Far from being Stupid Kids, there's a little bit of genius about 'The Young Offenders'

Although unaware of the looming pandemic, the people behind the Cork comedy caper struck gold by shooting the third series last summer
Far from being Stupid Kids, there's a little bit of genius about 'The Young Offenders'

Chris Walley as Jock O'Keeffe with baby Star — played by twins Penny and Nola Richardson — and Alex Murphy as Conor MacSweeney in episode one of the new series of 'Young Offenders' which aired on Friday night and can be viewed now on the RTÉ Player. Pictures: PA/BBC/VicoFilms/Miki Barlok 

In hindsight, it was a genius decision. 

Summer 2019, the world is basking in relative normality, blissfully unaware of what's brewing in Wuhan. Somebody suggests that, instead of the usual stint of filming one run of episodes, The Young Offenders should actually make two seasons during the summer in Cork. 

So, as other shows struggle with lockdowns and various Covid-19 restrictions, the loveable Leeside rogues are able to fill the scheduling gap with the six episodes of season three. 

Here's a recap on the first instalment of the one they prepared earlier.

The story

Episode one revolved around a caper conceived by Billy Murphy to steal a consignment of fancy televisions, where the compliant delivery driver would turn a blind eye to what was going on. For Conor and Jock, the situation was complicated by the fact that they were minding baby Star for the day. Solution? Ah, just bring her along for her first ickle robbery.

Billy Murphy (Shane Casey) comes up with the crime caper that gets Jock and Conor into further trouble in episode one of series three. Pictures: PA/BBC/VicoFilms/Miki Barlok 
Billy Murphy (Shane Casey) comes up with the crime caper that gets Jock and Conor into further trouble in episode one of series three. Pictures: PA/BBC/VicoFilms/Miki Barlok 

New faces

The end of last season brought the arrival of baby Star, and she looks like she'll be living up to her name through this series. Of course, practical considerations and strict regulations ensure it's not always easy to work with a baby on set, but the fact that Star is actually played by two junior actors — twins Penny and Nola Richardson — made the job easier all round.

What's that tune?

The Young Offenders has already won plenty praise for the exposure it has given to Irish artists, and the stat-bots at Shazam during episode one may have noticed a spike in searches that returned the answer 'Stupid Kid' by Cork band Sultans of Ping.

Locations

As usual, Dublin Hill and Mayfield were used for the houses of the main characters, while much of the main action took place around the EZ Living Furniture shop on Blarney Street.

Best gag

Star's mother Siobhán rings to say hello to the baby, just as she's gone missing in the furniture shop. A panicked Jock hands the phone to Conor to pretend he's the infant. Putting on his best baby voice, he mumbles a garbled “How's it going?”.

Name that film

While explaining his confused account to Sergeant Healy, driver Paul attempts to quote a classic movie line. “Keyser Soze ... the greatest trick the devil ever played was it wasn't him at all.”

It's a peculiar version of what was said in The Usual Suspects.

Ultimate Cork moment

When they're all safe and happy at home again, proud dad Jock has Star in his arms as he points to Shandon and spins the story that's been told to generations of Leeside children, about how the fish on top is made of solid gold. 

Dowtcha boy!

  • Series three of The Young Offenders began on Frday, July 24, 2020, and continues on Friday nights at 9.35pm on RTÉ One, and is also available to catch up on the RTÉ Player.

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