Acorn Media // 2011 // 178 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 31st, 2012
The original Mad Man.
One of the finest mysteries you'll find on any continent drops for its fourth series and two more feature-length whodunits. George Gently is back!
It's the heart of the 1960s and while some men are content to sip bourbon and admire their pomade-drenched coiffures in their Madison Avenue sky-rise offices, Chief Inspector George Gently (Martin Shaw) is solving murders, you little hippie puke.
George Gently: Series 4 brings two 90-minute mysteries, with Gently and his over-eager sidekick Sergeant John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) digging into crimes that, on the surface, appear to be run-of-the-mill. But, as is the case with this show, things are a lot darker and more unsettling than they first appear.
* "Goodbye China" -- Gently is shaken when he learns of the death of long-time informant named China. His death parallels an odd case of two brothers known throughout the community as miserable little dickheads. One of the brothers has gone missing and the other shows signs of emotional and physical trauma. As Gently probes, he learns of some exciting new methods to treat juvenile delinquency.
* "Gently Upside Down" -- When a young girl's body is found in a shallow grave, it sets off a firestorm of scandal at a local school. Gently and Bacchus hit the trail, methodically uncovering a terrible and unsurprising truth: bored old white guys are horny jerks.
Great stuff once again. Aside from BBC's Sherlock, which operates on an entirely different plane of existence, George Gently might be my current favorite mystery show. Consistently excellent, bolstered by strong writing, serpentine plotting, and two actors who have become so comfortable with their characters, their chemistry and craft is effortless. The '60s setting allows for both inventive period set design and an opportunity for the writers to take full advantage of the shifting culture (without being sneering, thankfully). My only complaint: both of these episodes end up feeling slightly familiar.
Acorn delivers another solid release: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 2.0 Stereo, and a fifteen minute behind-the-scenes featurette.
Top-shelf TV viewing. Mystery-lovers need to check this series out. Actually, check all of them out.
Not Guilty. Keep bringing it, George!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 178 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated