Judge David Johnson loves joy. Almond Joy.
Our reviews of Lovejoy: Christmas Specials (published October 9th, 2008), Lovejoy: The Complete Season Four (published January 13th, 2009), Lovejoy: The Complete Season One (published June 20th, 2007), Lovejoy: The Complete Season Six (published November 19th, 2009), Lovejoy: The Complete Season Three (published June 4th, 2008), and Lovejoy: The Complete Season Two (published February 13th, 2008) are also available.
In the shady world of antiques, Lovejoy (Ian McShane, Deadwood) has a knack for finding the truth.
Who is Lovejoy? He's a roguish antiques dealer, an industry iconoclast, the bad-boy of the bargain hunters. He's also really good at his job, unraveling mysteries that lie behind hunks of junk and revealing the treasure that lurks within. But before you think this is nothing but a gussied-up hourlong version of Antiques Roadshow, fear not: Lovejoy is a playful mystery series, anchored by its charismatic lead.
The show aired for six series from 1986 to 1994. McShane's Lovejoy is a witty, rakish bad-ass collector, who manages to stumble upon all manner of relic and curiosity, all of which are connected to some sort of malfeasance. Episodes adopt an "antique-of-the-week" approach, with Lovejoy confronted with different antagonists and nefarious plots.
The mysteries themselves are pretty good, punctuated by some memorable and surprisingly nasty bad guys (apparently the antiquing circuit is filled with some of the most malevolent wrongdoers around). While the antique angle might seem interesting, the writers find enough stories to tell about the junk Lovejoy scores.
Still, this is all about McShane. He's got a great touch with the character, a hero is self-deprecating and irreverent. He's no alpha bad-ass either; I lost count of the number of times Lovejoy was bailed out of a dire predicament by a third party. But that's part of what makes him a great character. He'll get the upper hand, usually without throwing a punch. He's smart, cunning and can talk his way out of any situation.
Three discs, 10 episodes, over 500 minutes of auction and mystery-solving tomfoolery. The full frame transfer won't win any tech awards and for sure shows its age, but it's passable. No extras.
It's an old show, but Ian McShane is great and the whodunits are satisfying.
Good show. Not guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
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