Review: Striking Out season 1

Rory Keenan, Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Emmet Byrne, Neil Morrissey and Amy Huberman in Striking Out

Striking Out is an Irish drama, available on Acorn TV in the US. It’s about a young solicitor played by Amy Huberman with a cast of engaging characters. Season 1 had four episodes.

Tara Rafferty (Huberman) is a smart young solicitor working at a big law firm owned by the Dunbar family. She’s engaged to the boss’s son Eric (Rory Keenan). She goes home unexpectedly one night and finds Eric banging one of their colleagues.

She leaves Eric, leaves the company, and sets up a new office in a storeroom behind a coffee shop. Ray (Emmet Byrne), the client she was defending at the time of the breakup with Eric became her first employee – an act of desperation to save him from prison by showing that he had a job.

Tara also worked with Meg (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) who did the investigative work, and Vincent Pike (Neil Morrissey). Vincent was a barrister and she often needed his help in presenting her cases. The characters I’ve just mentioned are pictured in the photo up top.

Pete (Brahm Gallagher) ran the coffee shop and at first let Tara set up an office there at no charge. When she tried to give the arrangement a legal status they ran into strange issues that meant they both might be thrown out.

Other characters included parents of both Tara and Eric who urged her to forgive Eric and get on with the wedding, which was set for only 2 weeks away. She refused all the pressure.

Amy Huberman and Fiona O'Shaughnessy in Striking Out
Tara and Meg discuss a case in the storeroom/office

Tara does mostly family law. The season 1 cases she works, in somewhat unconventional ways, include sisters squabbling over a will, a bigamy case, and a child taken from his family by social services. Her team, especially Ray and Vincent are a great help, but she’s really sharp and creative herself. She often sees a way through what appears to be an unsolvable legal situation.

The main characters were diverse and interesting. Each had a few moments of their own so we could get to know them. Ray has a boyfriend. Meg has two kids and is a single mom. Vincent doesn’t want to admit his wife has thrown him out. Vincent is running an important inquiry while moving to a new location. Eric can’t believe his charmed and privileged life isn’t exactly what Tara wants forever. There was quite a lot of personal and relationship material in the 4 short episodes of season 1.

I liked the firm but quiet way Tara let Eric know that she wouldn’t take him back. They saw each other frequently and had to be adult about it. Tara fell apart in private, but she never let Eric see that. She was resolute with him, which I admired.

The minor characters who come in for just one episode and the supporting characters around the main group are all interesting and engaging. The legal trappings aside, this is a character driven drama.

As the 4 episodes in season roll by, Tara and her fledgling law firm are squeezed in tighter and tighter ways. Tara and the coffee shop owner are both evicted from their space. Perhaps one of her employees is helping someone who wants to put her out of business or hurt her in some way. We’re left with that cliffhanger at the end of season 1.

There is a second season, which I will review as soon as I have time to binge it. This is a bingeable series!

I cannot figure out how to get close captions on the Acorn TV app when using an iPad, so I was worried about watching an Irish show. But I actually understood the speech of the characters on Striking Out better than on shows filmed in England.

The music score is wonderful, ballads and songs are generally feminine. The songs are on Spotify.

Lisa James Larsson directed every episode of season 1. She also sang the theme song. The series was filmed in Dublin and pays tribute to that beautiful city in many ways.

5 thoughts on “Review: Striking Out season 1”

  1. Torben Retboll

    Striking Out is an interesting series. It is a shame there are only four episodes in season one (2017). There are six episodes in season two (2018). But it still feels too short. Each season should have 10 or 12 episodes.

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  3. Not bad a’tall. The plots are pretty routine for a lawyer show–the bad guys being the oily barristers in the megafirm who just ooze insincerity. But as noted, the characters, well-drawn and credible, make the series. Each has his/her unique appeal. Two stand out: Emmet Byrne as Ray, the young, streetwise smartass, and Ingrid Craigie as the sweet Irish mom who drives her daughter nuts. Those of us with REAL Irish mothers can only wince in sympathy.

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