Skip to main content

TV Review: The Hanging Gale

This is a depressing series set in Ireland during the 1846 potato blight. Now, I say it's depressing, which it is (terribly depressing at times!) but it is also a gripping story, not to mention well acted, well cast, and well done. It also made me think about my own Irish ancestors, and I wondered if any of this was happening to them back then.

The Hanging Gale boasts a cast featuring the four McGann brothers (Joe, Paul, Mark, and Stephen), and the story itself is based off of Joe and Stephen's original idea. There is also Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War). I'm already a fan of Michael Kitchen and Paul McGann, who I've seen in Our Mutual Friend, Collision, and an episode of Jonathan Creek. All of the McGanns are excellent in this, and it's a bit freaky because they look so much alike, especially Paul and Stephen, who could be twins. Just remember that Paul is the priest and Stephen is the insane school teacher.

Michael Kitchen is the new agent/ landlord, replacing the old one who was recently murdered by a group of disgruntled men. It starts off on that pleasant note, and we know from the start that this new guy is going to be a prime target, especially if he doesn't do what the peole want him to. Naturally, he's not much for helping all of the poor folks. You have to keep in mind that he's not the actual lord, though, he's just the messenger and the lord hasn't been in this poor land on decades. Unfortunately, messengers often get shot.

The McGann brothers all work on their family-owned farm along with their father. The oldest brother, Sean, is married to Maeve, and has three young children. His brother Connor is in love with Maeve, and Daniel, the school teacher, is engaged to Maeve's sister. Everyone is already poor enough as it is, and the demands of the landlord aren't helping. Most people can't afford to pay, and when they fail to fork it out, they are thrown out of their homes, which are then set on fire, because that makes sense...(no it doesn't). Then the potato blight comes along, making payment impossible. Not only that, but no one is allowed to take these homeless families in, forcing them to either go to the poorhouse or to rough it on foot in the wilderness.

But how long will people put up with this for? The whole situation escalates, and life for the our main family continues to worsen. Like I said, it's not a happy story, but it's worth watching. I found myself invested in the story and the characters.

It's shown in four parts, each around 50 minutes.

(From left) Joe, Stephen, Mark, and Paul McGann

My grade: A-


Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Arrietty


As someone who grew up watching "The Borrowers", that lovely British gem from the early 90s starring Ian Holm and Penelope Wilton, I had to see this anime take on the children's novels by Mary Norton.

And boy was I disappointed!

I'm surprised that I'm even admitting this. This is a movie I genuinely believed would be above average for me. Perhaps is has to do with the ratings it has received, and I think anime generally gets praise. It's a thing. But more importantly, (and do take note of this before criticizing me for criticizing this) since I did grow up with that other lovely series, I've been spoiled, and nothing can outdo it. My standards were raised a long time ago.

So allow me to rundown the reasons why I am so disappointed with this adaptation:

(1) The Japanese stamp is certainly visible. While I wouldn't normally view that as a flaw, "The Borrowers" is a purely British tale. The characters, the setting, everything. The s…

Movie Review: Rosemary's Baby

It took me a long time to get to this, but I finally watched it. This isn't the first movie I've seen featuring satanists and creepy conspiring old people. I gotta say, I liked it, although this isn't one that I'll watch often, or maybe ever again. It also ran a little long at over two hours.

The painful part about watching this was how obvious the characters are in their intentions. In fact it could be downright infuriating. As a viewer, I know that the neighbors are rather evil and that they put a great deal of time and effort into controlling Rosemary. It's also a glaring fact that there is a big plot that has yet to be revealed, but according to the movie description I was supposed to "wonder" if it was real or just in Rosemary's imagination. Hmm.

I also know that I could just murder her husband, who is obviously a part of the plot (what a great guy!). And Rosemary comes off as both naive and aware, letting them tell her what to do, which doctor …

Inspector Lewis: Wild Justice

You know, I was excited last night. Why? Because, after weeks of no Inspector Lewis, they were finally airing two new episodes back to back! Yay! PBS has been a bit backed up, what with all of their pledge programming and favorites. There are four new episodes in total, and two, I believe, were supposed to air in September. Only one did. Naturally, I was looking forward to the 9-midnight Lewis-athon.

And you know what ticked me off? They didn't play two new episodes back to back. They repeated the first one and then played a new one. So I had to wait until 10:30 to get my fix. Because of course everyone wants to re-watch the first one, right? Wrong! Mamma not happy!

But we did get one new episode, so I'll be content with that. They should be playing the other two next week, since a new series is supposed to start soon.

This one is called "Wild Justice". Lewis and Hathaway are investigating the death of a female Bishop. She flew across the pond from the USA for a ga…