St. Patrick’s Day weekend is upon us, and since I imagine most of you (the sane, good ones, anyway) will want to avoid the depraved insanity that is hoards of drunk people dressed like leprechauns, here are some Irish movies and TV that should keep you festively occupied while you hunker down.
“And what makes you such a goddamn expert, Megan?” Well, my mom went through a weird phase of like, third generation Irish nationalism when I was growing up. This included taking a ten-day family vacation to Ireland when I was going into first grade; memorable moments include when my dad accidentally let me and my older sister drink hard cider at a pub, when my sister and I were left at our B&B while my parents went to have a pint and we ran off into the streets with a pack of local children, when we ate McDonald’s at the height of Mad Cow…are you sensing a pattern of great parenting here? (We also took more heat at the airport than I think I even have post-9/11 since it was peak Troubles era, right around when “Zombie” was put out by The Cranberries.)
Trips to Ireland aside, we were also exposed to a lot of Irish cinema as kids. And no, I’m not talking about like, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, although that movie did make me feel very afraid of banshees. I’m talking more like The Secret of Roan Innish and War of the Buttons. For those of you who live in NoVA, you might appreciate the fact that we drove to fucking Winchester one time to watch Into The West when I was five. To be fair, it’s a great movie, and unfortunately I can’t find it anywhere to stream at the moment, but like…that’s dedication. My parents also let me watch The Commitments when I was four, which taught me the word “fuck”. So basically there was a lot of Colm Meaney woven into the fabric of my youth, and that is what makes me such a goddamn expert, you guys.
Anyway, in this 2018 edition of St. Patrick’s Day Streaming, I’m going to highlight a couple of things that I haven’t gone on about yet, unlike any/all that I just spouted in the previous paragraph, and/or The Snapper, Waking Ned Divine, etc. So let’s kick things off RIGHT NOW…
The Young Offenders
This movie is funny AF. If you want to see two dumbass Irish teens steal bikes, cocaine, and (subsequently) your heart, then this is 100% something you should watch, effective immediately.
A Date for Mad Mary
I cannot say enough good things about this movie. The only thing is, you’re going to have to rent it since it’s not on Netflix yet. It’s about a fuck-up named Mary (Seána Kerslake) who has anger management problems. (I know what you’re thinking, but in actuality the story ends up being very sweet!) She’s fresh out of prison for beating up another girl, and now she has to find herself a date for her best friend’s wedding. (Except her best friend isn’t even really a best friend anymore, and she’s a bridezilla on top of that, and basically it’s all a bit of a mess.) On top of all of that, Mary realizes she’s not as straight as she previously believed once she meets Jess, the wedding planner. It’s chaotic to say the least, but it’s heartwarming dot com, and definitely a recommended watch.
Rebellion came out in 2016 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, aka when the Irish basically said “Fuck you, England, we ain’t your bitch no more,” in the most significant way since 1798. This fictional TV drama documents all of that, and I’m not gonna lie, it made me feel some FEELINGS, you guys. Like, got me hella riled up, despite the fact that my family had already settled in NYC at this time, so I have zero historical claim to any of these events. Anyway, if you like period pieces and want to feel mega-pissed at the British, then this is the show for you to binge.
Can’t Cope Won’t Cope
Can’t Cope Won’t Cope stars Seána Kerslake (from A Date for Mad Mary, which we talked about earlier) as the fuck up of the century – while she’s gainfully employed, an inability to put down the bottle gets her into all sorts of trouble with work, her friends, the police…the list goes on. I actually have one episode left to go in the first season, so I can’t completely vouch that it won’t take some sort of horrible don’t-watch-this-anymore turn, but so far I thought it was an uncomfortable look at alcoholism in like, the best kind of way, you know what I mean? The good kind of feel bad. It’s also a great portrait of how Irish people tack the word “like” onto the end of every single sentence. (WHY DO THEY DO THAT???)
It makes me furious that this was produced by Weinstein, but I’m gonna talk about it anyway, ’cause it’s good as hell. It’s about a kid who forms a band to impress a girl (isn’t that how all bands start?); it’s got Commitments vibes if The Committments chucked in a little more new wave influence, and it’s definitely worth a watch.