TG4 have deservedly scored a big win with teen drama ‘Eipic’
An Irish musical comedy TV drama has plenty of cringe potential. But four shows in, and TG4’s Eipic could be one of the best homemade dramas in recent times. Set in small-town Ireland, where five teenagers are desperately trying to break out in different ways when they’re brought together in band form. It’s frenetic and funny, touching and blunt, equal parts Pure Mule, Skins and Glee.
The series is written by Mike O’Leary, who previously wrote for E4’s Misfits. O’Leary’s writing is brilliantly boisterous, and aside from five excellent performances from the leads (including Róisín Ní-Chéileachair and Fionnuala Gygax, right), the ancillary characters also shine: a crap mum drinking blue alcopops; a sleazy older brother trying to shift stolen TVs; a sagelike auld fella in a Pink Floyd T-shirt. But it’s also Louise Ní Fhiannachta’s direction that’s the star. The tone, pace, soundtrack (Nirvana, LCD Soundsystem, Die Antwoord and Nicki Minaj get a look in) and creative choices throughout bristle with an energy that’s been missing from a lot of Irish drama.
Eipic is another win for west-of-Ireland production company Magamedia, whose previous productions include the excellent Corp+Anam, the drama-doc Am an Ghátar, and Rubaí, also directed by Ní Fhiannachta, about a young girl who declares she’s an atheist ahead of her Holy Communion.
Magamedia has been a home to directing, writing and producing talent including Paddy Hayes, Mary Redmond, Laura Ní Cheallaigh, Ní Fhiannachta, Ciara Nic Chormaic and Darach Mac Con Iomaire.
You can catch up on the series on the the TG4 Player at tg4.ie.