Wednesday, August 06, 2014

ian mcshane is the lovable rascal lovejoy (and might just teach you a thing or two about antiques)

When American audiences hear the name Ian McShane the first image that comes to mind is most likely his gritty, brilliant portrayal of Al Swearengen in HBO's Deadwood. But the actor has been busy on stage and screen since 1962. And before Deadwood, he created another iconic character, Lovejoy, whose series aired in the U.K. from 1986 to 1994. The shows were picked up in the U.S. and broadcast by the A&E Network in the 1990s. They haven't been available to American audiences on DVD until recently, thanks to Acorn Media, who has released the first set, Lovejoy, Series 1, with hopefully the remaining five seasons to soon follow.

Based on the character from the popular mystery novel series by Jonathan Gash, Lovejoy isn't a typical British mystery series. The focus is not on grisly murders or detectives trying to get into the heads of brilliant and idiosyncratic criminals. Set in East Anglia, McShane's Lovejoy is an antique dealer, who is mostly honest, but most importantly, has an absolute love of all things antique and ancient. He is also a "divvie," someone who can feel in his bones whether a painting or an object is the real thing or a clever fake. It's a wonderful quality to possess, but it can get Lovejoy into a lot of trouble. What makes the series escpecially fun is watching Lovejoy's true love for his work, and being able to learn a thing or two about paintings, porcelain, furniture, and even history along the way. ...

You can read the rest of my review on Cinema Sentries ...


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