It’s all about moving back home for TV’S boomerang generation of programmes
How the tables have turned in TV-land. A few years ago, we all tuned into RTÉ Two to watch the weekly series I’m An Adult, Get Me Out Of Here, with a mixture of disbelief and curiosity at how someone in their late 20s or early 30s could still be living at home with mammy and daddy.
Thanks to the guiding hand – or sometimes shove – of presenter John Maguire, on the show these ‘children’ were successfully managed off the hall, stairs and landing of the family home and onto the property ladder, seen of course as a move in the ‘right direction’ at the time...
This Monday on RTÉ One, a documentary called Crowded House follows the lives of four adults with young children, who due to financial pressures, find themselves back living with their parents ( hopefully not the same adults that were helped to move out a few years ago). Moving back home may make financial sense for the four extended families, but we see tension as the adults become dependent again on their parents.
Things may be crowded in those homes, but conditions are considerably better than they were 100 years ago. In 1911 in Dublin’s Henrietta Street, a Georgian street with 15 houses, an astonishing 825 occupants were recorded on census night — with 104 people and 19 different families living in No. 7 alone. Now that is a crowded house.
Those conditions were dealt with by the excellent TV3 series The Tenements and the same programme makers, Big Mountain Productions, are back this week with a new series looking at some more history of difficult living conditions in Ireland.
The Big House starts on TV3 on Monday. Set in Strokestown Park House in Co. Roscommon, it follows 13 people who live and work as servants in the Big House.
Thanks to archives and the census, the programme-makers were able to trace the actual descendants of the Big House, and it is these people who return to live and work there exactly as their ancestors did.
Seems like moving back in is the new moving out. If TV turnarounds of this sort get out of hand, we’ll soon be watching I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Back In There...