Frank of Ireland: Some Decent Moments, But Needs Work – Amazon Prime Review

Brian Gleeson tries his hand at playing a thirty-something unlikable loser.


Frank Marron (Brian Gleeson) is in his thirties, still living at home, unemployed, and determined to be a professional musician, despite his lack of talent or willingness to put effort into it. His best friend and sidekick is Doofus (Domhnall Gleeson), a local idiot (as the name would imply) who generally goes along with anything that Frank proposes. Frank has recently been dumped by his girlfriend Áine (Sarah Greene), who is now dating a very rich and talented doctor, Peter Bryan (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor). Also, his mother, Mary (Pom Boyd), doesn’t particularly like Frank living at home, mostly because it hinders her free lovin’ lifestyle. However, Frank is determined not to change, no matter how hard he has to work to prevent it.

These are Brendan Gleeson’s sons. Yes, he cameos.


I really had high hopes for this show, but it never quite hits its stride for an entire episode. Yes, there are a lot of really funny scenes throughout the show, but it just doesn’t have anything that can carry the show. While Brian and Domhnall Gleeson are both hilarious at times, and definitely both talented performers, the material is often lacking. It’s hard to keep “these guys are losers and idiots and they never learn better” going as a punchline. If Frank ever actually seemed to recognize that he’s a giant waste of carbon, then at least we could root for him. As it is, he’s just too dumb and too selfish to be worthwhile. He only ever seems to win when he points out that other people can be worse than him, but it’s only in specific instances. It’s hard to like a protagonist whose main skill is pointing out that other people suck too. Not that it doesn’t work at times, particularly when he points out that everyone else is in a cycle just as self-deceiving and destructive as him, but it’s kind of hard to believe that when at least they aren’t leeching off of everyone else. 

I mean, a series of fishookings at a funeral is a decent gag.

Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t a number of funny moments in this show. There absolutely are, and many of them are kept afloat primarily by the talent of the main cast. When they get into the groove, particularly Brian Gleeson and Pom Boyd, they can pull off some well-timed interactions that can really hit you in the gut. It’s also pretty funny that Mary is constantly mistreating all the men in her life in the same ways that male characters usually mistreat women, like having a boyfriend that pays rent while she sleeps with another tenant. 

Frank and Mary are amazing.

Overall, not the best show, but it has some solid moments. I don’t know that I would tell anyone to bother with season 1, but maybe it’ll find its stride in season 2.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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