by Kathleen Costa
ACORN-TV provides hundreds of the best programming options including news & reviews, mysteries, dramas, comedies, documentaries, foreign language, feature films, and some programs only available on or original to ACORN-TV. The regular monthly or annual subscription fees are very reasonable, and with hours of commercial-free streaming enjoyment for the true fans of UK productions, you won’t be wondering, “What’s on the telly tonight?”
Jack Taylor, starring Iain Glen of Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey, returned in March to ACORN-TV streaming three new episodes. Based on the novels by Ken Bruen, we find protagonist Jack Taylor, an ousted member of Gardaí Síochána (Ireland’s national police), unable to find himself staying away from murder, even if from the bottom of a Guinness draught! Although he alludes to private investigators as an uncommon breed in Ireland when commenting, “It’s too close to being an informant, a dodgy concept,” he takes on the job of ‘finder’ just as seriously, and with some of the same questionable techniques, as he did when he was a member of the Garda.
“Once a Guard…,” is the motivation that fuels Jack Taylor (brilliantly played by Iain Glen) in his pursuit of answers and some form of justice for clients who seek out his unique skill. He often relies on former colleagues in the Guard connecting frequently with Garda Kate Noonan (Nora-Jane Noone). She provides official information and back-up to assist in his investigations frequently putting her at odds with her superiors and slowing down any promotions.
There is a hint, but no definitive follow-thru, of a close relationship between Kate and Jack…just friends? Although Jack has considered himself a ‘lone wolf’ resisting any partnerships, he is joined by a young admirer of his Guard image Cody Farraher (Killian Scott) leading to an official partnership with Taylor & Cody Investigations. Cody is the apprentice, but he also life savor and friend. Together they deal with various adult themes, some very dark (kidnappers, vigilantes, paedophiles, drug traffickers), and make every effort to come out unscathed…not always successful.
Jack’s life ? childhood, family, and Catholic upbringing ? has a tendency to be dysfunctional, and as a result, he finds himself often in a bottle or unable to have healthy relationships. His mother, as most mental health professionals would point to, is distant if not hostile, leading to very difficult family reunions and repressed emotions.
“The Magdalen Martyrs” is an extraordinary episode that reveals much about Jack’s mother and provides insights into her behavior. In “The Dramatist,” we see an attempt to have an understanding, but some family issues may never have closure. Jack doesn’t really admit to being close to anyone, and the shocking ending in “Priest” adds to the enigma.
It took three years for Set 3 (translation Season 3) to be aired. It is now streaming on ACORN-TV, and after the cliffhanger, I was very excited. However, there were so many changes that I am a bit on the fence. Jack, still portrayed by Iain Glen, is still drinking, but not to excess and his demons seem to be under control…that ‘edge’ isn’t as edgy. Garda Kate Noonan is still in the series, but a different actress has been cast (Siobhán O’Kelly). I really enjoyed Nora-Jane Noone’s performance, so it is difficult to see someone else in the role.
The relationship between Kate and Jack moves forward, but the big question remains, will it or can it last? The biggest disappointment is the loss of Cody who has received his ‘green card’ and is now moving to Boston. A new character, Kate’s cousin Darragh Noonan (Jack Monaghan), is introduced eager to assist Jack with his investigations with a highly educated background…gonna have to get used to him. Still, I really like the series, even with all the changes. The lead actor Iain Glen has made Jack Taylor a signature role, and the gritty stories, excellent characters, and Galway background make this engaging and entertaining.
Jack Taylor earns 5/5 Item 8234 Garda Regulation All-Weather Coats! Sign up for Acorn TV on their website and you can check out all of the great TV.