‘Eyes Wide Shut’ meets ‘Father Ted’ in the wesht of Ireland

TV Review: ‘Hardy Bucks’ is crude, juvenile and blokey, but it has an irresistible swagger

It’s three years since Hardy Bucks was last on TV, and a whole decade since the show became a YouTube sensation

It’s three years since Hardy Bucks was last on TV, and a whole decade since the show became a YouTube sensation

 

The foul-mouthed phenomenon that is Hardy Bucks (RTE Two, Thursday, 10.35pm) returned to the small screens this week. It’s three years since Hardy Bucks was last on TV, and a whole decade since the show became a YouTube sensation – before “YouTube sensation” was a recognised career path for an entire generation.

Ten years later, its protagonists are now in their 30s, and apparently blissfully unaffected by the ageing process. Eddie (Martin Moloney) is like a pig in the proverbial, living rent-free in Buzz (Owen Colgan)’s house in Castletown – aka Swinford – Co Mayo, trailing well-meaning chaos and perfectly pitched one-liners in his wake.

There’s a scene in the lads’ local Chinese in the first episode in the new series that may be as touching a depiction of male friendship you’ll see this side of Brokeback Mountain.

Of course, every good story here has a complication – and this one has a sighing, sex-mad, eye-rolling complication with a lip piercing and PVC jeans called Ciara (Aoibheann McCaul).

Eddie’s girlfriend of two years, Ciara wants Eddie to move out. Eddie’s having none of it, so Ciara sweetens the deal: if you tell Buzz you’re moving out, you can sleep with other women. Threeways, she adds, in case “sleep with other women” was too subtle.

Meanwhile, Buzz is working up a head of steam over poor Ciara and her sex addiction. He’s not a doctor, like, but he’s interested in helping people. You can tell where this is going to end up.

Ciara and Eddie decide to explore the Wesht of Ireland schwinging scene. Imagine Eyes Wide Shut meets Father Ted meets Glór Tire, and you’re about there.

“Help yourself to some carvery, and there’s plenty of tea and coffee,” the half-naked masked hostess tells Eddie and Ciara, as someone whips out ... a button accordion.

The session sizzles as Eddie’s fantasies fizzle, die, and turn to dust. “Do you know who Marie is,” he hisses at Ciara. “That’s Miss Nally, my old geography teacher.”

Notions, Ciara tells him. “There’s six people in there with a combined age of 400.”

Hardy Bucks isn’t for everyone – it’s crude, it’s unapologetically blokey, it’s defiantly juvenile – but it has a swagger about it that still proves irresistible.

Diehard fans will love it, detractors won’t be going near it either way, and there are enough schnakey, sharp-edged one-liners here to attract a whole new generation. Ten years on, Hardy Bucks remains ludicrous, funny, and ludicrously funny.