It goes down well with viewers
Kat and Alfie Moon have moved to Ireland. Yep, Redwater premiered on RTE One last night. And the heavily-plugged EastEnders spin-off, which sees one of British soapland’s most annoying – sorry, iconic - couples, start a new life on the Emerald Isle, isn’t exactly off to the best start.
For the uninitiated, Redwater is a fictional town in Waterford. It’s also the place in which Kat (Jessie Wallace) from EastEnders, reckons her son grew up – the one that was taken away from her as a baby.
So, she and husband, Alfie (Shane Richie), have decided to seek out Kat’s long-lost child for themselves. They’ve left the twins back in London. Alfie is sick. They’re loaded. You’ll figure out the rest as we go along. We’re not in Albert Square anymore, lads. Anyway, here’s what we know after episode one. Spoilers ahead, obviously…
The telly guide had it listed as Kat & Alfie: Redwater. RTE and BBC advertised it as such. But, then, according to the fancy title sequence, it’s just ‘Redwater’. You can’t have it both ways, lads. Pick one.
Think Glenroe meets True Detective, and begorrah and bejaysus, it’s a sign of what’s to come…
The only thing funnier than Kat and Alfie getting their own show, is Richie and Wallace telling members of the press that Redwater (or whatever the heck it’s called) isn’t a ‘spin-off’, but instead, a standalone, six-part drama. The thing is - we can finally see what they mean. Sort of. With so many supporting players vying for the spotlight (including Maria Doyle Kennedy, Peter Campion and Fionnula Flanagan), and various sub plots emerging throughout, Redwater is looking a lot less Kat & Alfie Go on Holidays and more like Kat and Alfie have wandered on to the wrong bleedin’ set…
The last time EastEnders came to Ireland, in 1997, they made a holy show of us. Twenty years on and Redwater kicks thing off with Kat and Alfie arriving at their new home in a broken-down taxi which poor Alfie has to push up a hill. We’ll call that progress.
To be sure, to be sure. Redwater is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else’s business and the, erm, local cowboy (Ian McElhinney, resplendent in hat and overcoat) rides his stallion to the beach every morning for a swim, before fixing everyone’s problems. Oh, and there’s a lot of alcohol consumed in this here town. Obviously.
Honestly, it’s like a bad play; a cold and tonally awkward mish-mash of hammy one-liners and things that no human being would ever say and/or do. Our favourite clanger, though? “What made him go riding in the middle of the night?” We think whoever said it was referring to the cowboy on his horse. Maybe. Plus, the acting is dire.
Nope. Definitely not. Killinaskully with notions, maybe, but definitely not Broadchurch. Or The Wicker Man…
And Alfie only brought one outfit to Waterford, it seems. You’d miss his leather coat.
First they make him push a taxi up a hill. Next, they dress him up as a lollipop man in a community race. Then they try to make him walk off a cliff. Then he climbs up another cliff and has to be saved by a hipster priest. What next? Alfie drowns in a pint of Guinness?
Yep, and not just any killer priest, but one who develops a murderous streak because – wait for it – the milk man delivered orange juice to the church after he specifically asked them not to. And Father Trendy (Oisín Stack) hates orange juice. Well, whaddaya know? It’s barmier than EastEnders. That’s quite an achievement.
Redwater continues on RTE One next Sunday at 9.30pm.
Viewers were divided on the new series, with as many praising it as not:
#Redwater oh god was I supposed to be howling laughing throughout its glenroe meets wickerman meets twin peaks the acting is pure comical— Nikky Linnane (@NLinnane) May 15, 2017
#Redwater Ballykissangel recyscled.— thats it (@windyday999) May 14, 2017
Usual British take on Ireland.
Oh #RedWater was brilliant. Amazing writing out of the writers👍👍👍👍 good to see Alfie And Kat back together ❤❤❤❤— Martina (@MartinaMcNamar4) May 14, 2017
#Redwater Really though, how much did it cost to dream up this oul' codology and was it really worth the bother? Truly execrable!— Bert Wright (@BertWright1) May 14, 2017