Top critical review
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Nice, but with serious faults
on 22 June 2006
What a nice series it is! It's nicer than a cake-baking granny whose just been appointed executive director for niceness in Nice International plc. Unfortunately all this niceness does come at a price, as the storylines are very weak and often enough the characters are a bit two-dimensional (especially the Jack Douglas "grumpy farmer with a heart of gold" character). This series is really about wallowing in gooey, sweet, yummy nostalgia, which is no bad thing, although they sometimes lay it on a bit thick. So one star knocked off for that.
I also knocked a star off for picture quality. A couple of years ago, I would have accepted the kind of quality on these DVDs, but in a way Network DVD has made a rod for its own back by doing such a good job of remastering some programmes. I've seen the remastered Sweeney and Sykes DVDs, and they are absolutely tremendous. Unfortunately, this series looks quite washed out or muddy in places. Colour balance is also awful in a few scenes, which look as if they were shot with a green or yellow filter on the lens. Editing is quite amateurish, and in one episode you even get a "COMMERCIAL BREAK" sign flashed up for no apparent reason. But at least the series was shot on film and not videotape, so it does have the look of a classy (and expensive) production. It's just a shame they couldn't have put a bit of that money into writing better scripts.
All in all, not perfect but very good value for money.