It was probably a bad idea to name BBC Norn Irons new sitcom. …NUMBER TWOS.
It is a hostage to fortune.
Clearly the idea was to imply that politicians at Stormont were “shite” but all it did was prove that the quality of comedy writing in Norn Iron is complete and utter “shite”.
The show is written by Tim McGarry, Damon Quinn and Michael McDowell. Collectively they are known as The Hole in The Wall Gang.
In the 1990s, they were three Belfast barristers (attorneys) with an above average sense of humour and they wrote some sketches for local radio and TV and they wrote a pretty good one-off comedy “Three Ceasefires And A Wedding”.. a parody not just of the Peace Process but of the TV dramas and movies which dealt with the Troubles.
This led to a sketch show whoch was I thought very good and introduced characters like “Mickeys Mammy” and “The All Too Nice Couple from Cultra”.
Several series of a comedy show “Give My Head Peace” lost their edge progressively as the Peace Process became a bigger farce than any comedy programme lampooning it.
The Show also lost their best asset when actress Nuala McKeever left the group to go solo and be a leading member of LetsGetAlongerist group of activists (Platform for Change).
They never really recovered. But a serious drama by McGarry, Quinn and McDowell on the Father Brendan Smyth Affair (Smyth was the first Catholic priest revealed as an abuser) was very good.
Tim McGarry hosts an occasional comedy panel show “The Blame Game” which seeks to satirise life in Norn Iron.
The big problem with new show “Number Twos” is that political life in Norn Iron is beyond satire. There ia an elite Overclass of people who think they are better than the 108 MLAs at Stormont. But the MLAs are actually elected.
So what is the plot (wafer-thin) of NUMBER TWOS.
Well Ricky a young Protestant and Sinead a young Catholic are Special Advisors to a Sinn Féin and DUP Minister in the same Department….well the rest of the plot doesnt mean anything at all except its about young apolitical Overclass working with two sectarian dinosaurs.
It re-inforces the narrative that we have a lousy wasteful political system which is generously financed by the Taxpayer.
But for me it emphasises the fact that we have a lousy cmedians who in the BBC are lavishly funded by the TV Licence Payer.
Now that IS Irony.