TIM FAN­NING MY VIEW

Why in God’s name do we have Hec­tor ex­am­in­ing the state of Ir­ish Catholi­cism?

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -

Hec­tor Ó hEochagáin is like an em­bar­rass­ing cousin. He means well, but he just can’t keep his mouth shut at fam­ily oc­ca­sions, and you get the feel­ing your aun­tie and un­cle would really rather leave him at home draw­ing on the wall. But RTÉ don’t feel that way about him, be­cause they’ve given him a li­cence to roam around the coun­try, ex­plor­ing the great so­cial is­sues that con­cern us.

The first episode of this new se­ries was en­ti­tled Hec­tor Goes Holy, and found the Meath­man ex­plor­ing mod­ern Catholi­cism, which is a bit like ask­ing Bar­bie to report on the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in the Eu­ro­zone. It’s not that Hec­tor is all that ob­jec­tion­able; he just doesn’t let peo­ple an­swer his ques­tions – the odd time that he ac­tu­ally asks one. Two of the priests he in­ter­viewed – one of whom was the ubiq­ui­tous Brian D’Arcy – were in favour of or­dain­ing women. The Bishop of Meath, oddly enough, wasn’t. And that was the limit of what we learnt. The rest was the usual Hec­tor shtick, lots of lep­pin’, jumpin’ and cringy bon­homie.

But the cringe fac­tor was noth­ing when com­pared to TV3’s Dublin Wives, which was known in its pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tion as Dublin House­wives. It’s odd that TV3 is so de­ter­mined to stick ‘wives’ into the ti­tle some­where given that half the cast aren’t mar­ried. With all the ef­fin’ and blindin’ of the so­phis­ti­cates in the open­ing episode, maybe Dublin Fish­wives would be quite an apt name if there’s a third se­ries. When they weren’t swear­ing, th­ese Dublin ‘wives’ were talk­ing about the con­tro­versy at the Miss Ire­land con­test – back in May y 2012 – when the ini­tial win­ner was cru­elly y stripped of her tiara for be­ing over­age. For or those of who re­mem­ber it at all, it’s in the e dim and dis­tant past. But to the ‘wives’, it was akin to the trauma of the day Roy y Keane got his march­ing or­ders in Saipan. .

Fi­nally, TV3’s new drama De­cep­tion n hit our screens this week. It’s about a group p of charm­less refugees from the Celtic c Tiger liv­ing on a Gal­way hous­ing es­tate. e. To be fair, De­cep­tion en­cap­su­lated the worst st as­pects of the boom: vul­gar, crass, poorly y pro­duced, taste­less, over-the-top, cheap- look­ing and very bad value for money. This new com­edy-drama se­ries – a se­quel to TG4’s An Cri­sis – set in Brus­sels fol­lows the for­tunes of the ruth­lessly am­bi­tious Maeve Kelly Clarke (Bláth­naid Ní Cho­faigh, left), a mem­ber of a renowned po­lit­i­cal dy­nasty who is se­lected to be­come Ire­land’s new Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner in Brus­sels. Hav­ing fought tooth and nail as she climbed her way up the greasy pole of Ir­ish pol­i­tics, Maeve is de­ter­mined to prove her­self in her new job, but with a dis­or­gan­ised staff, in­clud­ing her chef de cab­i­net, Ciarán MacIon­raic (Conor MacNeill, right), it’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult. Among the ob­sta­cles to be over­come along the way are bel­liger­ent Ger­man pen­sion­ers, a nosy doc­u­men­tary crew, a low-cost air­line, Doyleair, which loses a pre­cious fam­ily heir­loom, and a Euro­vi­sion-lov­ing Taoiseach back home. Norma Shee­han, Michelle Beamish and Don­n­cha Con­way co-star.

Mar­tine McCutcheon

took a step back from m TV act­ing five years ago af­ter her involvement in n the flop ITV drama Echo Beach, in which she e played Su­san Pen­war­den along­side Hugo Speer r as her hus­band Mark (right). But she e couldn’t re­sist the chance to re­turn to o the small screen to suf­fer one of the e most un­usual deaths ever recorded in Mid­somer Mur­ders ( left). ‘My char­ac­ter, Deb­bie Mof­fett, is crushed d by a gi­ant round of cheese,’ ex­plains Mar­tine, 36, best known for play­ing Tif­fany in Eas­tEn­ders in the mid-1990s.

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