While Irish television can be great, I think a lot of you would agree it can also be hit or miss at times.
Greatness has been created on the back of shows like Love/Hate and Father Ted while the obvious mortifications would be Fair City or Deception (I still can’t believe Deception was an actual show, watch the trailer of it for some laughs).
For the longest time I’ve felt the main issue with certain Irish television shows is how serious they tend to take themselves (looking at shows like you Striking Out). They end up boring with the characters feeling difficult to relate to as they’re played by fancy shmancy stage actors with pseudo English accents and a stick up their arse.
Picking the below comedies that have aired in the last year, these are shows that demonstrate that when we get it right how good it can be. It’s not beyond my notice that one thing these shows all have common besides being funny is that none of them have a primary focus on Dublin characters – maybe what we’re missing is a good old fashioned Dublin comedy. Or maybe it’s just that not everyone in Dublin is from Dalkey and therefore it’s difficult to relate to such over the top poshness – a regular middleclass character wouldn’t go amiss in some of these shows.
Take a look at my favourite Irish picks below and see if any of them are for you:
- Nowhere Fast – Alison Spittle’s comedy sees her star as Angela, a radio journalist who has to return to her midlands hometown after a career ending on air blunder with a politician. She picks up where she left off with her family and two childhood friends and the series highlights her various attempts to get back on top of her career while touching on the lives of those around her. Honestly, I struggled with this at first as I couldn’t stand one of the characters but I convinced myself to stick with it and I’m glad I did. The series consists of six half hour episodes and while I didn’t feel it start to gel until about episode four it still has enough funny moments throughout that you can stay amused and invested in the characters. Standouts of the show include the hapless Brid as well as Angela’s interfering mother Caroline. I’m not sure if this show will be back for a second series but if it does return I do think it could only improve.
- Can’t Cope Won’t Cope – a hilarious and honest comedy that focuses on the adventures of Cork girls Aisling and Danielle attempting adult life in Dublin. This show definitely gives me the nostalgia feels of my mid twenties (there’s actual footage from Coppers so of course it does) and it does gives the most accurate depiction I’ve seen on television of everyday young adult life without being boring. Standouts include Seana Kerslake who is brilliant as the ever relatable mess that is Aisling and Amy Huberman as her nightmare boss (can we just give Amy Huberman her own comedy as it’s where she excels, the woman is hilarious). In lieu of series two starting next week you should catch up on the first series available on Netflix.
- The Young Offenders – this is easily my favourite Irish show on tv right now. A spinoff from the film of the same cast, the series features Jock and Conor in their day to day school life as they face junior cert year and deal with young love, struggles at home and all your other everyday teenage dramas. Every episode is priceless and will have you in stitches but it also full of heart. It’s already been commissioned for a second series and hopefully more beyond that. Standouts include the insane Billy Murphy who lights up the finale episode especially as well as PJ Gallagher who returns as new character Principle Barry Walsh. Conors romance with his daughter Linda is hilariously sweet and will bring most girls (or maybe just me) back to their awkward teenage years of kissing at least one boy who was about a foot smaller than them. If you haven’t seen the series then I urge you to watch the film (available on Netflix) while you wait for it to return. Mark my words you’ll love it.
If you feel I’ve missed any decent shows worth watching please feel free to sound off in the comments.