or Brian (Alun Armstrong), who plays an ex-alcoholic, who has a perfect memory about facts and dates, but less perfect when it comes to his wife (lovely played by Susan Jameson) and her likes and dislikes! The third of the retired officers is Jack (played by James Bolam), who's wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident - he spends most of his off-time talking to his dead wife - even have a kind of mausoleum over her in his back garden. But his high rank before retiring, and his knowledge of people and what makes them tick, makes for an excellent interviewer of suspects, and others. Always very well dressed, always well spoken, but aged by sorrow and longing for the wife that's no longer around.
Their boss, Sandra, is a blond, forceful, young officer, who has no husband, but a messy private life, which sometimes affect the stories. Expertly acted by a, to me, totally unknown actress called Amanda Redman.
Can't be beaten, this row of series, and no two installments are alike!
Doff my hat, it's great!
I'd give it a 10/10 if the picture quality in dark scenes were better!
For us Brits, it's always nice to see familiar faces back where they
belong, and this show does that for both Dennis Waterman and James
Bolam. While not quite reaching the heights that 'Minder' did for
Waterman, it's nevertheless highly entertaining - and he does get to
sing the title theme...AGAIN.
The real star though, is Alun Armstrong, whose portrayal of obsessive alcoholic savant Brian is both funny and touching; and the storybase of a "cold case" police unit made up of retired ex-coppers allows plenty of latitude for self-deprecating humour. Amanda Redman is always good value too, and she doesn't disappoint here as the no-nonsense boss of this team of superannuated mavericks.
Yes, there are lots of clichés and several improbable situations, but overall it's a good-natured romp with a bunch of old pros. I always try to watch it if I'm in.
My wife got me watching this as she is into Detective/Crime Drama and I
must say I was very pleasantly surprised for several reasons. The use
of actors who probably had their heyday twenty years ago was one and
the stories are very well written. The show is classed as Drama but
there is fun and games in there too.
James Bolam is an actor I have long rated highly and this shows he has not lost his touch. In fact the range of acting skills these people bring to the show make younger actors in the same show look shallow. The team knit well together. They make great use of the fact that they are all retired police officers who can and do ignore rules and protocols to solve supposedly dead cases.
It makes a refreshing change compared to some American shows of the same genre. I strongly recommend it.
This series just gets better and better. You cant pick who is the better actor, they are all first class. No stereotyping here, all believable, no suspension of reality required.. its just pure entertainment and the fastest hour on the TV. It remains to be seen how far they can extend the series using the same premise. This is quality viewing from the Brits, the way they do it best. Amanda Redman showed us what she was made of in " At Home with the Braithwaites " another show you cant wait to see the next episode ! She has an unconventional beauty that makes her irresistible to watch, at least to THIS viewer. The male part of the cast work so well together, as they should as they are all veterans of the screen.....the show is smooth, seamless, funny and with real non plastic people who do not look all the same unlike in police dramas from the US, which seem to run to a tired formula, tired dialogue.... and is it just me ....but in US dramas when actors leave through a door....why do they inevitably have to turn and say something ??
Bizarre and fun, New Tricks doesn't take itself too seriously, which is why it doesn't get bogged down in the mire that so many American cop shows do. Nothing against American TV, it's produced some hilarious shows, (Arrested Development and Friends come immediately to mind). But this particular type of gentle comedy / drama can only be done by the Brits. Eccentric, charismatic characters, quirky situations and witty dialogue are the strong points. Erratic pace and stereotypical minor characters are the main weaknesses. I find the problems with this show can be overlooked because it's willing to laugh at itself. I think it's great. The actors are right at home and it's sharp and original. Go for it, watch it, why not.
I absolutely adore Touch of Frost, Midsummer Murders and Inspector Morse, but the thing I love about New Tricks is that it is contemporary, funny and still manages to be serious when it needs to be. True, it is a bit corny at times,my only criticism of the series, but it is sterling entertainment for those who want to relax in the evenings. Allun Armstrong is both touching and funny as Brian, a man of intellect and charm, but this is perhaps under-appreciated by his colleagues. James Bolam makes the most out of his character, and one of the main reasons I watch New Tricks in the first place. Jack Halford is seen as quiet and composed, yet there is a certain sadness to him that is quite appealing. Amanda Redman never disappoints in anything she's in, and she gives a thoroughly entertaining and sometimes serious portrayal of Sandra, and Dennis Waterman from The Sweeney and Minder delights with his vocals in the title song(which is quite catchy), and equally delights with his three-times-divorced, heavy-smoking character of Gerry Standing. The episodes allow the four stars to have fun, and the witty and fresh, though sometimes corny, script allows plenty of character development. Standout episodes are when Jack is slowly poisoned by a man played by Richard Briers, and Sandra finding out how and why her father died.(I felt sorry for her then)All in all, an entertaining and often funny series. 9/10 Bethany Cox.
New Tricks is a wonderful Brit cop show. After you get used to BBC shows it hard to go back to the crap that American TV produces. The characters are stable throughout the multi year run and they have great chemistry. This show is one of many that I recommend, including Murphy's Law, Murder City, Life on Mars, MI-5, Dr. Who, Torchwood and Primeval. US shows like Numb3rs and NCIS may rival them, but we can learn a lot from the Brits. I've just ordered my second multi-region DVD player because the last four years of Tricks has not come out in the US. The good thing is the episodes are usually fuller and richer on the international DVDS. Come on BBC, give us some more good stuff.
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