TIM FANNING MY VIEW
Why in God’s name do we have Hector examining the state of Irish Catholicism?
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.
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.