Kin review: Explosive Irish crime drama Kin puts the fun in dysfunctional family
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But if you think Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl is a traditional Irish air, then Dublin-based gangster saga Kin (BBC iPlayer, all episodes streaming now) might come as a bit of a shock.
The drama focuses on the Kinsella family, a tight-knit unit who run a large-scale drug dealership in the Irish capital.
There’s Frank (Aidan Gillen), the head of the operation, a man with all sorts of secrets and weaknesses which make his grip on power tenuous at best.
Frank's son hot-headed Eric is nicknamed The Viking, and apart from the way he looks seems more interested in the pillaging side of the business than, well, the business.
Then there’s Frank’s nephews – Jimmy (Emmett J Scanlan), coasting along on his uncle’s coat-tails, and Mikey (Charlie Cox), newly released from prison and apparently intent on going straight and rebuilding his relationship with this daughter.
Jimmy’s wife Amanda (Claire Dunne) launders their drug money through a car dealership and is a doting mother to their sons, while Frank’s sister Birdy (Maria Doyle Kennedy) is the mother hen.
You might expect Cox’s Mikey to be the centre of the show, which starts with a welcome home party as he leaves prison with an uncertain future and a desire to put his violent past behind him.
And given that Cox has had starring roles with the Marvel saga – as the avenging blind lawyer Daredevil – you think he must be the main character in this RTE-made drama.
However, as the series goes on, and the Kinsellas get more and more enmeshed in a violent, tit-for-tat war with rival drugs kingpin Eamonn Cunningham (the slab-faced Ciaran Hinds), the more the women in this story come to the foreground.
The Kinsella menfolk are too weak, too cosseted, too troubled to take the initiative, and when Amanda is confronted by a family tragedy, she is the one who takes the Dublin underworld by the scruff of its neck, moving the male Kinsellas around like pawns on a particularly bloody chessboard.
Frank’s grip on power weakens as Amanda takes control, and he sees it, but it powerless to do anything about it.
“She’s trying to take over this family,” Frank fumes to Birdy. “She’s playing everyone... she’s a viper.”
Birdy, as we come to expect from the Kinsella women, has no time for Frank’s petulant outburst.
“Stop being so pathetic Frank. You’re the boss, so show it. Stop stamping your feet and do something.”
Kin is a rich stew, enlivened by some baroque swearing, outbursts of violence and the sense that no one involved is safe from some spotty teenager with a gun and a misplaced sense of machismo.
The semi-incestuous relationship between the family members is well-drawn, with them all dependent on each other for money, status, self-worth.
They live cheek-by-jowl in a designer complex a Jonny Sexton drop-kick away from the Aviva Stadium, in modernist houses as if designed by O’Corbusier – all Farrow & Ball walls, boiling water taps and dark wood panelling.
While the characters are framed on the edges of the screen, as if the figure of death is about to appear over their shoulders.
It’s satisfyingly knotty, but not over-complicated, and gathers momentum as the series goes on and comes to a head with an operatic sequence that wouldn't look out of place in The Godfather, as Amanda attends a memorial mass in a huge, modern Catholic church, while elsewhere the men do her bidding and the blood flows thick and red.
Determinedly modern, Kin lifts the emerald green tints away from these English eyes. It’s a terrific, binge-worthy watch and deserves to be a hit.