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Small Town Crooks

Opening video

Genre

Crime drama

Created by

Philip Spring

Starring

Steve Syracuse, Michael Brody, Michael Cian, Mella Moss, Shea Hants, Stephen Greeley, Michael Adamo Barzetti

Opening theme

'Tami's Dance' - Clyde Gary

Country, language(s)

Brunant,
English, Dutch

Seasons, episodes

2,
24

Running time

50-60 minutes

Production company(s)

Advantage Productions, Naxos Productions, Squall Line Productions

Original channel, run

BBN logo black,
September 19, 2007 - December 5, 2008

Small Town Crooks is an award-winning Brunanter television crime drama series that revolves around the Irish-Brunanter Charles Town Mob, set in and around Charles Town, Sint-Anders Parish, during the 1950s and 1960s, the most active years of the gang. The show was adapted by screenwriter Philip Spring from the non-fiction book of the same name by Eugene Padric, and produced in and around Charles Town between 2006 and 2008.

Small Town Crooks premiered on BBN, the Brunanter Broadcasting Network, on September 19, 2007, and ended its original run of two seasons and twenty-four episodes on December 5, 2008.

The series has received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its visual style and historical accuracy, as well as for Steve Syracuse's excellent performance. It won the Barker Award for Best TV Show two years in a row at the Rosetown Festival.

Main cast and characters Edit

  • Steve Syracuse as Barney McCaoinlin, the oldest of the McCaoinlin brothers and founder of the Charles Town Mob. Syracuse had already played Barney McCaoinlin, as well as the other two brothers, in the action-crime film History of a Mob Wife, a performance which garnered him much praise and launched his career.
  • Michael Brody as Ned McCaoinlin, the youngest of the McCaoinlin brothers.
  • Michael Cian as Yorick McCaoinlin.
  • Claire Moss as Maggie O'Donald, Barney's wife.
  • Shea Hants and Stephen Greeley as Garland and Bassett Smalls, who led the gang together with the McCaoinlin brothers.
  • Michael Adamo Barzetti as Amadeo Montesini, leader of the Montesini family, first a friend of Barney McCaoinlin and the Charles Town Mob, but eventually their enemy.

Episodes Edit

Season 1 Edit

Small Town Crooks intertitle

Intertitle.

The first season of Small Town Crooks premiered on September 19, 2007 and concluded on December 5, 2007.
Lovian actor/writer Jhon Lewis[1] has a guest appearance at the end of the season, on the episode 'Back to Normal', playing the role of Liam.

  1. 'Small Town Crooks' (Sept. 19, 2007)
  2. 'Bottom Up' (Sept. 26, 2007)
  3. 'Patrickson Avenue' (Oct. 3, 2007)
  4. 'Ériu' (Oct. 10, 2007)
  5. 'A Night at the Ritz' (Oct. 17, 2007)
  6. 'Family Only' (Oct. 24, 2007)
  7. 'Baile' (Oct. 31, 2007)
  8. 'Hold Me in Hell' (Nov. 7, 2007)
  9. 'Bean Álainn' (Nov. 14, 2007)
  10. 'The Emerald Dream' (Nov. 21, 2007)
  11. 'Charles Town Green' (Nov. 28, 2007)
  12. 'Back to Normal' (Dec. 5, 2007)

Season 2 Edit

Steve Syracuse

Steve Syracuse plays Barney McCaoinlin, a performance for which he has been praised.

The second season of Small Town Crooks premiered on September 19, 2008 and concluded on December 5, 2008.
Annette Howards, a starlet from the sixties, made a guest appearance in the middle of the seasons, on the episode 'The Dawn of Reason'.

  1. '21' (Sept. 19, 2008)
  2. 'Ourselves Alone' (Sept. 26, 2008)
  3. 'A Dangerous Gentleman' (Oct. 3, 2008)
  4. 'The Winter Wren' (Oct. 10, 2008)
  5. 'Guff and Trumpery' (Oct. 17, 2008)
  6. 'The Dawn of Reason' (Oct. 24, 2008)
  7. 'Masks and Faces' (Oct. 31, 2008)
  8. 'Lifeguard' (Nov. 7, 2008)
  9. 'Scruff of the Century' (Nov. 14, 2008)
  10. 'Mac' (Nov. 21, 2008)
  11. 'Under God's Power She Thrives' (Nov. 28, 2008)
  12. 'Dearly Departed' (Dec. 5, 2008)

Music Edit

Small Town Crooks Music from the Original Series

Small Town Crooks: Music from the Original Series, 2009.

The Crooked Sessions

The Crooked Sessions, by The Towners, 2010.

Small Town Crooks is noted for its often atypical yet effective music selection, relying completely on previously recorded songs, instead of original scoring, and favoring more recent songs from American and British artists, a large part recorded after 2000, rather than using Brunanter music from the 1950s and 1960s. The soundtrack features a distinctive number of alternative and indie rock songs, and only some more 'Irish-inspired' music. Creator Philip Spring personally selected all of the show's music with producer Martin Bristle and music editor Kathrine Day.

The show's unusual opening theme is 'Tami's Dance' by Clyde Gary, a song from 1958. Originally Philip Spring wanted 'Hells Bells' by American alternative rock band The Dandy Warhols as the show's opening theme, but copyright issues arose and he was forced to drop the idea. Martin Bristle then convinced Spring to opt for 'Tami's Dance' instead, because "its exotic, nostalgic sound ironically promises a better life, a dream". Meanwhile, the Dandy Warhols' song is still featured on the soundtrack compilation.

A different song plays over the closing credits of each episode.

Soundtrack compilation Edit

Main article: Small Town Crooks: Music from the Original Series

A soundtrack compilation album containing music from the series' both seasons, was released in 2009.

The Crooked Sessions Edit

Main article: The Crooked Sessions

After featuring the Charles Town band The Towners on the soundtrack, Bristle personally approached the indie folk rock band later that year with the idea of making an album inspired by the series, which led to their accompanying album The Crooked Sessions, released in 2010.

Home media releases Edit

  • Small Town Crooks: The First Season (DVD and Blu-ray, released in 2008)
  • Small Town Crooks: The Second Season (DVD and Blu-ray, released in 2009)
  • Small Town Crooks: The Complete Series (DVD and Blu-ray, released in 2010)
    • Contains all 24 episodes on 4 discs.
    • Deleted scenes.
    • Interviews with creator Philip Spring and the main cast.
    • Video highlighting the differences between the book and the show.
    • Optional commentary for the top three favorite episodes of creator Philip Spring.
    • Free access to the soundtrack album.
    • Standard selling price: €40.

Follow-up Edit

Immediately after the end of the series there were plans for a third season, however, these were rejected by both the creator and the actors, fearing that the plots would become too cheesy and unoriginal.[2]

In 2011 there was again talk of continuation and even a working title, Small Town Crooks: The Later Years. The new season, had it been green-lit, would follow the Charles Town mob throughout the 70s and would be darker and documentary-like. But creator Philip Spring still disapproved, explaining on his personal blog that his wish was to keep the series short in order to preserve quality. Due to Spring's disapproval, chances are small a new season will ever happen.

References Edit

  1. 'Jhon Lewis' article on Wikination.
  2. 'No third season for Small Town Crooks', TV Weekly, January 9, 2009.

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