"Hi, I'm Eddie. How do you like me so far?"
Reading the synopsis of the show does not do it justice. The premise of is a little strange and to be honest, somewhat difficult to swallow if you haven't seen an episode yet.
It didn't take long for the premise to evolve into an excellent show (precisely one half of one episode for me).
The plot is dynamic and "fun", even if you don't like crime-dramadies (there's a small category!), you should give this show a shot if you have a DVD rental account.
The story-line varies enough from episode to episode keeping at bay that feeling that you need to watch every episode in exact order to enjoy the series. Though the characters grow and evolve well each episode, it's easy to pick up the series in the middle and still enjoy the episode.
The camera work and editing is nothing short of brilliant. It rivals that of a well done movie. It's rare to see such work put into a dramedy. The transitions are often slick two second-or-so high-speed rewind whiplash reviews of the last scene. They catch you by surprise. The first time I saw it I thought "That was very cool..." It doesn't come off as out of place as it does in some other TV series/movies I have seen similar transitions in. It adds to the mood and gives the feeling of a fast-paced "out-of-place" lifestyle that many of the characters seem to exhibit (What's more out of place than a NY Cop sent to a pseudo-Scotland Yard environment).
The witty dialog rarely falls flat. Though not laugh-out-loud funny, this show doesn't need a laugh-track to tell you when the punch-line is. It's not out-of-place in the show.
Keen Eddie is aimed for American consumption. If you're looking for an accurate portrayal of Scotland Yard, or accurate British dialog don't look here. "British English" was used only when it would easily be understood by Americans--such as using the word Adverts instead of Commercials--or when the resulting American word might have caught the eye of the censors ("House of ponce" in episode 4, "Eddie Loves Baseball").
The soundtrack--which unless you have the original episodes recorded somewhere--is forever lost. In the original format, it was excellently done. The music, though not to my particular tastes, captured the mood of the scenes *perfectly*.
The DVD was released 7 September 2004 and includes 6 episodes that did not air on FOX. It is a four disc set with four episodes on the first disc and three on the remaining three, rounding it out to 13 total episodes.
The soundtrack is replaced and very little thought seems to have been put into the replacement songs. While musical taste is relative, often the original tracks don't resemble the mood of the originals and are frankly uninteresting. This is particularly evident in Episode 4, "Eddie Loves Baseball", when "Hayling" by FC Kahuna was replaced with a very odd, uninteresting techno track that failed to capture caginess of the situation. This maneuver detracts from the show and should be considered before purchasing this DVD set.
Surround Sound is Dolby Digital 5.1, but it's only 5-channels-by-brute-force. Essentially they seem to have slightly enhanced/filtered the original stereo track while piping the soundtrack through all five speakers. It's not much of an enhancement and would have been better left as a stereo track so that my receiver could do its own enhancements.
Full Screen, as is the original show. Too bad...
Video Encoding is about a 6 out of 10. This is because the studios often try to squeeze too much onto a disc. Though it could have been worse, It's 4 discs, with four episodes on the first disc and three on each additional disc.
I'm frankly surprised at the lack of MPEG artifacts, even though the video contains frequent high/low motion scene combinations and is recorded at a relatively low bitrate. I've seen far worse pictures at higher bitrates with less complex video, so hats off to whomever fine-tuned their encoding here.
I'm also pleased that they allowed the series to occupy four discs instead of three.
Show as it aired: 8, possibly 9
Show as it is on the DVD set: 7 due to audio.
The DVD workmanship: 2, and only because the video quality was surprisingly good at the relatively low bitrate.
The fact of the matter is, there really wasn't anything quite like this on television before it, and there hasn't been anything quite like it since... it was a truly excellent and unique show.