From What/If to Stranger Things - the best TV shows to fill the Game of Thrones void
It's been a wild - and lately divisive - ride. But winter finally came for us all on Game of Thrones this week as the series wrapped up after nine...
It's been a wild - and lately divisive - ride. But winter finally came for us all on Game of Thrones this week as the series wrapped up after nine...
King's Landing has been razed to the ground - and with it went any possibility of Game Of Thrones pulling out of its late-season plunge into television infamy.
King’s Landing has been razed to the ground – and with it went any possibility of Game of Thrones pulling out of its late-season plunge into...
Back in the 1990s, Samantha Womack was an original of the ladette species. Under her...
With just one episode to go, Game Of Thrones is at serious risk of losing its crown as the world's favourite television show. Many fans are...
The hottest TV show of the season is a reincarnation mystery starring former Hollywood bad-girl Natasha Lyonne as a sweary New Yorker who keeps dying and coming back to life at her 36th birthday party. Does that sound weird? It should because it is weird.
There's a seemingly throwaway scene halfway though the first episode of the new season of anthology mystery series True Detective in which the camera pans past a boy's bedside locker. On it rests an old Dungeons and Dragons adventure book. If you care to take the trouble, the title can be easily discerned as The Forest of Leng.
It's the game-changing Netflix experiment that has driven viewers silly with delight and bafflement. We of course refer to Bandersnatch, the new feature-length episode of dystopian drama Black Mirror that ventures where TV has never previously dared tread by putting the audience in charge.
It's New Year's Eve. A time to clink glasses with friends old and new. To link arms while pretending to know the words to 'Auld Lang Syne' (it's okay - you can hum it, just like you do with 'Amhrán Na bhFiann' and the middle bit of 'Ireland's Call'). To party as if it's 2019 - which it will be, in just a few hours.
The sour, majestic ache of The Pogues’s Fairytale of New York sets it apart from other Christmas songs.
Did you remember to floss this morning? Looking forward to a helping of gammon at the weekend? Fancy a spot of plogging before bed-time?...
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Or at least it is if you're eight years old and enjoy dressing up as a putrescent corpse. If you're a...
The year's most frightening TV show has plenty of traditional scares up its dark, billowing sleeves. There are zombies, creepy ghouls leaping from...
Tom Hardy has claimed his favourite 40 minutes of Venom ended on the cutting-room floor. But who aside from its star would wish for an even...
It is possible to imagine a parallel universe where this year's Eurovision Song Contest is the subject everyone is talking about. Amid the dreariness of the European elections and the sinking realisation that Game Of Thrones is completely rubbish, surely a downpour of Euro kitsch is the light relief we all crave?
The interior life of the rock star has long proved highly elusive to novelists. Iain M Banks and Jonathan Franzen are among those who have attempted to deconstruct the cult of the mane-shaking, guitar-slinging bad boy. But, presumably because of a lack of first-hand access to actual rock stars, their characters feel like job-lots of clichés rather than real people.
And so Derry Girls hop-scotches into the sunset after a successful second season (the last episode is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm). Once again, the biggest surprise about the Lisa McGee hit is not that a late-period Troubles comedy could be a rich source of chortles. It's that we all so very desperately miss the '90s.
St Patrick's Day is almost upon us, so it's time to partake in the unofficial national pastime of grumbling about St Patrick's Day. Come Sunday, Dublin will be soaked to the bones in Hiberno-kitsch and later literally soaked as everyone commences drinking in the streets.
Like many Michael Jackson fans, I watched last night's 'Leaving Neverland' documentary on Channel 4 through cracked fingers. Dan Reed's film, airing over two consecutive nights, calmly and without fanfare sets out the case that Jackson was a serial abuser of young boys, his Neverland Ranch a child-catcher's trap.
The Walt Disney Corporation isn't in the risk-taking business. Disney likes a sure thing - which is why it spent billions acquiring Star Wars and then rebooted the lightsaber franchise with a 2015 movie that played out as a beat-for-beat retread of the original space opera.
We did it, guys! Ireland, a puny nation of 6.5 million (including our friends in the North) has defeated New Zealand, an indomitable sporting bastion (population 4.6m). What’s more, we’ve achieved this feat at rugby — our new official favourite sport.
It's one of the world's favourite TV shows but has nothing to do with CGI dragons or Scandinavian detectives looking glum in stylish cardigans. Narcos is instead a rip-roaring throwback to the heyday of Miami Vice, with a sprinkling of true-crime documentary on top. And, while the formula might sound old-fashioned, it has been remarkably popular, giving Netflix among its biggest hits to date.
After 40 years, 14 albums and one Simpsons cameo does the final curtain beckon for U2? That’s the speculation following Bono’s cryptic sign-off on the closing date of the Dubliners’ Experience and Innocence tour in Berlin.
The Maurice McCabe whistleblower scandal almost toppled the government, cost a Garda Commissioner his job and left the reputation of the force in tatters.
Who does Jodie Whittaker think she is? That was the response of many fans of time-travelling middle-aged men, when the 35-year-old Yorkshire actress was unveiled as the new 'Doctor' in the 13th incarnation of Doctor Who last year. With Whittaker's first full-length outing in the part fast approaching - she will alight the Tardis on Sunday, October 7 - the grumblings have now grown...
The scariest thing about Ireland’s Jihadis (Virgin Media One) was that it felt like a chilling warning destined to go unnoticed until too late.
Sport is a lot like politics - all that sweating, shouting and punching the air. Which is why Minister for Sport Shane Ross could be forgiven for feeling doubly embarrassed after mistakenly calling Ireland's latest rowing gold medallist "Dominant Puspure" when her first name is actually Sanita.
In the year of the Repeal referendum, it's fitting that Dublin Fringe Festival should explore female identity and the ways Ireland has historically tried to control and distort it. That's one of the unofficial themes of the 2018 event, running for 16 days from tomorrow, with over 500 performances, 80 productions and 55 premieres.
With rents through the stratosphere and heading for the galactic outer rim, Ireland’s Rich List: Ireland's Top 20 New Entries (RTE Two) should have made for perfect hate-watching.
The name's Boyle. Danny Boyle. The Trainspotting director found himself in the equivalent of James Bond's iconic opening credits cross-hairs this week as it was announced he had departed the next 007 film owing to "creative differences".
It was a dark and stormy night in October 2011 when Britney Spears last visited Dublin. A primordial downpour had whipped the city all evening, leading to widespread flooding.
The musical - Wicked
An unforgettable Irish homecoming awaits Paul Simon as the folk icon brings his farewell tour to Dublin tonight. Having announced he was hanging up his guitar after more than five decades of hits and heartbreak, the now 76-year-old's final series of dates has obviously been emotional - for Simon, but perhaps even more so for his audience.
To boo or not to boo? Such is the question facing the Irish sporting public as England's boring yet efficient stride towards Sunday's World Cup decider continues with a semi-final tonight against Croatia.
Michael Bublé will be welcomed with open arms when he performs at Croke Park this Saturday. But early in his career, the Canadian crooner had the door shut in his face over and over.
The musical - Hairspray
A second double album in three years from grumpiest rapper alive Drake may not set everyone’s heart aflutter. In 2016, the Toronto arch-curmudgeon put out Views, a muddy sprawl that felt, in the very sorriest sense, like a hip hop War and Peace: miserable, slow, longer than Napoleon’s march on Moscow and with about as many sing-along moments.
The movie - Heavenly Creatures
The festival - Body and Soul
You have to take your 10-gallon hat off to Westworld. HBO's $100m reboot of a largely forgotten 70s sci-fi movie about cowboy robots running amok in a futuristic theme park has become the biggest TV sensation this side of Game of Thrones.
The musical - Flashdance
The last time Taylor Swift played Dublin she paused halfway through the performance to deliver a heartfelt address to her fans.
Irish rugby’s golden generation has been slouching into the sunset for some time now. Brian O’Driscoll has eased into a life of punditry; Ronan O Gara has transitioned into a Roy Keane figure, seeming perpetually peeved whether offering opinions as television panelist or pacing the touch-line as coach.
The movie - 2001: A Space Odyssey
The musical - The Last Ship
As one of Donald Trump's rare entertainment industry supporters, it was poetically apt that Roseanne Barr should hoist herself upon an incendiary tweet.
The cult classic - Piranha
The lol - Joe Lycett
The film - 12 Monkeys
After what feels like a lifetime of hype, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry finally walk down the aisle later this month. But as build up to the royal wedding reaches fever pitch, viewers of courtroom caper Suits can sit smugly back. They've already seen Markle in a wedding dress, pledging herself to the special man in her life. Second time around is bound to be anticlimactic.
This weekend sees the return of the sci-fi/western thriller Westworld, but the mega-budget series faces the most daunting challenge in television in its second season: can it fill the gap left by Game of Thrones when the world's most popular series gallops into the sunset?
The musical - Matilda
Elusive fish, barfing gourmands, sex education with a difference... Throw it all together and you have one of the weirdest big screen comedies ever - 50pc end-of-pier romp, 50pc fever dream.
The lol - Al Foran: Impersonate This!
If you fancy a super-sized serving of nostalgia, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is the retro romp you've been waiting for.
Ed Power has the lowdown on all the cultural treats in store this week...
The lol - Jimmy Carr
Willy Mason has done well to still have a career a decade after being anointed the “New Dylan” – traditionally the kiss of death to an up-and-coming strummer with a gravelly voice and an underdog demeanour.
The movie - Rushmore
The musical: Legally Blonde
Does Room to Improve have room to improve? Ratings suggest the Dermot Bannon home makeover show is built on spectacularly solid foundations, with 722,000 tuning in to watch the architect midwife into existence the dream crib of Daniel and Majella O’Donnell last Sunday.
For better or worse, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest instalment is no mere superhero movie.
Only the Super Bowl could bring together Justin Timberlake in a bandana, dinosaurs chased by lava, Martin Luther King narrating a jeep commercial and Pink spitting out a lozenge seconds before belting out the US National Anthem.
From Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to Blind Date, Irish television is littered with the smoking wreckage of international formats brought in at eye-watering expense only to crash upon take-off.
Justin Timberlake will return to the scene of one of the biggest controversies in the television and sporting annals on Sunday. The singer's half-time Super Bowl performance comes 14 years after 'Nipplegate' - his duet with Janet Jackson that culminated in history's first designated wardrobe malfunction as Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson's costume and revealed, for literally a split second, her right breast.
The movie - Mountains May Depart
Sarah Lancashire's first terrifying brush with fame came as she stood on a railway platform, waiting for a train to take her from Manchester to Oldham. The young actress had recently secured her first screen role as bubbly Coronation Street barmaid Raquel. Pulling pints at the Rovers Return was about to turn her life upside down.
Shane on you crazy diamond
What not to miss this week
In the summer of 1997 The Frank and Walters released one of the greatest Irish albums of the decade.
Christmas on telly can be a bit of a seasonal lucky dip. There's lots of heartwarming fare - but a great deal of tatty tinsel too. Here's our ultimate guide to help you sort the thrilling from the turgid.
Comparisons to Meryl Streep are well-deserved in the case of Saoirse Ronan, and even those among us who are still snippy over that recent SNL Aer Lingus ‘comedy’ sketch really want her to win an Oscar this year for the much talked about movie Lady Bird, writes Ed Power
Amid the swampy throb of Archy Marshall’s music swirl the ghosts of London’s post-punk past. The tortured geezer pop he records as King Krule (named after a character from the Donkey Kong video game) exists in the same laddish continuum as Madness and Jamie T – even if the Millennial self-absorption is entirely his own.
Board games used to mean Monopoly, draughts - and rainy afternoons of infinite tedium. But the hobby has recently undergone a revolution and while it would be an overstatement to claim tabletop gaming is cool or will help you get a girlfriend, it has indisputably colonised a modest corner of the zeitgeist.
Good for your elf
With December 25 approaching, thoughts are naturally turning to bright shiny playthings waiting under the Christmas tree. Globally, the toy business is worth €90 billion annually and companies invest huge sums and man hours in products they believe will fire the imagination of kids.
As a gay man who was bullied relentlessly as a teenager and later struggled with substance abuse (to say nothing of an addiction to Diet Coke) Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas has come by his battle scars the hard way.
Simon Cowell missed the first of this year's X Factor live episodes after tumbling down the grand staircase of his London mansion. The dark lord of high trousers has since returned to the franchise that made his name.
Can lairiness be elevated to an art-form? That’s the question posed by the blend of football hooligan swagger and epic dance beats that has propelled Kasabian from the back streets of Leicester to the main stage at Glastonbury.
With a haircut borrowed from Javier Bardem’s homicidal loony in No Country For Old Men and a dad-dancing-on-steroids performance style, John Maus is not your everyday electro-pop cult figure. However far-fetched, the formula has struck a chord: his Dublin show sold out in a heartbeat, and signs outside the venues warned disappointed stragglers it was no use trying to get in.
For a brief, unlikely moment in the early 2000s Canada occupied the centre of the pop universe. The interlude didn’t last, with prominent participants either burning out (Broken Social Scene) or metastasising into bloated self-parody (Arcade Fire).
This Dublin landmark has enjoyed another stellar financial year having accumulated profits of €72 million in the last 12 months, but what makes a club that so deftly plays the anti-Kool-Aid card such a success, and what kind of people go there, asks Ed Power
The gang is all here as DC Comics finally brings together its brooding bigwigs for a lugubrious, deafening and occasionally (but only occasionally) enjoyable team-up.
Julien Baker, 22, sings her heart out in ways both new and reassuringly familiar.
Pop - Depeche Mode: How extraordinary that the one-time laughing stock of 80s synth pop should be last band standing.
David McWilliams was back on television – and with a trendy new format. A tad TOO trendy, actually: a grumpy rock band chugged in the corner while some dead-on-arrival comedy allegedly spruced-up proceedings (proceedings were not spruced up).
On October 28, 1977, the doors were blown off the music industry with the release of Never Mind The Bollocks by the Sex Pistols. It was profane, provocative, witty, angry - a scream against conformity, corporate hegemony, religion, the British class system. The record business never witnessed anything like it.
Did a little bit of you curl up and die as it was revealed that Ewan McGregor’s 22-year marriage to wife Eve Mavrakis was at an end?
The rise of electro melancholists Tycho has been steady but invisible. The California band’s sell-out show at District 8 felt like the gathering of conspirators party to a closely-guarded secret, with even obscure tracks cheered like chart-slaying hits.
The news broke just as the queue had started to form outside the exam hall of Trinity College Dublin on the evening of October 21, 1977. Half a world away, a plane carrying American classic rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd had crashed during landing, claiming the lives of several band members and backing crew. This seemed a grisly metaphor for the upheavals then gripping rock and roll, with the old dinosaurs of the genre being, or so it felt, violently deposed for the up-and-comers from punk.
Serial killers have never been out of fashion, but from The Fall to Hannibal via season one of True Detective and bonkers BBC thriller Rellik, television has lately done an especially roaring trade in manic murderers. Every modern example of the genre carries in its bloodstream the DNA of Se7en and Zodiac, David Fincher’s poised and masterful contributions to the canon.
Dystopian rhapsody - Deptcon3
What not to miss this week
The shiny, happy world of children's publishing has been rocked by a row of uncharacteristic ferocity, with writers complaining about the undue prominence given to celebrity authors.
The Drums were the biggest thing in alternative music for about 10 minutes in 2010. But then the hipsters moved on and the New Yorkers’ take on Smiths-style misanthropic pop was downgraded from charming to naff.
A face-to-face interview with Hillary Clinton was unquestionably a coup for RTE – but there were fears Montrose had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by dispatching Ryan Tubridy to conduct the grilling.
John Bishop has a thousand-watt smile and sinew-popping handshake. But the superstar stand-up is also surprisingly soulful and reflective this afternoon. Maybe it's because he's spent the day in Dublin, where his remarkable rise to the top tier of comedy began. The memories, he says, have come flooding back.
This week we received an abrupt reminder The Late Late Show still exists - and that Ryan Tubridy continues to occupy the host's chair.
Strum as you are
Ray D’Arcy was back on RTE One – and with a spanking new format!
Star Trek is about to emerge from deep space hibernation with the debut this Monday of an all-new series set in the universe of Klingons, Starfleet captains and weirdly-elongated space ships.
So it was farewell to Vincent Browne and his Eyebrows of Incredulity. And a big hello to Matt and Ivan. Or was it Ivan and Matt?
Class divisions in Ireland are all the more insidious for being relatively invisible. Britain has its Bullingdon Club toffs cracking plates over one another’s heads; in the United States the gulf between privilege and poverty often follows racial lines.
The National have carved a singular niche as thinking person's stadium rockers. They certainly bring a formidable intelligence to their music, with guitarist Bryce Dessner a Yale graduate and singer Matt Berninger’s one-time New Yorker editor wife credited as co-lyricist on the group’s latest record.
Over mugs of tea and mounds of biscuits, three generations of an Irish show business dynasty have gathered to laugh, cry and reminisce. Aonghus McAnally has worn many hats through a near 40-year career: children's television presenter, radio producer and DJ, musician. His son, Aonghus Óg, is the comparative straight man. A successful stage actor (he has appeared in Abbey productions of The...
Cork's Sounds From A Safe Harbour Festival has scored a genuine coup in bringing Bon Iver to Ireland for one of only a handful of dates the inscrutable folkie is playing on his latest tour.
What's in a name? More than you might imagine, according to a UK survey which has revealed grandparents are often appalled at the "creative" monikers eager mothers and fathers bestow on their offspring. One in five grans and granddads can't bear to call their grandkids by their given names, the Mumsnet study found - with Lindsay, Tabitha and Elijah among the handles likely to...
There was fresh heartbreak for actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers last weekend as his wife revealed she had lost their baby to miscarriage.
Tori Amos’s rise to fame coincided with the grunge explosion of the early Nineties, her gothic Americana drawing on the same inner darkness that fuelled the frenzied self-loathing of Nirvana et al.
Whether you are staying in or going out, we pick the events not to miss this week.
Two middle-aged men in grey suits walk into a television studio. This isn't the set-up for a joke - it's a preview of what TV3 viewers can expect when the fresh-faced tag-team of Ivan Yates (58) and Matt Cooper (51) take over as hosts of the channel's late night current affairs slot this autumn.