|Index||6 reviews in total|
When I first read in a local Irish paper that we were to get an Irish
Medical drama my thoughts instantly went to those terrible medical dramas
that were in the form of aussie soap operas. However I was pleasantly
surprised by the high entertainment in it. Up until then the Irish
had tried their best to give us some high quality entertainment but kept
falling sort of their target.
The first night I sat down with a couple of beers and began to watch it I was curious as to who the cast were. I looked up the Internet Movie Database Base that night and discovered that I had seen most of them before in terrible shows but this was their best effort. The standard of acting throughout was of a very high quality. Each actor slipped into their roles very comfortably indeed and this was the making of it really.
From the first show to the last one each actor/character developed individually each having a crisis in most episodes but it was a recurring theme in each episode that was the development of the character/overall story you see. But to be totally honest with you the script was pretty weak. The script had all the usual medical drama's going on in it and their was nothing new but it was that the acting and the emotions displayed on screen to us that made the show worthwhile.
It has taken the Irish network bosses nearly 50 years to provide us with a great drama and they have finally succeeded in doing so. It will be interesting to see if there is a series two and where it will take us.
OK, I will admit I am biased. I have been friends with the actor who plays Alex Walsh on the series for many years and therefore ordered the DVD's to view them in the states. However, now having seen all of season 1 and 2 (Season 3 is not yet out on DVD) I can say that the character development and plot lines are really good. Although originally I just ordered this to just see Sammy's performance, I was pleasantly surprised with the acting and writing on the series as a whole. The writers have done a good job developing each of the characters as individuals who have their own problems and issues outside the clinic and yet the series never looses its main focus of all the characters working together to make the clinic run smoothly. A used likened this series to the American TV series "ER". I would disagree. Being from the US and having watched ER for most of its run, I can say that ER is focused much more on the medical drama whereas "The CLinic" focuses much more on the interpersonal relationships and characters. Even without the medical drama, the show is highly enjoyable and I would recommend it
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The show has two main characters Dr. Cathy Costello (Aisling
O'Sullivan) and Mr. Dan Woodhouse (Dominic Mafham). Cathy is driven to
make Clarence Street Clinic successful. This is a private clinic
originally owned with three partners: Cathy, her husband Ed, and
Cathy's father a successful and well known surgeon. After Cathy's
husband leaves her, he sells his share to Dan an up and coming plastic
surgeon who is at odds with Cathy and her father. The partnership
becomes more complicated when Cathy's father dies unexpectedly and then
leaves his share to a girlfriend who has been completely unknown to
Cathy. It is a surprise and one she does not deal with well with. Add
in the problems of the staff, and there are a multitude of problems,
and staff changes all with new problems, and you have a fascinating
soap opera. One thing for sure, the way everyone blabs in this clinic
the concept of patient- doctor confidentiality is a fiction.
Let's try a biased description of a few major characters. Dr. Cathy Costello (Aisling O'Sullivan) who never met a conclusion she couldn't jump to. Mr. Dan Woodhouse (Dominic Mafham) goes from drug using smuck to a pretty decent guy who unfortunately has a fatal attraction. . Patrick Murray (Gary Lydon) goes from gullible, self-pitying, half-arsed counselor to gullible, self-pitying, half-arsed counselor. Daisy O'Callaghan (Amy Huberman) goes from dippy alcohol abusing receptionist to dippy, clue-less receptionist to conniving partner after inheriting Cathy's shares in the clinic. Surprise, Cathy dies. Keelin Geraghty (Rachel Pilkington) goes from so-so physical therapist to butinsky therapist who should have lost her license several times. Aine Flanagan (Gertrude Montgomery) goes from serious practice manager to receptionist after Cathy showing typical bad choice believes her long time employee might be a thief. Brendan Davenport (Chris O'Dowd) goes from slightly odd but highly competent accountant to wealthy but losing in love adult who chooses to live his life. Cara Madigan (Dawn Bradfield) goes from busy body manipulative instigating bitch receptionist to busy body manipulative instigating bitch practice manager. Dr. Clodagh Delaney (Leigh Arnold) goes from beginning mistake making doctor acupuncturist to settled in full staff mistake making doctor acupuncturist.
This can be a very addictive series and all seven seasons are currently running on Acorn TV. There are some abrupt character shifts and it can be infuriating when their absence isn't explained. But the new arrivals tend to be interesting and bring their own issues to the clinic. Only a few of the original cast survive all seven season and it can be surprising to see who makes the cut. As this is an Irish cast, at times the accents are so thick it can leave the viewer (American) confused as to what was said. Add differences in meaning of words and the confusion increases. A fag is a cigarette; the title Mr. is used to identify a surgeon as opposed to Dr. which references a GP; the post is the mail; brilliant means a good idea. After a while you (American) will catch on. Just as binge worthy as any Netflix series.
I discovered The Clinic online and watched the first two seasons. Season 2 ends with a major emotional cliff-hanger. I'd really like to see the other 5 seasons and wish they would make them available in some form or other. As another reviewer noted this show is about the personal relationships of the workers within a clinic in Ireland. The clinic is in a large old home that has been purchased by a fairly young couple who are doctors (Ed and Cathy). Dr. Ed was an assistant to an older doctor who ran the practice previously and he and his wife bought out the business and the old house when the older doctor passed away. However, the original doctor's widow still lives in the basement while the new couple lives in the upstairs flat, which is only one source of tension within the clinic. The other staff vary's a little from season to season, but there is another GP, a physical therapist, a counselor (who at some point or other gets to hear the problems of all his co- workers whether he likes it or not), a gay male nurse, a plastic surgeon, a financial controller (played by Chris O'Dowd who I had previously seen in the comedy series, The IT Crowd), and several female office workers. The clinic staff often socializes in the local pub which also helps to create some occasions for office romances and inappropriate relationships springing up which sets up some very dramatic and occasionally comedic situations.
This isn't for everybody. Too many viewers (drowning in American slick
slop) will need a cheaper fix. But for those who understand how a
quality soap is made, it is close to heaven.
The acting is universally good, even great at times. The direction shows competence even when the script occasionally slows. But the scriptwriters do a superb job: never preaching, always entertaining.
Ireland thank you. It's not Wilde, but it's not supposed to be. And I have fallen in love with almost every character - beautiful, sad and wicked - just because they are so believable.
I have never before watched a medical soap which practically makes you feel like a voyeur in a real life clinic. Of course, reality would be unwatchable. The Clinic is sometimes mesmerising.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Loved the first two seasons, but did not like where it went in seasons 3 and up... actually lost interest during season 3... mainly because there's nothing I hate more than the character Dan played... killed the show for me, I couldn't spend another minute watching the "New" lead role being such a piece a crap... I also really Liked the character of Ed... the way he was dropped with no further information was crap. He was a good character and was the back bone of the show for the first two years... For me the show made a mistake by axing him. Funny how Cathy hated liars and dropped Ed and then spent another 4 years with the worst liar in the world.
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