The critically acclaimed, award-winning crime series East West 101 Series 1 comes to DVD from Acorn TV. All 6 episodes of the first season will be released January 30th. Read on to find out more.
East West 101 is a dramatic crime series that was on for 3 seasons, starting in 2007. The show takes place in Sydney Australia and is filmed on location. East West 101 is based on true crime stories and shows an ethnic, cultural and social clash between the people living and working in the area. This release from Acorn Media is on 2 discs for around 324 minutes of entertainment plus a nice behind the scenes featurette.
Season One features two main characters, Detectives Zane Malik (Don Hany) and Ray Crowley (William McInnes). I was not familiar with any of their previous work, so I was watching this with fresh eyes and no preconceived notions as to how the characterizations would unfold. Malik is a devout Muslim and Crowley is an old school tough Australian. This series focuses on the development and struggle of their professional relationship interspersed with personal issues that affect them deeply and how they go about trying to work together to solve the problems they each face.
The story is written well, with flashbacks and character establishing story beats intermixed with the solving of each episodes crime. I’d say this is a series that is heavier in developing the personality of the characters more than just simply being a procedural or forensic showcase. Therefore I think the more you are interested in the actors and their personal lives outside of the Crime Unit the more you will get out of the show. In some aspects of character interaction, it feels more like Miami Vice than something like CSI.
A large part of the story is the motivations behind what the characters do and who they are as people. There is an interesting interplay between backgrounds, beliefs and what drives the characters professionally as well as personally. It is especially true during the butting of heads between Zane and Ray about the way they approach the working in the Crime Unit and their moral beliefs.
The soundtrack is an interesting mix of hard rock guitar with a middle eastern flair of keyboards, chants, and techno beats. The filming is heavily stylized with quick cuts and camera movements. It looks like what you would expect from a moderately budgeted show from 2007 to look like. The sound is well done but depending on how difficult accents are for you it may be necessary to put on subtitles as there are characters with Australian accents that speak rapidly and may be hard to comprehend at times.
Behind the scenes featurette – 23 minutes
East West 101 Series 1 Final Thoughts:
After a while, all the modern crime shows sort of blend together in my mind, but East West 101 Series 1 has enough unique characters and settings to keep me entertained. It is well written and well acted. If you are looking for a solid crime drama in a bit of a different location, with actors you haven’t seen too much of, it is worth picking up this first series from the folks at Acorn Media. I recommend getting your physical copy on Amazon or other fine retailers. The show is also available to stream from Acorn TV.
Note: This DVD was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgment or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.