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Broker's Man: Series 1

Kevin Whately;Annette Ekblom;Michelle Fairley;Al Hunter Ashton    Unrated   DVD

List Price: CDN$ 52.99
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Broker's Man: Series 1 + Above Suspicion: Set 3 + George Gently: Series 6
Price For All Three: CDN$ 124.22

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Product Description

Kevin Whately (Inspector Lewis) stars as Jimmy Griffin, an ex-cop turned insurance investigator in this winning British detective series. Jimmy’s cunning and insight are well-suited to the business of exposing con men and other fraudsters. With his police training, he’s able to take on any case, no matter how dangerous. If only he could be as successful in his personal life. Fresh off a divorce from Sally (Annette Ekblom, Holby City) and a breakup with his colleague and mistress, Gabby (Michelle Fairley, Game of Thrones), Jimmy still hasn’t learned when to shut his wandering eyes and turn off his rakish charm. As he struggles to rebuild his family, keeping them safe from the perils of his work proves to be his ultimate test.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far cry from Whately's better-known programs. Jan. 29 2014
By DVD Verdict - Published on Amazon.com
After leaving the police force, Jimmy Griffin (Kevin Whately) is forced to scramble for a job to provide support for his ex-wife Sally (Annette Ekblom, Fever Pitch) and their kids. Jimmy and his private investigation team—Vinnie (show scripter Al Ashton, A Fish Called Wanda) and Harriet (Sarah-Jane Potts, Kinky Boots)—start investigating claims for a local insurance firm, which puts him in back in contact with Gabby (Michelle Fairley, Game of Thrones), whose affair with Jimmy broke up the man's marriage. Acting as an insurance investigator, Jimmy soon learns, has quite a bit of overlap with to the life of a cop in the danger department.

The Broker's Man originally aired its episodes in two 50-minute blocks. Series 1 assembles the episodes into three movie-length wholes:

"Double Dutch" (96 minutes)—When Dutch criminals steal a ton of digital audio tapes from a warehouse, Jimmy is hired to investigate insurance fraud. Betrayal and murder soon follow.

"Dangerous Bends" (94 minutes)—Jimmy investigates the circumstances surround a deadly accident, which leads to the world of illegal dirtbike racing. He enlists his team to help figure out if the claims against a water treatment plant have any merit.

"Siege" (96 minutes)—During a getaway designed to mend the soured relationship to his family, Jimmy struggles to stop a ring of car thieves and a deranged veteran of the Falklands War.

The notion of insurance investigators taking on mysteries is a novel enough idea, especially with a likeable actor like Kevin Whately in the lead. But it only took about twenty minutes for me to realize that, despite the good stuff going for it, The Broker's Man was really just a boring procedural in a different package.

In each of the three episodes, Jimmy Griffin and his team get hired to look into possibly fraudulent insurance claims that quickly dissolve into chase scenes or gunplay. Good think Jimmy is an ex-cop. The episodes usually find a way to tie all of the cases together and wrap them up neatly, too. Some of the plotting is deft—the subplot in "Dangerous Bends" involving water contamination, for instance, unfolded quite nicely (and fit the show's premise to boot). But otherwise, The Broker's Man suffers greatly when it plods along and takes the most obvious route possible to get somewhere.

Jimmy is surrounded by supporting characters with no depth, from his vanilla team to the one-note insurance company people who serve as this show's police commander. Even Michelle Fairley's Gabby does do much besides pine after Jimmy and make a few flirtatious remarks per scene. The Griffin family fairs a bit better, thankfully, and the drama surrounding Jimmy and Sally's marriage is maybe more captivating than the actual mystery stuff. (Though the number of awkward comic moments the show tries to wring out of Jimmy's old affair with Gabby is cringe-worthy.) It helps that Whately has such a friendly and genial presence on the screen, and he has enough dorky charisma to wipe away some of the show's sins. Only some.

Acorn Media's two-disc set of The Broker's Man: Series 1 is as threadbare as it gets. The 1.55:1 letterbox presentation is subpar—the picture quality is anything but sharp, with several nighttime scenes looking especially bad. (Worth noting: the picture is windowboxed on HD televisions.) The Dolby Digital stereo track fares betters with a quite average sound quality, though the super sexy saxophone music that dominates the score tends to drown out some of the softer dialogue from time to time. If you were hoping for extras, tough luck.

Jason Panella, DVD VERDICT

Full review at dvdverdict.com
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insurance fraud makes intense crime detective material Jan. 11 2014
By Harold Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Insurance companies benefit from this ex-cop digging into questionable claims. Jimmy Griffin Investigations handles fraud. But the boss fails miserably at family relations. He's a brave investigator who gets the tough jobs done. He's also divorced but inwardly wants a second chance with his ex. She can't forget the "other woman."
You get suspense, mystery and humor amid tons of Brit drama. It's a unique crime drama approach. It works as believable.

Cast is led by Jimmy (Kevin Whately -Inspector LEWIS; Insp Morse). Ex is Sally (Annette Ekblom -Holby City) with the Ins/mistress connection being Gabby (Michelle Fairley), a pair of beauties. Jimmy's office staff is bubbly Harriet (Sarah-Jane Potts) and fat Vinny (Al Ashton) who also co-writes the 3 episodes. Toss in guest-stars creating fine performance all-round.

SDH SUBTITLES for all feature-length episodes
1- Double Dutch: A million-$ shipping container theft gets `Godzilla' (Peter Firth `MI-5') hiring Jimmy. A late 90's period, VHS tapes involved. Jimmy, desperate for cash, is behind on child-care. A Dutch crime ring may be behind murders as well as bin theft. Post divorce relations conflict. Conspiracy big enough to baffle the best mystery viewer's mind. Claudette (Jill Baker) continues in all episodes.

2- Dangerous Bends: Auto/cycle impact leaves a death and injured who leaves the accident scene. This insurance case and a second (water plant accident) keep Jimmy hopping 2 directions. Danger develops as clues begin to reveal truth. And constantly, Jimmy's personal life tracks like a train wreck.

3- Siege: Sally & Jimmy relationship mends a bit. Hope? Stolen weapon investigation offers a vacation potential. With Sally & kids? With a past mistress nearby? Will this guy never learn? Jimmy takes on another local case unapproved by Sally. Will he put his kids in harms way? 2 Downton Abbey actors guest star: Michael Cochrane & David Robb. A 2-second nude man's backside is a comic flash.

Good enough I'm hoping for a second DVD series someday in the future.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Whatley in a different role, very interesting. Feb. 11 2014
By June L. - Published on Amazon.com
We are great fans of Kevin Whatley in both the Inspector Morse and the Inspector Lewis series, so it is interesting and entertaining to see him in another series role. This series is from 1997 in a time between "Morse" and "Lewis" and is a different kind of crime detection story with a considerably less than perfect main character. While Whatley's character Jimmy Griffin is an ex-detective, he is about as far from Lewis as a man could get, except that he is excellent at his job uncovering insurance fraud. His personal life is a mess, and he is always just about to get himself sorted out, but the demands of his job leave him little time to work on changing. He has an exasperated ex-wife, two great children and he tries to do the right thing by them. Complicating matters, his boss is his ex-mistress and he has a co-worker with the knack of excessively poor judgment that puts the “love triangle without love” as Griffin calls it, together at the worst possible times. This is mature television with interesting involving stories and characters, some brief nudity, and rough language.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars major disappointment March 4 2014
By sanford perlman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
can understand why there was only 1 season
lucky for KEVIN he could show his skills in the future on INSPECTOR LEWIS
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow, predictable, quick and clever dialogue humor, a bit drawn out at times. March 11 2014
By Bruce Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the series but have only watched two of the four episodes. I found it to be a little slow and at times drawn out with a predictable plot. The humor was great, and the actors (especially Kevin Whately) absolutely made the story entertaining. I enjoyed the dilemma of the ex wife and the tantalizing relationship with other woman (Gabby) quite entertaining as a prevalent background in all episodes. Overall four and a half stars. As with all acorn productions, it appears that a great deal of expense and attention to detail was put into the production. Hope to get to disc two soon. I believe this will be the first of a long and successful series.
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