The Young Offenders could be BBC's answer to Derry Girls

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31 January, 2018, 09:19

Hot on the heels of Channel 4's smash-hit Derry Girls, this week sees the release of the BBC's own teenage Irish comedy series, The Young Offenders.

From the producer of Once and Sing Street, no less.

Set very much south of the border in Cork, it revolves around two troublesome boys rather than a group of Catholic school girls. The show acts as a spin-off from Peter Foott's award-winning film of the same name - recently highlighted as one of the best 2017 films you may have missed.

Coming-of-age adventures

Alex Murphy and Chris Walley reprise their roles as Conor and Jock, two adolescent tearaways juggling tough home lives - and Conor's long-suffering mum - with a knack for trouble.

Foott also returns as writer, director and executive producer, alongside much of the original film's supporting cast.

Watch the trailer for the original film:

The movie's endearing tale of a foolhardy get-rich-quick scheme won widespread acclaim. But Foott felt "there were a lot more stories to tell".

To that end, the series pursues further coming-of-age exploits and adventures. Expect Conor and Jock to frequently earn the ire of their headmaster - whose daughters they have dangerously taken a shine to.

You can also no doubt look forward to more entertaining bicycle chases with the exasperated local copper.

The next 'This Country'?

Like the original movie, which has been likened to a more "naturalistic" Inbetweeners, The Young Offenders series is set and filmed in Cork.

Actress Hilary Rose told The Irish Times that the backdrops, accents and scenarios would not be 'Anglicised' in any way.

So anyone fearing a water-down version can probably set their mind at ease.

No compromise: the series retains the acclaimed original film's cast - and spirit (Photo: BBC)

The central duo certainly make for an unconventional TV pairing. But the actors' clear chemistry and the characters' inherent sweetness (despite their anti-social antics) may well win over audiences on the small screen.

It combines "hilarity, charm and emotional impactful moments", according to BBC comedy commissioner Shane Allen, who is tipping this as the next Fleabag or This Country.

The Young Offenders is on iPlayer from this Thursday, 1 February. It will also be broadcast on BBC One, starting Friday 9 February at 11.25pm.

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