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DVD Review: KEEN EDDIE

by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 13 episodes (9 hours and 37 minutes) on 4 discs

STUDIO: Paramount

Starring Mark Valley (Detective Eddie Arlette), Sienna Miller (Fiona), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Detective Inspector Monty Pippin), and Superintendent Johnson (Colin Salmon)

Created by J.H. Wyman

Executive Produced by Simon West, Warren Littlefield, and J.H. Wyman

DISC ONE:

PILOT (aka EDDIE)- A screwed-up drug bust leads Eddie to London where he is trying to locate the source of the drugs. He gets a roommate named Fiona (who is supposed to be in college still).

HORSE HEIR- A stolen horse soon ends up dead as a criminal named Yellow wants to sell the valuable sperm of that horse. Eddie and Pippin encounter a blood feud at a Scottish/American bar called The Sticky Wicket.

ACHTUNG BABY- Eddie is assigned as the bodyguard to a German opera singer that is being stalked by one of her fans, but the real problem is the opera singer has a crush on Eddie as she tries to get close to him.

EDDIE LOVES BASEBALL- When a huge soccer star, Colin Kinney, is involved in a shooting, Eddie uncovers the kidnapping of Kinney's daughter because certain gambling people don't want Kinney to lead his team to victory in the World Cup.

DISC TWO:

SUCKER PUNCH- In a an attempt to end an underground fight club, Eddie ends up being knocked out by a not-too-bright fighter who really just wants to be in the theater.

THE AMAZING LARRY DUNN- Larry Dunn, a guy with a photographic memory (who used to be famous with his own TV show), helps Eddie and Pippin nab some robbers when Larry Dunn misplaces the package (containing a manual on the vault that the robbers want to crack) during his job as a bicycle courier.

BLACK LIKE ME- A criminal who robbed a jewelry store (and killed a guard) and his girlfriend try to frame a black guy for the crime (a black guy who is in love with the criminal's girlfriend).

DISC THREE:

STICKY FINGERS- Pippins wallet gets stolen by Sticky Fingers which leads to Pippin's cards to be copied and his credit history ruined. Eddie suggests Pippin should go to a Sex addicts meeting where Pippin decides to pose as Eddie in a an attempt to have sex with a woman who is addicted to having sex in elevators.

INCITING INCIDENT- Fiona deals with a passive-aggressive co-worker. Eddie and Pippin are brought in to investigate a train worker who is having his life ruled by a piano teacher his students nickname the Claw.

WHO WANTS TO BE IN A CLUB THAT WOULD HAVE ME AS A MEMBER?- Eddie tries to help a school boy with his problems from a certain group of kinds who hazed him. Meanwhile, the brother of one of Fiona's co-workers runs away from home and stays at Fiona's flat.

DISC FOUR:

CITIZEN CECIL- Strange Things are happening during the full moon as Eddie and Fiona are finally getting along while strange things are happening at Scotland Yard as they are trying to track down a recently released criminal named Cecil (who is tracking down some robbers wearing Duran Duran masks that stole two tickets to the World Cup meant for him).

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES- Eddie inherits a Bentley from an old lady he once befriended. Soon the Bentley is stolen by the old lady's estranged son not just once, but twice.

LIBERTE, EGALITE, FRATERNITE- Eddie flirts with a French woman on a bus and he follows her to return her wallet only to stumble into a kidnapping plot ordered by a criminal (who believes in astrology) that is about to go to prison.

ANALYSIS: Some shows immediately gain a cult following, and KEEN EDDIE is one of those shows. The show has clever writing and witty dialogue. It is a unique show that is hard to classify or label as one thing. KEEN EDDIE has a unique blend of comedy and drama in a show about New York Detective Eddie Arlette who goes to work for Scotland Yard in London, England. He and his partner, Detective Inspector Monty Pippin (who is a sex addict), go after some criminals and come across some off-center characters. KEEN EDDIE has to be seen to believed. Eddie has lots to deal with including the secretary (named Carol that Eddie calls by the nickname of Miss Monteypenny) at Scotland Yard who says sexy things he only hears, his dog Pete that is the big trouble of his life, a roommate Fiona (she is still supposed to be in college and hasn't told Mom she has dropped out), the owners of the Sticky Wicket, and stupid criminals.

ACHTUNG BABY is a creepy episode while SUCKER PUNCH is one of the funniest episodes. It is great irony that Fiona has Pete in a Snoot Snacks ad that hangs as a big billboard outside the window of Eddie's bedroom. Every character has their quirks like Eddie likes to collect matchbooks from places he has been and tacks them to a map of London.

My minor complaint about the episodes is that they are presented in the order they aired and not in the order they were meant to be seen. A big tell-tale sign is look at the map of London that has matchbooks pinned to it. If you follow the map, KEEPING UP APPEARANCES is supposed to be the third episode and not number twelve. Also it is easy to tell that STICKY FINGERS comes after ACHTUNG BABY where CITIZEN CECIL takes place shortly before EDDIE LOVES BASEBALL (if you go by the World Cup Play Off refs alone).

VIDEO/AUDIO: All 13 episodes are presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The episodes look as great as they first aired. Sometimes the picture does look a little grainy , but overall the video quality is great.

Audio is available in English 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Stereo. No subtitles for the episodes, but the episodes are close captioned. The DVD sleeves mention music have been replaced for this DVD set.

EXTRAS: None. I do wish there was some cast commentaries or a EPK for the show or a behind-the-scenes featurette on the show, or deleted scenes. Alas we get nothing when it comes to extras. At least the picture and sound are great.

MENUS: Simple picture art for each menu of one or more members from the cast.  Not bad.   There is a Play All option.

DVD sleeve art/box art/disc art: Very nice artwork for the box and nice design for the DVD sleeve art. Kudos to Paramount DVD's design department.   Some effort has even went into designing artwork for the discs.

FINAL ANALYSIS: KEEN EDDIE was a clever and quirky cop show that not enough people watched. However once you become hooked to the show, you find KEEN EDDIE is a show that is good no matter how many times you watch it and some episodes you definitely want to watch again. Despites the lack of extras, Paramount stuck to their promise and released KEEN EDDIE to DVD (with great video and sound). KEEN EDDIE is highly recommended.

this review is (c)8-31-2004 David Blackwell and this review cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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Don't feed Pete any greens and don't look him in the eye.