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While the 21st Century version of the classic 80s comedy-drama 'Minder'
was always going to have a lot to live up to, the first episodes gives
cause for optimism.
There was outcry amongst fans when TV personality and sometime TV presenter Shane Ritchie was cast as Archie Daley, nephew of the infamous Arthur, but while Ritchie is not much of an actor, he gets an 'A' for effort here. If anything, he should tone down his 'cheekie-chappie' enthusiasm, in favour of portraying a veneer of reputability, but, as the series will take time to hit its stride so will Ritchie.
The plot exists to be disregarded - an entirely nebulous storyline fulfilled its purposes of introducing us to the principals, via a series of non-descript villains. While Petra (who I take to be a relative of the gravel-voiced Dave, proprietor of the Winchester Club in the George Cole original) is a spirited character and looks set to be a series regular, it was Lex Shrapnel who gave the standout performance. Carrying the show with an understated hard edge and an air of seen-it-all-before weariness, he already seems as able a Minder as either Dennis Waterman or Gary Webster.
It was during the commercials that I stumbled across Waterman on the other side, and while I thought I would be pining for his gravelly tones and acknowledge considerable presence, I feel that the show, in its infancy, will survive without him.
This series is not drivel or awful as another poster has claimed (which
are frankly lazy and rather predictable comments). Minder 2009 is a
credible update of the original with some nice touches and some truly
funny moments. Admittedly not all of the plots held my attention and
some details didn't add up but it was better than most remakes of past
classics (remember Ralph Fiennes in The Avengers, Reeves and Mortimer
in Randall and Hopkirk, etc).
To be fair the second incarnation of Minder in the 1990s (with George Cole and Gary Webster) was not that good but it was liked because it had most of the elements of the original. Roll forward 15 years and it would be wrong to expect more of the same, especially without Cole and Waterman or indeed Webster. But Richie doing his Alfie Moon act and the likable Shrapnel have given life to new characters who are nod back to the past but with their feet planted firmly in the twenty-first century. With better plots and sharper dialog there is no reason why this shouldn't become a classic.
I've never liked Shane Ritchie so I wasn't expecting to like this
Minder re-make. But, actually, he's quite good in the role. It may not
be as good as the original but they've done well by not making it too
The plots aren't brilliant but this is light entertainment, and doesn't need to be too closely scrutinised. The main characters are likable and sufficiently different from 'Tel' and 'Arthur' that comparisons aren't a big problem. And the 'Minder' in this series isn't quite such a pushover for Archie Daley as Terry was for Arthur. The episodes also got stronger as the characters developed.
All in all, a reasonable hours entertainment that doesn't require too much concentration. You need to give it a chance and watch a few episodes.
I loved the original minder. I was expecting an upset but was
pleasantly surprised. Shane Richie is ace He's probably the best Arthur
possible (sorry Archie) he's got all his mannerism down to A tea.
really plays the lovable rogue well.
Lex shrapnel is a little on the small size for a minder but so was Terrence if I recall but like terry his character should grow as the Show runs.
The fight choreography was iffy but I'll allow it !. Just improve that and I'm sold.
Only thing that could make it any better is a few cameo appearances' from the original show to show some continuality.
Welcome back to my heart MINDER my long lost friend.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The new series of Minder was broadcast on Five at 9pm on Thursday 4th
February 2009, in all honesty I have to say, I didn't think much of it.
The first episode didn't get off to a promising start, I was glad when the adverts came on. Shane Richie has already ruffled Dennis Waterman and George Cole's feelings by banning them from guest starring in the show even though the original series made household names for Dennis & George.
Real smooth Richie, you've got a funny way of showing your appreciation and respect as a fan of the original show by not even having the decency to let the two stars who made the show enjoyable, have a guest appearance in your show, when he presented Minder Must See TV, he said himself he was a huge fan of the show, he was saying how he'd love to have been in Minder and he loved the partnership of the ex-boxer and wheeler dealer. He even had the cheek to ask George Cole and Dennis Waterman to help promote the new series on Five and they weren't even appearing in the programme. He upset them further by not even recommending to the producers to let them appear in the show.
Shane Richie just isn't likable as Archie Daley (Arthur Daley's nephew), what is really irritating is that right from the start, Shane Richie has started copying the mannerisms and sayings that George Cole's character made famous, at least he hasn't started uttering the phrase "Er Indoors", yet!! Richie seems to think that he came up with the mannerisms and quotes, as though he spent a week thinking about what to say and just came up with them off the top of his head, all by himself. Lex Shrapnel's character Jamie Cartwright is a taxi driver, like Terry McCann he knows how to look after himself and he knows how to handle himself in a fight, at times he does look bored, Dennis Waterman's character made you chuckle with the things he came out with and the things he did to wind Arthur up, Jamie just doesn't seem to be very funny, plus Richie's performance doesn't have me rolling in the aisles. 1/10 for entertainment, but I won't be buying this when it comes out on DVD
As far as pilot episodes go, this wasn't bad and seeing as the pilot is usually the worst episode, i imagine that this can only get better. If you watch it as a standalone series and don't compare it to the original then its pretty good. Richie and Shrapnel don't try to copy Cole and Waterman and the characters aren't supposed to be Arthur and Terry which is a plus as no-one could do justice to those characters apart from George Cole and Dennis Waterman. The show is fast paced, mildly amusing and well filmed. Some of the supporting cast's acting leaves a lot to be desired (whoever played the Gold brothers were absolutely awful) but they're only in the pilot (i hope)but Richie and Shrapnel put in a decent enough performance. All in all, its pretty good, just don't compare it to the original.
There are some shows that people really want to return, but know that
she probably shouldn't come back as they'll be pale imitations of the
This remake (or continuation) of 'Minder' is a good example of this.
It's not bad actually, but it suffers hugely in comparison to the original show.
Shane Richie does well, but his character is basically just Alfie Moon (his Eastenders character) under another name.
Crucially the writing isn't great, and the plots aren't the best.
It's a noble effort, but it just didn't capture the public's imagination in the same way as the original.
As far from the charm and wit of the original as you could possibly
Embarrassing to watch, from the church hall acting to the bizarre over use of often completely unsuitable music - make it to the first ad break and you can feel a sense of achievement.
It seems as the show was created not as an extension of the Minder shows but as a tribute to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels mixed with a swig of TFI Friday but without the fun of either.
The truly shocking 'acting' within a paper thin script and feeble plot (often it seems with actors who have at least some credible work to their name) seems to be frequently highlighted by visible pauses in their dialogue as if they were told to slow it down or have simply forgotten their lines.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is as bad as it gets. I enjoyed the original Minder and have
reviewed that as well.
I don't know what was going through peoples minds here?
Shane Richie should get it into his head once and for all,that he is a grubby soap opera actor and nothing more. Every other project he does falls flat on its face and he can not act in any great way. A friend of mine who for some reason watches "Eastenders" told me that Richie has now made the character he plays sound like he has got a speech impediment.
No one wonder they pulled the plug on this drivel so quickly. Awful in so many ways.
One of the problems of remaking an old series, is that we often forget
how awful the original series was at times. Even the classics took a
while to get going, and the original Minder was no different. It took
many years for George Cole and Dennis Waterman to get into our national
The story lines where implausible, but it was sheer escapism into the lovable rogue world of wheeling and dealing. Recall this was the era that Arther Daley and Del Trotter where part of the staple diets of the UK.
So a remake of Minder was always going to be a daunting task that wasn't going to win the hearts of many straight out of the gate.
Shane Richie plays a very good Archie Daley and is more in the vein of the original George Cole's character than we probably care to remember.
This was an enjoyable romp and I look forward to see these characters get comfortable with their surroundings.
Don't be quick to judge, as nostalgic series are often best left to our memory.
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