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The satirical comedy, The Dry, has received high praise and numerous awards.
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The satirical comedy, The Dry, has received high praise and numerous awards.


The impact of Fleabag is still evident and appreciated. Often used in a negative context, it refers to the abundance of similar shows after the success of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s hit. However, the Fleabag effect can also be seen positively in the minds of TV commissioners. It demonstrated a demand for smart, female-driven narratives and a willingness for dark comedy-dramas.

And so, ideas that may have been rejected and thrown away in the past as too difficult, offensive, complicated, or feminine, were now successfully brought to life. Shows like Sophie Willan’s “Alma’s Not Normal,” Aisling Bea’s “This Way Up,” Daisy Haggard and Laura Solon’s “Back to Life,” and Nancy Harris’s “The Dry” emerged, blending reflections on poverty, mental illness, alcoholism, the effects of childhood and other trauma, with a substantial amount of clever humor that may not always elicit laughter.

The second season of The Dry has arrived. It has been seven months since the first season and Siobhan Sheridan (also known as Shiv and played by Roisin Gallagher) now works as a receptionist at the local art college and has been sober for six months. Her mother Bernie (Pom Boyd), who last attended her first AA meeting with her daughter, is also now sober. She has found a boyfriend, Finbar (Michael McElhatton), and has moved him into their home while her husband Tom (Ciarán Hinds) has been relegated to the shed. Ant (Adam John Richardson), who is fragile and loves to party, is still in a relationship with Max (Emmanuel Okoye) and is still employed at the estate agency, for the time being. Caroline (Siobhan Cullen) is trying to navigate the world of Tinder after calling off her engagement to Rory (Eoin Duffy). Despite being ill-suited to the practice and receiving harsh criticism from Rory’s mother who called her “a spunk-soaked evil slut,” she continues to meet new men. And Karen (Janet Moran) remains the same magnificently brutal Karen as before.

… The Dry cast members on a park bench.

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All four episodes that are currently available for review demonstrate that creator and writer Nancy Harris’ talent has not diminished. The new additions to the cast only further solidify this belief. Shiv now has a new romantic interest, Alex (played by Sam Keeley), who seems like a much healthier option for her compared to her previous love interest Jack (played by Moe Dunford). Although Jack is still in the picture, he now has a baby and a custody battle, making him an even bigger toxic threat to Shiv if she were to rekindle their relationship. However, it is clear that she won’t because she is now with wonderful Alex and has learned from her past experiences with Jack that it only leads to misery. It is safe to assume that this is how things will unfold.

There is Shane (Seán Doyle), an investment banker who becomes Caroline’s terrible boyfriend due to her persistent pursuit of a consulting position at the hospital. Then, there is Finbar, a pompous self-proclaimed “man of literature” who intrudes on every family occasion and is so insufferable that I want to shower the actor and Harris with awards for their perfect portrayal. I despise him immensely.

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Similar to the first installment, the sequel is precisely structured and filled with genuine details, presenting a ruthless exploration of the distresses we endure, the damages they drive us to inflict upon ourselves and those around us, and the scarcity of simple solutions. How much responsibility does Tom hold for his own unfortunate circumstances? Would we have recognized him if we had met him before his son’s death – when he was still a confident and self-made businessman on the rise? Is it now Bernie’s turn to prosper, or has her new life with her fellow AA members and Finbar been tainted because she still refuses to address the root causes of her alcoholism? Her youthful sponsor Billy (played by Thommas Kane Byrne) advises that the “moral inventory” required in the recovery process is “only as difficult as you make it”. There are different types of dishonest companions.

The interactions between the characters fluctuate, but they always feel genuine. We explore deeper into the family’s dysfunction, as well as their relationships with others, without any over-the-top drama. The Dry is still an intricate, clever, and emotionally impactful triumph.

Source: theguardian.com