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Lovejoy Season 1 DVD Review

Lovejoy Series 1 DVD

Ian McShane can’t save the bland “Lovejoy.”

Before he starred on the popular HBO series “Deadwood,” actor Ian McShane was in the long running BBC series “Lovejoy.” In the innagural season (which aired way back in 1986), viewers are introduced to the titular character-a divorced, broke, shady, unscrupulous, and personable antiques dealer who continuously finds himself getting into often troublesome adventures with his loyal motorbike riding assistant Eric. Throughout the season’s 10 episodes, there are plots about Lovejoy’s rival/landlord Charlie Gimbert, a Japanese bamboo firefly cage, thieves, auctions, murderers, a Welsh dresser, Roman Coins, flintlock pistols, snuffboxes, con artists, letters from the Napoleonic era, murdered antiques dealers, and an Italy trip. Additionally, expect to see other characters (namely co-workers and friends of Lovejoy) such as Lady Jane and the barker Tinker.

Having heard about “Lovejoy” prior to watching it, I was looking forward to digging into a series that wasn’t a police procedural. Unfortunately, “Lovejoy” is often treated like one as a majority of the police drama tropes and clichés are present here. A lead that doesn’t play by the rules? Check. A trusted partner? Check. Murder and mystery investigations? Check. A “murder of the week” esque plot device that usually involves an “antique of the week” (and sometimes even a murder)? Check. Tiresome banter between Lovejoy and a rival (Gimbert)? Check. While I understand the fact that the producers likely wanted to spice up the antique world for entertainment purposes, the procedural elements are entirely forced and clunky here (to say the least). Had the show embraced the antiques dealer plot and took it in an interesting storytelling direction, the series would have been far more engaging.

On the plus side, I think it’s safe to say that we all know this show has a fantastic lead character in Lovejoy (who is perfectly played by Ian McShane). Not only does the character completely carry the show on his back, but he’s always better than the material given to him. Imagine how much better this show could have been with improved scripts?

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3. How does it look? It looks like a non-remastered 80’s show on DVD. Expect to see print flaws, flickers, faded colors, etc.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital Stereo. How does it sound? The audio track does the job and is certainly better than the picture quality.

The only extras include Acorn trailers.

Overall Thoughts: This season 1 set is strictly for “Lovejoy” and or Ian McShane devotees.

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August 16, 2014 - Posted by | DVD review | , , ,

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