by Kathleen Costa
Spoiler alert: If you have not yet seen the first season of Striking Out there are a few spoilers.
“What’s on the Telly Tonight?”
So many complain that there isn’t anything good on television, but I have found the “pot of gold” with the best programming through Acorn-TV’s online streaming: news & reviews, mysteries, dramas, comedies, documentaries, foreign language, feature films, and some programs only available on or original to Acorn-TV. My regular monthly subscription fee is very reasonable; I spend more on the price of a pint of green beer! However, I am very lucky to also have a Press Pass enjoying the benefits of receiving press releases for upcoming new shows and new seasons of favorites along with the ability to enjoy a sneak preview. Thanks to Acorn-TV, this self-proclaimed Anglophile never worries about “What’s on the telly tonight?”
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!
On Friday, March 16, kicking off St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Acorn-TV will air the exclusive U.S. premier of the second season of Striking Out. This acclaimed Irish legal drama follows Dublin-based solicitor Tara Rafferty, with an award winning performance by Amy Huberman, along with a plethora of friends, foes, and courtroom dramas. The four-episode season one had Tara reeling from the shocking revelation of her fiancé’s indiscretion the night before the wedding which facilitated her ‘striking out’ on her own…new law firm, new friends, new life, however complicated and messy. She brought a passion to solving legal dilemmas from privacy issues to inheritance disputes, from bigamist comatose husbands to child custody matters. But, it was the cliffhanger eviction, a colleague’s betrayal, a friend’s arrest, and the revelation that all of this may be connected to her powerful, almost father-in-law, that had me impatiently waiting for the second season.
Striking Out earns 5/5 Green Beers and Suspicious Court Documents!
Standing in front of a pile of boxes filled with client files, notes, and court documents, Tara is struggling with her eviction, the arrest of her friend and employee Ray Lamont, and betrayal by her tech wiz investigator Meg Riley who may be playing both sides. She shares her thoughts with ex-fiancé Eric Dunbar that his father is directly involved challenging him to refute her accusations. The corruption case in which she is involved with friend and barrister Vincent Pike is getting closer to a conclusion that may well implicate Eric and his father.
Circumstances of clients, court dates, and no office, lead Tara to ask to share office space with colleague and criminal solicitor George Cusack (Maria Doyle Kennedy joins the cast). This arrangement is a good solution for her professional needs, but the rules and boundaries in the Irish legal system about discussing clients and cases could be problematic. Tara again provides her best defense for her clients from deportations to custody battles, lawsuits against a convent to possible insurance fraud and divorce settlements, but she continues to be plagued by issues surrounding her former law firm, ex-fiancé Eric, and his father. Her personal life is further complicated with questions about her own parent’s relationship, her ex-fiancé moving on with a redhead, and the arrival of Eric’s brother Sam. Needless to say, this second season is very, very exciting.
Once again the drama is engaging, but it is the characters in which I am invested. Tara has regained much of her strength showing herself as a very competent solicitor and is beginning to see a life beyond Eric. Forgiveness is a theme with which she struggles when it comes to Eric’s betrayal, but she is starting to understand the real issues behind investigator Meg Riley’s decisions…”money gives you choices.” My favorite character, Ray (excellently cast with Emmet Byrne), is himself showing growth and strength finding fulfillment working within the legal community, and may wish to pursue something more official. The addition of Maria Doyle Kennedy (Downton Abbey, Orphan Black) as solicitor George Cusack is excellent. Although I know issues with smoking on film differs between countries, I was turned off by how hardcore a smoker she was. It is, however, used as catalyst for a conflict between Tara and George.
With the critical acclaim and award winning performances from season one, the second season was expanded to six episodes. So, the build up to the expected cliffhanger included a few extra romantic liaisons, an extra case to remedy, and all the evidence to bring down a huge conspiracy falling into place…a definite crescendo. Wow! Now, I have to wait and wait once again impatiently on the edge of my seat for season three. I highly recommend this series…it just might make a repeat appearance on my list for top streaming programs!
To satisfy any Anglophile thirst, here is Vincent’s Proper Pot of Tea.
“Oh, the tannins…the exotic perfumes!”
First, it is important to warm the pot. Swirl the hot water around, then discard.
Add a mixture of loose teas: 2 tsp Darjeeling, 2 tsp Assam, and 2 tsp Earl Grey.
Important, add the hot water at the minute it boils.
Leave the tea to draw. (Steeping time varies, usually 3-4 minutes)
Add a splash of milk. (The debate on whether to add milk before or after you pour tea into your cup includes historical references, social etiquette, and science.)
Other Irish shows on Acorn-TV to fill up St. Patrick’s Day weekend…
Jack Taylor, (5+/5 Shamrocks), “Jack Taylor (Iain Glen, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) is a former cop turned private investigator in this gripping drama as he investigates some of Ireland’s most heinous crimes.” Kings River Life April 29, 2017 Issue “Jack Taylor on Acorn-TV”
The Clinic, (5/5 Shamrocks), “is set in modern day Dublin. A fast-paced and contemporary drama follows a group of dedicated medical professionals working in a busy city health clinic.”
Clean Break, (4/5 Shamrocks), follows “car dealer Frank Mallon watching his life fall apart around him. His wife has left, his cars aren’t selling, and his teenage daughter is out of control. Desperate for a solution, Frank devises a plan to fix his money problems while also getting revenge on the people who make his life miserable.”
Turning Green, (4/5 Shamrocks), “16-year-old James Powers finds himself lost after his mother dies and he is forced to live with his three Irish aunts. Displaced and distressed, he longs to come back to America. One lucky weekend, desperate for cash after learning the ropes with bookies, gamblers, and crooks, James starts a wildly successful business of selling illegal magazines on the black market.”
Father Ted, (5/5 Shamrocks), “a classic series with Father Ted, one of three Catholic priests who are exiled to a remote Irish island for their earthly transgressions. Brought together on Craggy Island by their past misdeeds, the fathers spend their days scheming, dreaming, and occasionally tending to matters of the soul.”
The Irish R.M., (4/5 Shamrocks), “a classic series based on the turn-of-the-century stories by Somerville and Ross of a retired English army officer who becomes a Resident Magistrate in pre-independence West Ireland.”
Single-Handed, (5/5 Shamrocks), “Jack Driscoll is a cop recently transferred from Dublin to Ireland’s remote west coast in this gritty crime drama. Complex characters rife with moral ambiguity and internal conflict populate this series set against a landscape of epic beauty and isolation.”
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