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Suburban Shootout (review)

It’s Desperate Housewives meets Hot Fuzz, which works better than it should but not enough to be genuinely interesting. When Joyce Hazeldine (Amelia Bullmore) and her cop husband move from London to the suburban town of Little Stempington, she discovers that the dark side of all those green lawns and dinner parties, and it comes in the shape of two gangs of who would be surprising if they weren’t such obvious parodies: Barbara Du Prez (Felicity Montagu: Bridget Jones’s Diary) leads the good girls, who kill burglars and terrorize rowdy teenagers; Camilla Diamond (Anna Chancellor: The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton) leads the bad girls, who shake down local merchants to pay for their plastic surgery and import illegal hormone-replacement drugs to sell to those unsuspecting rowdy teens. These eight episodes of the 2006 British series (be warned: an American adaptation is coming) aired in the U.S. on the Oxygen Network, and make up the complete first season of Joyce’s adventures in crime, village preservation, and botox, but the satire wears thin quickly, and it’s hard to like any of these characters, even in a guilty-pleasure kind of way. Joyce is pretty dumb (though smarter than her cop hubby, who never catches on to her misdeeds), and the rest of them are actively unpleasant. And there’s only so much making fun of suburbia that can be done before you get the urge to do the same thing that actual suburbia inspires any thinking person to do: leave. Also on the disc are audio commentaries by cast and crew, a behind-the-scenes documentary, and more. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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