Veering West

I’m reeling from thoughts of my new Irish dancing mini-series

October 17th, 2022 11:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

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I HAD an idea for a TV series there during the week.

It’s called Jig’s Up and I’m pitching it as a Love/Hate style Sunday night crime drama set in a brutal, gritty underworld of competitive Irish dancing.

The tagline for the show will read ‘Between the jigs and the reels, one mis-step can lead you into a world of trouble!’

I’ve already put up the huge shelves I’ll need to hold all the awards I’m going to win.

I’m still not sure who I’m going to cast in it.

I’m thinking maybe Cillian Murphy could play the gorgeous, fish-eyed young dance instructor called Packie, who is drawn to the dark side while struggling to get on the property ladder.

Packie strikes up an unlikely romance with a morally dubious Irish American young woman called Uachtar Reoite, played by Saoirse Ronan, who has an emerald green eye patch and a penchant for gambling.

Packie is led astray by Uachtar Reoite, mostly because she’s a ride and he’s a simpleton. A fairly typical character dynamic in an Irish drama made for America.

The series will follow Packie as he gets further ‘reeled into’ a web of lies, involving dangerous and powerful Irish Americans who are willing to pay top dollar to buy success on the stage for their daughters, all of whom have two left feet and not a single note in their heads between them.

Wide-eyed and innocent and living with his Mammy (played by Brenda Fricker obviously), Packie spirals further downwards into the criminal underworld when he meets a shady character called The Badger. The Badger helps Packie to sets up a complex system of competition fixing, using techniques developed by the Chicago mob.

I’m still awaiting final confirmation from their agents, but I’m hoping The Badger will be played by Colin Farrell sitting on Brendan Gleeson’s shoulders inside a 10ft suit.

As Jig’s Up reaches the season finale of series one, no doubt with an audience share of at least 87%, the duo are suddenly rumbled by a plucky young journalist working for The Southern Star. Forced underground, they must resort to desperate measures to keep their Ponzi scheme of cheating alive so they come up with the madcap plan of kidnapping bronzed Riverdancer Michael Flatley, and his accompanying feet of flame, holding him for ransom deep beneath The Burren.

Michael Flatley will be played by none other than – yes, you guessed it – Michael Flatley. I admit that the concept needs some tweaks, but I’ve seen the standard of some recent drama series on Irish TV, so I reckon this one is a ‘shoe-in’ for at least a half dozen IFTAs.  The rest of the show sort of writes itself, and I plan four or five themed seasons, much like The Wire.

Series Two will be called Breaking Baby and will cover allegations of historical match-fixing and cheating in Bonnie Baby competitions throughout the 1980s which turns into a reputational crisis for Charlie Haughey and the Irish government. Season Three will cover skullduggery in West Cork road bowling, and feature an unlikely appearance by Steven Seagal.

Remember, you read it all here first.

It’s not life as Will knows it

IT emerged this week that William Shatner went into space.

‘Sure we all know that Colm,’ says you, ‘didn’t he captain the Enterprise? As in, the Starship Enterprise on the telly, not the marginally less reliable train to Belfast?’

But I’m speaking about the humanoid lifeform William Shatner, not his beloved character Captain Kirk.

He, literally, went ‘out of this world’ on a Blue Origin space flight along with tech mogul Glen de Vries, Blue Origin vice-president, former Nasa international space station flight controller Audrey Powers, and former Nasa engineer Dr Chris Boshuizen.

It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it here in West Cork.

So what did William Shatner think about his journey to space?

Did he feel the profound sense of spiritual connection astronauts commonly report once they leave the planet, a sort of interconnected euphoria?

Unfortunately not. Instead, Shatner reported: ‘It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered.

The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness.

‘Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . .’

So Captain Kirk went to space and felt a bit sad before coming home again.


Star Trek episode.


A snackbox for my ride

DID you hear the one about the horse that walked into the chipper? No, that’s not the start of a joke ... it’s a video that emerged on social media during the week of two young fellas riding horses inside a packed Supermacs outlet in Ballinasloe.

The punters queuing for their chips seemed pretty unfazed by what was unfolding as if this was just part of a normal day in the Co Galway town. And maybe this is just daily life in contemporary Ballinasloe? Who are we to judge? Horses for courses, I suppose.

The video ends with a staff member emerging and grumpily ushering the two boys and their trust steeds off the premises. Nobody had the speed of thought to ask her ‘Why the long face?’

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