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The Syndicate 1 Season 2012

Season 1
4.3 out of 5 stars (77) IMDb 7.7/10

In this riveting British series, five cash-strapped supermarket employees are bracing for their store's imminent shutdown when their lottery pool wins big. It seems like a godsend--but the syndicate soon learns that good fortune can come at a high price.

Starring:
Lorraine Bruce, Siobhan Finneran

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Season 1

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1. Episode 1

What starts as a typical day for five supermarket employees ends with a birth, a robbery, an assault, and a windfall that profoundly alters their lives. Assistant manager Stuart, broke and staying at his mother's house with his pregnant girlfriend, hatches a plan with his brother, Jamie, to get some quick cash.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 54 minutes Release date: March 27, 2012
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2. Episode 2

Devastated that her husband has moved out, Denise sets out to win him back, but Leanne worries that her plans are too radical. Meanwhile, the police question Stuart further about the robbery, and Bob's brain scan reveals an abnormality.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 54 minutes Release date: April 3, 2012
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3. Episode 3

Bob reevaluates his life and relationships after getting his test results back. Stuart confides in Bob about the robbery and looks to Leanne for comfort. The group locates a surgeon in South Africa who may be able to help Bob, but he hesitates.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 54 minutes Release date: April 10, 2012
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4. Episode 4

Stuart and Leanne share an intimate moment at Bob's party, after which Leanne panics when she discovers her daughter missing. Stuart's efforts to help Leanne cause a rift with his girlfriend, Amy, who takes extreme measures to exact her revenge.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 54 minutes Release date: April 17, 2012
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5. Episode 5

Jamie feels invincible now that he's rich, but he soon finds that his shady past can still wreak havoc on the present. Leanne faces consequences for her actions, Stuart wrestles with his romantic desires, and Bob takes a long-overdue honeymoon before his surgery.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 54 minutes Release date: April 24, 2012
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By NyiNya VINE VOICE on June 26, 2013
"The Syndicate" is not for anyone, just for those of us who enjoy a fairy tale, broken hearts, broken dreams, happy endings, and thick Northern England accents. Set in the rather grim industrial city of Leeds, the five-episide mini-series tells us about five ordinary, mostly decent, working class individuals, all employees of the same discount supermarket, who form a lottery syndicate.

Their future seems a bit bleak, the supermarket has been acquired by a larger chain and all five face redundancy, that horrible British euphamism for out of a job and up a creek. Each character accepts the news differently...some with stoicism, others with panic, some are driven to acts of desperation. This is soap opera manipulation at its best, and within the first 20 minutes, I was hooked.

Just when things look especially dodgy for all concerned, lightning strikes and The Syndicate's lottery numbers come up. Each member wins one million pounds, about $2.5 million...a lot of money, especially if you've been struggling to make ends meet as a supermarket checker.

The money certainly does change everyone's life, mostly in good ways, but this would not be a soap opera if bad things didn't happen to good people. We have brain tumors, love affairs, broken hearts and broken marriages, secrets revealed, family sundered and families united, the whole wonderful schmear. I admit, I tend to be a pushover for stuff like this, but the story is very well done, the performances are subdued, genuine and effective.

Being a British television series, the characters actually look the part. Some are attractive, some are not.
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A superbly acted, engagingly written snapshot of a few days in and around the benefactors of a winning lottery ticket, this is a short story of character introspective, ruptured normalcy and the very human frailties that emerge when the fantastic collides with the mundane.

Does money make one's life better? The answer is unforgivingly in the hands of each of 5 winners, and for better or worse, is dictated by their own priorities in life. This is not new stuff, but it is probably one of the best depictions of this oft-told tale of rags-to-riches, realized with modern day sensibilities.

There are a couple of very touching moments, and it could have come off rather treacle if not for the outstanding work of the director and all of the actors, causing one to really feel for the moments and not just view them. It is short, bittersweet, and well worth viewing.

"The Syndicate" will not leave you without questions, but it will give you a hard and fast drive through a richly compact arrangement of the ever-lasting tug-and-pull of family and friends, obligations and options, right and wrong...and the impact wealth can have on the same. Watch it and enjoy the ride.
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Format: DVD
I have watched a lot of British television, more so than U.S. programming for the past 10 years. I have had this series for a while - I had grabbed it because I have liked everything Timothy Spall is in, especially Mike Leigh films. But I just got around to watching this. It has a rather complex plot, or at least it seems that way when each episode is apt to rehash events a bit from a different character's perspective in order to fill in back story to advance the plot. Mostly it works. I have watched shows that Kay Mellor has written and/or directed, and the writing is usually sharp, as it is here. If you are not used to northern British accents, you may have a bit of trouble, but I am quite used to it.

The chemistry between the characters isn't as strong as it could be, but there is enough there to see that their work and social relationships are realistic for the most part. There were a few places where I was pretty sure I knew what was about to happen, but unlike with most shows in this situation, what I expected often didn't happen. So I credit the writing for originality,

This is by no means classic British television, and I can't see myself watching the series again, but it was entertaining enough to be worth watching.
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Format: Amazon Video
If you've ever wondered how your life might change if you won the lottery, THIS is the program for you! In Series 1, the five main characters all work for a failing convenience store in a Leeds. The manager, Bob Davies, is a father figure to the staff but is secretly ailing. Cashier Denise is a dog-loving, overweight, heart-of-gold, woman with a cheating husband, ailing Mother and lower than dirt self-esteem. Jamie and Stuart Bradley appear as two brothers whose lives are replete with abundant sibling rivalry, a loud, trashy wife/sister-in-law and an interfering Mom.The delightful Joanna Page (Gavin and Stacey) portrays Leanne, a single Mom struggling with her past mistakes and trying hard not to show her obvious feelings for married co-worker Stuart. As I have experienced with so many British TV writers, genius Kay Mellor captures and displays the raw nuance of each character and the very human side of each situation. The characters and situations are plausible as well as interesting. As we are introduced to each character, their detailed histories are revealed and tied together with the evolving action as the story unfolds.
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