Columbo S04E04 Troubled Waters (1975) – 7/10 Columbo crime detective TV review

Cast / crew
Peter Falk: Lieutenant Columbo
Robert Vaughn: Haydn Dansiger
Jane Greer: Sylvia Dansiger
Dean Stockwell: Lloyd Harrington
Bernard Fox: Preston Watkins
Robert Douglas: Dr. Pierce
Patrick MacNee: Captain Gibbon
Poupée Bocar: Rosanna Welles
Director: Ben Gazzara
Writer (Screenplay): Bill Driskill
Writer (Story): Jackson Gillis
Writer (Story): Bill Driskill
Writer (Series’ Creator): Richard Levinson
Writer (Series’ Creator): William Link
Producer: Everett Chambers

Columbo S04E04 Troubled Waters (1975)

Mrs. Columbo has won a cruise aboard a luxury boat, er, ship, but her husband’s detecting skills are quickly called upon… to find her. Then early one morning a cabaret singer is found shot to death and Columbo starts doing what he does best.

7/10

Classic Columbo, well-paced and directed with a more solid story than usual (even though it doesn’t always look like it) and history’s longest rendition of Volare. Columbo’s detecting abilities seem to be less miraculous here than in other weaker episodes, we get the same clues as he does (the feather, specifically) and you can see why and how he pieces things together. Falk’s brilliance as Columbo can never be overstated and we get some classics in this episode. Columbo unexpectedly freezing mid-detection (due to seasickness), a queasy Columbo suddenly snapping into steely-eyed alert upon spotting an incongruous detail (a feather outside Robert Vaughn’s door), sneaking to Vaughn’s room when the body is brought into sick bay (the timing is genius) but even he… cannot use a magnifying glass the right way around. This is tremendous fun and baddie Robert Vaughn plays his part to perfection. His slow realisation that Columbo has got him is an absolute delight.

This Columbo episode contains violence, unpleasant scene.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Hustle 6.06 Series 6 Episode 6 of 6 (2010, Light Crime Adventure) – 7/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Adrian Lester: Mickey Stone
Robert Glenister: Ash Morgan
Matt Di Angelo: Sean Kennedy
Kelly Adams: Emma Kennedy
Robert Vaughn: Albert Stroller
Writer: Tony Jordan
Creator: Tony Jordan
Producer: Claire Phillips
Director: Luke Watson
Anna Madeley: Jennifer Hughes
Writer (Original Idea): Bharat Nalluri

Hustle 6.06 Series 6: Episode 6 of 6 (2010)

Bringing a share scam to a conclusion, the team are horrified when their mark turns out to be an undercover policeman. He quickly steps aside, however, as a pair of MI6 operatives come in with the offer of freedom if Mickey steals something for them from the vault of the National Bank of Syria.

7/10

The plotting is obvious but, as the show keeps telling, the mark needs to be greedy in order for a long-game con to work on them. This time the mark is essentially Mickey himself and, as we’ve seen, he and his crew don’t do this for riches. It’s a thin line, but one that allows the show to keep it’s fun / guilt balance firmly on the side of fun. This has been an entertaining series of undesirables getting taken to the cleaners in glossy good-looking colour. While the plotting rarely pulls the wool over audiences eyes (especially not after six seasons), the generous winks to camera make us feel part of the team. As to whether we should be complicit and find criminals conning criminals fun, well, that is an interesting question.

This Hustle episode contains bad language, adult dialogue and violence and sexuality.

Links

Hustle 6.05 Series 6 Episode 5 of 6 (2010, Light Crime Adventure) – 7/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Adrian Lester: Mickey Stone
Robert Glenister: Ash Morgan
Matt Di Angelo: Sean Kennedy
Kelly Adams: Emma Kennedy
Robert Vaughn: Albert Stroller
Writer: Tony Jordan
Creator: Tony Jordan
Producer: Claire Phillips
Director: Luke Watson
Daniel Mays: Mervyn Lloyd
Writer (Original Idea): Bharat Nalluri

Hustle 6.05 Series 6: Episode 5 of 6 (2010)

After being scammed by an internet retailer (a dodgy phone) a glum Mickey realises that he fallen prey to the grifter’s curse: a scammer who gets scammed loses his mojo. With Mickey’s luck and confidence shot, it’s up to the rest of the team to try and win them back by targeting the businessman who scammed Mickey.

7/10

It’s a lot more fun than it should be but they are so mean to Eddie. Odious baddie of the week (dreaming of wowing the Dragon’s on Dragon’s Den in a cute sequence though it was a shame they couldn’t get Richard Branson to appear as himself later) is delightfully boo-hiss-worthy and slimy while the invention he invests in is a hoot.

This Hustle episode contains bad language.

Links

Hustle 6.04 Series 6 Episode 4 of 6 (2010, Light Crime Adventure) – 8/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Adrian Lester: Mickey Stone
Robert Glenister: Ash Morgan
Matt Di Angelo: Sean Kennedy
Kelly Adams: Emma Kennedy
Robert Vaughn: Albert Stroller
Writer: Mark Chappell
Writer: Fintan Ryan
Director: Sarah O’Gorman
Creator: Tony Jordan
Danny Webb: Rex Kennedy
Writer (Original Idea): Bharat Nalluri

Hustle 6.04 Series 6: Episode 4 of 6 (2010)

Sean blows the latest con by failing to switch a briefcase and striding after a man entering an elevator. When he returns, he is disgusted with himself for letting the team down and not violently exacting punishment on the man: his father, who abandoned Emma and him when he was three-years-old.

8/10

A good deal more interesting than the usual ‘this time it’s personal’ stories that crop up in television shows as it believably develops characters without the need for rabbit-out-of-a-hat plot jumps.

This Hustle episode contains bad language and brief gory violence.

Links

Hustle 6.03 Series 6 Episode 3 of 6 (2010, Light Crime Adventure) – 7/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Adrian Lester: Mickey Stone
Robert Glenister: Ash Morgan
Matt Di Angelo: Sean Kennedy
Kelly Adams: Emma Kennedy
Robert Vaughn: Albert Stroller
Writer: Chris Bucknall
Producer: Claire Phillips
Director: Sarah O’Gorman
Creator: Tony Jordan
Simon Day: Luke Baincross
Writer (Original Idea): Bharat Nalluri

Hustle 6.03 Series 6: Episode 3 of 6 (2010)

When one of Albert’s machinations ends abruptly mid-scam thanks to the untimely death of his partner, he needs to find £500,000 by Friday in order to keep all his fingers. The team help but surely that is too much, even for Michael Stone.

7/10

Good fun as the team need to quickly come up with £500,000 and turn to an odious playboy who wants to scam his insurance company. The plot spends a little more time on how to convince the mark to go along with the con whereas most episodes tend to weigh much more toward the execution of the con. The good thing about the convincing is that it is less predictable and therefore more interesting than the execution which tends to simply and obviously omit dialogue in order to ‘surprise’ the audience instead of constructing an imaginative or surprising plot. There is a significant hole in this week’s plot though: the team’s use of Eddie’ Bar and the apartment means that both of the antagonists could simply return there with unpleasant intentions. Adrian Lester’s real wife Lolita Chakrabarti plays the museum curator.

This Hustle episode contains bad language, adult dialogue.

Links

Hustle 6.02 Series 6 Episode 2 of 6 (2010, Light Crime Adventure) – 6/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Adrian Lester: Mickey Stone
Robert Glenister: Ash Morgan
Matt Di Angelo: Sean Kennedy
Kelly Adams: Emma Kennedy
Robert Vaughn: Albert Stroller
Writer: Fintan Ryan
Producer: Claire Phillips
Director: Iain B. MacDonald
Creator: Tony Jordan
Mark Benton: Finch
Nick Sidi: Clifford Davis
Writer (Original Idea): Bharat Nalluri

Hustle 6.02 Series 6: Episode 2 of 6 (2010)

While seeing Albert off at the airport – he’s going to relax in Vegas – the crew run into ‘Liability’ Finch who has just stolen a Van Gogh but had to leave it in Brazil. He asks Mickey for his help but Mickey insists he’ll only bring them unwanted attention and trouble.

6/10

Mark Benton is charmless and irritating at best (he’s the fat guy off those reverse-psychology Nationwide Building Society adverts) but the episode bad guy, an ambitious Customs cop, is great. That said, it definitely feels a bit off that the cop is not totally corrupt; he’s playing two sets of crims off each other to recover a stolen painting. Presumably, last week’s supercop Indira Varma will only now turn up again the last episode of the season. Shame.

Links

Hustle 6.01 Series 6 Episode 1 of 6 (2010, Light Crime Adventure) – 7/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Adrian Lester: Mickey Stone
Robert Glenister: Ash Morgan
Matt Di Angelo: Sean Kennedy
Kelly Adams: Emma Kennedy
Robert Vaughn: Albert Stroller
Writer: Tony Jordan
Creator: Tony Jordan
Producer: Claire Phillips
Director: Iain B. MacDonald
Indira Varma: Lucy Britford
Patrick Ryecart: Sir Edmund Richardson
Writer (Original Idea): Bharat Nalluri
Executive Producer: Tony Jordan

Hustle 6.01 Series 6: Episode 1 of 6 (2010)

Fresh from scamming a creepy sheik with a meet-and-greet with Kylie Minogue (Emma “I don’t even look like Kylie” Kennedy, of course), the team set about their next target, Sir Edmund Richardson, a banker with an huge pension despite the near-collapse of his bank.

7/10

It’s largely predictable but it’s largely fun. Sadly, Kelly Adams and Adrian Lester have no chemistry rendering her jealousy woefully unconvincing. Fun new foe Indira Varma, however, definitely does and the episode works best when she and Adrian Lester are butting brains.

Links