Deception: the most compellingly terrible thing to ever appear on Irish TV?

By Kitty | February 15 2013 | 13 Comments

After the massive success of RTE’s Love/Hate, TV3 decided to turn their hand to the gritty drama series genre with Deception. However, unlike Love/Hate, TV3’s foray into crime-tinged drama is possibly the most compellingly awful thing ever to appear on Irish television. And that includes Wagon’s Den.

Set in a Galway ghost estate (it’s CURRENT and TOPICAL, you see!), Deception revolves around the lives of six families, each with their own ridiculous problems and secrets and extraordinary facial expressions. The acting is so terrible, each scene seems like an extended ad for double glazed windows, while the characters awkwardly navigate dialogue like: “She’s throwing her life away and for what? Lads and larks!” (because that’s how people talk) or the following amazing outburst: “Don’t chastise me like some….poodle!”

The interior sets are so sparsely decorated, it looks like the crew just turned up at an empty house, threw a magazine on a table and decided that was enough to make it look lived-in. I get that it’s set in a ghost estate, but come on, people who live in houses have STUFF, regardless of where that house is.


You get the distinct impression that most of the show’s budget went on the opening titles and getting well known faces like The Clinic’s Leigh Arnold and Bishop Len Brennan on board. Dramatic scenes are dealt with by shaky camera techniques that make you feel seasick and an abundance of angry nose-breathing.

Particular stand-out characters include Owen, the tall blonde dude who delivers his lines about as naturally as a talking clock, and troubled adolescent Troy, who kicks over wheelie bins, stabs resuscitation dummies and shouts “GEEBAG!” at strangers. Troy is described on the TV3 website as “A tightly wound thimble of adolescent malevolence not seen since Damien in The Omen.” Which just might be my new favourite sentence.

So, have you been watching Deception? Am I being too harsh or is it actually an intriguing and hard-hitting must-watch series? Discuss!

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13 Replies to "Deception: the most compellingly terrible thing to ever appear on Irish TV?"

  • fififinx says:

    Every once in a while I’m glad I can’t access Irish TV. This is one of those times. We’re not fecking America!!! Love/Hate works because it is about one side of the real Ireland, unvarnished untarnished and unglamorous. That looks like a bunch of bemused actors forced to pretend Galway is somewhere in upstate New York! It’s creepy and kind of pathetic (based on what I’ve seen, which admittedly isn’t much). Kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!

  • ladyelvis says:

    Kitty I have never seen this but intend to watch it on demand now. That kitchen still is priceless, wish my house was as clean as that.
    You’ve reminded me of Ted kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse, which is a fantasy I regularly have at work meetings-and like Ted I’d just sit back down in my chair like nothing has happened.

  • Atkin says:

    If you have access to the internet, you have access to Irish TV via the TV3 player, RTE player or aertv. I’ve never seen it, and never plan to. Life is too short for crap TV.

  • Em says:

    Lads and larks?! Who writes this rubbish? It annoys me because I know that Ireland can produce some really great actors (Richard Harris, David Kelly, Peter O’Toole, practically the entire Cusack family, Michael Fassbender and his “little friend”) and yet we keep trying to do the Hollywood thing. Its disappointing

  • *Aisling* says:

    Haha classic

    A tightly wound thimble of adolescent malevolence not seen since Damien in The Omen

    I found this clip on YouTube which is basically people breaking their asses laughing at the crappy acting – have a look. You can’t watch most TV3 and RTE Player content outside Ireland unforch but this will give you a taster of what you’re missing!

  • ladyelvis – It’s HILARIOUSLY bad.

    Em – I know! Lads and larks could be an amazing tagline for something.

    Aisling – It’s the thimble part that makes it for me. I never knew they were a thing that could be wound.

    Ah Deception. It’s like watching a school play, only I’ve seen some really good school plays.

  • Em says:

    The next post about Fifty Fine things should have the tagline Lads and Larks.

  • *Aisling* says:

    Em- heheh! That’s coming our way shortly by the way!

  • Praxis says:

    I watched about 20 minutes of the first episode before I decided that life was too short. Dire.

  • Em says:

    Fifty fine things om nom nom

  • sevda says:

    It’s shocking it’s so bad. I saw a bit of it and thought it’s so bad it will be funny, but no.

    That scene – you try and top yourself in your car and change your mind. Despite a lung full of carbon you manage to make it to the middle of the pitch before you collaspe. Why go to the centre of the pitch. Would you just have a sit down?

    I mean they aren’t that bad as actors, but obs they are over directed. The fella marrried to the american use to be on enders years back and he was grand as an actor. He’s good in the egg advert too.

  • Anna says:

    Kitty, I kind of want to watch it now. It was the amazing line ““Don’t chastise me like some…poodle!” that did it.

  • limesmoothie says:

    This sounds brilliantly awful. Well jel. Although we do have River City in Scotland, which appears to be set in a bit of Glasgow populated by hammy old actors.

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