Saturday, 19 February 2011


Hustle - Series seven, Episode six. Mickey (Adrian Lester) and the gang must retrieve diamonds stolen by Cool Hand Cooper (Shaun Dooley) But these diamonds are buried beneath a busy police station and they belong to a humorless mafia boss who wants them back. Meanwhile, a woman named Susan (Hannah Gordon) is in London to bring Albert (Robert Vaughn) a shocking revelation.

Series seven of BBC One's con artist hit drama finished yesterday on a rather sour note, with an episode written by Hustle supremo Tony Jordan and directed by Colin Teague. Kudos to Twitterers who recognised Blue Streak (1999) as the basis of the intrigue, because your humble servant has been spared most of Martin Lawrence's filmography. But actually the heist was far from relevant and the twist, as usual, was beyond the notion of suspension of disbelief. The real deal was all about Albert Stroller in a personal situation unrelated to the main story.

Most of us believed Albert was victim of a con, tied (or not) to the diamond heist, but nothing like that. It was truly personal and lead to the dramatic open end brought by Sting's Shape of My Heart, one of those songs often heard in US shows - with Hallelujah or Somewhere over the Rainbow. All this gave the impression that we were prepared for the possible departure of Mr Robert Vaughn, should this screen legend decide to not return for another series.

And why there would not be another series? Without hype and with minimum promo, Hustle (like New Tricks) still manages to draw deservedly solid ratings and has a loyal following. Both which could be envied by some recent big budget flops.

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