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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Melodrama > Mystery > Police > Wales > Medical > Comedy > Australia > Sweden > Serial Killer > S > Bang: Series 1 (2018)/Heart Guy: Series 3 (2018)/Simple Heist: Series 1 (2018)/Wire In The Blood: The Complete Collection (2002 - 2008/all Acorn DVD Sets)

Bang: Series 1 (2018)/Heart Guy: Series 3 (2018)/Simple Heist: Series 1 (2018)/Wire In The Blood: The Complete Collection (2002 - 2008/all Acorn DVD Sets)

Picture: B/B/C+/C+ Sound: B/B/C+/C+ Extras: C-/D/D/C Episodes: B+/B+/C+/B-

Acorn Home Video is quietly issuing as many TV shows and new, usually unheard of in the U.S. shows. They started with many new and classic shows, but now, its more new than ever. The following group shows what the new shows are like, plus they picked up a decent past show we covered some of before that many might like to catch up with...

Sam and Gina are brother and sister. After their father murdered 12 years ago, Gina decided to follow in her father's footsteps and join the police. But her brother Sam has gotten nowhere in life, but when a gun falls into his hand he begins committing crimes, each one getting more bolder, more dangerous. Unknown to them both, the gun is connected to their father's murder and secrets from the past that will haunt them forever in Bang: Series 1 (2018).

Gina is a rookie police officer who only wants to serve like her father, but every time she is up for promotion it is stolen from her by upper management. Sam is a lowly factory worker, weak in character, he falls for the new girl next door, Mel... a bad girl. She manipulates Sam and she asks him to hide a gun for her in promise of sexual favors. Sam becomes embolden by the gun, but he is continually beaten, tortured and blackmailed into doing more crime by Mel other boyfriend/lover. When Gina finds out, she discovers that the gun is connected to their father murder, she also discover that he was a crooked cop. She and Sam were raised on blood money and a secret human trafficking ring. Unfortunately, the criminals knows the system better than the police and seem always one step ahead of them and each time there is a break through in the case they discover another dead body.

This was another police drama murder series, it is filled with multiple twists and turns and no one is who they appear to be. The series is filled with strong female characters where a woman uses her sexuality, blackmail or force to get what she wants. Interesting fact was the use of South Wales language in the series, for people who don't speak Walsh there IS a need for subtitles. Extras includes a behind the scenes featurette.

Hugh Knight was genius heart surgeon, but was forced to return to his hometown Whyhope on probation to serve as a town GP. After two years, Hugh has now become part of the town and has become closer with it's residents and especially Penny his boss. Neither the town or himself can imagine the town without him there now. But with Hugh's probation being up, he has a chance to return to Sydney and the glamorous city life ...can he really leave Whyhope?

Picking up from the last set we covered and continuing here with Heart Guy: Series 3 (2018), the Knight Family has been rocked by the death of Jim, Hugh's father and he suddenly finds himself inherited with the family farm ...along with 11 Million in debt. Now, Hugh must find a way to save the farm while managing the family grief. Ajax and Haylee become new parents, but all Ajax's wisdom comes from Call of Duty. Matt and Charlie begin drifting away from each other, Matt wants a child and Charlie doesn't, Matt pulls a Hugh and has an affair. On the bright side, Penny and Hugh unable to hold back their feelings for each other finally have sex, but then Hugh's ex-wife returns and they find out she is pregnant with Hugh's child. Hugh decides selling the farm is the only way to save themselves, but the rest of the Knight Family searches for other ways to save the farm.

This was a comical medical drama along with family drama in a small town. All the character become endearing with their quaint characteristics. The whole problem in general is that while they are adults, not enough people want to take responsibility for their action. However, on a side note, all their problems could be solved if they practiced polygamy, then no one would have to worry who is sleeping with who. But all that aside, it is about family and how sometimes even in the worst of times can bring out what is most important in each other. No extras.

Two middle class old ladies find themselves one day broke and out of money. After a lifetime of hard work they lose everything. Jenny an old school teacher finds herself in a nasty divorce settlement where her husband has left her with nothing, while Cecilia a doctor finds out she lost everything after a failed stock investment, but when Cecilia hears a plan from a dying patient on how to rob a bank, this one job could solve all their problems... or have their problems just begun?

In Simple Heist: Series 1 (2018), Jenny and Cecilia are best friends and two sweet old ladies, but life doesn't seem to goes as far anymore. After a lifetime of honest and hard work, they are looked down by their husbands, their employers and the rest of society as worthless and now they are about to lose their homes. After planing (and much worry) they seem to have the plans for a perfect bank heist (if they don't lose their nerve), but even after a (barely) successful heist they have find a way to get the money out of their locked cases without dye pacts exploding. However, that's when the real problems start, can they keep a secret? Can they keep from talking to others, even their own families? Not only are the police after them but bad guys too, including a old female detective who doesn't realize how accurate her theories are. When other criminals hear about the heist they want a piece of their take too.

This was a Swedish TV drama in the Swedish language, it was like a mix of Martha Stewart and pulling off bank heists. Who would suspect sweet old ladies to be capable much less suspects in a bank heist? Most the drama is between character's relationships with their family, most the comedy is how close the characters almost get caught/give away their secret (and their wild imaginations). One thing keeps on leading to another, things keep getting more complex. You would think getting caught would be the problem, but keeping the money attracts more attention that one realizes. No extras.

Finally we have Wire In The Blood: The Complete Collection (2002 - 2008) bringing together all six seasons of the hit Robson Green series that is one of the few good attempts to make a smart takes on the Manhunter/Silence Of The Lambs smart detective vs.. smart serial killer cycle that is only just now finally dying down after several decades. The first three seasons were filmed and kept a dark look that worked, but thee fourth season was an HD production and as you can see from our coverage of it, it was a switch for the worse...


The last two seasons are new to us, but I had caught a few of the shows and they also made cast changes and the mood was just too lite, indifferent and the sudden infusions of color looked more like a poor music video than any kind of suspenseful mystery show about murder. Green should have become a bigger star off of all this, but did not, though I will add the writing on the first three seasons is still smart and the shows hold up well enough. Its worth getting the whole set if you are a mega-fan or just want to cover the whole thing, but it is a reissue of a show that deserves to be in print (especially considering how bad some many shows in print are) and it is very smart of Acorn to pick this one up.

All the releases here are presented in anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image frames, all produced in HD, but early Wire episodes were filmed in the 1.66 X 1 frame and you can see that before the image zooms into 1.78 X 1 leaving out some image information. These are the older transfers from the older DVD release, but will do until a Blu-ray set turns up. The later shows were early HD shoots, changing the shows look and not in a good way.

All releases have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo as well and only the new, earlier two shows sound as good as they could or should, though all deserves lossless treatment when they arrived on Blu-ray at some point.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Wire) and Ricky Chiang


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