Pushing Buttons: Jack Taylor, Series 1

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How come, no matter how long since you’ve seen the family, nor how much distance you’ve put between you, they can always push your buttons? Answer: because they installed them

I enjoy Jack Taylor (Series 1) for lines like the one above – introspective PI’s go a long way with me.

The series started off with a literal punch-in-the-face (“The Guards”) and kept moving. The main cast of Iain Glen (Tayor), Nora-Jane Noone (Kate Noonan) and Killian Scott (Cody Farraher) do a fantastic job making the show real.

Even though their characters are in impossible situations you feel like it could happen, and it’s the selling of a tense situation that makes the performances stand out.

jack taylor cast
Characters arranged by height for your convenience

The setting of Ireland’s Galway is an important character as well, as this is the place Jack grew up we get to see many ins and outs about town. He knows its streets well and the viewer starts to feel the same way.

Other positives of the show include Mr. Taylor’s love of the familiar – the old Gardaí coat that he takes with him wherever he goes, the Crane Bar that serves as a second home, the understanding landlord who asks no questions – I can relate to that good feeling you get when you have a few safe-houses in a world of chaos.

(Note I relate to the trait, not the specifics. Although I do have a few coats I’m fond of.)

Jack Taylor also enjoys a good book and doesn’t always get along with his family (putting it lightly). This relatable stuff helps when we dive in to the darkness, and it’s in the dark that the show lost me.

As Series 1 progressed we spent more and more time in the killer’s head, their torturous machinations strung out in a pace that seemed almost in slow-mo sometimes. From what I understand (a site on the “internet” told me) the original novels by Ken Bruen were even darker, so things could have been worse.

Evil needs to be evil to get the satisfaction of it being conquered, but I skipped the last episode of Series 1 as I things has just gotten too dismal for me. You watch and episode and you’re just drained, contemplating all the bad in the world.

We need to realize that there are real people hurting and empathize with them. We need to realize how fortunate we really are. Jack Taylor is a quality show that helps us do that, but we have to remember to look up as well.

Has anyone else seen this one? If so I’d love to hear what you think.

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