DVD Reviews: Delicious and Striking Out (Series 2)

TV shows from across the Atlantic have a serious advantage over an American broadcast TV since they don’t need to think about how to write 22 episodes after the pilot. They can get away with a quarter of the output. This means the scripts should be tighter. A drama can come off as more of mini-series. This also means that the limited season better click fast and hard. There’s no way to have a few slack plotlines over the weeks. Two shows that have been imported during their second seasons are Delicious and Striking Out. While they seem to be about the different worlds of cooking and law, they work well together since they are about female characters dealing with infidelities.

Delicious: Series 2 is show I’d want to watch simply based off the cast. Dawn French (French and Saunders), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness) would normally be enough to attract my eyeballs, but this season there is Franco Nero (Spaghetti Western legend for Django). Who wouldn’t want to commit to watching four episodes of these actors wrapped up in a restaurant drama? And what drama there is. The first season was about the twisted tale of how a hotshot chef Leo Vincent (Glen) was running a posh restaurant hotel combo in the countryside with his second wife Sam Vincent (Fox). Little does she know he’s having an affair. But instead of a younger wife, he’s hooking up with his first wife Gina Benelli (French). Turns out that a lot of his prized menu items are pinched from her recipe book. During the first season, when the secrets are exposed the two wives don’t tear each others eyes out. And they come together after a tragic turn forces them to take control of the restaurant. The second season has the widow and the ex-wife getting tense around each other. Gina is dealing with a lot of issues so Sam hires an extra chef behind her back. Sam puts a wedding party in jeopardy when she gets too involved with the bride and groom. Gina’s father (Nero) is there to cause trouble in his own special way. Trouble is also lurking as the police are investigating Leo’s death from the previous season. They suspect the ex-wife and the widow are holding back on the truth. Neither woman suspects that Leo is haunting them and narrating the story. This is a fine show that works over the course of the four episodes like a filling four course dinner. French is amazing in a serious role. She’s able to stare down Nero better than anyone in Django.

Striking Out: Series 2 features Dublin based lawyer Tara Rafferty (Amy Huberman) doing her best to work outside of a law firm. She quit her previous one since her fiance was sleeping with a fellow lawyer. In this second season, Tara ends up bidding on cases that were being handled by a failed law firm. She does find clients including a man wanting custody of his child since his ex-wife might be carrying on with multiple lovers. A nun needs Tara to sue her old convent for various things including her father’s house that was donated to them and a few more less than Holy activities. The six episodes give a sense of the hustle Tara has perform in order to stay above water in the Irish legal game. She could probably return to a firm, but she’s not trusting that many people in her life.

The video is 2.00:1 anamorphic for Delicious and 1.78:1 anamorphic for Striking Out. The transfers on both shows bring out the details of the countryside and Dublin. The audio is 5.1 Dolby Surround for both shows. The mixes are fine and give a sense of Ireland and the English countryside. The episodes are subtitled.

Behind the Scenes (10:03) has the actors talk about how the series deals with loyalty, betrayl, guilt and strange bond between a first and second wife. They also talk of all the food on the set.

Photo Gallery (1:21) shows behind the scenes of the production. Plenty of shots of Franco Nero.

Acorn Media presents Delicious: Series 2. Starring: Dawn French, Emilia Fox, Iain Glen, Tanya Reynolds and Franco Nero. Boxset Contents: 4 episodes on 1 DVD. Released: July 3, 2018.

Behind-The-Scenes Featurette (18:39) has the cast discussing what was special about the second season. They also touch upon the beauty of shooting around Dublin.

Cast Panel (15:16) was recorded at Television Critics Association Event. Amy Huberman discusses what the show’s title means to her and her character.

Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery (1:48) gives the view just beyond the camera rig.

Acorn Media presents Swinging Out: Series 2. Starring: Amy Huberman, Rory Keenan, Emmet Byrne and Neil Morrissey. Boxset Contents: 6 episodes on 2 DVDs. Released: July 3, 2018.

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