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!