Written by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenias
Directed by Derrick Goodwin & Mike Gibbon
Starring Bob Hoskins, John Thaw, Pat Ashton
- Contains all eight episodes of the series
- Cast and crew filmographies
Released by: Acorn Media.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Don’t Bother.
George Dobbs (Hoskins), his wife Annie (Ashton), and his best friend and partner in crime Stanley (Thaw), have a problem. While George was doing a three-year stretch in prison for burglary, Stanley and Annie became close. Real close. Now that George is back, he figures that Annie and Stanley will end their little affair. But Annie doesn’t want it to end. She loves Stanley. She also loves George. Watch as these three try to resolve their various relationships with hilarious consequences.
Thick As Thieves should work. It has strong actors in both Hopkins and Thaw. It has good writers in Dick Clement and Ian La Frenias (both co-writers on The Commitments along with a slew of other projects). And it has an interesting premise with one woman loving two men and how they all deal with the situation. But the show, for all its presumed unconventiality…is so conventional. One problem is that the actors play their characters so broadly. Thaw especially sells the role far too hard. He and Hopkins are more caricatures of Cockney crooks than actual people. And when the writers try to brute force the supposed catch phrase “Is that how you say it?”…the whole thing goes strictly amateur hour. The plots are straight out of the Sitcom ClichÃ© Manual. When Annie catches Stanley with another girl, you know the girl that George was with as well is going to pop up at the worst possible moment. Admittedly, some of the clichÃ©s may have been new at the time (three decades back), but the show literally creaks with age.
With only a skimpy filmography as an extra and far better British comedy available, unless you’re a Thaw or Hopkins completist, I’d give Thick As Thieves a pass.