Very few TV shows – or their audiences – get the ending they deserve.
Tonight BBC One, Tony Jordan and a cast of very talented actors ensured that wasn’t the case for Hustle.
Spoilers lurk below so look away if you’ve not watched tonight’s episode.
All shows run their course, and too many have been ruined by broadcasters and production teams blind to the fact that their time has come.
But Hustle bowed out at the right moment.
Most of us probably feel like we’d like to see just one more con, and that makes now the perfect time to end.
Lamenting the passing of a show is far better than wishing we’d seen one series or episode less.
And has a show ever exited in a more fitting style?
Ahead of transmission the BBC told us that Stacie (Jaime Murray) was back. They even released a potted interview with Murray for the press to use.
I know many who thought that was spoiling the end, but in true Hustle style it was a blind, a distraction, a bit of magic to make us look elsewhere.
Which meant none of us expected – well, not until it was close to being revealed – that Danny Blue, Marc Warren himself, was also back.
A final con on an audience which has repeatedly suspended its disbelief and allowed itself to be hoodwinked by one of TV’s most imaginative shows.
TV is rarely as good as Hustle, endings even less so.
Maybe in a few years the BBC will revive the show with an all new crew, but please let them avoid the temptations which destroyed the perfect ending of Only Fools and Horses.
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