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Wednesday 29 March 2017

Plenty to whet our appetites, pity about the same old faces

Emma
O'Driscoll, Gillian Quinn, Sonya Lennon, Aoibhin Garrihy,
Miriam O'Callaghan, Grainne Seoige, Kathryn Thomas,
Katie Van Buren, Dani Robinson, Louise Johnston and
Pippa O'Connor
Emma O'Driscoll, Gillian Quinn, Sonya Lennon, Aoibhin Garrihy, Miriam O'Callaghan, Grainne Seoige, Kathryn Thomas, Katie Van Buren, Dani Robinson, Louise Johnston and Pippa O'Connor
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

To be fair to RTE, there is a lot to whet the appetite in the autumn listings.

Despite a much-publicised revenue drop, RTE seems to have put plenty of resources into all areas.

As usual, documentary and current affairs stand out.

'Behind the Walls', a history of psychiatric hospitals, looks difficult but worthwhile, and Richard Curran also follows up his seminal 2006 documentary with 'Property Shock -- Where to Now?'

View a gallery of the autumn schedule launch here

There are programmes on Mary McAleese, Easter 1916 and a looming pensions crisis, which also sound promising.

Then again, there's also Derek Mooney doing something or other with family trees -- so it's not all good.

Entertainment is the usual mixum-gatherum of talent contests, chat shows, panel shows and -- God spare us -- 'Mrs Brown's Boys', although 'Meet the Gallaghers', starring PJ 'Naked Camera' Gallagher, could be decent.

As might 'The Only Viking in the Village', in which comedian Neil Delamere tracks down his Norse ancestry.

Mike Murphy pulls a Gaybo by coming out of retirement for 'The Big Interview', 'Masterchef' gets an Irish franchise, and 'Put Em Under Pressure' is a new sports quiz hosted by Grainne Seoige.

Incidentally, she's involved with no fewer than three programmes -- the others are 'Crimecall' and new effort 'Modern Life' -- which is symptomatic of another RTE problem: the same old faces being given new roles, seemingly without much thought behind it.

But to finish on a positive note, the fine drama 'Love/Hate' returns, as does 'RAW', the very entertaining 'Republic of Telly' and 'Savage Eye'.

'Fair City' keeps on trucking; it's the TV equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich -- bland and comforting in just the right measures. So long as they don't mess it up with celebrity walk-ons.

Irish Independent

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