THE SWEET SMELL OF SUC­CESS

TV3’s ‘Red Rock’ first aired in Jan­uary 2015 and, af­ter a fairly low-key start, be­gan gath­er­ing pace to what is now a bona fide hit, sold to BBC One and Ama­zon Prime. As sea­son three hits our screens, at a later time and in an hour-long slot, Emily Houric

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - SOLID AS A ROCK -

Given the very low hi­trate of new TV dra­mas, the suc­cess story that is TV3’s feels like a boon, not just for Ir­ish drama, but for the in­dus­try in gen­eral, and those who work in it. Since launch­ing in Jan­uary 2015, has grown from an ini­tially low-key re­ac­tion, to be­come TV3’s most pop­u­lar show. It was sold to Ama­zon Prime in the US, where 81pc of view­ers gave it five stars, and in July, it de­buted on BBC One to an

Rock Red Rock Red

au­di­ence of over a mil­lion view­ers, and a heap of pos­i­tive re­views.

Set in a fic­tional sea­side town on the out­skirts of Dublin, the ac­tion re­volves around the an­tics of two feud­ing lo­cal fam­i­lies, the Kielys and the Hen­nessys, and the lo­cal garda sta­tion, through which, in true soap style, all of hu­man life passes, from the mun­dane to the trau­matic.

The ac­tion is fast-paced and the di­a­logue smart, but the real draw is the scope that is dis­played by the char­ac­ters to be multi-faceted, con­flicted, real.

This is a soap opera with se­ri­ous drama am­bi­tions, and even a touch of Scandi-noir sen­si­bil­ity, cour­tesy of the over­cast skies and in­ten­sity of the plot­lines. Com­par­isons with are in­evitable, but ac­tu­ally,

doesn’t need them. Sea­son three has moved to a later time slot — post-wa­ter­shed, mean­ing lots of fren­zied spec­u­la­tion be­fore the first show aired last week as to whether this will mean a raunchier, sex­ier show — and, in­stead of two half-hour episodes a week, there is one prime-time, hour­long slot. What­ever about the po­ten­tial for more sex and vi­o­lence, an hour-long

Love/Hate Red Rock

for­mat al­lows time and space for what is far more in­ter­est­ing — the psy­cho­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of key char­ac­ters. In the end, this is what will win, and keep view­ers, and not any amount of gore or raunch. It is the chang­ing mo­ti­va­tions, in­tri­cate in­ter­ac­tions and shaded per­sonal re­sponses play­ing out on-screen that com­pel us, far more than the flash­ing lights or neat pieces of po­lice pro­ce­dure.

And so, as is back on our screens, we talk to three young ac­tors, each of whom plays a key part, about life, the show and the growth of their char­ac­ters.

Red Rock

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