Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
on 3 February 2008
The malloy family are American travellers. When mum,(Minnie Driver), gets out of prison after dad's,(Eddie Izzard), last scheme goes wrong he decides it's time for a change. Running away from the travellers camp after stealing money from 'family' things happen rapidly as while they are being chased by another traveller family they witness a couple killed during the pursuit. Dad decides they are going to take on the life of the unfortunate two,(they were on their way to a new house & neighbourhood where no one knew them when they were killed),.
Once in the new house they begin to interact with those who share the gated community & beyond as work & school comes into play.New names, new friends and new lives take shape.
First the one large negative point. There are an awful lot of coincidences & Dad Wayne is just superhumanly capable at sweet talking the family out of any crisis.
These may seem like major obstacles but in fact they really don't matter all that much as this is a surprising & touching portrait of a totally barmy family.
Izzard does an excellent job of restraining himself and plays Wayne as a man in crisis trying to better his family but unsure how.There are moments though when he quite clearly has had the leash removed & improvises to great effect. So too Driver does an excellent turn as the unpredictable wife who just loves her husband too much to follow her better instincts & hit the road again.
The support is great too with the three children very believable & wayne's boss is spot on as a greasy conman always on the make. So too as the travelling 'family' begin to track them down the tension builds and further characters begin to make their presence felt.
This is very funny but not all the time. It is far more drama than comedy and there are some moments of genuine poignancy and charm.
Well written, well acted, surprising, funny and never stale this is a real innovation in TV drama/comedy and is most welcome. I can't really think of how to compare it but there are many scenes that reminded me of the gothic darkness of Carnivale and fans of the darker humour will not be disappointed with the riches.
The soundtrack is great with some really well chosen tunes, speech is clear & although little used the surround works fine when it needs to. The picture is clear & although it seems to have been shot using a filter the colour is good.
If you are after a change from the mind-numbing reality telly and are looking for a thoughtful, funny & completley different direction then give this a go. Be aware that there ocassional scenes of both a sexual & violent nature & that there are many dark moments.