From the outset, this article discusses the opening episodes of TV3’s Red Rock. There may be spoilers.

This week saw TV3 launch their new drama, Red Rock. With gritty crime dramas being the hot ticket in town at the moment, we take a look at Red Rock to see if TV3 hit the mark or made a hash of it.

Red Rock Promos and Intro

As soon as were heard that harmonica come in, the fear overcame us. The Red Rock intro music is awful and monotonous, while the video clip does little to inspire us either. The video also looks like it was edited on Windows Vista Movie Maker or something. For the past month, we have been swamped with Red Rock adverts on TV and (for the Dublin audience) on buses.

TV3 caught everyone’s attention with a great tune and single shot promotional video for their new season of television, which ended with a creepy shot of Vincent Brown. Ridiculously, the exact same concept was recycled by TV3 to promote Red Rock. As impressive as it was, they really should have just picked it for one.

The Story Line

With Red Rock’s episodes weighing in at 22 minutes, the first two episodes were jam packed with all sorts of controversy. The highlight was perhaps the laugh of one Garda celebrating is 2 seconds of fame on a crime report. Besides that, the storylines feel a little forced and overly dramatic. Perhaps the show is trying to get by on shock and awe, suggested by the possibly paedophile Garda storyline. The biggest dissapointment is reserved for those who, like us, watched the above clip and thought this could be really juicy. The teaser creates an itch the show just doesn’t scratch.

The Acting

TV3 Red Rock
This lad’s accent…enough said

Oh lord. The acting… or is it over acting…, or is it the lack of acting? The mother from the Hennessy’s family was, after 30 seconds, the most annoying character of Red Rock, but then again, hating characters isn’t necessarily a tick against the show. We were left wondering if TV3 has pumped some of that promotional money into getting one or decent actors that maybe, just maybe we could have had a nice little show on our hands. The most unsettling aspect of Red Rock just has to be the unusual array of accents to be found on display.

Along similar lines is the scripting. Sure enough, we had to watch the second episode and we’ll be watching the next one too. The cliff-hangers the show leaves and its short 22 minute time frame, means it’s easy to fit Red Rock into your life. However, there would appear to be little or no research gone into the real world lingo and actions that give these style of crime show their edge. This leads nicely onto the concluding points.

Is it as good as Love/Hate?

TV3 Red Rock RTE Love/Hate Nidge
Nidge is and co are still top of gritty crime drama

This comparison was always going to be drawn. Love/Hate bounded to success in recent times and with the RTÉ/TV3 rivalry, it was obvious that this would be the latter fighting back. Strangely enough, the two shows shouldn’t be compared at all. Love/Hate succeeded in getting the finer points right, owing hugely to the real world police, criminals and travellers used in the show. If this were a medical series, it would be more Shortland Street than ER. Effectively, it’s a soap, rather than a gritty crime drama.

Don’t let us sway you too much though, as the show itself is getting a mixed bag of reviews. Give it 22 minutes and see if it justifies the second 22 minutes!

You can watch Red Rock now on TV3’s catch up service, 3Player. Episode 3 airs at 8.30PM on Wednesday.

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