This Hustle don't flow.

AMC is running what they’re terming an “original series”, a con game series called Hustle. It’s obviously an existing British series being brought to these shores. It’s got some good cast, including Robert “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Vaughn and Adrian “One Degree of Nat Gertler” Lester (he and I were both in Primary Colors, for which he got great acclaim and I got about $40 and all the snacks I could grab.)
But the problem with terming it an “original series” goes beyond it’s previously existing run. I’ve only caught one episode so far, and it wasn’t the pilot. What it was, however, was an update remake of The Sting. It’s not just that they pull the same con as in that great classic film (if you’ve never seen, please rent it before anyone tells you about it – it’s a great film all around, and particularly fun to watch for the first time.) In fact, the characters say that they’re pulling the same con, and since it’s an actual classic con, that’s legit. The problem is that they add the same complications, same plot twists as in that great Redford/Newman film. That ain’t a con job, that’s simple plagiarism.
I like a good con story. What I don’t need is to see downgraded versions of good con stories I’ve already seen.
(I very rarely turn to the current version of AMC. It’s mostly movies, bleeped out and with ads added. If I want to see a film, I’ll Netflix it and watch it closer to how it was meant to be seen. The old version of AMC, which ran old films, rarelyif ever needed to censor them, and didn’t interupt them with ads… that was more my cuppa tea. Plus, they had their own original series, and while the The Lot was unthrilling and merely worth mentioning for its introduction of later Freaks & Geeks star Linda Cardellini, their earlier sitcom Remember WENN was actually quite charming – although I never quite understood why a station that focused on classic films was doing a sitcom about a classic radio station.)

(edited 10-6-2008, because I’d found I’d pasted a word in the wrong spot and left something confusing.)

Published in: on February 13, 2006 at 11:14 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I recorded the premiere of Hustle and that episode had a similar level of familiarity (while I can’t place exactly where I saw it, the story felt like I already saw it). I liked the vistual style of the show, as well as the cast, but that wasn’t really enough to get me to record more.

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