This intriguing new Irish noir series ticks so many boxes

Smother is “a riveting thriller that will wake the world up to contemporary Ireland,” promises Dervla Kirwan. 

It seems the Scandi noir genre has some serious competition from its Irish cousins, with more and more ‘Irish noir’ dramas racking up positive reviews from critics. And Smother, a new County Clare-set thriller by novelist and television writer Kate O’Riordan, is the latest in a bevy of blood-chilling beauties.

Here’s what you need to know about the must-watch TV series.

What’s the plot of Smother?

The series follows the story of devoted mother-of-three, Val Ahern – a woman who, the official synopsis promises, is “determined to protect her family and particularly her three daughters, Jenny, Anna and Grace, at any cost.”

And so, when Val’s husband, Denis, is found dead at a foot of a cliff close to their home the morning after a family party, our heroine takes it upon herself to interrogate the events that unfolded the night before.

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Val explores Denis’s relationships with his children, step-children and his siblings in order to find out who might have been responsible for his brutal, shocking death,” continues the synopsis.

“But the deeper Val delves into her family’s secrets, the more she realises how her late husband’s controlling, manipulative behaviour had a deep effect on each member of the family.”

Is there a trailer for Smother?

You can watch the eerie full-length trailer for Smother below:

Intriguing, no?

Who stars in Smother?

Dervla Kirwan (The Stranger, White Dragon) leads the series as family matriarch Val, and she’s joined by Seána Kerslake, Niamh Walsh, Gemma Leah Devereux, Stuart Graham and Thomas Levin.

What are people saying about Smother?

Reviewers are big fans of the drama, with The Guardian branding it “entirely addictive” thanks to its “seemingly effortless mastery of a large cast of characters [and] warm intelligence pervading everything.”

And, naturally, those involved in the making of the series have been waxing lyrical about it, too.

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“It’s been a long time since anything this well written about an Irish family has come my way,” says Kirwan. “In Smother, Kate O’Riordan has created a riveting thriller that will wake the world up to contemporary Ireland and rewrite an outdated narrative that has been peddled about the Irish for years.

She adds that the series “has so much to say about modern families, and it says it in a compelling and gripping way.”

When can UK viewers watch Smother?

The first episode of the RTÉ original aired on Alibi at 9pm on Monday 7 June.

Thankfully, though, all six episodes are now available on Virgin/Sky Box Sets/NOW, so you can binge your way through Smother at your own pace. 

Images: RTÉ/BBC

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