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4.5 out of 5 stars112
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 March 2011
For the first half hour of this show, I was nonplussed. By the shocking end of the first episode, I was waiting for the next installment with baited breath!

I wont spoil it but in short, 4 old school friends with issues aplenty between them head off for a week in the sun with their cheesy and ultra successful friend Alvo in his majorca villa. Villainy and mayhem ensue.

It's an unexpected, grown up drama that is also wickedly funny, it could have easily been disappointing given the high hopes such a cast line up gives you but it delivered. Glennister is magnificent as grumpy, sensible Quinn thoguh you could be forgiven for suggesting that it's just Gene Hunt on holiday. John Simm and Marc Warren were both convincing and amusing in roles you might not have pegged them for based on other work, Simm being a bit mean and Warren going from cocky to vulnerable and all the way around again. Max Beesely seemed in danger of just being there for the pretty factor initially but holds his own in the drama, particuarly in the last 2 episodes. His character is a lot more understated but still compelling to watch as the events unfold. Ben Chaplin does a marvellous smarmy ex-pat, briefly, and the handful of minor additionals all fit in well to the over all story.

The 'sets' should also get a mention, as it was filmed on location in majorca and made me a few degrees warmer just watching it!

Yes, it is far fetched and silly but it's also incredibly satisfying, it certainly keeps you guessing. Murder, drug deals, a gun weilding midget (can I say that?), sun burn and middle aged angst, some shocking swim wear and a goat in a pool. What's not to enjoy? The ending, well, it's a bit marmite really and hard to judge if they did a good job of finishing until Sky confirm whether there will be a second series next year. Fingers crossed.
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on 14 April 2011
Mad Dogs is a four part series about four long time friends from England heading over to Majorca, Spain to visit their recently retired friend Alvo(Ben Chaplin) for a holiday of a life time! Alvo has paid for all their flights, taxi's and will put them up in his large Villa, it seems that the "property business" has been good to Alvo and it's going to be a reunion to remember for all five!

Of course that would be to simple, as is evident from the opening scene in which the four mates Baxter(John Simm), Rick(Marc Warren), Woody(Max Beesley) and Quinn(Philip Glenister) are seeing recording messages for loved one's that all has not gone well in the reunion.

The one thing for sure is if there is trouble to be found, these guys will find it, in each episode they get deeper and deeper in to trouble. Not knowing Who to trust they begin to take it out on each other, In episode one Alvo is seen belittling all his friends that their lives are a mess and he has the perfect life!

Mad Dogs is a British gangster series, so expect dead bodies, drugs, guns and bit of everything else. It's been compared to British gangster movie Sexy Beast and there are some similarities between the two. John Simm(Baxter) and Philip Glenister(Quinn) do provide some strong acting compared to Marc Warren(Rick)who just seems like a spoilt brat. María Botto who plays Spanish Cop María also turns in a fine performance and you can never be sure what side of the law she's on.

This is a good series and their is rumours of a second series, the script is good, there is some good humour thrown in and there is some real tense moments throughout. With a lack of good British series lately Mad Dogs is a welcome addition.
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on 8 April 2011
Mad Dogs is a well writen and well acted show. It deals with every character individually and gives you a insight into why certain things are happening! But.......ONLY if you pay close enough attention! Do yourself a favour watch it twice, watch it three times!

If you are disappointed by the end, don't be. Mad Dogs was intended to be a 3 series show and indeed the second part has just been agreed. The first series ended the way it did to path the way for a intriguing follow-up.

5/5
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on 14 March 2012
Finally got around to ordering this off Amazon as I missed it on tv. If you don't know the plot, 4 guys in their 40s head off to visit an old friend who lives abroad. It starts off with them all pretty much pretending they're 18 again, getting drunk etc. and then things take an unexpected turn for the worse when they realise their old friend isn't quite who he seems... highly recommended.
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on 12 February 2012
I say tailor made since in this case it's well understood and stated that the assembling of the main cast preceded script and production issues, and I find nothing bad in that.

I was totally hooked to the screen over one evening and watched all 4 episodes and enjoyed it immensely.

I guess I wouldn't have come across it if it wasn't for the main actors, being a post Life on Mars and Hustle production. I think that anyone who enjoyed these mentioned productions will love Mad Dogs, since they share similar amount and quality of tense, funny and surreal moments interlaced in a plot that is not always believable but consistent enough and not with too many loopholes and loose ends.

The actors are all superb IMHO, and reading other reviews that are somewhat divided on the issue of Maria Botto's performance, I think she was great. I find her changing moods and smiling, that was described in one review as annoying, as very deliberate and necessary for having the characters and viewers wondering whether she's a good/bad/bent cop or even related to the mob.

The location, scenery, production and photography are great too. One can almost get sunburns from watching the sunny outdoors scenes...

Subtitled. Could have been nice to have the few Spanish lines translated too.
No commentaries and one behind the scenes featurette.

I'm very happy to see that a second series was produced and it's about to be available on DVD.

I hope they will know how to finish it well, since I think it has the dangerous "dragging" potential and becoming too much unbelievable and with too many plot loose ends.
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on 29 June 2011
OK it had a great cast but SKY don't exactly have a track record when it comes to producing quality drama so I was a bit dubious about this, but it's an absolute corker. Blackly funny, absorbing, disturbing, surreal and brilliantly tense.
Those wanting to be spoon fed everything like children had best stay away as this is a story you have to pay attention to but it's never pretentious, the (relatively for British TV)big budget really shows on the screen and the locations are fabulously used.
Personally I rather liked the somewhat ambiguous ending, however SKY have announced a second season in 2012 which apparently starts where this one left off, in fact look back at the 4 episodes and there are all sorts of questions still to be answered so hopefully it won't be a cash in on series one's success.
If you are a fan of crime drama or have a slightly sick sense of humour I can't recommend this highly enough!
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on 12 March 2011
Love it, brilliant cast, brilliant plot. very exciting and tense absolutley loved it, i pre-ordered the dvd before the last episode had aired and when i watched the final episode i was so glad i had - cant wait to watch it all again! and all my friends are loving it too!
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on 30 October 2011
Good little production which may have missed the mark slightly although I'm not too sure where. It just felt that something was missing. Maybe that was because the producers had their eye on a second series so the story had to be so convoluted that it could be continued. Still can't fault the cast or the fun they all seemed to be having. Bring on Mad Dogs 2.
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on 22 December 2011
A tricky one to review. Four friends invited to a boys week in sunny spain by an old colleague. But all is not as it seems and the jovial repartee and reminiscences turn to horror when their host is murdered in front of their eyes. The holiday gradually goes from bad to worse, revealing all the old undercurrents and antagonisms that in truth were there all along. A great cast and excellent acting. The characters themselves and role casting was spot on, very believable. Good mixture of humour and pathos.

When you are in a hole, don't dig, isn't that the adage? But these four weigh in with the shovels! It is good viewing. The setting in Majorca is superb and you practically feel you are there with the heat and blue skies. I have to say, the growing friction between the four gets a little wearing at times, but the story line does hold you. However, I expected all the loose ends and unanswered questions to be tied up in the final episode. It doesn't happen. Leaving a vague sense of disappointment.

And the finale is a little up in the air. It's almost as though the author had this wonderful idea, which I admit is good, then got our main characters in a hole that just got deeper and deeper, then couldn't think of a way to extricate them? It wasn't until I finally switched off, as the credits rolled, that I began to wonder, why such and such happened? Why was such and such killed? Who was such and such actually working for...etc? Upon reflection, it all didn't quite hang together. Maybe I simply wasn't paying enough attention to detail?
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on 16 May 2012
Four school friends travel to Spain to see they're long time friend, who is now a massively successful property developer out there.

What can go wrong?

Well over the space of 4 fairly action packed episodes most things! After a big night out for the boys, it becomes apparent quite quickly that the Spanish Friend (Alvo - Ben Chaplin) maybe not have been entirely legitimate in his business enterprises. The rest of the story follows the rest of the guys trying to fix the mess they've now been caught up in.

The most notable thing is the strong cast, each of the leads is excellent and the 5 of them gel perfectly. The overall tone is quite reminiscent of British gangster film, and violence does play a part in the plot, but with the turns the show takes, this doesn't feel forced or OTT.

There are times, where the writing slows down and concentrates on the characters, sometimes this works, others not so much. I feel keeping the pace of the story would have been better on some occasions.

Also at only 4, 45 min episodes it's quite a brief experience, but one well worth taking in!
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