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on 15 May 2008
As series four opens the general feeling is that Adrian Lester took the magic with him when he left at the end of series three, but if you stick with it things do gradually start to improve and by the end you might just appreciate this fourth season as perhaps the most experimental and unique edition of `Hustle' yet...

Episode 1 (8/10) The Hustle team in Hollywood- how could it fail?! Well it starts off slow and the story never really takes advantage of the glamorous setting, but guest performer Robert Wagner is pure American charisma and even if the story falls short of Hustle at its best, there are some great character moments and funny situations to enjoy.

Episode 2 (7/10) takes us back to the gang's usual territory and introduces new gang member Billy Bond with another horse-racing-themed story that doesn't excite as much as the similarly themed `The Last Gamble' from series one, but is still pretty solid.

Episode 3 (7/10) is an episode that twists the plot in all the typically surprising ways, and which also develops the gang's new set-up, as the team adjusts to a new leader in Danny and new member Billy. The wine-scam is slow to involve, but has a nice twist in the tail.

Episode 4 (9/10) is a fantastic return to form, as Billy finally gets a chance to prove his worth. It's a wickedly funny and well-written story, as each of the crew take on an hilarious persona in the fickle world of fashion with an ultimately very satisfying conclusion. `Hustle' is back on track!

Episode 5 (8/10) sees the tables turned on the crew, as they find themselves on the wrong end of a sword, being forced to pay the ultimate price for their crimes. Very solid and inventive with some absorbing animation thrown in to boot.

Episode 6 (9/10) sees the gang make a return to the U.S. with far better results than the opening episode. The glitz and danger of Vegas is the perfect fit for the show and characters. The plot doesn't offer anything particularly different, but the whole gang looks much more at home while attempting to swindle the mob out of their fortune!
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on 26 May 2008
This latest series of Hustle breaks the pattern established in the first three - but maybe that's no bad thing. The absence of Adrian Lester gives the series a different focus as the dominating character of Mickey is removed and the rest of the gang are given more space to show what they can do.

Danny, finally the leader, begins to grow up and understand that there's more to life than girls. Though maybe not much more! Stacie, Albert and Ash all move further into the spotlight and throughout the series Jamie Murray, Robert Vaughn and the incomparable Robert Glenister build on their own characters and play a range of fascinating "character in character" parts. New boy Billy, played by Asley Walters, is a rough diamond who takes his grifting seriously and wants to learn from Danny rather than challenge him, which gives the team a less confronational feel than the Mickey/Danny relationship did.

The two weakest scripts re-hash ideas from previous series, which is a shame; the second episode (which introduces Billy and feels a little as if the con is tacked on as an afterthought) is particularly guilty of this. The "dog in the bar" con reappears in the fourth episode, although it is far more integral to the plot than on its first appearance in Series 1.

Fortunately the other four episodes are as strong as anything in the first three series and occasionally even better.

Episode one hurtles along and has a classic Hustle twist ending. Robert Glenister in particular stands out as he works his way through the full spectrum of characters from grumpy American hire-car dealer to camp make-up artist.
Episode three belongs to Robert Vaughn, explores a little of Albert's past, looks at the way our society treats the elderly and has an eligaic quality to it which makes a welcome change of pace.
Episode five is, IMO, one of the great Hustle episodes as the team are forced to evaluate what they do and what they stand for in a tense and thrilling game of Russian Roulette using poisoned sushi.
Episode six, a fitting end to the series, plays out like Ocean's Eleven in miniature and is filled with glamour, suspense, humour and twists.

It was a risk to make the series without Lester, but it is a risk that mostly pays off. Despite a couple of wobbles, the series retains everything that makes it great. Most importantly it continues to be well-made, superbly acted, feel-good, escapist fun.
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on 14 August 2012
I loved the first three series of Hustle and I was a bit apprehensive about watching this series because I knew Adrian Lester was not in it. To be honest, the series was still good-but not brilliant as it had been previously. The only two episodes which came close to the excellence of previous series were the first and last episodes, both set in the USA. These episodes were clever and, though I racked my brains to guess how the team would pull it off, I didn't manage to guess what was going on. The other episodes were ok but the loss of Adrian Lester really showed. Marc Warren as Danny Blue is a brilliant actor but his character just wasn't as classy or smart as Mickey had been. But, like I said, this series is still good and is still a must for any fan of the series.
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2011
I am a huge Hustle fan. When I heard that Mickey wasn't in this series - and that Albert's role was shrinking - I had a bad feeling. The new member is more wooden than a rocking horse (fortunately he only lasted one series), and Danny Blue leading the team just doesn't fit. Of all the original members Danny was always the one who didn't gel with me, hard to explain really but he never felt "right". On the plus side the stories are up to the usual standard and Jaime Murray and Robert Glenister are great, but as a whole they don't quite even out the bad points. It was good that they got the whole thing back on track in series 5, and this has to be seen as what it is - a blip.
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on 15 July 2011
'Hustle' is a series that I have always adored. I love the characters, the twists and the stories and I always like the payoff at the end of each con because there are some you just cannot see coming.
This series perhaps suffers from the absence of Mickey (played by Adrian Lester) but all in all, there is a great deal of passion, fun and excitement in this series to keep fans thrilled.
This is a great series and includes a mini-documentary alongside the episodes over the two discs.
Dedicated fans and those new to it will love this. I have the first four series on DVD and Hustle continues to be great looking and entertaining tv.
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on 22 September 2010
As my title states thankfully hustle recovers from a bit of a slump, I've been nice and given it three stars as I watched it and still bought the dvd- but this is purely because I loved MOST of the main characters still and the whole idea of 'the con'.

I reserved my opinion about the brilliant Mickey Bricks not being in this series, and I thought the first episode was great...I felt the four of them worked and they didn't really need another member in the crew- who wasn't mickey. Unfortunately the new guy (who like another reviewer I can't even remember the name of) really doesn't fit in and I found myself not careing about his background and all his cheesey comments about how he wants to learn from all of them....he says this so much it gets boring (nothing like danny was when he was introduced in series 1).

Bring back Mickey, bring back mickey, bring back mickey.....hold on they do....and he is brilliant!
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on 14 July 2014
love Hustle but the bloody thing keep stoping nd starting its absolutely annoying i love watching it its my fav but PLEASE make the performance and make it play better SORT IT OUT otherwise i wont be using this site again, THANKYOU !
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on 24 April 2008
As a fan of the first 3 series, I was disappointed in this outing. Without Adrian Lester (as Micky) there is something missing from the winning formula. The storylines seem to have lost the cleverness that made the first 3 series so watchable. Each of these six episodes seem to dwell on the "yes we are going to con someone but they are REALLY bad people so it's OK". They're con artists - they are not saints - but still it must be rammed down our throats that the bad guys deserve it.

Watch it if you are a fan of the first 3 series but think hard about parting with your cash to own it.
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on 23 May 2009
Hustle is one of my favourite TV series' without a doubt and while I love this one I still think it probably is the weakest out of the lot.

One of the main reasons for this is the absense of Adrian Lester's Mickey Bricks who is the main man, though I think the addition of Ashley Walters goes some way to make up for this because he is a very telented actor and fits in perfectly, much like a younger version of Mickey his cool, slickness and humour.

The couple of episodes in the US are the best because the snappy, slick filming style suits it perfectly especially in the casino's, the episode story lines are very good and still live up to the first three series' with some great marks.

This is also a time for Marc Warren to shine as the leader of the group which he portrays very well, with Ash, Stacey and Albert still on the top of their game.

I would definately get this if you are a Hustle fan and have loved the previous three series.
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on 3 May 2008
Hustle series 4 continues the fine tradition of quality, quirky writing and acting that the previous 3 series established. Almost all the episodes are brilliant, my only gripe being the episode dealing with the fashion industry hence 4 stars not 5.

The transition of danny from new boy to "leader" is fun to watch though you know that really this team doesn't need a leader, they're all far too good for that. Whilst all of the cast perform well, for me the main reason to watch Hustle is the superb Robert Vaughn. The part of Albert Stroller is perfect for him. Special mention for the 2 american based episodes (almost ocean's 11 and a half) and the care home episode.

I recommended this series to all who have seen the earlier series and if you haven't, get them as well.

Ernie
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