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22-10-2010, 08:46   #1
Fore Iron
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Fair City - Worst Direction and Acting on the Planet?

Prompted by last nights episode really, but been bubbling away inside me for a while now.

I often feel embarassed that people from other countries could see this show and think that's the level of attention to detail we apply to everything in Ireland!

Firstly, let me say I do not wish to take away from anyone suffering from domestic abuse, be it physical or mental, but my God that acting in that last episode was the worst I have ever seen. Before she started throwing the wobbly, Suzanne looked like a nervous and anxious actor worried about what she was about to try to portray. It was as though it was the first trial take that accidentally got on air. Absolutely sickeningly poor.

Earlier in the show, Damien appeared to forget his lines and started to head down the worng road, before pausing, thinking and correcting himself. Also, near the start of the show, two actors (detective dude I think it was and new guy - Neasa dad I think) talked over eachother as one of them forgot their timing and mubbled on regardless to finish the scene in the most uncomfortable way.

I can only blame the direction for the whole thing. It is embarassing. Is this really the best we can manage in this country? How do we pump out big name actors for the big screen but seem to have first time amateur quality on the TV? How can The Clinic be so good yet Fair City be poles apart?

Apparently this is what you get for 14 million euro in costs a year. Unbelievable.

Thank you for listening. Rant now over....
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22-10-2010, 09:23   #2
Meeja Ireland
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This is why we need the show back on iPlayer. I'd love to debate those actual scenes. I have a feeling you're being too harsh. I didn't notice any of those things, but I suspect that attributing nerves and anxiety to the actress rather than the character is an extremely unsympathetic way to view a scene.

My problems last night were with the script, but that's another story.
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22-10-2010, 09:31   #3
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The domestic violence thing doesn't come across as credible. The actors don't seem to able to handle it. They are not having the desired effect, I have seen several people laughing at them. Sarah, (who plays Suzanne), is struggling, getting into the part, I mean, not just with Damian!
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22-10-2010, 10:00   #4
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Originally Posted by Meeja Ireland View Post
This is why we need the show back on iPlayer. I'd love to debate those actual scenes. I have a feeling you're being too harsh. I didn't notice any of those things, but I suspect that attributing nerves and anxiety to the actress rather than the character is an extremely unsympathetic way to view a scene.

My problems last night were with the script, but that's another story.
Anyone know why its no on RTE PLayer?
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22-10-2010, 10:01   #5
Fore Iron
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Meeja, maybe you're right in that I am quite heavily biased towards Fair City. I have always felt the acting and direction are terrible so I guess I inevitably try to find things that are wrong.

All the same, I really don't see how anyone could possibly find that last scene believeable and credible. At a school play I would have said it wasn't great, but these are professional actors? In theory at least, what we see on the screen should be the best of possibly many takes. If that is the best they could manage, then I am at a loss for words. Some may say that it's the storyline that matters and not to be so worried about how it's portrayed, but this is a TV show! Visuals are everything! It's not radio!!!

I really don't accept that the actor (don't know Suzanne's real name) put anxiety and nerves into her character prior to her wobbly. She simply is utterly incapable of that. You are asking me to believe that she managed something special and extremely difficult just before she completed the worst scene I have seen in a long time. She's just not good enough to be that variable!!

More likely I guess from the other scenes, that the directors simply shoot a scene and as long as they don't swear or laugh during their lines, it makes it's way onto the TV.

Look at Eastenders. Whether you like it or loathe it, the standard of acting is miles ahead of Fair City. The direction and camera work is of generally high quality. The way the camera slowly zoomed into Damien last night, dragged the whole scene out pathetically and destroyed an already poor scene. It looked like a handheld camera used by an amateur movie buff. I just don't get how a professional director can see that and be happy with it.

(edit) Just to make the point, given what is being discussed in the main Fair City thread, I am not talking about the script (which is a whole other story!) or the storyline. I am quite impressed that Fair City tries to bring up difficult or controversial topics even if they don't necessarily conclude them ideally. I am just talking about the standard of acting and direction and nothing else!!

Last edited by Fore Iron; 22-10-2010 at 10:15.
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22-10-2010, 10:18   #6
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Fair City - the best comedy RTE has ever produced!!
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22-10-2010, 10:34   #7
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I agree 100% with Fore Iron. To me, the quality of acting in Fair City is generally atrocious and quite embarrassing. There is only a small few people on the show whose acting ability can be respected. It really makes me wonder what the acting/drama schools are up to in Ireland? I'm also starting to think that the show just takes in actors based on the suitability of their looks to the characters that they will play rather than acting ability. I am an engineer and have never done any acting in my life - yet I'm fairly confident I could do a better job than a fair amount of the actors on the show. Note that by actors, I obviously mean actresses also here. However, I don't include young actors (~16 years or under) as I don't think it's entirely fair to judge them at this early stage of their acting careers. Anyway, to anyone who disputes my thoughts, just watch any of the English dramas (Emmerdale, Corrie, East Enders) and judge for yourselves how far behind our actors generally are here.
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22-10-2010, 10:38   #8
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Anyone know why its no on RTE PLayer?
It is an equity issue.
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22-10-2010, 10:40   #9
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I am an addict to Fair City, I absolutely love it, I think it is the best soap on the box. If anyone has looked in on Eastenders lately, that has been nothing short of a comedy. Corrie is much the same.

I think the storylines are right up there with anything else, love the show, actors and the storylines. Seeing the set has given me another edge as a fan. I can recall all the places and I think it is a brilliant soap.

I know I am biased towards the show but it doesn't get the credit it deserves.
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22-10-2010, 10:46   #10
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Completely agree with the OP here.

Even the way it ended - what could have been a pretty powerful ending, had Damiens face hidden - we should have been able to see his face and his (supposed) fear and terror of the situation he finds himself in.

I've said it on the other thread, and domestic abuse is a very serious subject - but very unbelievable for these two characters.

And could anyone please explain to me why Charlie (another dreadful actor) has a Dublin4 accent when he discusses books or anything intelligent...but reverts to his northside dublin accent when talking to Zumo....
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22-10-2010, 10:54   #11
Fore Iron
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Storylines really are separate issues here. Imagine taking the Eastenders camera and direction team along with Eastenders actors and having them reproduce the Fair City episode last night. It would be powerful and compelling by comparison. Even with the same dodgy script.

Now imagine taking Fair City actors and production team and having them redo the Billie death episode from the other week on Easty. They could never pull it off. The storyline may be good on FC but they have extremely poor talent there. I lost a family member recently and was quite upset watching that Easty episode. Not because of the storyline but because of the feeling of shock and confusion and raw emotion that the actors displayed along with attention to detail on behalf of the production team. Fair City could never do that. Instead they took a serious and important issue (domestic abuse) and gave it a half hearted stab with little interest or professional attention.

I saw "Tracy" at the Gaiety recently in "little Gem". It was a fantastic show overall, but Tracy was blown away by the older woman who was incredible. It felt like you were in conversation with her one to one. How do those people or that level of talent not get on the show instead?
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22-10-2010, 14:56   #12
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i do enjoy Fair City but i have to agree here the Acting last night was terrible and found myself laughing at the final scene. Not because of the storyline but the shockingly bad acting from Sarah Flood. I think Maclean Burke is a fine actor but acting alongside Sarah she is bringing him down!
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22-10-2010, 15:01   #13
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And could anyone please explain to me why Charlie (another dreadful actor) has a Dublin4 accent when he discusses books or anything intelligent...but reverts to his northside dublin accent when talking to Zumo....
There are people like that, maybe the actor is hinting at the character's Wandering Accent Syndrome and how it changes depending on what company he finds himself in?
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22-10-2010, 16:05   #14
Fore Iron
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The cynic in me says Charlie has a wandering accent precisely because he is unable to get into character in the first place.

It's no good trying to explain a poor performance as artistic licence. Yis can talk all you want about Sarah Flood (I know her name now!) attempting to make her character appear anxious or worried or Charlie trying to portray a under confident individual who subconsciously adjusts his accent depending on who he is talking to, but it just doesn't cut it.

Soaps are supposed to be about believable characters with realistic behaviour and relatively easily determinable psychology. Last night was as unbelieveable and unrealistic as any performance I have ever seen, TV or otherwise. It was "professional" actors doing nothing more than reading lines and following a script. There was no emotion, unrealistic body language, poor physical acting, etc, etc. They looked like utter amateurs on a cheap one shot per scene video from youtube. Absolutely appalling. I don't whether to blame the actors or the directors more, but either way, this countrys pool of talent is significantly better than that show. Is it simply jobs for the boys & girls that stops those with real talent getting onto the cast?
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23-10-2010, 00:06   #15
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Well, yeah, I was probably giving him a bit too much credit.
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