Saturday 16 December 2017

10 reasons why you should watch TG4’s new 'surreal musical comedy' series Eipic tonight

Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

Eipic is a new six-parter from TG4, starting tonight at 10pm. Five teens in a boring small town occupy the closed-down post office, with plans of launching a revolution – for youth, for art, for themselves, for the country as it faces into the 1916 centenary.

Here are ten reasons why you should tune in:

1. It’s a musical-comedy – literally, the cast break into song sporadically – which if nothing else is unique in Irish television. Writer Mike O’Leary has spoken of “ground-breaking and genre-defining work” with a “uniquely Irish twist on this most universal of stories – growing up.”

2. O’Leary has good form: he’s written for E4’s black-comedy superhero seroes Misfits, and the Irish-German kids’ movie Ghosthunter: On Icy Trails.

3. Tonight’s first episode, which we’ve seen, is pretty damn good. Not all of it works, but the laughs are big and frequent, and it lays a solid groundwork for the rest of the series.

Cian O Baoill as Oisin.jpg

4. The show has got that rather surreal vibe which you tend to find on TG4 productions. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but personally I love it, and it’s a refreshing change from the more “traditional” type of drama RTE makes. O’Leary says he aimed for something that “should look like TV drama penned by Flann O’Brien on the Monday after Electric Picnic”.

5. Michael Collins makes sporadic appearances. Yes, that Michael Collins. But is it really him, or just our hero Sully dreaming/hallucinating/projecting? All, I suspect, will be revealed in due course…

6. It takes the mickey out of social media, especially that “YouTube sensation/getting famous for doing nothing” side of it. Which is obviously a good thing.

Rebels: Cian Ó Baoill, who plays Oisín, and Fionn Foley as Sully in the forthcoming TG4 series, Eipic
Rebels: Cian Ó Baoill, who plays Oisín, and Fionn Foley as Sully in the forthcoming TG4 series, Eipic
Róisín Ní Chéileachair as Mona and Fionn Foley as Sully.jpg

7. The kids perform Irish-language versions of songs by, among others, The Smiths, FKA Twigs and The Jam. And I think LCD Soundsystem too.

8. One of the characters’ dads wears an eye-patch – which is cool enough – and, with his curly hair and constant air of nervous tension, reminds me of Dr Jacobi from Twin Peaks – which is even cooler.

9. It takes a skewed view of the whole 1916 thing, which is very welcome given that we will assuredly be bored into exhausted submission by all the dreary “official” and mainstream commemorations of that seismic time. As a way of paying homage to the rebellion that founded this country, Eipic is genuinely revolutionary.

Cian O'Baoill as Oisín & Daire Ó Muirí as Aodh.jpg

10. It’s on TG4, therefore it’s almost certain to be worth your time.

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