Not very prompt of me, I know, but here are some more impressions of the latest series of Hustle, following on from my earlier post after the first episode:

It took three episodes before Albert got out of jail and the team was back together. That’s half the series, which was really too long; although the plot to get him released was wonderfully inventive.

Actually, this series had some of the most engagingly twisty plots I can remember on Hustle in quite some time. Frustratingly, I can’t remember the details of those plots, only that I enjoyed their twists and turns.

One I do remember is that of the last episode, which wasn’t one of the best. Some of the grifters’ former victims joined forces to con them; nice idea, but I could spot the ‘punchline’ a mile off. (Interestingly, the three episodes I liked best were the three not written by the series’ creator, Tony Jordan.)

This series didn’t really have the big, outlandish set-pieces Hustle has had previously (or, at least, they weren’t as outlandish), but that was certainly no impediment, and might even have strengthened the series. But Hustle still can’t do gritty, and should stop trying; Emma and Sean ae supposed to have grown up on the streets, but it doesn’t work. The hustlers exist in a world of glitz, glamour and froth; the show doesn’t work when it attempts to step out of that world.

Speaking of the new characters, Emma has proved a fine replacement for Stacie (though the romantic, will-they-won’t-they sub-plot between her and Mickey grew tedious, because it was clear that the series would never function if they did get together); but Sean is nowhere near as good a character as Danny. Sean doesn’t have Danny’s ragged-wideboy charm, and his protective attitude towards his sister is no substitute for Danny trying his luck with Stacie and never succeeding.

But, on the whole, it was a good series, it was great to have Hustle back, and it’s great to hear that we have a sixth series to look forward to.