Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who Knew Antiques Could Be So Dangerous?

Last night I watched an episode of Lovejoy that I received in the mail from Netflix, specifically 'To Sleep No More' from Season 1 Disc 2. I love Lovejoy, and loved it long before I got into antiques, not acquiring them really but watching other people talk about them, hunt for them or sell them a la Antiques Roadshow, Bargain Hunt, and Cash in the Attic.

My sister Judy and I used to sit glued to the tv, which was tuned to the A&E channel, and take in the adventures of these street-smart, unscrupulous, risk-taking band of antiques experts as they flitted in and out of the world of the wealthy, to come home to a less privileged lifestyle at the end of the day. But that didn't bother Lovejoy too much I think, because it was his intense love and knowledge of antiques that spurred him on. He would probably live very happily in a bare stable as long as he was able to do what he loved to do every day, holding such things as a British snuff box circa 1800 in his hands.

In Lovejoy's world, there is a whole lot of thievery and intrigue going on and he seems to thrive on it. The Lovejoy books, written by John Grant, apparently contained a lot of gruesome violence which the televised adaptations toned down immensely. I like the result very much - the tv series has a more lighthearted feel to it, with a quirky and honest set of characters getting into all sorts of situations - revolving around beautiful, old things.

Ian McShane portrays the lovable rascal Lovejoy. Apparently he also appeared on the US primetime soap opera Dallas, which I don't remember him being in but then again, I didn't watch Dallas on a regular basis. But I do remember him most recently from his turn as Andy Samberg's contentious stepfather in the movie Hot Rod.

I also recently spotted Dudley Sutton, who plays Lovejoy's alcoholic right-hand man Tinker, in a bit part in the movie The Pink Panther Strikes Again when I saw it for the umpteenth time more than a week ago. And apparently Malcolm Tierney [Lovejoy's nemesis Charlie Gimbert] had a role in the original Star Wars movie as Lt. Shann Childsen, which I have no idea who that is. I'm thinking he was one of Darth Vader's men. Update: He was on the Dark Side!

I've got two more episodes of Lovejoy to go before I need to mail it back in for another. I can't wait for tonight!

[Photo of Season Two's Lovejoy DVD jacket with Ian McShane is from Crimespree Cinema, photo of David Dickinson is from Speak Out, photo of a Victorian snuff box is from Renaissance Jewelers, photo of Dudley Sutton is from Brian Micklethwait, and photo of Malcolm Tierney is from Aveleyman]

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