Fun Little Tv Show

I honestly can't remember where I stumbled across this show, I think it was when I saw the lovely Jaime Murray playing the manipulative evil ***** "Lila" in another favorite show of mine, Dexter.  I'm pretty sure I looked up her name and found a filmography showing she'd been in a British program called "Hustle" and so I checked out an episode and was instantly hooked.

The show consists of a group of 5 confidence tricksters (con artists as many know them) who work the "long con" (differentiated from the short con in that the long con generally deals with tens of thousands to a million dollars or more in one single, long-played and planned scam, the short con would be something like 3 card Monte.) 

1. Michael Stone (AKA Mickey Bricks) - The leader of this group and the usual Inside man - a grifter (another name for con man) who's considered the best of his time due to his ability to read people, play them and use their greed and emotions to keep himself and his team one step ahead, he's incredibly intelligent, having outsmarted trained specialist on such fraud cases, leading them to believe they have control when in fact he's playing them the whole way, he's a chess player, setting up moves that will have no effect until 5 or 6 moves later when the victim is already trapped.
2.  Ash "Three Socks" Morgan - Fixer - Ash is the hands-on worker of the crew, if they have a security system they can't crack, if they need to acquire an office illegally for a scam, or a car, or a penthouse suite in a hotel then Ash is the man to turn to, he can find anything usually and work out a way to get it where it needs to go, an expert on hacking, electronics (particularly security systems)
3. Albert Stroller - The Roper - The Patriarch, the oldest member of the crew, and a former holder of Mickey's job of the "inside" man.  Besides a penchant for gambling, Albie's incredible ability to endear people to himself and to divulge just enough info to pique a marks interest while still being vague as to what seems important info. Albert is peerless at putting people at ease and helping them look with a less skeptical eye on the con itself...frequently part of either the roping of the mark (drawing him in) or the neutral party to give the illusion of neutrality between his own Con tam and the mark
4. Danny Blue - Floater (eventually leader and inside man when Mickey left for a series) Danny has an incredible ability to read people and know what they're looking to hear when they want to hear it.  He's the youngest, and so most naive of the group being more used to short cons bringing in a few hundred pounds as opposed to 500000 pound scores or more, this is a curse and a boon...very few can "think on their feet" like Danny, and in more than one occasion he's turned a tense situation into something manageable by playing his role in such a way as to put everyone at ease.  His sleight of hand is possibly the best in the group, in one episode he successfully steals not only a watch from a mark but also managed to steal his wallet (which he was sitting on at the time) and his pen all within one meeting with the guy  Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but his sheer instinct paint him as someone who, with the right training (like Mickey and Albie) could lead to one of the best grifters ever. in fact Albie once comments "...and Danny, danny has grift sense that could put me and you to shame one day..."

I think one aspect I like about this show is the balance they hold over aspects of each performance.  We know the group involved all love each other in their own way but it's never shoved down our throats.  On top of that there's the sheer intellect of the story lines, not philosophical as much as just the characters capacity to have everyone dancing to their tune, the team's incredible ability to social engineering in other words.  Add to that a sense of grandeur and a sort of wish fulfillment, they make the people, and the realm of the show a bit "bigger than life" (come on, which one of us WOULDN'T be thrilled to join Mickey's crew to work under masters like that?)  All those things are great but the rare part is in how they each get a respectable part of the overall story. the intellectual chess playing logical "think three steps ahead" of Mickey's style never takes precedence over the interpersonal relationship of the characters, and vice versa...all those aspects are tied seamlessly together to create a series in which you watch hard, and yet at the end the crew was way ahead of everyone else involved and used that to get what they wanted, small details you see, but dismiss as nothing at one point suddenly will pop up an episode or two later as a core plot point which is just brilliant writing.

This show is intelligent, it makes me think in a "whodunnit" or rather "howdonnit" manner and yet it is FUN to watch, I find myself attached to the series.  I'm curious how S7 will turn out, I'd kill if they could bring back Danny and Stacie...I don't mean get rid of the two newer places, I've found myself enjoying them as well...but maybe for one final season pull all the stops and pull incredibly complex cons that they need extra manpower for...have a 7 man team with all these great grifters playing off each other to get their jobs done.  Suffice to say, brilliant show...one of the only ones I watch religiously still on the air (well, since Law and Order went off the air.) check it out if you're into adventure, intrigue and intelligent television, HIGHLY recommended.
Charos Charos
31-35, M
Jul 27, 2010