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November 28, 2014

con artists

Hustle: Episode 18 (finale)

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 3rd 2006 7:15AM
Hustle(S03E06) This was another great episode, but I was kind of disappointed finale-wise. The characters didn't develop any further, the story's complications weren't much more intricate than those of the previous episodes, and the sexual tension was still virtually untouched (hasn't really been talked about since Season One). I guess this is because each and every episode wraps up really nicely so that, even if you watch them out of order, everything still makes sense. I want Hustle to do something extreme for once. Have the gang royally screw something up! Have a con go horribly wrong, resulting in the death of a member's loved one and the eventual crippling depression of the aforementioned member. Something.

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Hustle: Episode 17

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 27th 2006 2:14PM
Hustle(S03E05) The episode started with a young woman jumping into the Thames... a suicide attempt. After she arrived at the hospital (unconscious, but alive), we learned that she, Emily, was one of Stacie's good friends. Not only was she a kind friend, but she led a children's charity and had devoted most of her life to it. Emily's severe depression was caused by a vicious tabloid's claim that she had defrauded her own charity and had embezzled loads of money. Stacie went to visit Emily and, after seeing what a poor state she was in, vowed to seek revenge on the Weekend World.

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Hustle: Episode 16

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 20th 2006 1:02PM
Hustle(S03E04) The episode started in the middle of a con, while the gang was having lunch with the mark. Stacie appeared in a traditional Indian dress, quite the vision. There was talk about a movie investment. The mark was an Indian fellow named Samar. He was extremely unkind and, as he left, Mickey remarked that he never wanted to take anyone's money so badly. Samar rode away in a limo, chaffeured by Danny. Suddenly, he said that everything was too perfect... "You're all con artists!" Danny turned around to try and make some excuse, but ended up driving into a stationary car. Crap.

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Hustle: Episode 15

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 13th 2006 12:28PM
Hustle(S03E03) The episode started quite abruptly with three different people (Stacie and two guys we haven't seen before) giving Danny a whippng and his voice-over saying that he wishes that he never heard the name James Whittaker Wright III. Um. What? Jump back to Danny and Stacie working a short con. Stacie was inside a store, roping in the mark, Danny was sitting outside, watching and waiting for his moment. All of a sudden, some random American guy (played by the legendary Robert Richard Chamberlain -- but he's not quite as legendary as my inability to read my own notes, it seems) sat down in front of him and started talking to Danny about the old ring scam he was presently working on with Stacie. Then, the mysterious man said, "I bet you I can bite my own eye." Of course, Danny jumped at the chance and bet. The man popped out his glass eye, struck his teeth on it a few times, and replaced it. What. In. The. Hell. Before leaving, the man handed Danny his business card. James Whittaker Wright III from Lea Park.

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Hustle: Episode 14

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 6th 2006 8:56PM
Hustle(S03E02) This season is still going beautifully, with creative stories and fantastic visuals. However, I've noticed a recent change and it's driving me absolutely insane... They've completely strayed from their supposed Number 1 rule: You can't cheat an honest man.

As of late, they seem to be conning (stealing from, really) even the most innocent people... Like, ordinary people just going about their jobs, who haven't done anything wrong. I'd normally have no problem seeing good people getting screwed over on a program about con artists, but the characters of Hustle have been absolutely preaching their "honest man" rule since the beginning. Why is it okay for them to suddenly turn around and go against such an important part of what made them superior to the "dirty" grifters in their world? It must be difficult having to write up sleazy characters all the time, but, I've gotta admit, the change is a bit disappointing.

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Hustle to hit the big screen

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 22nd 2006 8:31PM
HustleOur friends at Cinematical recently posted that FOX has picked up the rights to create a feature-length version of the BBC/AMC show Hustle. The original minds behind the series are going to work on the film, so that's good news. This is nice and all (Hustle really is a fantastic program), but each episode already runs over an hour. I hope they figure out something really exciting to do, because I'm not sure I'd be willing to fork over $10 to just watch what is essentially an extended episode.

Meanwhile, the third season starts June 28 at 10:00 PM EST for the Americans, with a fourth season in the works.

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Hustle: Episode 11

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 29th 2006 6:03PM
Hustle on AMCThe episode started right in the middle of the gang's latest cons. Stacie was just about to work her "sex kitten" act when she stopped dead in her tracks. She just spotted someone that she recognized... her ex-husband, Jake. A crazy twist within the first two minutes? Bravo, Hustle. Anyway, Stacie's ex-husband ran out on her years and years ago, taking all their savings with him. To exact revenge on this jerk that betrayed their beloved Stacie, the gang decided to make her ex the new mark. Stacie explained some of his background to the group and they decided that, by working off his love for poker, they would fool him with a bent Hold 'Em competition.

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Hustle: Episode 10

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 19th 2006 3:47PM
HustleThis episode started at an auction house, where a bidding war over some prized comic book artwork was reaching its climax. It was down to two gentlemen, who brought the price up to £100,000. Ash, disguised in some cool glasses and a little facial hair, jumped in at the last minute and offered £110,000. The two other gentlemen looked crushed as the auctioneer finally banged his gavel. The team looked slightly worried about their new investment as well. What could they possibly do with £110,000 comic book artwork?

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Hustle: Episode 9

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 12th 2006 10:17AM
HustleWe're currently three episodes (including this one) into the new season and there have been a few changes... I've noticed some stylistic switch-ups, including more creative angles and a lot more of the characters winking or speaking directly to the camera/viewer. Plus, the stories have grown a little more far-fetched, which is really saying something because the first season had some material that was way too bizarre to believe.

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Hustle: Episode 6

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 16th 2006 10:47PM
HustleWhoo... Lots of stuff to cover. Let's get started... The episode started with Mickey and Danny wrapping up a con in which they tricked a man named Arthur Bond into thinking that they had just helped him purchase the London Eye. Before Mickey and Danny slip out, Arthur laughed with great satisfaction over his new "purchase", puffing his cigar and saying, "I usually get what I want". Another con successfully completed.

While Danny grumbled over the fact that the hotel's new receptionist won't go out with him (he keeps insisting that she's either a lesbian or totally frigid because no straight woman in her right mind would turn down Danny Blue), the group moved on to a new con. This time, they planned on taking advantage of Sir Anthony Reeves, utility company CEO, and his gambling habits. 

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Hustle: Episode 5

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 7th 2006 4:55PM
HustleThis episode revolved around a con that takes advantage of a vengeful, rich wife, a con called "The Congeve" (named after William Congreve, the man who penned the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"... It's paraphrased, but that's how everyone knows it, anyway). The group pondered the possibility of conning a woman named Katherine Winterborn, a real "psycho bitch", as Stacie put it. After Ash revealed that he's been secretly caring for his ex-wife and former grifter, June (she use to play "The Flop" like Ash, but after one went wrong, she suffered from partial brain damage). He's desperate for some money to provide some proper care for her so the group eventually decide to go through with the risky, but profitable, Congreve.

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Hustle: Episode 4

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 31st 2006 5:54PM
HustleWhile Stacie and Danny busied themselves with a game of strip poker (which Danny easily lost), Mickey met Victor Maher, an ex-fraud squad man turned bank security head and the person to ever catch Albert. Maher explained to Mickey that he had some footage of a young Danny when he used to work as a look-out for some thieves. He used this as bait, luring Mickey into helping him catch a robber who has been troubling his bank. Maher decided to use a con artist to catch the thief so he wanted Mickey to befriend the robber, Sam Richards, and then help Maher catch him by accompanying Richards during the actual robbery. Despite Albert's advice to stay away from Maher (because he's always one step ahead), Mickey agreed to save Danny (and his ego).

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Hustle: Episode 3

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 22nd 2006 1:13PM
HustleThe episode started out with Mickey and Stacie, disguised as fumigators, shooing a couple of store-owners out of their shop because of a rat infestation (rats courtesy of Albert). After the couple leave, Mickey and Stacie stripped out their jumpsuits into sophisticated suits just as Danny Blue rushed in. Moments later, a woman named Meredith Gates walked in and had a serious conversation with Danny (or "Mr. Pomeroy" as she called him) about splitting the cost of a painting 50/50, £250,000 each.

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Hustle: Premiere

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 17th 2006 10:27AM
HustleSaturday marked the American premiere of the BBC drama, Hustle, on AMC. The show revolves around the secret, underground world of grifters -- or con artists -- and, more specifically, a close-knit team of five. As someone that really enjoyed Matchstick Men (both the Eric Garcia book and the movie starring Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell), I was excited to see a series all about conning. To put it simply, Hustle does not disappoint. Although some of the activity borders on far-fetch, it's all intriguing enough to make you wonder if con artists really do have to go through that much magic just to make something work.

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