|Index||5 reviews in total|
20 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
An intriguing goldfish bowl., 16 December 2010
Author: davoshannon from Ireland
There's only a first review, so I have to add another plaudit.
Reading the cast list, there are a lot of the "usual suspects" from Irish drama. And the location looks pretty, if a shade more marine than the Quiet Man. So you could be forgiven for passing through, and not watching. That would be your mistake.
This goldfish bowl may be geographically and scenically extensive, but it's emotionally claustrophobic. I live in the West, but it's not as intense as this (generally).
The cast is superb, and all the production values are excellent. But the real nod has to go to the scriptwriter (Barry Simner) and screenplay.
This is a dark, twisting, integration of (Sgt.) Jack Driscoll into his idyllic law enforcement posting in Connemara. Don't start thinking rural means isolation from the all the vices of modern urban society. They're all there, and have been for some time. But carefully disguised and hidden. And just when you think you see the next step, a left hook leaves you reeling. And often a hard and tragic revelation.
This is excellent material, and all the more surprising that it's "just" television. Excellent, and highly recommended.
18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Dark Irish drama, 19 August 2009
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
When I saw this advertised in the TV guide I assumed it would be
"Heartbeat" meets "Ballykissangel" however when I watched it I realised
that is was nothing of the sort, it may be set in a beautiful part of
the world but there is nothing twee about it, instead of making the
place seem appealing it came across as a dark and dangerous place where
nobody can really be trusted.
Garda Sergeant Jack Driscoll has been transferred from Dublin and to the remote area of Co. Galway where he'd grown up and his father had been sergeant before him. When he is investigating the suspicious death of an eastern European the locals, including his father, seem to think everything would be best if the case were quickly written off as suicide. The deeper he investigates the case the more he discovers about the dubious behaviour of the locals, including his father. This doesn't just include the recent case but events many years before where an unwanted baby was apparently murdered.
The two other cases also include fairly dark subjects where we aren't sure who we can trust and few people are what they originally seem. The actors all do a good job in the three interesting stories, if RTE are making other dramas of this quality I hope they too get an airing on this side of the Irish Sea.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Excellent series set on wild coast of County Galway in Ireland, 19 May 2012
Author: robert-temple-1 from United Kingdom
The Irish, like the Danes, live in a small country which has produced its fair share of theatre, film, and TV drama. This excellent RTE police series is no 'Celtic Twilight' story, but is instead a disturbing exploration of the under-surface of modern Irish society as it extends even to such a remote place as County Galway, beside the Atlantic Ocean. The hero of the series, superbly and quietly played by Owen McDonnell (who was born in Galway and has its soil in his bones), is a young sergeant in the Irish police, who are known as 'the Garda' (a Gaelic name). This review is of the entire 12 episodes produced so far, comprising Seasons One and Two. It is not known if there will be any more, but I hope so. It is a very absorbing series which goes at a gentle pace, revealing intrigues and crimes slowly, rather than at the breathless pace of a Hollywood film which has to squeeze everything into 90 minutes. McDonnell's father had been a senior Garda figure, and in Season One, McDonnell comes face to face with the fact that he had been dishonest and criminal in his job, as most of his colleagues had also been. McDonnell is a thoroughly honourable man struggling to keep his honest nose above sea level in this wholly corrupt place. The series is shot entirely on location and the scenery is remarkable for its bleak beauty, a nearly treeless landscape running down to a shattered sea and endless shimmering water dusted by drifting clouds, with spectacular sunsets. The area is extremely isolated and under-populated. The locals are deeply inbred and introverted, clannish, secretive, suspicious, brutal, and, well, Irish, which means they can also be charming and amusing while they are scheming against you. The wickedest character in the series is a perfect serpent, retired Garda Inspector Dennis Costello, played with sinuous menace and cunning by Sean McGinley. He runs the local pub called Mallons, a den of iniquity, scheming, and plotting. Everyone in the area seems consumed by greed, lust, perversity, or unnatural passions of one kind or another, and none of them are honest apart from stalwart Owen McDonnell, whose character is called Jack Driscoll. If anyone ever wondered how so many murders could possibly be committed in the small town of Oxford in order to justify the INSPECTOR MORSE series, try County Galway for limitless decadence. How can such a desolate place be seething with such much corruption, brutality, and quiet crime? The series is clearly meant to be a reflection upon contemporary Ireland, a country where all the politicians are said to be corrupt, where all the businessmen are said to be corrupt (and I have met some of those!), and where incest, rape, murder, brutality of every kind imaginable, and of course the sexual perversities and crimes of the Catholic clergy, are rampant. It is also a country where greed ran amok and resulted in the economic collapse from which Ireland is still struggling, with doubtful success, to make some kind of recovery. There are some powerful performances by supporting players in this series, especially the sinister and knowing mother of McDonnell, played by Ruth McCabe, who conveys as much by her eyes as many actors do when they scream. She refuses to condemn the immorality of her late husband and thinks her son is a fool for being such a 'good guy', which certainly is a new angle on the cozy mum theme, for she will sit down and have a nice cup of tea while justifying dishonesty and immorality. McDonnell's bewilderment and exasperation at the hypocrisy and dishonesty he finds on all sides never breaks him, but he looks sadder and sadder, and says a great deal when he does not speak, rather like those silent Danes in THE KILLING Part One (see my review). If the Irish can produce a series like this, they have not lost their touch. Let's have more.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Addictive., 27 September 2011
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ugly humanity set against beautiful landscape.
The stories are almost unrelentingly bleak. People here don't magically turn around and do the right thing when push comes to shove. Instead they continue to show their true colours. No neat endings either.
Welcome change from most dramas where writers always try to force redemption etc down your throat with all the subtlety of a shotgun blast to the face.
No car chases, no csi voodoo, no sped-up hand to hand combat or parkour.
Just a cop trying to do his job and still have something resembling a personal life. Sounds boring and yet the characters are so engaging it's hard not to get caught up in their struggle.
Wish them well.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant, 17 August 2012
Author: (email@example.com) from United Kingdom
Husband and I were really looking forward to the rerun of Single Handed. We set to tape and only got 2 programmes. What is all that about. Brilliant actors, especially Owen McDonnell (obviously). This guy was so obviously made for the part, as was his mother. It was great. Scenic and well acted, dialogue great, WHERE IS THE REST? We have so few good police based shows on British television, unlike America, and when we get a good one it disappears in a puff of smoke. 55 dgrees North was another basic policeman show. What happens to them? If you can't think of any story lines give me a call, ran an Irish club for 6 years - I'll give you a few.
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