Yeah, this was some time coming - me doing a blog about the latest Irish soap to hit the airwaves - Red Rock. Hold tight, readers.
Announced early back in 2014 after it was revealed that UTV Ireland was to take over airing both Emmerdale and Coronation Street in 2015, TV3 revealed their own intentions for a soap with Red Rock - a twice weekly show set in a fictional coastal town of the same name with the main plots centring around a local Gardai station and between two warring families - the somewhat posh Hennesseys and the rather rough Kielys.
The opening episode opened up with a fight between Darren Kiely and Michael Hennessey, with the latter ending up in hospital before dying at the end of the first episode. Introduced into the second episode, the Kielys rather fearsome matriarch, Bridget (Denise McCormack) seemed pretty intent on getting vengeance for her deceased son while Hennessey matriarch Patricia (Cathy Belton) went as far as intimidating the daughter of the man she was sleeping with in a bid to keep her own son out of prison. Of course, when we weren't seeing and hearing about the long rivalry between both families intensifying, at least two of them were secretly sleeping together (Hennessey other son, David and only Kiely daughter, Katie) while young Gardai Sharon (Jane McGrath) was pretty horrified to learn that one of her co-workers was sleeping with a schoolgirl amongst other things.
Having seen the first two episodes, I have to admit that Red Rock is off to a decent start. With 160 episodes due to air over the next two years (I'm assuming that it will take summer breaks), it certainly has plenty of time to fine tune things - the theme for a start is one of the few negative things I have to say about the soap, it's just jarring I'm afraid. The acting is pretty solid, the majority of the characters are likeable and interesting enough to carry the show and while it won't initially give either Fair City or Ros Na Run a run for their money, I will admit that Red Rock does stand up pretty well so far. That being said, I am hoping for some more families outside the Hennessey/Kiely clans (the Reids who run the cafe are a good start) to be added over the next few months and while it's great that one of the Gardai is someone not from Ireland, I am hoping the show does follow it's other soap rivals lead with a few more POC and LGBT characters. Other than that, congrats TV3, I think you've got a hit on your hands and a soap that I will watch.
Official Site: http://tv3.ie/shows/redrock
Red Rock airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8.30pm on TV3. The omnibus is at 6pm on Sundays.