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Please be aware that this review is for Series 2 of "Mad Dogs" and whilst it doesn't discuss any major plot spoilers for this season there are references to the first series which, if you haven't seen it, may reveal information you'd rather find out by watching it yourself...
Following the downward spiralling, out of control antics of four 40-something British friends Series 2 of Mad Dogs picks up from where series 1 ended. The proposed reunion with their old school friend in Spain has well and truly turned into a nightmare as they've found themselves caught in the middle of murder, a botched drug deal and the rather unfortunate matter of a dead police officer in the swimming pool. With 3 million Euro's left laying around and still no access to their mobile phones what else can the four do but run... but what are they going to do with the money and can they get back home?...
Madder than Before
This surprise Sky1 hit show had its second series released onto DVD back in March of this year and having enjoyed it the first time round I was eager to see what would happen after the explosive cliff-hanger ending of the final episode of the first series. As with the first series there are only 4 episodes in this run so it's not something you have to put a great deal of time to one side for and for me made a dull Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago a little bit more entertaining as I settled down to see what would happen next to the four hapless Brits during their holiday from hell.
All four lead characters return and again are a great cast, Philip Glenister, John Simm, Max Beesely and Marc Warren have had time to get into their roles now and this time round seem a lot more at ease. Because we already know a lot about their back stories this series seems to be more focused on action and rather than being in the confines of the Majorcan villa as they were before they are now set loose on the Spanish mainland and find themselves getting deeper and deeper into trouble. It's a very cleverly written series with a plot that twists and turns and although only short at just 4 episodes in length I found that its quick pacing meant that there was very little time for padding or time wasting. It stands to reason that anyone who is going to watch this will need to have seen the first series as it simply won't make sense so rather than waste time filling us in on what happened before the action simply picks up from where it left off and continues on with the story.
Once again the Spanish backdrops make for a beautiful setting as the friends make their way across the Spanish mainland and the situations they find themselves in allow us to see a lot more of where they are. Unlike the first series where they reacted to what was thrown at them this time they are a lot more proactive in the decisions they make, this adds some tension and instability to their friendship and relationships with one another and whilst you could say that they were unlucky before to be in the wrong place at the wrong time this series allows them to grow as characters as they learn that sometimes they have to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. I obviously won't discuss what happens to the characters in this review but would say that they have definitely been developed here and if you thought you knew them from before you may just be surprised at what happens over the course of these episodes.
With a complete running time of 3 hours this is a series that you can watch in one sitting, once again it ends on a cliff hanger of a final episode and I would imagine that it won't be long until series 3 hits Sky 1 as there are plenty of things left unresolved. In some ways it would have been better had there been more episodes as it does leave you wanting more but it reminds me of "Sherlock" in that regard as I'll be looking forward to it coming back when series 3 is released and rather than tell it's whole story in one go it's been quite cleverly produced to slowly drip-feed it's tale.
All in all if you enjoyed series 1 of Mad Dogs then there's plenty to like here with series 2, it's quicker paced than before and contains lots of action. All of the characters are great and the cast, I think, is superb. At just £7.99 as the DVD currently retails for on amazon I'd say it's a great buy at that price, If you're new to Mad Dogs then I'd definitely recommend both series, they're cheap to buy, not too long in length that you have to give a lot of commitment to and would definitely pass an afternoon on if you watch them back to back.
Not quite 5 stars as a rating from me, 4 episodes is a bit stingy I think especially as the story still hasn't been fully told but recommended all the same. Thanks for reading my review.