This marvelous TV-on-DVD set houses some of the most powerfully unpredictable melodrama we've yet seen in 2013....
Acorn Media / 270 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: April 30, 2013
Arrestingly funny and irreverent, The Syndicate is a spritely comedy/drama that isn’t afraid to hit you in the gut when you least expect it. The whole endeavor centers on a run-of-the-mill swatch of employees at a Leeds grocery store who one day happen to, you know, win the lottery. Instantly, their mundane lives are upended in particularly volatile ways, proving without mercy that money can’t buy you all the happiness you can imagine.
First, there’s manager Bob (Timothy Spall), who is plagued with illness. Sure, the advent of mega-cash perks him up a bit, but there’s only so far it can go when it comes to the body he’s stuck with. And it should come as no surprise that newfound riches brings out the worst in people, something that takes Leanne (Joanna Page) by distinct surprise. There are a few more participants in this strange and intriguing parade, most notably a strapping young chap named James (played by Neville Longbottom himself, Matthew Lewis), whose sordid past constantly threatens to bite him right in the ass.
The Syndicate: Series 1 isn’t groundbreaking in any provocative way, but there are few TV-on-DVD releases this year that have succeeded so wonderfully in presenting a multi-faceted, slippery narrative with such richly evocative dramatic results. The Syndicate runs the gamut of emotions in a wonderfully expansive way – you’ll find yourself guffawing one moment and tearing up the next.