Press Gang - Series 1 [Region 2]
[NON-U.S. FORMAT (PAL) Region 2 U.K. Import - This will not play on U.S./Canada DVD players or those from most other countries outside of Europe. You would need a "multi-region" or "region-free" PAL compatible DVD player or computer.] SYNOPSIS: Written by Steven Moffatt, the series is set in the fictional offices of the Junior Gazette, a student newspaper ran with an iron fist by its editor Linda Day (Julia Sawalha). Aimed at a teen audience; PRESS GANG actually contained some adult and thought provoking storylines as it followed the setting up and running of the newspaper.
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Top Customer Reviews
Press Gang IS one of the most delicious, clever, and suspenseful television programs to ever come out. It is the Turkish delight of TV, the stuff ardent TV watchers crave. The writing is whip smart and delectable, the characters are funny, and the plots are heartfelt or else full of danger. It is a show about teenagers, and was created for anyone with a sense of humor, taste for mystery, weakness for romance, fondness for drama, and love of dialogue.
More specifically, it is a program about a group of British school-age teens who run a newspaper--the Junior Gazette. Most scenes take place in the newsroom. After a couple of episodes, viewers might find it starts to feel like home. And the instrumental theme song never loses its catchiness.
The show was shot in Britain and takes place during the late '80s and early '90s. I first watched the show in early 2011 and found it still relevant today. Just ignore the ugly clothes and chunky cell phones.
The Junior Gazette is run by infamous editor-in-chief Lynda Day (Julia Sawalha).
Lynda Day is many things: assertive, opinionated, bossy, tyrannical, sarcastic, ruthless, cruel, calculating, intelligent, ball-busting, blood-thirsty, fierce, and as vulnerable as she is abusive. She's a workaholic, competitive to the point of insanity, and a born leader. She's also feminism's dream come true, a role model for girls everywhere, and, very possibly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's predecessor.
And she's always ready with a sharp and hurtful remark, thanks to writer Steven Moffat. But like any heroine, she has one primary weakness:
Spike Thompson (Dexter Fletcher), "the American." (Ironically, there seems to be no Region 1 version of this show. Somebody do something!)
Thompson is a smooth-talking juvenile delinquent with a penchant for fights. With his trademark dark sunglasses and flirtatious comments, he is endearingly irresistible. Spike gets put on the newspaper staff because the administration wants to keep him out of trouble and dumps him at the newsroom's door.
Spike finds love at first sight with Lynda, and makes his way out of trouble and into her initially reluctant affections.
The first time they meet, Spike pretends to have trouble with his name. "Get your mother to write it on your hand every morning," Lynda tells him. The two spar like crazy, their chemistry both onscreen and off. Spike follows Lynda around, pestering her with date requests. Lynda, determined to keep a rock-hard facade, denies him until she can no longer resist his smart-alecky charms. If ever there were true love, this is it.
There's also Kenny Phillip's (Lee Ross), Lynda's second-in-command and friend since childhood; Colin Mathews (Paul Reynolds), the fast-talking salesman, entrepreneur, and financial overseer of the newspaper; Sarah Jackson (Kelda Holmes), a talented writer and Lynda's other, somewhat meeker friend; and Frazz Davis (Mmoloki Chrystie), the easily likable horoscopes writer.
Season One, like most other first seasons, gets the audience's feet wet and eventually wins it over. Viewers see the team juggling schoolwork and newspaper duties, Lynda and Spike's mutual attraction growing stronger and stronger, some investigative journalism, and, in the final two episodes, Lynda's place as editor-in-chief challenged, perhaps for good.
Intelligence makes Press Gang tick. You get the furious rush of a newsroom, but also romance, drama, wordplay, and "Very Special Episode" issues, including substance abuse, child abuse, suicide, and gun ownership. Press Gang is not blatantly graphic or immature, nor is it squeaky clean. (Much of the swearing is implied, as seen with Lynda's swear box. And there's some yummy innuendo thrown in, too.)
Each episode is roughly 25 minutes long, with 43 episodes in total, spread unevenly across 5 seasons. Some episodes are heartwarming or hilarious, while others are heart-stoppingly serious. And all of them leave you wanting more.
To whoever is in charge--Steven Moffat, perhaps--can we get a Press Gang reunion, please?