Saturday, June 22, 2013

Changing careers can be a daunting prospect, but leaving the family business is even more challenging when you're a Carter and the family business is crime.  After the father of the family, Mack, is sent to prison, the remaining parent, Lindsay, played by Amanda Redman, decides that it's time for the family to go straight in the new dramedy Honest

Lindsay and Mack Carter have raised their children by running any scams they can.  They also aren't above the occasional burglary, if there's a rumor of rich pickings inside a house or business.  Mack learned the business from his father, Norman, who spent some years in prison due to his safe cracking.  Lindsey is shocked when Mack gets a four year prison sentence.  Everyone expected that Mack would only have to serve a few months (as usual), and this devastating news causes her to re-think her priorities. 

There are 4 Carter children, all of whom receive their mother's news about going straight with varying degrees of scorn.  Oldest daughter Kacie is determined to become famous -- she hopes to become a model, but anything that will get her face in the news is progress.  Twin sons Vin and Taylor have gone different ways in life.  Vin has followed the family business of hustling and burglary, usually accompanied by his lovable but dim friend Reza.  Taylor is a lawyer, but he has obtained his job by false pretenses -- claiming to be a Muslim at a time when the firm was only hiring "minority" candidates.  He also doesn't mind pretending to be his brother when it is to his advantage (which admittedly, isn't often).  Youngest daughter Lianna is an aspiring filmmaker.  She's technically still in school, but she's blackmailing the headmistress of the school so she doesn't actually have to attend classes.

The day Mack is sent to prison, another family member moves in:  Granddad "accidentally" sets fire to his house and needs a new place to stay.  At first he seems to have gone senile, but soon Lianna is able to work out that he was just lonely living by himself.  She becomes very close to her grandfather and extremely jealous when he starts dating a woman from his past, Margaret (they were cellmates in prison before Margaret's sex change op).

Lindsay starts her foray into an honest living by cutting her ties with the family's fence, Donnie, who is in love with her.  Now that Mack's out of the way, will he possibly have a chance with her?  She has a variety of jobs over the 6 episodes of the series.  She goes to work in the office of a friend's car business, but Mack's jealousy gets in the way.  She also works for an insurance agency and at a garden center, but her new honesty policy doesn't always fit in with her job duties.  Maybe when she goes to work making racy underwear for her friend's lingerie business, she's finally found her calling.

The Carter family has long been a thorn in the side of DS Ed Bain (a nod to Ed McBain, or just a coincidence?).  He pays frequent visits to the house to attempt to recover any stolen property that's been reported -- much to Lindsay's annoyance (although he's usually right).  He is accompanied by the young Constable Harrison, who develops an obsession with oldest daughter Kacie, who is thrilled to have her "first proper stalker." 

As well as Lindsay's employment woes, we get to follow the trials and tribulations of the children.  Kacie gets her 15 minutes of fame, but the way she does it doesn't make her parents proud.  Vin commits a burglary at the wrong house, and is forced to work off his debt.  Both Vin and Taylor get involved with dangerous women, and Granddad's "woman" friend turns out to be more than meets the eye!  Meanwhile, Lianna's blackmail plots don't always work out as well as she'd hoped.

I really enjoyed following the fortunes of the very unorthodox Carter family.  Lindsay is a strong, determined woman who has her hands full trying to keep her family together and out of jail (well, the ones who aren't already in jail).  I was a bit disappointed to learn there wasn't a second season of Honest, because this cast of characters had plenty of potential to get into more mischief!  This set includes 6 episodes and text interviews with the cast as well as a photo gallery

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Honest from Acorn Media in exchange for this review
Final Verdict for Honest:   Four Gherkins, for being a humorous look at a felonious family


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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