Friday, July 7, 2017


Sean Pertwee and Amanda Redman.
When her husband is sentenced to prison for four years, Lindsay Carter decides it’s time that her larcenous family goes straight. Lindsay sets the standard by selling the Carters’ stolen goods fencing business and getting a job in a department store. However, the road to honesty is not as easy for son Vin, a dimwitted petty thief, and Grandpa Carter, who reverts to his criminal tendencies after meeting up with an old mate.

The rest of the family aren’t exactly criminals—though they certainly aren’t model citizens. Oldest daughter Kacie aspires to be a model, just like her idol Naomi Campbell, and will do anything for publicity. Teenage daughter Lianna regularly skips school. She doesn’t get reported because she has been blackmailing the headmistress for years. That leaves Vin’s twin, Taylor, who recently got his first job at a law firm…by claiming to be a Muslim.

Matthew McNulty as Taylor.
Sometimes rude and raunchy, Honest (2008) is an amusing comedy bolstered by good performances and clever writing. An example of the latter is the transformation of “honest” Detective Sergeant Ed Bain, who has become smitten with Lindsay. As she strives to stay on the straight and narrow, he starts breaking the law to protect her. First, he returns money to her even though it’s evidence from a police raid. Then, he has someone steal video footage to keep Vin out of jail. Of course, Ed may never have been an ethical cop (we later learn that he staged a crime scene to get an arrest).

Amanda Redman (New Tricks) stars as Lindsay and Sean Pertwee (Gotham) play Ed Bain. You couldn’t ask for two more charismatic actors to headline a TV series. The supporting cast is rock solid, with special kudos going to Matthew McNulty (Lark Rise to Candleford) as the very different twins Vin and Taylor. It’s also worth noting that Burt Kwouk—best known as Cato in the Pink Panther movies—has a small, but critical role, as the mysterious Mr. Hong.

Sadly, Honest lasted for just one season of six episodes. Don’t let that dissuade you from enjoying a diverting, well-done series. It’s available on DVD in the U.S. and can be streamed on Acorn TV.

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