Watch this: The Young Offenders
CO CORK-set crime comedy The Young Offenders was the biggest Irish box office success of 2016 – and now writer/director Peter Foott has reassembled his main cast for a TV spin-off centring on the further exploits of deceptively hard looking teen tearaways Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley).
The good news is that everything that made the charming low budget film such a hit is present and correct in the small screen version now being shown on the BBC and RTE2, from the wickedly funny writing and pitch-perfect tone to the top-drawer performances from a cast of young unknowns and Irish comedians – the brilliant Hilary Rose is back as Conor's long-suffering mam, while PJ Gallagher returns in a brand new role.
The series serves as a kind of prequel to the film and, while the first instalment does recycle a couple of key elements from the 2016 cinema smash (notably the concept of 'Fake Billy' and the bicycle chase through Cork's English Market), by episode two Foott and co are breaking fertile new ground as 'ladies man' Jock and the comically less confident Conor attempt to woo the daughters of their highly strung school principal, Mr Walsh (Gallagher).
A perfect blend of rowdy, silly humour and heart-warming sentiment, The Young Offenders looks set to become a long-running chronicle of Cork's favourite loveable rogues.
The Young Offenders, Thursdays at 9.30pm on RTE2 / Fridays at 11.25pm on BBC One. New episodes available first online every Thursday at 10am via BBC iPlayer. Catch-up now via iPlayer and RTE Player. The film is currently available on Netflix.