“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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