Shoestring The Complete Series Review

  • Series Title: Shoestring
  • Season: The Complete Series (Seasons 1 & 2)
  • Episodes: 21
  • Discs: 6
  • Network: BBC
  • Cast: Trevor Eve, Michael Medwin, Doran Godwin, Liz Crowther
  • Format: Standard, Color, DVD (R2, PAL)

Eddie Shoestring is down on his luck when he happens into a job for Radio West as a “Private Ear” – a detective who works for a radio station, based in the West Country of the UK, in and around Bristol. This series follows Eddie’s adventures as a detective. His cases not only come from Radio West listeners but from his friends and fellow employees at the station, including his boss, Don Satchley, and the station’s receptionist, Sonia. Because he is down on his luck, Eddie lives as a boarder in Erica’s house – and often has her help him on his cases, since she’s a solicitor/lawyer.

Eddie’s cases vary quite a lot, which keeps this light-hearted (for the most part) detective series interesting and enjoyable to watch. It also doesn’t fall into the formulaic trap of Sonia handing Eddie a tape of a caller, which starts his case. That does happen, but not every episode, or even the majority of episodes. Also, Eddie’s a bit of an old-fashioned detective. He solves his cases by talking to people. Following up on leads and simply talking to people. Eddie always solves his cases, but it isn’t always a happy ending.

I bought this series because I’m a fan of Trevor Eve (ever since Shadow Chasers) and this is his first series. It’s quirky, interesting, and enjoyable to watch. Series 1 starts a bit slow, but by three to four episodes in the pacing picks up and it is just a good detective series. The weather in Series 1 also looks absolutely horrible – it rains an awful lot, plus everyone looks cold all the time. And the series does a lot of location filming. Series 2 actually looks better in a sense, because there is some sun. However, all the overcast, rainy, and cold outdoor scenes add to the filming, giving everything a slight bluish-grey cast that adds to the feel of an almost film noir detective series (though not depressing). Eddie also gets better as a detective between series 1 and 2, but no more so than someone who has been doing a job for a while and just naturally improves by doing it.

I do recommend Shoestring! It’s just a good, enjoyable show, and Trevor Eve is fantastic in it.

Framed Review

Previously posted on 9/30/2012 on my LiveJournal.

  • Title: Framed
  • Format:  TV Movie (90 Minutes)
  • Discs: 1
  • Cast: Trevor Eve, Eve Myles
  • Network:  BBC / Masterpiece Contemporary (PBS)

Framed is a wonderful story, filmed in gorgeous Welsh countryside. When the National Gallery in London is flooded, curator Quentin Lester proposes temporarily moving the paintings to a cave in Northern Wales, just as they were during World War II during the London Blitz. Upon arriving in Wales, Quentin in thrown into a completely alien world. Always more at home with priceless works of art than people, the characters of the town pull Quentin out of his shell. And as he realizes that art is to be shared not hidden away, and shared with everyone – rich or poor, Quentin’s perspective changes.

From the strange butcher who’s inspired by an Impressionist painting to re-open the town’s lake-side park, to a pair of ancient sisters who discover the “worthless” painting they own is actually a priceless one that went missing the last time the paintings were stored in the town – everyone is changed. Quentin begins to fall for the beautiful, clever, and enigmatic schoolteacher played by Eve Myles. In the end, not only are the townspeople changed, but so is Quentin.

During the painting’s exile, one painting a month was shipped back to London. There Londoners would queue up to see one painting, one masterpiece. After the Gallery is cleaned, dried, and repaired, the paintings are shipped back. However, Quentin is instrumental in starting a new program – he has one painting a month moved to the town in Wales and displayed for the people to see – in different venues around the town. Quentin Lester, a man who once stated that art was “for those who can appreciate it”, has come to realize that art is for anybody and for all. That beauty is something that anyone – rich or poor, from urban areas or the countryside, young or old, can appreciate. And, really, since they rarely see such treasures, the folks of the town are more appreciative than the bored school children on field trips in the city.

Framed is filmed in Wales, and the scenery is breath-takingly beautiful. Every outdoor scene is simply gorgeous – the mountains, hills, clouds, sky and everything is incredible. I loved the shades of green and grey everywhere. Definitely something that makes one want to visit Wales.