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New Perspectives on Irish TV Series

Identity and Nostalgia on the Small Screen

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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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6 Post-Tiger Noir? The TV Adaptation of Benjamin Black’s Quirke Novels

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CATHERINE CONAN

6    Post-Tiger Noir? The TV Adaptation of Benjamin Black’s Quirke Novels

ABSTRACT

Quirke is a mini-series adapted from Benjamin Black’s crime novels, which was broadcast in Ireland and Britain in 2014. Each of the three episodes, set in 1950s Dublin, narrates an enquiry by the eponymous pathologist. This article analyses the intertextual relationship and cinematographic echoes between the series and the 1940s crime fiction and film noir traditions. Although it taps into the subversive potential of the original body of work in order to denounce aspects of both 1950s and post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, the series involves a number of re-mediations that blunt its critical edge. Noir aesthetics acquire a melodramatic quality that enable Quirke to bypass issues that might be sensitive in post-2008 Ireland and that relate to the TV series as a genre, such as class and mass consumption. The mixed success of Quirke as film noir revival and popular entertainment is evidenced by the lukewarm critical reception of the series.

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