TV & Radio
TV Review: Green is the Colour exits in style, unlike Jedward's Eurovision exploits
RTE's fantastic Green is the Colour series finished up this week but after reliving some of Irish football's greatest glories, a limp Jedward Eurovision documentary wasn't worth the bother.
So Green is the Colour (RTE Two, Wednesday 10.25pm) is no more, yet after watching each instalment, it's fair to say that RTE have left behind an exhaustive, endlessly compelling series that should fill many a stocking this Christmas.
Presented by Darragh Maloney, the four-part documentary examined the entire history of Irish football and the national team, culminating in this week's examination of our fortunes post-1994.
With the disappointment of the Saipan scandal, Brian Kerr’s failed regime, the “Bertie Bowl” and of course, Steve Staunton’s extremely poor tenure, there was plenty of heartache until the redemption provided by Trap’s Army.
Featuring interviews from each of the past four Irish managers, not to mention Irish president Michael D Higgins, no stone was left unturned by the documentary, which also found time to focus on the womens’ game and Shamrock Rovers’ heroics in the Europa League. The highlight of the broadcast, however, was undoubtedly the retelling of the Saipan incident.
Ten years on, the scandal is still perhaps the most controversial and divisive event in Irish football history and though Roy Keane was not on-hand to offer his version of events – unlike McCarthy – the flurry of journalists embedded with the team at the time provided a full time-line of events.
If there is one criticism on the final episode, however, it’s that the producers were perhaps a little too kind to those who were willing to give interviews. For example, newcomers might have been led to believe that there was simply one side of the argument in the Saipan incident, or that formers managers Kerr and especially Staunton, were unlucky, rather than being in way over their heads.
That point aside, the series was so comprehensive that it is sure to be revisited for years to come, while we were delighted to see things end on a jubilant note with the Irish team’s play-off trashing of Estonia.
The first hint as to whether or not the next episode in the turbulent history of the Irish team will be quite as successful is just hours away and after four instalments of Green is the Colour, we couldn’t be more excited at the prospect.
Thursday night’s Jedward’s Eurovision: Take Two (RTE Two, Thursday 9:30pm) pretty much defined the term ‘contractual obligation’, as unless you were a fan of the duo’s increasingly inexplicable popularity (carrying the Olympic Torch, really?), there was little to recommend here.
If anything, the documentary itself demonstrated one of the worst aspects of the Irish psyche – our thrill in “glorious” failures. Don’t forget that Jedward finished 19th in the Eurovision this year, a whopping 326 points behind Sweden’s deserving winner, Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’.
With that kind of a trouncing - coupled with the fact that this was Jedward’s second miserable appearance of two years – what was the point of this broadcast other than “Well… we’ve got a few shots of them preparing for the show – we could make it into a documentary, if you like?”
After the extremely impressive work brought to bear for Green is the Colour, a night later we were sadly reminded that not every RTE documentary can ever live up to such lofty standards.