Just hearing his voice in the opening titles makes me want to scream, throw things and never watch the show again. Which is basically what finally happened when I got around to watching the first DVD of the last season. We watched the first three episodes and it was two and three that made me decide I hated every single one of these characters, and the premise and the show itself and why the hell had I put myself through any of it in the first place?
Maybe because I generally do like movies about cute con-men, intricately plotted crimes, in jokes, funny fanboy characters, etc. I'd genuinely enjoyed Tim Hutton as Archie Goodwin, and the premise seemed interesting.
I don't know if Hubby REALLY like it, but he liked it enough to go along for the DVDs of the first four seasons.
The problem for me was ALWAYS Nate's self-righteousness. I didn't mind the drunken self-pity, but god do I HATE self-righteousness, and the fact that not one member of the team EVER seem to call him on it. Yes, there were cute bits, yes Parker and Hardison were fun, but Eliot's man-pan/violence was also an issue that I was continuous forced to overlook as well, and I think the Gina Bellman character was horribly misconceived, especially when she got stuck in the Cinnamon Carter conundrum of having to be irresistible to all and sundry.
Somehow I went along for four seasons, always feeling slightly queasy at the disporpotion "payback" handed out to the various baddies, the woobification of the "victims" and the need to make every one of the connees a dog-kicking EEEEEEVIL cretin to justify it. It's defintely something I watched because other people in fandom liked it, so I felt I should. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I don't blame my F-listers who did enjoy it, up to that point. It's just that my liking of a certain type of bastard didn't extend to forgiving the bullshit being doled out in that first speech.
I really hit the wall with The Blue Line Job. My sympathy was with Treat Williams the whole way and the blatant manipulation of OMG HE TOOK OUT HIT ON HIS PLAYER and especially OMG SAD KID did nothing to change that. The fact that he wasn't completely avaricious, just desperate put me totally on his side and the ending punch was SO FUCKING WRONG. I was pretty tempted to stop then, but there was enough inertia to keep going for one more...and that was where complete and total revulsion that spread to every single character and aspect of the show came in and made me say a HEARTY FUCK YOU to the entire endeavor and not give a shit beyond wanting then all to die horribly.
The First Contact Job-NO, NO, NO and NO! NOTHING justifies just blithely saying "We're going to drive him insane" and then doing so. That's beyond disgusting, no matter who or what. The fact that the entire gang seemed to have no qualms at all means that even the "cute" ones are equally disgusting, vile, irredeemable creatures and far worse than any of the over-the-top EEEEEVIL caricatures they have gone up again. I will never watch another episode. I don't give a shit how the series ended and if you didn't walk away right then, yeah, I do kind of judge you a bit.
As for Hustle...at least they didn't try quite so hard to make their marks look vile, but that whole "You can't cheat an honest man aspect" did start leaving a bad taste after awhile. Mickey was a vast improvement over Nate in the charm department and Jaime Murray is considerably more convincing as the all around femme fatale. I was THRILLED to see Robert Vaughn back on TV and being handsome and charming after all these years.
I still burned out after about three series and again, I started sympathizing with the marks over the crew. Also...a little Marc Warren goes a long long long long way, as The Good Wife recently found out.
I think the moral here is: the only conman I'm still interested in is Jack Harkness.