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State of Play
David Morrissey, John Simm, Kelly MacDonald
Bill Nighy, Polly Walker
2 DVDs 6 Episodes
BBC 2003
Warner Home Video 2008


State of Play is a mind-blowing six part BBC thriller that combines murders, conspiracy theory, government and bedroom shenanigans, and journalism. It is the story of a young promising MP whose mistress got topped and the friend/journalist who tries to help him and also discover the truth. To those familiar with British TV mysteries the usual solid writing and acting is here but this particular drama has many more twists and turns. The complete State of Play series is available on a 2 DVD set from BBC Warner Home Video.

Aside from just being a damn good thriller part of what makes State Of Play interesting is the story evolves through many different characters and points of view: the journalist, his assistant, the MP, the spin doctor, the MP's wife, the newspaper editor, the detective, the bad guys, and so on. Each character's angle on things makes for a stronger and more interesting whole. It also explains the 6 or so hours of this mystery miniseries.

It is very hard to say much about this series without revealing important plot lines and playing spoiler. Suffice to say this a viewer knows there is more to this story than the affair between an MP and his researcher -this is after all a 6 episode 2 DVD series– but it gets more complicated than you might think but not so you start disbelieving the story. Some of the twists and turns are stunning but make sense. There are perhaps a few scenes here and there in episodes 3 and 4 that could have been cut but not enough to give the impression this show was padded.

There is something about State of Play that will make you want to watch it again once everything has been revealed just to make sure you got all the nuances. This is definitely a keeper.

The six-part BBC crime drama is rumored to be a made in Hollywood movie in 2009. I sure as hell hope not. Hollywood cannot adapt a two-prong outlet without shorting it.