It's got its flaws, of course. The three affable, jobless wasters that the programme centres on didn't, for the longest time, seem to have any discernable means of paying for their easy-going, coffee-bar lifestyle in Dublin city centre. It doesn't quite manage to dodge the veneer of smugness that characterised much of nineties Ireland, and if I'd encountered some of the representations of rural Ireland that this programme made in a foreign sit-com, I'd have been pretty offended.
Despite all that, the writing is witty, and the direction superb. This programme, as I've said, is deeply Irish, but more specifically still, it's clearly in love with Dublin. It makes the city come to life around the characters - makes it a character in itself. More than any other single feature though, the performances carry the piece. The characters are all wonderfully written as likable bums, but the actors bring them to life with a wonderful chemistry and a magnificent shared charisma.
To outside eyes, there's probably nothing too groundbreaking about this admittedly charming but fairly unassuming little comedy/drama, but to anybody from Ireland who's seen the many missed opportunities that have characterised the recent history of our comedy output, this is something to see. I hope it's just the beginning. Here's to opening the floodgates!
(Okay, okay, so with RTE running the show, that mightn't seem likely, but a guy can hope, can't he?)