CATCH-UP TV —
Ireland’s Fittest Family
RTE Player, until Jan 6 Best-fun family viewing around — as one 10-year-old of my acquaintance said, ‘there’s something very cosy about watching everyone wading through mud and falling into freezing water when you’re not’ — Ireland’s Fittest Family is into its fifth season and the formula is as strong as ever. Take a bunch of families who think they have what it takes, and pit them against each other in trials including ‘The Backbreaker’, and a variety of mammoth walls to scale along with freezing dips and mud-runs.
This year, two new coaches — rugby player Donncha O’callaghan and sprinter Derval O’rourke — join series regulars Davy Fitzgerald and Anna Geary, each battling hard to get their families to the final. So far, we’ve had one new record, for ‘Hanging Tough’, and, for the first time ever, a trial no one could complete.
Yes, this is about physical fitness and strength, but more than that, it’s about psychological fitness and endurance. Various The Art of War quotes come to mind as one watches the playing-out of triumph and despair. The winning family goes home with €15,000, but far more than that — it’s the glory.
RTE Player, until January 1, episodes 1-4 The Rubberbandits cross a lot of genres, from comedy to hip-hop to conceptual art, satire and theatre. They have been likened to Flann O’brien and Marcel Duchamps, as well as, occasionally, simply a couple of guys from Limerick who know how to create clever, catchy tunes and video. As they continue to expand their reach, with The Gospel According To Blindboy and a heap of TV and art projects, here’s a chance to check out their Guides To Everything.
A series of four half-hour comedy explorations of a single topic each time — specifically Sex, Money, the Internet and Reality — these come complete with their own unique, wide-ranging and surreal take on the subject under discussion, along with plenty of jokes.