All Hustle, No Bustle

Hustle 4 b

Where Do We Go From Here?

Hustle is back on our screens, although it’s not as if the omni-present Marc Warren has actually been off screen for very long at all, given his roles in Dracula, Doctor Who, Hogfather et al. Not all of the old gang are back though because this time Mickey Stone (Adrian Lester) has been written out and is alledgedly on the far side of the world trying to sell the Sydney Opera House. Leaderless, the team rather oddly turn to Danny to take the reins, which is a decision that, in the eyes of this humble viewer is, somewhat odd… surely there are better candidates out of the four of them.  In fact, between Ash, Stacie, Albert and Danny I’d probably put Danny in fourth place.  Thankfully, he’s staying true to his character and struggling somewhat with his newly acquired responsibility.  The first episode was set in Hollywood as the foursome flew out to LA in an attempt to sell the Hollywood Sign but it fell a little flat (the story, not the sign) and, given that this was clearly an attempt to plough some cash into the show with an expensive debut episode, it was a disappointment.  I’m not sure whether this was because of the plot that was a little thin in places or because of Mickey, whose absence genuinely left a hole in proceedings.

A fifth frifter was sought in episode two and a new character, Billy Bond joined the fray.  I think the jury is still out as to whether Ashley Walters’s character is going to step up to the challenge of joining such an established quartet because there are reasons for concern at the moment: I just don’t buy the fact that he’s a conman.  The plot remained a little sluggish and predictable as well, and the flair of previous series was conspicuous by its absence in a tale of horse race fixing.  Things picked up in episode three as the mark was a devious woman who ran a nursing home (played with relish by Patrica Hodge) and who abused her position by running a scam to steal the resident’s houses.  I’ll stick with Hustle because it still has the potential to be great but I just hope it’s not running out of steam.

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