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‘Cracker’ a great crime series on DVD

By Susan Triplett
Rowan Public Library
During June, the library was pleased to present the fun-filled “Super Hero” films at its Tuesday Night at the Movies.
For those patrons who missed them or prefer the convenience of home viewing, these films can all be found for check-out in the DVD section of the library.
The library’s current DVD collection features heroes from many genres, and among the most popular are the crime-stoppers of British detective fame. This eclectic group includes the occasional uncertain hero, one who may be ambivalent in the role, at best. In this category, the Fritz character of the “Cracker” series clearly measures up ó or down, as the case may be.
Fritz, played by Robbie Coltrane (known as Hagrid in the Harry Potter series), is the freelancing, contemporary crime psychologist who dominates these gripping, probing thrillers set in Manchester, England.
Brilliant and brooding, perspicacious and self-indulgent, Fritz is a complex character. He’s very skilled at his job. His empathic abilities complement his shrewd tactics, enabling him to penetrate even the most baffling cases.
In one episode, Fritz investigates the murder of a young woman and discovers that his best suspect is an amnesiac. How will Fritz pursue a confession? The viewer is hooked! Yet the same qualities which may enable Fritz to be accomplished in his work seem to leave him particularly vulnerable to troubles in his personal life.
He has several serious addictions, is estranged from his church and his upbringing, and regularly alienates himself from family and friends. This is a hero the viewer can find appealing? Patrons are invited to judge for themselves.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the “Cracker” series may be its artful demonstration of the interplay between a personal and a private life. There is a depth and a credibility to be found here, no matter how the viewer may take to Fritz ó or not.
In one episode, Fritz chips away at a typically challenging case just as he’s reunited precariously with a brother and drawn reluctantly back into the Catholic church. How will Fritz work it all out, if in fact he does?
The “Cracker” series is comprised of three seasons’ of episodes. The stories are presented sequentially and are closely connected, to the benefit of both character and plot thread development. In 2001, the British public voted Fritz one of the top 100 TV characters ever. Can he be viewed as a hero, or not? Why not take a look?
See you at the library.
Teen programs: Metamorphosis Teen Summer Reading Program featuring Bug Rap, Monday, 5:30-7 p.m. Mondays at South branch, Tuesdays at East and Thursdays at headquarters. Creatures Come Alive will be presented this week.
Children’s programs: Summer Reading Program, “Catch the Reading Bug!” continues at headquarters and East and South branches. Flow’s Circus is this week’s attraction.
Movies in July ó All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13. Some movies appropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade. Tuesday, “Much Ado About Nothing”; July 15, “Romeo and Juliet”; July 22, “Love’s Labors Lost”; July 29, “Henry V.”
Displays: South ó miniature sewing machines by Terri Taylor.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
Web site: For a listing of all library programs at all library locations, www.rowanpubliclibrary .org.

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