Mad Dogs, created and written by Cris Cole , tells the story of four friends (Woody, Baxter, Rick and Quinn) and the trouble they face when a visit to an old friend forces them into a world of corruption, drugs and murder. The first season introduced the viewer to the main characters played by Max Beesley (Woody), John Simm (Baxter), Marc Warren (Rick) and Phillip Glenister (Quinn) respectively. The story began with an interesting twist, suggesting that the four have been forced, or not, to commit crimes that will deem them dangerous to the general public. The season then continues to explain how the four ended up in their current situation and their hardships along the way. The first season was interesting, gaining critical acclaim across the board for performances both in front and behind the camera. Although it was a good series its climax felt a bit rushed, or at least I believed that the series ended in the middle of the story rather abruptly. Thus making it obvious that a second season was necessary to explain why all of these things have happened and what the characters can do to get out of it. I was pleased to discover, therefore, that the second season would continue from where it left off rather than be set a couple of months later.

The second season, like the first, starts with a dramatic incident which forces the principle characters into an even deeper hole than before. They choose to escape for home but fail, having taken the wrong boat to Ibiza rather than Barcelona and they soon realise that their choices, including the theft of supposed drug money, have more dire consequences than previously imagined.  The first episode is set out much like the first season, where the four dodge attempts on their life without knowing who they are dealing with. This is the main objective of the second season; to determine who the four are dealing with and the problems they face due to their careless mistakes. Of course this surrounds the episode in mystery which led to more frustration on my part. In these episodes the relationship between the four begin to fray,  their acting  shines throughout these confrontations and it proves to be an interesting turn of events. At the end of the second episode we are finally presented with the character whose money the four stole and Mackenzie (played by David Warner) informs them that they must return his money or they will die.

The next two episodes were very thrilling, filled with unpredictable twists and turns as the four desperately try to regain the money they spent in time for the payout. This leads to the final episode, where, upon failing to return all the money due to a rather humurous situation, Mackenzie threatens to kill Quinn if the other three do not successfully complete a task for him. It is clear that the three are being played as puppets by Mackenzie but their desperation to save their friend and the stand-off between Quinn and Mackenzie are enough to make the hearts of viewers race uncontrollably. The end of the season is much more satisfactory than the first season’s finale. It leaves Baxtar, Quinn, Rick and Woody in an interesting situation and proves to make fans desperately impatient for the next season.

Reviewed by Roxy Simons.

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