'Jack Irish - Set 1'
(Guy Pearce, Marta Dusseldorp, et al / DVD / NR / (2012) 2013 / Acorn Media)
Overview: Guy Pearce ('Iron Man 3') is Jack Irish, the brooding antihero of Australian writer Peter Temple’s award-winning novels. Reeling in the wake of his wife’s murder, the former lawyer has reinvented himself as a part-time private investigator and full-time alcoholic, intent on drowning his demons.
DVD Verdict: In what has to be one of the most incredible, never-saw-that-coming openings to a new TV show, Jack Irish (played in full on Aussie style by Guy Pearce) is trying to pacify an angry client in his swanky office when said client not only shoots Irish's beautiful wife, but himself too!
Haunted by both the scenes, Irish quits being a lawyer and undertakes the role of a debt collector. Now disheveled, unshaven, he hangs out in his late father's old rundown bar. His only companions three (very) old and set in their ways men who have been on their stools there; one imagines for over 50 years each!
Anyway, moving on and the first episode of the two (why not more though?) is 'Bad Debts,' where when an old client dies after leaving Jack several frantic voicemails. Jack suddenly feels the pangs to investigate and knows he has to shake himself free of the drink (and the past) to do it. So, Jack returns to the world that took everything away from him, but at the same time he encounters violence and hatred on a whole new level for him.
The man who once starred in the Aussie soap opera 'Neighbours' now takes us on a rough and ready ride through the less grand areas of Australia. And along for the ride is an ace reporter Linda (Marta Dusseldorp) who seems to want more than a story from our Jack! In the first tale he hooks up with an old horse gambler and his sidekick (Harry and Cam, respectively) and we learn how to bet on the right horse to win! Come the end of the episode it has gotten very political and you might want to stop wincing every time a character says "mate" to everyone and any one ... as it happens 400 times a minute!
In the second episode, 'Black Tide,' a man is held at customs on a drug smuggling charge, but he knows he's been stitched up. It's just a case of revealing to the man in charge who set him up and then once that head of the snake has been revealed he can be on his way.
Well, as you can imagine it doesn't play out quite that easily for all concerned. Indeed, the first death is a complete shocker, to be quite frank! Irish still is in the clutches of his race horse gambling friends, but uses them this time. This tale is more human, more dry than the first one, but Pearce is still as on-the-ball as ever.
The fact that his house gets "burnt down" in the first episode and yet seems good as new in the second is a little off to me, but that's about it! In closing, it also features a great line. He asks an old man if he woke him @ 3am in the morning when he has to go over an visit. The man just greats him at the door and says, "You run out of dreams at my age, son." Wow, what a great, GREAT line for a great, GREAT series. These are all Widescreen Presentations (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of a Behind the Scenes featurette of 'Black Tide' (17 min.)