Corp + Anam” — TG4

Corp + Anam is the new “grit­ty” crime “dra­ma” in Irish, from TG4. Well, it is cer­tain­ly a crime. Like RTE’s recent Love/Hate its com­mend­ably slick high pro­duc­tion val­ues are pleas­ing­ly easy on the eye. And, sim­i­lar­ly, its com­plete inabil­i­ty to under­stand the fun­da­men­tals of sto­ry means that it fails to gen­er­ate any­thing that might be mis­tak­en for drama.

Awk­ward­ly, like a much younger sib­ling star­ing up at his old­er, much cool­er broth­er, Corp + Anam insists on stand­ing side by side with The Wire. Very well.

Orson Welles said of Jim­my Cagney, that he nev­er gave a real­is­tic per­for­mance in his life. But he was always true. I don’t know how mem­bers of the Bal­ti­more police depart­ment actu­al­ly speak to one anoth­er, but I believed in every word of the The Wire. The writ­ers had so com­plete­ly immersed them­selves in the world of their char­ac­ters, that every scene rang mag­nif­i­cent­ly true. And because of that, you had a huge emo­tion­al invest­ment in all of the characters.

In stark con­trast, the jour­nal­ist in Corp + Anam inhab­its a world that is unrec­og­niz­able because it rings so hor­ri­bly false. Nobody, espe­cial­ly in rur­al Ire­land, would use a funer­al in the way the he does. And when his Editor/boss, a pan­tomime Mrs Doyle, fol­lows him into the (shock hor­ror) Gents, she might just as well have hooked up her skirt over her head and uri­nat­ed into the sink.

The News room depict­ed here was sub one-dimen­sion­al. It was an insult to card­board cut-outs. How can you set a dra­ma in a News room, when you patent­ly have no idea what goes on in one? And then there was the cen­tral event around which the dra­ma of the first episode revolved; a car crash. I’m sor­ry, but a car crash is not dra­ma. It’s an accident.

I men­tion all of which, just in case there are any of you who feared that you might have missed some­thing worth see­ing. And, giv­en the benign reviews it got on the likes of RTE’s The View and in the Sun­day Times, who could blame you?

Well don’t wor­ry. You didn’t.

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