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Jack Irish (TV Series) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Genre: ,
 
Actor:
 
Length: Approx. 1 hr 40 min per episode
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


User Rating
2 total ratings

 

We liked?


Likable characters and intriguing cases.

Not so much?


Can get a little long.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Available now on Acorn.TV – a subscription service along the lines of Netflix, with shows not found elsewhere – Jack Irish may just be the new crime drama you fall in love with. With likable characters and interesting cases, you could do a lot worse for your weekend couch potato time – just make sure you set aside a whole afternoon.

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Posted July 29, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

Luck o’ the Irish!

Jack Irish hasn’t been lucky in a long time. Once a promising young criminal defense lawyer, Jack’s life took a turn for the worse when a disgruntled client murdered Jack’s wife before taking his own life. Now, over a decade later, Jack is a lawyer no more, earning a living collecting debts and betting on horses. But a call from a convicted former client takes Jack’s life off course once again, as guilt and a sense of responsibility gets Jack back to investigating – even if it may be too late for a whole lot of people.

And so begins the first episode of Jack Irish, an Australian television series that is long on intrigue and dark humor. And also, just long. For those of us used to the American standard of a 45 minute crime drama, the near two hour length of both Jack Irish episodes currently available takes a little getting used to. While you’ll have to budget a little more time than usual to get these shows in, the extra time mostly does well to add background to the story – and to ensure that the endings aren’t always a pat answer after a series of unlikely coincidences. This show is based on Peter Temple’s popular novels, and they’ve done a great job ensuring the attention to detail and intriguing story line translates well to the small screen.

Jack is played by Guy Pearce, who strikes a masterful balance between a brooding hero who always gets his man, and a lost soul trying to find his way back from the edge. Each episode is as much about Jack getting his life back in order as they are about the case – and you really want Jack to get his life back in order, from getting back into legal work to picking up a love interest. His is an exceptionally well done character, and as you see him getting pulled reluctantly back to the land of the living, you root for him, and it is this that keeps you coming back for more.

While Jack is a clever investigator, he can’t both solve the case and stay alive without his friends, a motley crew including a gruff old carpenter, a rich race enthusiast and his highly skilled driver, a cliched computer whiz, and a group of old sports fans at the pub. They add a welcome element of humor to the show, as well as providing a handy target for those who would have Jack off the case.

That’s not to say the cases aren’t interesting – these too are quite well done. In the first episode, a man convicted of a hit and run has been released from prison. But as he tries to get on with his life, he can’t shake the feeling he is being followed. When a frantic call to Jack is followed by the news of his death, Jack and his loyal friends are drawn into a web of lies and deceit that stretches back more than a decade.

In the second episode, we get to know Jack even better when he takes on a case for an old buddy of his Dad’s. His client’s son, Gary, has stolen $60,000 from him, and he now faces foreclosure in his golden years. As Jack begins to dig deep into Gary’s background, it soon becomes evident that someone doesn’t want Gary found.

Available now on Acorn.TV – a subscription service along the lines of Netflix, with shows not found elsewhere – Jack Irish may just be the new crime drama you fall in love with. With likable characters and interesting cases, you could do a lot worse for your weekend couch potato time – just make sure you set aside a whole afternoon.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)