TG4 HAS had a great few years. It was recently announced as the sixth most watched channel in Ireland, putting the Connemara based station ahead of BBC 2 and Channel 4. I decided to try and just watch TG4 for the week and see how I got on.
In terms of TG4's online player I was surprised, not that it is better than the RTÉ player, but how much better it is. I spent a week watching TG4 player and at no point did it buffer or did picture quality drop.
An Klondike: Season one of this show was the closing film of the 2015 Galway Film Fleadh, but is better in the episodic format shown here on the TG4 player. The show is a western shot outside Oughterard and it looks fantastic. It is one thing to be this ambitious in scale (they built an entire 1800s town ) it is another thing to pull it off. The story centres around three Irish brothers in Canada seeking their fortune during the gold rush. It is not super original, but the acting and the production qualities are excellent.
Fargo: OK, so maybe it is cheating a little to have this here, but it was great to see TG4 get the rights to one of the best shows on TV. Season four stars Chris Rock, Jessie Buckley, and Jason Schwartzman, and is centred around the Kansas City mafia. Only four episodes out so far and thankfully it manages to keep the quality of the previous three seasons. Keep in mind each season is entirely its own story so you do not need to go back and watch the others (but you should, they are great ).
Concerts: I used to be one of those people who would buy DVDs of concerts back when people collected DVDs. I was amazed to see the terrific selection of concerts on the TG4 player. I must have watched one a day for the last week, from Rory Gallagher to Amy Winehouse to Chic. Fantastic for putting on the background or enjoying from start to finish. Alanis Morissette was a personal fave.
Paisean Faisean: I will never understand how the concept of this show did not didn’t make TG4 millions in royalties. How is there not versions of this in every county in the world? It has all the staples of great reality tv. Men looking like idiots, potential romance, and fashion - not to mention that incredible pun title. If I were TG4 I would be on to ITV in the morning to sell it to them. All seasons available on the player.
Rásaí na Gaillimhe: A seven episode comedy series set during the Galway races. Each episode is another day. It was much funnier than I thought it was going to be, considering my Irish is uafásach. Yet, the humour still lands and it is a great little 30 minute sitcom - something I feel Ireland has had trouble producing on its own.