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Customer Review

51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Show not has been stripped!!!, March 17, 2013
This review is from: New Tricks: Season 9 (DVD)
Several people including the actors have stated that the show has become stale. That is the reason James Bolam (Jack) stated for why he left this season. It is also the reason, posted throughout the internet, that Redman and others will be leaving after season 10.

The problem is not staleness (doing the same thing) but rather they got rid of any and everything that made this show fun. Gone are Jerry's wifes and kids, gone is Brian's dog and Esther barely makes an appearance every couple of shows. The show has the feel of a job (we've all been there) that has had a change of management and ever body now has to tow the company line.... no more fun, nor more excitement...let's get rid of all and any employee morale. Lawson's McAndrew replaced Jack in episode 4 (and except for a brief dinner with Esther) had little or no fanfare. Here was an opportunity for several episodes of him interacting with the team in various funny situations. Can you imagine McAndrew with Gerry's would have been hilarious. But nothing happened.

Even the office has changed for the worse. At some point the open area surrounded by the three desks with Pullman's office to the side has been replaced with a cramped area filled with Hawaii 5.0 styled glass-illuminated tables and fancy side walls with data. The old-style stand-alone boards are gone. Remember the pilot with photographs falling from the board. Isn't this the premise of the show, ex-cops solving cold cases with their experience, using left-over equipment and nothing fancy.

The shows kept getting worse and worse. Don't get me wrong, if you like British procedural crime show, then keep watching, but if you want to watch a fun, charming show with quirky characters...this season is not it. The episode, Dead Poet, was the perfect example. The team gets the case, they interview several super-snooty British characters and solve the case. The scene with Brian reading poetry to Esther lasted less than a minute and was not funny, charming, or illuminating. In fact, the next day when Brian told his peers about his romantic evening with Esther it seemed to fall on deaf jokes, no fun.

The episode, A Part of a Whole, is basically Strickland and his boss, the obnoxious Fisher (from A Death in the Family) and their little MI-5 undercover group. Super boring!!!! Strickland's role is solely to give the UCOS team their assignments and keep them in line. Unless the UCOS team is making fun of Strickland, he is not funny or interesting enough to carry an entire episode.

New Tricks fans are fanatic and will continue to give the show 5 stars regardless. I am a super fan as well, but I can't honestly give this show 5 stars. I remember watching Magnum P.I....never missed an episode. However, the last season was all about his past as a Navy Seal in Vietnam. The show became serious and dramatic. I didn't care how cute Magnum was, I completely lost interest. That's how I feel about New Tricks, season 9.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 12, 2013, 12:09:05 PM PDT
Absolutely agree with you about character portrayal and humor.

Posted on May 9, 2013, 9:43:48 AM PDT
Lulu says:
This review is spot on. I could not agree more. Well written and says what many of us are thinking!

Posted on May 18, 2013, 11:39:23 AM PDT
I too wondered where the fun went after watching the first episode of series 9.
Even the producers realized it was too heavy-handed and omitted the theme song from the end credits (at least on the first episode of series 9).

Posted on Jun 5, 2013, 8:32:59 AM PDT
Steve Ramm says:
Just curious - didn't you see the episode with Jerry's daughter and granddaughter? And how about Brian's dog going for a commercial audition? You mentioned these things were gone this season. Yes, I miss Jack but I thought this Season was better than the previous two - though I still will stay with it.

Posted on Jun 14, 2013, 6:49:26 AM PDT
History Man says:
I haven't been watching long enough to really weigh in here, but I really like the series and the entire cast. It's quirky, combining real police work with some very clever humor. It's always tough when a regular leaves a series after 8 years. I don't know how much longer it will be on since Alun Armstrong and Amanda Redman are both leaving as well. I watch it on the PBS UK channel here and they've only been showing seasons 7 and 9 for some reason, plus the second episode of season 1, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

Posted on Jul 1, 2013, 5:43:35 PM PDT
ras says:
You hit the nail precisely on the head. Attempting to watch the shows since Jack left has been a chore rather than a pleasure, and you stated exactly why. I wish you could have been a consultant--the final season would have retained its delightful character.

Posted on Feb 27, 2014, 7:24:28 AM PST
I totally agree with the great rendition of the last season this fan of New Tricks gives. I have been a fan since the first season mainly because it always gave me a big chuckle all the way through each episode. My opinion of the last series is that they took a thoroughbred horse in its prime and put it out to pasture. Fire the writers and try to recapture the reason this show was so successful

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2014, 1:31:47 PM PDT
Hikari says:
Well, hullo, History Man . . fancy meeting you here. :)

Having recently finished Set 10, in which the cast changes of "New Tricks" become complete, with only Gerry as the Last Man Standing, I decided to revisit Set 9. The first time through with the 9th season, my initial impression was that it was a stronger and more enjoyable season than the one immediately before it. Set 8, during which the massive cast revolt became public knowledge seemed very downbeat and grim to me . . not the stories, but rather that the cast had lost its sparkle. Everyone seemed to be soldiering on with gritted teeth. When Set 9 dawned with the utterly bizarre cold, cold, cold Victorian murder . .I was like, wa the faa? My hopes were not high. James Bolam agreed to one final episode in order to tie things off with Jack, but his departure, actor and character both, remained ambiguous. I don't mind telling you, I shed a tear. Bolam was a new discovery to me with this show, notwithstanding that he's been acting since before I was born . . and "Jack" became fairly swiftly, my favorite member of UCOS. Considering the comedy talent surrounding him, this was no mean feat, because I love all our UCOS team in their different ways, but if Sandra was the motivator and Brian the savantic brain, and Gerry the Cockney comedian/Lothario . . Jack functioned as both father and heart of the squad. He reminds me a lot of my own late father, actually, if my dad had been a Geordie.

I am happy to report that Set 9 picks up momentum with some cracking good stories and the addition of the Glaswegian firecracker that is Denis Lawson. I was worried for Dennis Waterman when it was announced that his castmates would be abandoning him en masse, but I needn't have worried . . Gerry is now tight friends with 'Steve' and one is sure the friendship onscreen mirrors one between the two actors in life, who have formed a tag-team comedy act and are now finishing each others' sentences. Their bonding was no doubt helped by the "UCOS Glasgow" episode. In this 'two-hander' (Lawson's word), Strickland sends Gerry and Steve up to Glasgow to set up a Scottish rendition of the Met's UCOS . .with some surprising outcomes and lots of male bonding. Gerry learns that Glasgow has more to offer than he initially thought.

Steve: We have an Underground, you know.
Gerry: I was surprised at the electric lights!

Steve and Gerry go to see a retired officer of the court, the Chief Procurator Fiscal.

G: Why do you Jocks always have such goofy names for everything?
S: Scotland has a thousand year history of a separate culture . . and maybe we don't want you English t*ss*ers knowing what we're talking about.

The season wraps up as bizarrely as it started, with an episode featuring a return of "Fisher" of MI6, and an uncustomary change for DAC Strickland to take a lead role as an action man. The bookending episodes are a bit (a lot) weird, but everything in-between is very good.
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