It was a dizzying week, with more drama on Oireachtas TV than on any mainstream channel.It had all the features of fictional drama – moral dilemmas, cliffhanging tension, heroes (short supply), villains (don’t ask), the rise and fall of interlocking story arcs. You didn’t know from breakfast through lunch whether you’d...

A couple of new shows hit the TV screens last week. With much advance hype one of these arrived on RTÉ2 last Thursday night. US drama This Is Us tells the interacting stories of several individuals who share the same birthday.It was appealing enough to make me want to watch another episode, but only just. It wasn’t a problem that I was...

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In the past few weeks I’ve been following the English crime thriller series Unforgotten on ITV. This is series two and the high artistic standards set in series one are thankfully maintained…though really it’s the same plot with different characters – a body is found that has been hidden for years, and gradually the police...

Well, for better or for worse, for richer but hardly for poorer, it was Trump week.The dust had hardly settled on Martin Luther King Day when the media went into overdrive in anticipation of inauguration day. I can remember the hype for Obama’s first inauguration, and there were indeed some touching and emotional moments, but I don’t...

The ‘myth kitty’ – if I may borrow Philip Larkin’s famous phrase – of this atmospheric crime flick ranges from The Godfather and Goodfellas through Scarface, The Road to Perdition and Chris Cooper’s Black Mass.A more immediate reference point might be Ben Affleck’s The Town, which mirrors it in its...

Last Sunday Netflix launched a new documentary, Hostage to the Devil, about the legendary exorcist and former Jesuit Malachi Martin. My appetite had been whetted by an interview with one of the producers, Sharon Lysaght, on The Ryan Tubridy Show, Wednesday morning of last week. As documentaries go it was excellent, a fascinating story well...

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