“Obituary” makes dark (and successful) jokes about death and the people who help it

The absolute pinnacle (at least one of the pinnacles) of journalistic work is writing an obituary. This is a very complex genre: here is a wish for a happy final journey, and an exact set of character traits of the deceased, and a sniper’s choice of life collisions, allowing you to create a bright and voluminous gravestone image. This is jewelry work that requires animal instinct and innate artistry. It is no coincidence that some authors for a long time and forcibly get stuck in the role of journalist-undertaker. And it is completely clear that films and TV series called “Obituary” appear in the world from time to time.

The heroine of the six-episode Irish show on the RTÉ One channel (in Russia, “Obituary” is available only from pirates) was Elvira Clancy (Siovan Cullen), a journalist from a regional newspaper in the small (fictional, of course) town of Kilraven. The happiest memory of her childhood is connected with shooting bottles with a gun: missing, Elvira hit a deer. It is not surprising that an adult girl chose to write obituaries for local residents as her calling. The only problem is that they die too irregularly, and the greedy editor-in-chief (David Ganley) pays employees only for published articles. So Elvira, first by accident, and then quite consciously, begins to independently create news feeds for her own publications. Soon the heroine develops a reputation as a master of the last word, but among the residents there are also those who are suspicious of the rapid development of the young journalist’s career.

There is no doubt that Elvira Clancy is one of the brightest heroines of the current television season. Debut series creator Ray Lawlor tapped into the trend for anti-heroes and created a morally controversial but extremely charming female take on the theme of “Dexter” and “Barry.” Elvira also has her own code of rules, which is constantly tested by harsh reality. For example, she believes that she would never kill a child. But what if the potential victim has just turned eighteen? And what to do with your best friend, the broken girl Mallory (Danielle Galligan), who, having found herself in the next zone of life turbulence, is ready to sacrifice Elvira? There is also a disgusting, but very tenacious old man who hides the beginning of remission in order to receive rays of support from the residents of Kilraven in the fight against cancer. Miss Clancy solves all these dilemmas desperately and wittily, but the novice screenwriter is let down by the desire to fit all her many ideas into six episodes.

The black comedy here is tinted with allusions to Twin Peaks, and at some point it completely gives way to a murky investigation into a murder five years ago, in which almost all the local residents are involved. As a result, the sharp idea is somewhat lost behind new and new storylines, and the rhythm of the narrative sag noticeably in the middle of the season. However, as far as humorous commentary on the sensitive work of journalism is concerned, Obituary is quite excellent. Provincial specifics put a magnifying glass on the heroine’s professional activities and lead to numerous reliable curiosities. Well, by the end, Elvira arrives as a fully formed master of her craft. In a possible second season, it fully deserves to be promoted to the federal level.

Photo: RTÉ One

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