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Are you watching? Mr Mercedes on RTE One

Brendan Gleeson and Mary Louise Parker star in Mr Mercedes

WE GAVE you a heads-up on this new Stephen King adaptation starring Brendan Gleeson when it started airing in the US last month.

Happily, RTE has now picked up the series for the benefit of Irish viewers, who will get a big kick out of watching Gleeson's irascible retired cop Bill Hodges refusing to mince words while dealing with irritants as he conducts an illegal private investigation into an elusive tech-savvy serial killer now taunting him from afar via email and other electronic means.

The storyline involving devious sociopath Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway), who intends to follow up a horrific headline-grabbing vehicular murder spree with another even more heinous crime, is all straight from King's hit novel.

However, Mr Mercedes belongs to Gleeson's gleefully grizzled interpretation of Hodges: the veteran Irish actor mines gold from King's ex-cop cliches, transforming a rather generic character into a gruff yet charismatic fella with an entertaining bull in a China shop manner.

This Hodges is not afraid to tell folks to "f*** away off" when needed and, rather than having been brought to the brink of suicide by booze-addled boredom and loneliness, Gleeson's Irish-born American divorcee stubbornly ploughs onwards like a slowly sinking ocean liner.

While Gleeson is a joy to watch, Mr Mercedes also offers a fair share of wince-inducing near-the-knuckle moments courtesy of Brady's incestuous relationship with his perma-drunk mother (Kelly Lynch) that make for highly uncomfortable viewing.

Definitely worth a look.

:: Mr Mercedes, Tuesdays at 10pm on RTE One. Catch up now at RTE.ie/player

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