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New Perspectives on Irish TV Series

Identity and Nostalgia on the Small Screen


Edited By Flore Coulouma

Within the growing field of television studies, little work has yet been done on the Irish context. This volume aims to fill this gap by offering new and compelling studies of contemporary Irish TV series. Fictional TV series, which constitute an autonomous genre within the broader cultural phenomenon of TV broadcasting, are explored here as paradigmatic representations of Irish popular culture. This book investigates the vast number of series produced in Ireland over the past two decades, focusing on their cultural impact at a time when American and British dominance have led many critics and viewers to underestimate the significance of Irish programming. The essays collected here reveal a distinctly Irish culture of TV fiction series, in both the Irish and English languages, and examine some of its finest examples, from Father Ted to Love/Hate and Sin Scéal Eile.


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1 "Family" by Roddy Doyle: Goodbye to the ‘Cosy Homestead’ (Sylvie Mikowski)


Sylvie Mikowski 1 Family by Roddy Doyle: Goodbye to the ‘Cosy Homestead’ abstract The four-part television series Family was a landmark in the history of Irish television and in the career of its writer, Roddy Doyle. The relentlessly naturalistic film caused an outcry in Ireland, where television viewers were shocked by the depiction of violence, drugs and domestic abuse set in the famous working-class housing estate of Ballymun. Charlo, the father, is a petty crook who terrorizes his family with his violence and callousness. Thirteen- year-old John Paul is deeply troubled by the domestic atmosphere of violence and abuse to which he is exposed. Nicola, the sixteen-year-old daughter, is prey to her father’s incestuous drives. The real ‘hero’ of the series, however, is Paula, the wife and mother who gradually manages, despite her own addiction to alcohol, to set herself free from tyranny. Family provided its audience with an unprecedented view of Ireland as a society riddled by social injustice, domestic troubles and male domination, a radical change from the traditional focus on nationalistic issues. at stake in the public debate or in literature. A split family Family is a four-episode TV drama written by Roddy Doyle, directed by Michael Winterbottom, and co-produced by RTÉ and the BBC. It was broadcast on both sides of the Irish Sea between May and June 1994 and was reissued as a DVD by the BBC in 2011. It tells the story of Charlo and Paula Spencer and their four children Nicola, John Paul,...

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