Friday, December 29, 2017

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed!

Season 22, Episode 33
First aired December 26 2017

We open upstairs at the pub where it first looks like Tadhg is doing jazzercise, but it turns out it’s just a highly choreographed yawn. Strictly Come Yawning. Maggie, in her night things, sashays into the kitchen, and in the ensuing conversation we learn that Tadhg’s been sleeping in Áine’s bed, which is why he’s so stiff and exhausted. (Get your mind out of the gutter—it’s Christmas, for God’s sake.) He makes a big production out of struggling to put his wristwatch on, which gives her a chance to feel his bicep and stand very close to his whatever, and it looks like they might kiss, or alternatively rake all the dishes off the counter and have sex on it, but then they decide to put the kettle on instead. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Outside, a band of roving—well, I don’t know what they are, but they appear to be the Mamas & the Papas—harass Briain and David until they give them money to go away. This is either a holiday tradition I am unfamiliar with or an elaborate fancy-dress protection racket. Once they leave to terrorize the next batch of innocent pedestrians—hopefully Máire, since she’s about seven-eighths of the way to a heart attack at all times anyway—Briain starts apologizing to David for being constantly underfoot and assures him he’ll move out as soon as he can find his own place. David tells him there’s no rush, but just then a sour-faced Pádraig makes a show out of squeezing past and shooting daggers at them both, so it seems he’s not happy about the new living arrangements. There’s only room for one interloper in that house, no matter how newly gay Briain claims to be. At this, David gives Briain some friendly advice on how to get along with the more persnickety residents of the house, such as putting the milk back in the fridge after he’s done drinking it straight out of the carton and also flushing the bog after doing his filthy, filthy business. 

Just then a passing Berni inserts herself into the conversation, wearing one of the elaborate “as seen on the Titanic” hats she and Caitríona are so fond of, but it quickly becomes clear that David is totally pissed off at her for chucking his poor cousin or nephew Briain out on the street. He stomps off in a huff, and Briain remarks that Berni’s brilliant Operation: Gay plan isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. Everybody who thought this plan had any chance of succeeding whatsoever, raise your hand. Berni purses her lips and says it’ll continue being a mess as long as he’s living at David and Gráinne’s, hmph!, so it seems she’s not going to be satisfied until she’s literally got him living in a dumpster. He tries to tell her that he’s not comfortable with all this lying, but she interrupts to volunteer brightly that she’ll look through the “to let” section of the paper to see if there are any rentals going in the area. Great, that’ll save him eleven seconds. He shouts that she’s not even listening to him and storms off, leaving her and her 1920s Olympic swim cap looking confused.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

And the Bells Are Ringing Out for Christmas Gay

Season 22, Episode 32
First aired December 21, 2017

Aaand we’re back! As you may or may not have noticed, depending on how invested you are in my nonsense, Ros na Recaps has been on vacation for a few weeks, during which I actually went to Ros na Rún! No, seriously, I went to Spiddal and visited the studio/set in real life, not in a dream sequence resulting from mixing Ambien and Bailey’s. I’ll be posting a report on my day in Ros na Rún in a bit, but for now, things have gone completely mental while I’ve been away, so let’s get right to it!

We open at the front door of the B&B, where Niall, about whom we have been having ambivalent feelings lately, has come to hand-deliver a document to Fia. We know it’s important because it’s in a plain brown envelope, like your dad’s Playboy magazine circa 1983. She asks him what it is, but he only tells her she’s got his number if she has any questions about it and then goes away. She opens it and then makes a face that indicates vague surprise, or perhaps wind, and it looks like she, like us, wishes the show would hurry up and make it clear how we’re supposed to feel about Niall already so we can get on with feeling it.

At the shop, Adam is complaining to Vince that the life of a liberated gay twenty-something is an exhausting one, what with being up until 5am every morning dancing to the Game of Thrones theme tune or whatever the gays are dancing to these days. Anyway, the all-night dance party is the reason he’s dragging his ass this morning, but Vince is more interested in the fact that one of the cases of wine that was delivered yesterday seems to have disappeared. When quizzed on whether he might know anything about this, Adam is evasive in a way that actually looks pretty guilty, although because we find ourselves rooting for him these days, we would prefer to imagine that Annette, who is an infamous thieving thief who thieves, stole the wine for her six to eight children. Adam wanders off noncommittally, and Vince looks sternly at the greeting card rack, wondering if there’s one that says “Sorry for Firing You at Christmas” in, like, a manly way.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ros na Rún Recaps on Vacation

Hi all! I’ll be traveling over the next couple of weeks and won’t be able to recap, so look for new recaps and other new Ros na Rún-related content resuming the week of Dec 26!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Give Us This Day Our Daly Dread

Season 22, Episode 26
First aired 30 November 2017

This will be my last recap until after Christmas, because I’m heading off to Europe for a couple of weeks. I’ll return after the holidays with a recaplet of what we missed, and should have lots of all-new Ros na Rún content to share with you as well!

We open at the B&B, where Niall and Fia are busily kissing Vanessa’s ass, because they feel guilty about having slept together three years ago and because they figure she will be finding out about it soon, and they each want to be the one who has a chance of fleeing while the other is being murdered. Of course Vanessa is eating this up, and trots off happily to the day at Loinnir Niall has booked for her. Loinnir: When You Care Enough To Give The Bare Minimum™. Once she’s gone, Niall and Fia breathe a sigh of relief because they are both still alive and also because it will give them a chance to fight some more. She says she’s on her way to the café to have a word with blackmailing creep Pól, and he points out that none of this would’ve happened if she hadn’t opened her big mouth. She swears she didn’t tell Pól anything, and then they argue for a while about who told whose boyfriend what and who got pregnant by whose mother’s husband, and eventually he warns her that if she doesn’t sort things out, Pól is going to ruin both their lives. She tells him to leave it to her as she’s sure Pól will listen to her, since he’s always shown himself to be reasonable, considerate, and dependable in the past. I mean, remember that time he shared those pills he found on the ground with her?

We see someone pulling a suitcase down the street, and it turns out to be…Katy! It would’ve been more of a surprise to see her if her presence in the new opening credits hadn’t made it clear that she would be back eventually, but still. She barely recognizes the place, what with all the new high-rise buildings and the fresh coat of paint on the plastic ice cream cone outside the shop, but her apprehensive looking around and the fact that Jason is not there raises one giant question for us all, which is: How quickly can Dee arrive and start fighting with her?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pic Your Poison

Season 22, Episode 25
First aired 28 November 2017

We begin in the B&B kitchen, where Niall is eating his fingers off while looking at photos of Liam Óg and trying to figure out if he looks like him, but Fia, who will we charitably say looks like she’s been having a rough time of it, keeps insisting that Liam Óg’s father is Danny, a.k.a. Ganja. She asks him to knock off this line of questioning, and when he asks how he can be sure he’s not the baby’s father, she replies that, as she’s already told him, it’s just not possible that he’s Liam Óg’s father. Well, I’m convinced. When he points out that this is a completely stupid non-explanation, she makes up some nonsense about having been on the pill when they slept together and then getting pregnant on the plane between Australia and Ireland or whatever. She was trying to press the flight attendant call button to ask for a ginger ale, but she accidentally pressed the “unintended pregnancy” button instead. He says he supposes he believes this story, which of course means he realizes it’s a complete load of crap, but is going to convince himself it’s true because he does not want to ruin his figure by having a baby right now.

Over at Mo’s place, which is apparently Mo and Colm’s place already, they’re giggling and carrying on about the loud, acrobatic sex they spent all night having up against the window, which overlooks a daycare center. He is a terrible influence on her. She asks him to pull a sickie so they can stay home and have sex in the kitchen sink all day, but he says he has a big day of doing whatever it is he does ahead of him and besides, his equipment is worn down to a nub right now. They’re unappealing for a while, but I suppose if having him back stops Mo moping around like she’s been doing all season, it’s worth it. Possibly. Also, I think Uncle Peatsaí died.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Daddy Issues

Season 22, Episode 24
First aired 23 November 2017

We open on the stationery, cat food, and garden hose aisle of the shop, where Gráinne peeks over Mo’s shoulder and sees she’s obsessively looking at photos of herself and Colm on her phone. You know: Mo and Colm having an argument on a boat; Mo watching Colm launder money in Lanzarote; Mo and Colm being held hostage in a shed. All the usual Instagram stuff. They talk about whether Mo is over Colm yet for a bit (spoiler: no) and then agree to meet for lunch to discuss it further. Mo suggests Gaudi, because of course she does not want to eat a disgusting frozen sandwich out of a plastic box in the place where she works, but Gráinne insists on Tigh Thaidhg because it’s “close to Loinnir.” I wasn’t aware Gaudi was an exhausting slog from the salon requiring pack mules and Sherpas, but OK. A nearby Mack invites himself to join them, but when they point out that this is a girls’ gossip session, he announces he’s going to send Dee in his place, which gives Brídín Nic Dhonncha an excellent opportunity to remind us that she makes the best facial expressions on TV, in this case: “Ehhhhh……” Gráinne, who suddenly has access to Dee’s Google Calendar, tells him she’s pretty sure Dee is busy at lunchtime, but he assures her that he’ll make it work, so she and Mo mutter an unenthusiastic “Iontach” in unison. I’m not sure how to punctuate that to convey their lack of excitement, but if there’s an opposite of an exclamation mark, imagine that.

Vanessa pushes Liam Óg into the B&B kitchen in his stroller and she and Niall flirt with each other for a while about how GILFy they both are. Of course in this case Niall is also DILFy, but neither of them knows this yet. He points out that he’s not technically a grandfather yet, which is truer than he knows, and just as Vanessa is about to hand Liam Óg to Niall to hold, Fia comes hurtling through the doorway so fast her feet don’t touch the floor. She somehow makes a U-turn in midair and goes flying back through the door pushing the stroller, announcing that she needs to go change Liam Óg’s diaper in, umm, Portugal. After she vanishes, Vanessa gives Niall a “Kids! Who’d have ‘em?” look, and he puffs air ambiguously through his cheeks.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Dial N for Niall

Season 22, Episode 23
First aired 21 November 2017

We start out in the street, where Mack’s giddy mood is dampened by Dee’s arrival, as usual. He tells her he’s just gotten off the phone with a very very dear old friend of his from childhood, who’s arriving for a visit today. Gee, I wonder if this has anything to do with Vanessa’s casual revelation last episode that her husband Niall, who is also Fia’s babydaddy, just happens to be a very very dear old friend of Mack’s. Dee asks why this guy wasn’t at the wedding to watch everybody having a fistfight with everybody after enjoying their choice of chicken or fish, but Mack explains that this friend has been “away” for many years. “Away” is what my late grandmother always called it when one of my cousins was in jail—“Joe won’t be at Christmas again this year because he’s away”—but in this case “away” means Australia, which I suppose is basically the same thing.

At the pub, Caitríona innocently announces, apropos of nothing other than the fact that Mo is standing there and this will get a reaction out of her, that Colm seems to be getting on well in his new job. This is Mo’s cue to freak out and pour coffee in Caitríona’s purse, which still makes her the best service-industry employee in town. Once the mess is cleaned up, using what I’m sure is the same rag Bobbi-Lee uses to wipe the toilets, Caitríona explains that Colm is working just up the road in Galway as a financial advisor. Just the other day I read that hiring in Ireland’s money-laundering sector increased this year for the first time since the Celtic Tiger, so this makes sense. Satisfied that she’s stirred up trouble, Caitríona wanders off, and when Mo goes to have one of her nervous breakdowns in the corner, Tadhg follows her and tells her she needs to a) forget about that blackguard Colm and b) get her act together, because she’s been as useless as Bobbi-Lee around here lately. She tells him to mind his own business and leaves to take her third break of the morning, which means her transformation into Bobbi-Lee is complete.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

All Right, Frances Has Officially Had Enough of Your Nonsense

Season 22, Episode 22
First aired 16 November 2017

It’s the 22nd episode of the 22nd season, which probably means you are supposed to send me a gift, but I’m too busy being terrified by the robot elf in the eir commercial that screams “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” and then threatens to kill everyone that I can’t think about it right now. We open at Berni’s, where she and Briain share some light awkwardness before Evan swings through to tell Briain about some dumb friend of theirs who couldn’t get into a sex club because he looked too young or something. I think the point of this is to remind us that Evan and Briain are young and stupid, whereas Berni is a vine-ripened lemon. Evan leaves, and then Briain grabs her hand and informs her that she may not know it, but she enjoyed it when he kissed her last night. She seems aroused by washing the dishes, and he is 24 so he is aroused by everything, but finally she tells him nothing can ever happen between them and it’s best if he moves out. He can’t believe what he’s hearing, I guess because no one has ever been able to resist his hunkitude before, and it’s also worth noting that he looks so much better today in a shirt that actually fits him than in all the child’s football jerseys they’ve been squeezing him into lately. Oh, also he seems sad about whatever is happening here.

At Maggie’s, Gráinne has dropped by to deliver some coupons for 20% off face removals at the salon, which she’s the new manager of since Caitríona is now off staring into space and Googling her own name all day at the radio station. Of course Tadhg is there and stands very still in hopes Gráinne won’t be able to see him, but because she is not a mountain lion, she spots him immediately. Fortunately for him, though, she has no curiosity about what he’s doing there because she could not possibly be less interested in him and his antics. She’s more interested in the fact that Maggie has just had a load of turf delivered, and warns her to be careful who she buys it from, because apparently someone’s been stealing it from her good friend Coílí Jackie, who I always think is called Coinín Jackie. You may recall that he’s the town lunatic who gave Gráinne the gun everybody got shot with at the end of last season, and whose dog Pól poisoned, and who kept getting into fistfights with Uncle Pest. Now that we’ve run through Coinín Jackie’s CV, which is much more impressive than Fia’s that we heard about every day for 3 weeks, Tadhg decides he’s had enough pleasantries and puts on his jacket to go, so Gráinne volunteers him to give her a lift back to town, and you can tell he’s trying to impress Maggie with his charm because he agrees to do so rather than calling Gráinne a bloody hippie and pointing out that she’s got feckin’ legs as he normally would.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Radio Ga Ga

Season 22, Episode 21
First aired 14 November 2017

We open this fun episode at the community center, where Evan is wearing a suit because he is an expert in radio station human resources now. To refresh your memory, this happened because Frances needed a third warm body to serve on the interviewing committee to vex Muireann, and while I’m not sure this is a compelling reason for Evan to be there, I’m in favor of anything that annoys Muireann, so I’ll allow it. Berni arrives for yoga class dressed from head to toe in sherbet colors, but then Briain also shows up because of his intense interest in yogurt or whatever, so she and her ponytail suddenly remember that they left the house on fire and flee.

At the B&B, Vanessa is on the phone with Niall, whose extremely sick/elderly/imaginary mother in Donegal has come down with a case of something that elicits sad tsk-ing and At least you’re there with hers. Having listened to him talk about his mother’s case of root fungus as long as she can, she tells him she wants to talk to him about Fia, and after he finishes having diarrhea, she adds that it’s very important. My guess is that it’s about which of them has to go get a job so they can make this year’s Take Your Daughter To Work Day the best one ever.

Labhrás arrives for his interview and seems about 40 percent aware of what’s going on, which is pretty good for him. He’s surprised that someone has hung a necktie on the station’s transmission tower, but once it starts talking he realizes it’s actually Evan, who is very, very tall. Muireann arrives for more of her usual moustache-twirling scheming, and also what appears to be flirting and batting her hair at Labhrás, which is unpleasant for everyone except him. She’s all, “Ooh, Labhrás, why so formal? Call me Celine Dion!” and suggests they get together later to celebrate the new job he is obvs going to get, and maybe while they’re there, they can discuss ways in which she can use him to do her evil bidding like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. He thinks this all sounds go halainn, but the rest of us are pretty sure it sounds go away, Muireann.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bobbi-Lee's Day Off

Season 22, Episode 20
First aired 9 November 2017

Everything you watch on the TG4 Player now begins with an advert in which a terrifying robot elf whose face has melted off screams at you, sends you on an LSD trip, and then offers to sell you an eir prepaid phone that only shows Keeping up with the Kardashians. Jesus, I forgot what I was even trying to watch after sitting through that nightmare.

Anyway, it seems what I was trying to watch was Ros na Rún, which opens with Bobbi-Lee making a big production out of sneaking out of Briain’s bedroom in her sexy nightie as loudly and disruptively as possible, shouting that it’s OK because they won’t get caught. Of course Berni is standing right there, as Bobbi-Lee knows full well or she wouldn’t be doing it. She turns in an Oscar-worthy performance of “Oh, Berni! I didn’t see you there!”, combined with, “Umm, yes, I was coming out of Briain’s bedroom and might be pregnant now.” Berni falls for this and swallows her tongue, and it seems it’s going to be One Of Those Days here at Thelma and Louise’s house.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Bloody Hell

Season 22, Episode 19
First aired 7 November 2017

Halloween rages on for a second week, like Hanukkah. We open at Maggie’s, where she moves her new/old engagement ring from her left ring finger to her right, and when Tadhg squawks about it, she explains that it’s a secret for just the two of them right now. And, as soon as Tadhg leaves, Maggie’s 8 million Instagram followers. A quick cut to the squat shows Pól returning from his volunteer work at the elderly orphans’ home or wherever, and he finds Fia on the floor unconscious, so he starts screaming at her to wake up and shakes her a lot while looking crazed. This is what happens when you allow your life to turn into a Velvet Underground record.

Over at the B&B, Máire is saying that prayer about our father Art who is in heaven, Halloween be his name. She really does have a prayer for all seasons. Evan arrives and tells her he finally got Liam Óg to fall asleep after reading him three stories: Little Miss Neglected, Paddington Bear Goes to the Methadone Clinic, and The Cat in the Hat Meets Janis Joplin. As a librarian, I know the importance of tailoring a child’s reading material to his or her own life experiences. Máire frets for a while and then they agree that there’s nothing they can do at this point but wait for Fia to come home of her own accord, or to leave a new baby on their doorstep. Máire announces she’s going to bed, and Evan says he’s going back out to search the greater Europe area for Fia one more time. So much for waiting for her to come home of her own accord.  

Back at Maggie’s, where she’s coughing occasionally for effect, there’s frantic just-out-of-prison knocking at the door. Oh, I hope it’s David delivering last week’s mail. Tadhg gets his punching arm warmed up as he goes to open the door, and then Pól bursts in and looks surprised to find these two in this mystery house, which is apparently the closest neighbor to Suzanne’s Holiday House of Horrors. This is quite a neighborhood. He yells that his friend needs help, and Maggie starts out the door despite the fact that she’s in her bathrobe, but Tadhg yells that Pól is a knob and can go get help somewhere else. Maggie, however, remembers her Girl Guides training (“Make sure as many people see you in your bathrobe as possible”) and announces she’s going to help Pól and his alleged friend whether Tadhg likes it or not.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Back to Blackout

Season 22, Episode 18
First aired 2 November 2017

We open at Maggie’s funeral, where Bobbi-Lee leans over and whispers to Mo, “Well, that was a lot of buildup for not much payoff.” No, no: it’s still Halloween, which makes sense, because otherwise costume and makeup would’ve blown a lot of money on stuff we saw for five minutes in one episode. The town is still having a blackout, like the ones Fia keeps having where she wakes up working the till at a KFC in Derry and doesn’t know how she got there. Tadhg seems happy because this means his power bill will be lower this month, so he tells Mo to plunk down a few candles and muses that the customers can still find their mouths in the dark. Dee wanders past, and Mo tells her how great her scary tale was, awarding her the prize for the best story of the night. Dee beams, and hopefully this is the end of the “Dee is an outcast” storyline, which started out comically but then went terribly wrong when all our favorite characters turned into Mean Girls.

Áine, who makes a much more compelling pirate than Johnny Depp ever did, appears behind the bar waving her sword around and explains to Frances that she is, and I quote, “Getting ready to rob and kill people.” So, it’s basically a normal Tuesday night for our Áine. Amusingly, Frances declares this go hálainn, and then tells Tadhg she’s heard that the power is out all over Ros na Rún. This is what happens when you put Bobbi-Lee in charge of paying the town’s bills. Áine worries about poor Maggie all alone in the dark, and Frances thinks they should ring to check on her, but Tadhg assures them that she’ll be fine on her own, what with her being a semi-American and therefore heavily armed at all times.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Nightmare on Maggie Street

Season 22, Episode 17
First aired 31 October 2017

We open on a dark street to the sounds of children screaming, not at the sight of Labhrás and Muireann as you’d expect, but because it’s Halloween. Evan arrives at the B&B to find Máire alone at the table, praying and crossing herself furiously, and when he asks what’s wrong, she cries that Fia is out of control. On the plus side, Liam Óg isn’t crying in the background for the first time all season, so maybe Fia needs to have chemsex with Pól and then slap Máire more often.

We have a quick glance at the squat, where Pól is dead to the world, unfortunately not literally, but Fia is wide awake, or at least in an upright stupor, and looks distraught. Back at the B&B, Evan is ranting that he can’t believe Fia hit Máire, and additionally announces that Fia is a bitch. I can’t decide whether “bhitseach” sounds better or worse than “bitch.” Máire quickly adds that she thinks it was an accident—the hitting, not the being a bitch—and is more upset about the fact that Fia’s “spending time” in the biblical sense with famous hoodlum and sleazecopter Pól. She reminds us of all the yucky things Pól has done, including getting in the knife fight with Áine, burning down an Teaghlach, and the time he forced his way into the B&B and threatened her, which we had forgotten about. Pól’s CV is much more impressive than Fia’s. Furthermore, she adds, the squat is nasty, and needs to be on one of those BBC2 shows like The Cleaners v. an Edwardian Toilet That Has Never Been Flushed, Let Alone Scrubbed. Evan storms out and informs her that he’s going to bring Fia home, which is easy for him to say since he does not actually live here and can just deposit her here to fight with Máire some more and then bog off home.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Mommies on the Bus Go "Puff, Puff, Puff"

Season 22, Episode 16
First aired 26 October 2017

All hell breaks loose this episode, so let’s get to it! It’s a lovely sunny day, but Fia can’t enjoy it because she’s pushing a stroller down the street that unfortunately for her has Liam Óg in it. He’s crying and whining, “Waaaaaah, Mommy! Mommy! Buh, huh, huh, AIEEEEEEEE!” and that sound, plus Fia’s downtrodden demeanor, is the best advertisement for not having unprotected sex with your mother’s boyfriend of all time. She pushes him into the community center, which now has dueling signs by the door, one for the daycare center (in Precocious Crayon font) and one for the radio station (in Millennial Anarchist Who Also Likes Ed Sheeran font). She looks torn by the signs, because on one hand, the opportunity to deposit her screaming toddler in a holding facility is her salvation, but on the other, Amy was a complete wagon to her about the stupid radio station, which we still suspect will be a front for Muireann/Celine Dion to launder some money or traffic some humans.

At her kitchen table, poor Gráinne is once again clutching and stroking the baby outfit with the sun on it from several weeks ago. For her own sake, maybe she needs the Brigid’s cross to fly off the wall and knock it out of her hands.

Meanwhile, at her own kitchen table, Maggie is once again playing with the pages of the book Tadhg gave her back in 1768, 1868, or 1968, and sighing a lot and making ambiguous faces. Her table is covered in about 14 different layers of what appears to be embroidered lace and would win the gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Ireland’s Doiliest Doily contest. As far as I’m concerned, the only people in the world who should be allowed to possess this much lace are Victorian ladies and Stevie Nicks, and to my knowledge, Maggie is not either of those.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Please Mr. Postman

Season 22, Episode 15
First aired 24 October 2017

Jaunty music plays as we open to find Tadhg dancing around the pub with a broom, which is less like the dancing brooms in Fantasia than you might imagine. It’s quite disorienting to see him smiling and happy because, you know, Tadhg. We cut to Maggie’s, where she is also sweeping the floor, what with the official sport of Ros na Rún being drudgery. The same happy music is playing over there, and it’s unclear whether we are supposed to imagine it’s coming from a radio (surely not Micheál’s imaginary station!) or we’re all suffering a mass hallucination or what. Anyway, Maggie finds Tadhg’s watch where he hid it on her windowsill last episode, and she gives a gravely ambiguous look, which is of course the official facial expression of Ros na Rún.

Over at David and Gráinne’s, which today is more like the Love Shack, he’s trying to have sex with her at, in, or on the kitchen sink, but in spite of his raging libido and freshly starched pajamas, she’s decided that everybody needs to keep it in their pants right now. She consents to a little light eating each other’s faces off, and then he once again tries to migrate things to the bedroom, or possibly to Pádraig’s bedroom, where they will spread all his clothes on the floor and do it on top of them. Fortunately for all of us, and mostly for Pádraig, she reminds him that she can’t right now, because she’s got to go to the salon. It’s unclear whether she is actually going in or if this is another one of her pretend days at work, but either way, they will not be sexing each other up right now. He’s disappointed, but then when the blood starts returning to his brain, he panics: he’s forgotten to go to work! It seems David’s latest career is going to be just as glorious as all the earlier ones.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

8 Questions with ... Production Manager Louise Richardson

In my Ros na Rún Q&As I've been working hard to talk to people who work on the show in various ways to give a well-rounded idea of what it takes to bring it to life and to our TV screens. Today's Q&A is with one of the people at the center of keeping the production running and making sure everything comes together like it's supposed to: production manager Louise Richardson! Here she tells us about all the plates that have to be kept spinning to produce the show, how Ros na Rún is a family business for her, and why she thinks Tadhg and Caitríona would be good bosses!

(Louise with her aunts)

What do you do as the production manager at Ros na Rún and what is a typical day like?

My main role as Production Manager is to look after the day-to-day running of the production so that it all runs as smoothly as possible. We work at such a fast pace that it’s important to keep things on track. I put together the production schedule for the season so that everyone knows what we’re filming and when and also what transmission dates the episodes have.

I make sure we have all our crew for the season. I attend meetings with the scripting department, liaise with the editors regarding episode deliveries, and generally deal with the production staff.

I’m not sure that any two days are ever the same at Ros na Rún! But that’s what makes it so enjoyable.

What was the career path that led you to Ros na Rún and what are some of the other jobs you’ve had?

I’ve actually always wanted to work in Ros na Rún, ever since I was 15 and I did a week’s work experience as part of that school year. I fell in love with it instantly. I like to believe it’s in my blood as three of my aunts and my uncle (all siblings) have worked or still do in Ros na Rún. The current series producer is my aunt Déirdre Ní Fhlatharta. Her sister Kate Ní Fhlatharta is one of our senior script writers. Their other sister Marguerite Ní Fhlatharta is the props buyer and my uncle Michils has done carpentry work with us too!!! My mother, Bernie Ní Fhlatharta is also in the media (a journalist), so it seems like I was destined to follow in their footsteps.

I came to Ros na Rún shortly after finishing college. I applied back in 2008 when they were looking for crew and ended up being hired as the production secretary. I did that for a year and then was trained to be a stage manager for the following season. After a year of that, there came an opening as a floor manager, so I got the opportunity to train as that and continued in that role for 4 seasons. After that I took the role as production coordinator, which in Ros na Rún meant I was responsible for putting the shooting schedule together every week. That was a tough role, let me tell you! And now here I am as production manager.

Ros na Rún has a longstanding reputation for training and I feel like I’m a prime example of the benefits of that training.

What do you think people would be most surprised to know about making Ros na Rún?

I know other people who’ve done your Q&A’s may have already answered with the same thing, but the amount of work that goes into it! Or how far ahead we are. We’re just finishing up our Christmas episodes even though it’s mid-October. We’ve also already storylined the first 18 episodes for Season 23, which begins filming in August 2018.

How many people are involved in making the show? 

There’s about 160 people employed with us throughout the year. The majority of our crew, and our actors, only work for the six months we’re filming. We have a huge scripting department and story team who work non-stop (we chain them to the desks!) throughout the year to come up with all our amazing stories.

That’s a joke about the chaining to desks of course….

Do you have a funny/weird/interesting anecdote about working on Ros na Rún you’d be willing to share with us?

What happens on set stays on set!! I joke. I’ll always remember, I wasn’t long working in Ros na Rún we were filming and Eoin Mac Diarmada who played Donncha, Vince’s son, was filming the scene of his own funeral. He was laying in the coffin and just after the scene began he sat up and let out a roar which scared the life out of everyone as they weren’t obviously expecting it! It was very funny!

Which Ros na Rún character would you most want as your boss and which would you least want as your boss — and why?

I think I would like Tadhg as a boss. He’s a hard nut to crack but I think if you managed to work for him you could work for anyone…just don’t get on his bad side.

If I was the type of person who didn’t want to do a whole lot of work, then I think I’d like Caitríona as a boss. She’s usually too preoccupied with her own life to notice if anyone is actually doing any work!

Not including Ros na Rún, if you could work on *any* TV show, which one would you want to work on and why?

I’d love to work on a crime drama I think….I’m a little obsessed with Criminal Minds and Law & Order. I used to want to be a lawyer, so that’s probably why! That said, our crew are all such close friends that I’m sure I would miss them (#clannrosnarún).

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and what would you be doing?

I would be on some sunny island by the pool with a cocktail in one hand and a good thriller novel in the other! But I’ll have to wait until we stop filming in February for that. I consider myself extremely lucky to be in involved in this industry and getting an opportunity to learn new skills everyday by being surrounded by really talented people.

(Louise, in purple at right)

And there you have it! Thanks to Louise for this fun and interesting look at her work on the show and for revealing more of what goes on behind the scenes at Ros na Rún. I thank her for her time and efforts! Stay tuned for more Ros na Rún Q&As, and if you're a part of team Ros na Rún who'd like to be the subject of a future Q&A, please contact me. I'd love to feature you!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Once Upon A Tadhg

Season 22, Episode 14
First aired 19 October 2017

It’s morning, and Gráinne is in her kitchen doing a tarot card reading on herself. Is that allowed? She’s very excited because she draws The River, which she announces is a good sign and means something about opportunity. David is happy that she’s happy, but is also wary and warns her not to take “those cards” too seriously. Either he’s worried she’ll be disappointed when she does not actually win a cruise down a scenic medieval river as pictured on the card or he thinks tarot cards are sacrilegious graven images and pagan idolatry that will cause Zeus to come smite them. He leaves, and then Pádraig, who is wearing an utterly gorgeous GQ jacket/shirt combo complete with elbow patches and a pocket square so chic it would make Tom Ford weep, asks Gráinne what exactly The River means. I should note that Gráinne is standing beside this vision of sartorial splendor wearing an aqua terrycloth bathrobe and fuchsia character turban, which suggests that one of them drew the High Fashion card this morning, and it wasn’t her. Anyway, she explains that The River means “fruitfulness and abundance, and miracles, of course,” which I am interpreting to mean she will stumble across an all-you-can-eat pineapple buffet even though pineapples are NOT IN SEASON. She sighs happily, looks meaningfully at the Brigid’s cross, and then grabs a bag of cotton balls and heads off to the bathroom. It looks like she’s having a slumber party and Pádraig did not get the memo about the dress code.

At the pub, Breadgate continues, with Bobbi-Lee demonstrating that the new slices can be used to hammer in nails and sand down the bar for varnishing. She asks again about the possibility of Maggie resuming her bread delivery, which is only kind of a euphemism, and Tadhg pretends not to know who Maggie is and then tells her to shut up and set out the feckin’ bread. There’s a bit of confusion in which Tadhg thinks Mo and Bobbi-Lee are talking about how he’s clearly missing Maggie and should go up to see her, when in fact they are of course talking about Frances. It’s important to be able to correctly identify the woman who is about to kill you, especially when she’s your wife. Máire arrives, and of course she’s once again looking after Liam Óg, who at this point spends more time in the pub than Bobbi-Lee does. She sidles up to Micheál and puts in a plug for Fia as the perfect radio employee he’s been looking for. Fia’s qualifications include dancing to the radio with her eyes closed while off her head on mystery pills and also being able to spell “radio” with 70 percent accuracy. He can’t seem to find her CV in the pile of applications FOR SOME REASON, but Máire assures him he’ll be receiving it soon, because Fia stayed “at a friend’s house last night so she could work on it.” Oh, dear. Further down the bar, Mo, who may or may not be working, is playing on her phone and is shocked to discover on Facebook that Katy and Jason just got married! She asks Tadhg why he didn’t tell anyone, and it’s clear from his reaction it’s because they didn’t bother informing him. To be fair, maybe they tried calling him, but there’s no mobile coverage deep in Maggie’s hedges.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Stairway to Evan

Season 22, Episode 13
First aired 17 October 2017

We open at Stately Gráinne Manor, where David has just learned that he got the job as Ros na Rún’s new postman. He cautions her that it’s only a short-term contract, which means he will be sacked the first day when he panics and throws all the mail down a sewer, but Gráinne is happy for him, presumably because it will involve him leaving the house sometimes, and because we have no idea how they’ve been paying the bills since June. Residual seaweed income, I guess. They discuss how today is her first day back at work, and parenthetically what a pain in the ass Caitríona is, but when David leaves the house, Gráinne picks up the phone and rings her to say she won’t be in today. Well, that was a short-lived comeback.

Over at the B&B, which Evan only visits when he wants to whinge endlessly about Fia, he’s, well, whingeing endlessly about Fia. Máire is today’s unfortunate audience, and his complaint is a two-headed snake involving a) how irresponsible Fia is and b) how it’s all very inconvenient and upsetting to him. Fia and her hangover lurch into the kitchen, which is Evan’s cue to be loud and snotty, and while I’m sure dealing with her has not been easy lately, I don’t think his being a complete tool about it all the time is the best way to improve the situation. Fia ignores him for a while until she can’t take it anymore and then puts him in his place with a one-sentence verbal smackdown, but he’s too high up on his soapbox to realize what’s going on. Máire encourages Fia to go upstairs and take a nice hot shower, which we are going to hope is to sober her up rather than because she smells bad, and Evan just sits there sulking. I like Evan, but the saintly prig act he’s learned from his mother isn’t the best color on him.

Monday, October 16, 2017

24-Hour Party Fia

Season 22, Episode 12
First aired 12 October 2017

We open with suspiciously hunky Briain skulking out of John Joe’s house in a manner that screams, “HELLO! NOTHING SUSPICIOUS IS HAPPENING HERE, THAT’S FOR SURE! HA HA!” And speaking of suspicious, we pan down the block for the return of last season’s teen tearaway Pól, who you may recall was last seen being hauled out of the pub in handcuffs after Mo knocked him unconscious with a hurley. Other items on Pól’s CV include poisoning a dog, getting in a knife fight with Áine, and beating up David in Recycle Pod Park. And it just so happens that, as he’s making a big production out of throwing his trash on the ground, he runs into David and Gráinne in Recycle Pod Park, to which they have come to recycle their hopes and dreams. The three of them get in an argument that goes exactly the way you’d expect: David asks Pól what he’s doing there; Pól snots that he has as much right to be there as anyone else, being gross to Gráinne in the process; David tells him to watch it; Gráinne grabs David’s arm and says, “Let’s go! He’s not worth it!” Oh, and Pól notes that he heard David got fired from his job, which he declares shocking given what a great job David has done helping yobs like him turn their lives around. Well, to be fair, under David’s direction the An Teaghlach kids did learn valuable new skills like kidnapping, arson, and poitín appreciation.

At the pub, Tadhg and Mo are arguing about nothing. This is what happens when Bobbi-Lee isn’t there to attract their ire: they turn on each other. He disappears upstairs and then Maggie arrives looking for him, for TOTALLY INNOCENT REASONS we’re sure. During their conversation Mo accidentally reveals that a) Frances is out of town and b) Tadhg lied last night when he said he couldn’t come evaluate Maggie’s melons because the pub was packed. Mo reveals that in fact the pub was completely dead, just like Tadhg is going to be when Frances finds out what’s going on here, and Maggie looks stricken and leaves.

At the shop, Mack happens to mention to Evan and Briain, the Senior All-Ireland Twister squad, that he’s on his way to pick up John Joe at the airport. This gives Briain instant diarrhea face, because given John Joe’s laser-focused powers of deduction, he knows he can only continue living there two or three more weeks before John Joe remembers he is not supposed to be there. Maybe he can buy himself another couple of months by putting on a Donegal accent and looking aggrieved all the time to convince John Joe he is actually Colm.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Daytime Drinking, with Your Host Fia Ní Chonghaile

Season 22, Episode 11
First aired 10 October 2017

We open in the B&B kitchen, where Máire tries to tempt a depressed Fia with a pamphlet advertising the lame course offerings at the community center, as if Micheál teaching shorthand or Labhrás teaching roller disco is equivalent to a fashion course in London. To really shove it up Fia’s ass sideways, Máire has made sure to let Liam Óg scribble all over it with a crayon before giving it to her. Nice. Fia looks through it, and when she states matter-of-factly that she’s not interested in Mack’s 17th-Century Continental Philosophy course or Áine’s car-theft seminar, Máire tut-tuts that there’s no pleasing her. Fia ignores a Skype request from Vanessa just as an annoyed Evan arrives and says he wants to have a word with her, but she JUST. CANNOT. with him right now and breezes past him, saying she’s got to go water and repot Liam Óg.

At the pub, Tadhg harasses Mo about her looking miserable all the time. There’s only one person who’s allowed to scare off the punters by glaring at them, and that’s him. Bobbi-Lee is, however, allowed to scare them off by offering to show them her back catalog. Mo’s in a strop because she’s hung over from last night’s party at Dee and Mack’s, which suggests it got a lot better after we left it, because it looked pretty damn sad last time we checked in on it. Frances arrives for more of this season’s ongoing discussion of Tadhg’s poor eating habits, and takes away the terrible-looking doughnut he’s bought himself and gives it to Mo. I don’t know why Frances is so concerned about his diet, because given the way this season is going, it’s much more likely he’ll be killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, or by her when she finds out what’s going on with Maggie. Speaking of, Tadhg mentions that he ran into Maggie outside, by which we assume he means that rock by the ocean she always sits on, and after pretending that he doesn’t know her name and barely remembers who she is, he tells Frances she had a long list of gardening work for him to do. She tells him a little bit of hard work and a good airing out won’t hurt him, and besides, Maggie’s pistils aren’t going to pollinate themselves.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

8 Questions with ... Máirín de Buitléir

Ros na Rún features one of the best casts on television, and it keeps us entertained with a mixture of new characters and those who've been around since the beginning. Since her introduction in season 20, Dee Daly has been involved in some of the show's biggest and most explosive storylines, from her battles with her sister Katy to legal wrangling in the courtroom to her never-boring relationship with Mack. So I'm thrilled to share with you this interview with the woman who brings Dee to life herself: it's "8 Questions with ... Máirín de Buitléir!"

London Calling

Season 22, Episode 10
First aired 5 October 2017

We open at Berni’s, where Fia is awakened by her cellphone ringing. She sees that it’s from Máire and puts the phone back down, and it’s obvious she has a terrible hangover, like in that movie, Toy Story 2 The Hangover.

At Stately Gráinne Manor, she’s just received an invitation in the mail to attend a christening for her friend Emily’s baby or cactus or whatever. It’s in London, however, and only two weeks away. David tells her she should go if she wants to, but Gráinne protests that she doesn’t feel up for such a thing at the moment, and besides, they don’t have the money for her to bop off to London anyway. This is why I keep sending letters to Transport For London demanding they extend the Northern Line to Ros na Rún immediately. In related news, I am no longer allowed on the Underground. David agrees that they need to be saving money since they’ve got their own special day to think of, but at the mention of a wedding Gráinne freezes in her tracks, like they say you should do if you’re being attacked by a mugger, because they can only see you when you’re moving. It’s possible I may be thinking of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, not a mugger. Anyway, Gráinne freezes in her tracks, but unfortunately for her David is not a mugger or a Tyrannosaurus Rex, because he can still see her. She abruptly says that this isn’t the time to discuss a wedding because everything feels like a mess right now, so he makes comforting sounds and gives her a hug, but we can see in her eyes she’s not sure she believes his promises that he’s here to stay this time.

Back at Berni’s, she’s gotten out her extra-loud industrial vacuum cleaner, which sounds like it’s made from a souped-up 747 engine, and is hoovering Fia’s face. Fia sputters to life and groans about the noise, which is of course Berni’s cue to start up the “Oh, Sleeping Beauty awakes!” routine she’s been practicing in the mirror for the past 3 hours. She snots that when she arose from her crypt at the stroke of midnight last night, she found Fia passed out on her sofa, and then starts carrying on about how nice it must be to stay out partying all night with no cares about whether your baby is falling off a cliff somewhere. When she adds that Fia is also a bad influence on Evan, Fia responds that he’s perfectly capable of going out drinking without her assistance, and that Berni might try having a drink herself to see if it makes her less of a wagon. At this Berni says “gabh mo leathscéil?!?” in offended disbelief, which is of course her trademark line. It’s her “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” Fia says she has nothing more to say, which is no problem for Berni, who proclaims that she herself has plenty to say. Berni is a lot like Máire in that she can talk nonstop for 30 minutes before stopping for breath and realizing the person she was talking to left 29 minutes ago.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hurls Gone Wild

Season 22, Episode 9
First aired 3 October 2017

We open in a church, where David is praying for guidance on the whole “lighting Gráinne’s fire” issue. Well, in the US if your pilot light goes out, the gas company will come out and relight it for $75, so that might be an option here. He asks for the strength to do the right thing, and we’re not sure what he thinks that is, but we wish he would hurry up and do it, because watching him go around in circles is getting tiresome.

Over at the B&B, Fia is kissing Máire’s ass so furiously Máire can barely sit down. She quickly realizes Fia wants something, what with having met her and all, so Fia grins bashfully and giggles that she’s hoping Máire will babysit Liam Óg tonight so she can go out with Evan for a cider and perhaps some light bible study. Translation: “do shots off Briain’s abs all night and then throw up in a bush.” I think that’s in the Old Testament. Máire agrees, and Fia looks pleased with herself, because just last episode her mother was telling her via picture-Victrola that she should be more drunk and irresponsible.

At Stately Gráinne Manor, formerly known as the bachelor pad, David arrives home and tells her he’s been at the church. She asks him what he was doing there, and when he says he was praying, she seems vaguely disappointed, or maybe just bored. She had probably convinced herself there was going to be bingo in this story, and there’s no way to recover from that. He announces gravely that he’s decided to go home for a while, but is not taking his car for some reason, because he “won’t need it.” Kerry’s comprehensive subway system and plentiful hover-buses will get him everywhere he needs to go, we guess, or maybe he’s just planning on being too drunk to drive at all times. Gráinne is basically like, “WTF?”, so he informs her that she needs some space and time to get her head around things. Yes, clearly Gráinne and her poor coping skills are the problem here. He proclaims that this is what’s best for both of them, and then leaves her standing there in annoyed disbelief as he heads off to the bedroom to pack his various karate uniforms for the trip. This time of year is hard because you never know whether you’ll need your light cotton one or your insulated wool one with the attached mittens.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Quaint by Numbers

Season 22, Episode 8
First aired 28 September 2017

This is my 100th Ros na Rún recap, apparently! Although I didn’t count them, so in case that turns out to not be strictly true, let me remind you that we have a firm no-refund policy here, just like at Tigh Thaidhg, where all sales are final even if you find no carrots in your carrot soup or a tooth in your beer.

We open at Gaudi, where Gráinne is trying to talk to David about carbon monoxide alarms, as one does, but he is not interested for some reason in spite of her convincing graphs and flip charts. It seems this season is sponsored by the carbon monoxide lobby, or, as we call them in America, Big Carbon Monoxide. At the conclusion of her PowerPoint presentation, she asks him if she should go buy an alarm, and he’s like, “Yes, yes, your hair looks very pretty today,” because, as he eventually admits, he’s been paying no attention and didn’t sleep any last night. Gráinne says she didn’t sleep either, and was also barely paying attention to whatever she was talking about, but tells him they have to remain positive because, as Bobbi-Lee says, “You can always have more babies.” Also, “Tough luck, honey, I’m here now.” She really is the Confucius of our age. Mack stops by, and Gráinne tells him she’s worried that Mo’s not getting on as well as she’s letting on. Her first clue was Uncle Peatsaí’s report that Mo keeps chasing him around the house with a shovel as part of her night terrors. Mack says he’ll go check on her, and Gráinne assures him that with the support of family and friends Mo will be good as new, just like the support David has been giving her. For example, right now, when instead of listening to her, he is busy drawing willies with frowny faces next to them on his placemat.

At the café, a hopeful Pádraig is trying to go through Gaudi’s menu with Micheál, who of course doesn’t know fancy words like “focaccia” and “spaghetti” and sniffs that in his day, you just ate an clump of old peat off the ground and you liked it. We forget that Micheál grew up in Victorian times. Berni comes over and interrupts with a tempting gluten-free turnip or whatever but Micheál says he can’t eat another bite or else he’ll fall asleep in his meeting with the Ireland’s Villagiest Village people. She and Pádraig argue for a while about whose gaff Micheál is going to eat his lunch of pickled tea and potato gelatin at, and then Berni explains that they can’t take the contest people to Gaudi, because they want traditional Irish food like she serves and not the Spanish slop Pádraig dishes out. She adds that the café is what the Yanks would call “quaint,” and as a Yank, I can assure her that while the café looks perfectly OK, it is not quant in any way, and in fact most Americans live within a 5-mile radius of at least 3 places exactly like it. Pádraig accurately tells her she seems to have confused the words “quaint” and “passé” (snerk), and they bicker for a bit. Eventually Micheál reveals he has no say in where the contest people have lunch, at which point Berni and Pádraig suddenly remember that they hate him and huff off. Well, I’m sure that’s the last we’ll hear of this.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Antisocial Media

Season 22, Episode 7
First aired 26 September 2017

In case Mack and Dee’s return from vacation and immediate resumption of hostilities was not awkward enough for you last time, this is the episode for you! But I get ahead of myself. We open with Gráinne and David discussing today’s upcoming remembrance ceremony for their lost child, to which she has decided not to invite any of their friends, and has only invited David because she sent him the Evite by mistake. She wants it to be small and intimate, just for the two of them, and David reluctantly agrees, but it’s clearly not what he wants.

Mack arrives home from work and explains to Dee that he could barely stay awake, so someone named Jimmy sent him home early. This is probably Mack’s hackney job we’re talking about, although I personally am hoping it’s that new scheme from last season in which he drives Japanese tourists around Ros na Rún and tells them it’s Paris. Today’s group will knock one star off their TripAdvisor reviews because of the part where Mack fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the bus into the polytunnel. Dee, who looks particularly lovely today in her stripey top, tries to make conversation with him, but he is completely disinterested in anything she’s saying, even though it’s about WiFi speed and is therefore inherently fascinating, especially to Mack, who is pretty sure WiFi is a girl he got off with one time behind the bike shed at school.

In the B&B kitchen, Evan is promising Máire he will throw up later because of her cooking. I swear I am not making this up. This is Fia’s opportunity to pull ahead of him in the Good Grandchild contest, but sadly she is nowhere to be seen. Anyway, Evan points out to Máire that the carbon monoxide detector we heard so much about last week is not doing her any good still in its box on the kitchen table, but she seems so detached and bored by all this that we get the feeling she may be willing to take her chances with the carbon monoxide. He senses that she’s upset about something, particularly when she says, “I’m very upset,” and she reveals that she thinks she caused a row between David and Gráinne yesterday. I’d say it was more that David caused the row and Máire facilitated it, but I suppose the important thing is that a row was had.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Season 22, Episode 6
First aired 21 September 2017

We open with the return of Mack and Dee (yay!), who are just back from their holidays and look tan and relaxed. It seems they were not on one of those cruises where everyone gets norovirus and then the ship turns over. As Dee unloads the car, Mack wastes no time putting his foot in his mouth for the first time this season, asking a passing Gráinne how David’s doing what with his being “on death’s door” and all. To make things even more awkward, Gráinne is on her way to Recycle Pod Park with the tiny baby outfit from last episode, so Mack’s well-intentioned but cringe-inducing onslaught sends her fleeing back home and leads to his first “confused puppy” face of the year. I really do adore Mack.

Sad David is sitting lumpily at the kitchen table when Pádraig arrives home after a late night out, which is apparently a thing he does now. He groans that this is the last time, though, and that he never wants to see Bobbi-Lee, Adam, or a nightclub again. I’ve been wondering how newly out Adam spent his summer, and it makes me very happy to find out he’s been hitting the clubs with Bobbi-Lee and Pádraig. Really, if there’s a more fun night out than going to a gay club with those two, I don’t know what it would be. David is grimly bemused by this, which is the best we can hope for with him these days, but then he becomes furious when he sees that Pádraig has brought home today’s newspaper, which has a big article about Anto in it. He snatches it from him and throws it in the bin, which is a shame, because Pádraig has not even read Andy Capp or done the junior crossword yet. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

If I Only Had a Briain

Season 22, Episode 5
First aired 19 September 2017

We open with some product placement we will hear more about later, and then cut to David’s return home from the hospital, which sadly does not involve pushing his injured groin in front of him in a wheelbarrow with yellow “CAUTION” tape around it. He notices that they have a new couch since the last time he was home, and Gráinne notes brightly it’s a hand-me-down from some customer at Loinnir, who wanted to get rid of it because it was full of bedbugs and plutonium. David seems peeved, as would be anyone who got home from the hospital and discovered his partner had replaced the sofa without discussing it with him, but she says they can get rid of it when he’s back to his old self. I’m not sure where Gráinne is getting this endless parade of sofas, but I suspect there’s money laundering involved. Things are awkward, which is the new status quo between these two, and just as he’s about to break the news about his debilitating groinquake, the Ros na Rún Mobile Party Unit arrives, which consists of Pádraig (of course), Mo (?), and Bobbi-Lee (obviously, honey). Neither Gráinne nor David seems in the mood for any of this right now, so right on cue yet another person appears, whom we do not seem to have seen before, but is Kinda Hunky. David appears to know this person, whose name is Briain, which Microsoft Word is freaking out over because it can’t decide whether I am trying to type “Brian” or “Brain.” Either way, it’s sure I am wrong. Anyway, Briain has arrived with a duffel bag and a smirk in tow, and if you imagine a young Chris Isaak and a young Colin Farrell smashed together, you would be in the approximate neighborhood.

Tadhg has arrived at the café to order breakfast, harass Berni, and complain, not necessarily in that order. He’s annoyed that the shop is boarded up, and she happily explains that it’s being turned into an XL, which is a brand of store where you can go buy things in real life. In fact, there’s probably one near you right now! Remember, when you think of spending money, think of XL, serving Ireland with a smile since 742 B.C. I think Asterix burned down an XL in Asterix in Hibernia. Anyway, Berni seems to think the arrival of XL is just about the most exciting thing that’s happened in her entire life, but Máire and especially Fia give hilarious looks that make it clear they could not give less of a shit about any of this. Máire sadly says to no one, i.e., to terrible mother Berni, that it’s a shame that Evan couldn’t make it to Peadar’s mass the other day. Berni rolls her eyes and explains, clearly not for the first time, that Evan was on his way home for it, but then remembered he didn’t want to go found out someone named Josie Ó Lochlainn had died. Máire makes it clear that she doesn’t think the death of Jojo Feckin’ O’Leary or whatever his bloody name is trumps the death of Peadar, but Berni explains that Evan didn’t have the heart to leave Josie’s family in their time of need, what with his being a certified grief counselor and all. Máire, whose dialogue is apparently now written by my mother, says, “It’s a shame he didn’t think of me and how upset I was.” From personal experience I can say that this is hilarious when you hear it on TV, but less so when someone says it to you over Christmas dinner, or at your own wedding. Fia volunteers that Evan would’ve been there if he’d known, and I’m unclear whether she’s saying Evan didn’t know that it was his grandfather’s mass or didn’t know that Máire would be upset, but either way, he totally knew.

Tadhg’s breakfast, which consists of deep-fried bacon with a side of lard, arrives at the same time Frances does, and we’re not sure which of these two things is worse for his health. It seems he’s supposed to be on a diet, so Frances nags him about it for a while, and eventually tells him that if he doesn’t care about himself, he should at least think of little Áine, who needs her daddy to stay alive. I suspect if Tadhg’s poor eating habits lead to his needing a heart transplant, Áine could go out with her Barbie scissors and procure one in less time than it would take the surgical team to get scrubbed in to operate.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Of Graves and Groins

Season 22, Episode 4
First aired 14 September 2017

I’m running behind, and a lot of this episode is fairly grim, so I’m going to condense into one paragraph the tiresome Niamh-induced drama that’s sprinkled throughout the episode. Imelda tries to make Eric feel bad by talking about how hard it was for her to raise Niamh and her sister, whose name I can’t remember and therefore I am going to call Fuinneog, as a single mother. To ramp up the guilt, she produces an old photo of Niamh and Fuinneog as tiny children standing around wearing shirts that say “Cá bhfuil Daidí?” and “I hope Daddy isn’t doing drugs” and so on. It seems she’s making some progress until Niamh shows up and makes everything worse again, obviously, but eventually Eric tells Imelda it’s time Niamh knew the whole truth. Because the community center is apparently not available, they decide this is a conversation that’s best held in the middle of Graffiti Park, which you may recall we last saw when Pól jumped out of a recycle pod and beat up David. Imelda clinches her status as the winner of this conflict when she tells the story of the time she walked in on Eric shooting up right in front of little Niamh, and decided that was the last straw. She loaded the children into the car and set off for America, but when she got to the ocean, she had to turn around and settle for Galway instead. Eric apologizes, and then amazingly so does Niamh, who adds that she didn’t even try to understand her mother’s side of the story. Imelda explains that she didn’t tell Niamh and Fuinneog the whole story because she didn’t want them to hate their father, so they ended up hating her instead. It seems that all is well here for now, at least until Niamh files a report with Child Protective Services when Imelda tries to make her eat her vegetables.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of the episode. Colm visits the hospital, awkwardly, but David seems happier to see him than Gráinne is for some unimaginable reason. David seems cheerful but dazed—I mean even more than usual—so we’re going to assume there’s probably still some morphine action going on, or that he finished today’s junior word search all by himself and is feeling proud. It soon becomes clear that Gráinne hasn’t told David about losing the baby, though, which seriously unnerves Colm, who’s already been involved in enough psychodrama recently and seems reluctant to get sucked into any more.