This evening at 10pm the first episode of RTÉ’s new TV show “Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope”, kicks off; a six-part series starring Seána Kerslake and Nika McGuigan as two-somethings from Cork whose lives begin to spiral when they reach the bright lights of Dublin and the realities of post-university, rent-paying, should-I-pay-my-water-charges adult life. If that hasn’t sold you, it also stars Amy Huberman, the nation’s beloved Twitter darling. Sold, am I right?
However there is more to this show, and I don’t just mean a hilarious plot and plenty of excellent Rebel County turns of phrase. It’s actually a rather seminal moment for Irish women in film and television, and Irish women in any creative industry. Think about it: a semi-state body (in this case RTÉ) have funded and agreed to air a TV series that is written (Stefanie Preissner), directed (Cathy Brady), produced (Ailish McElmeel), starring and about Irish women.
When is the last time you saw a home-grown programme of any shape where both of the lead parts are female? Rather sobering thought isn’t it, and this is a country where women continue to battle against the 8th amendment for control of their wombs, still don’t receive equal pay for equal work and hold very few positions of power in any industry.
So if you are home this evening, turn on RTÉ at 10pm and support Irish women succeeding and representing us like never before. And if you’re not, make sure you watch it on the RTÉ Player so that it counts in the ratings. To nick a phrase from Tesco, every little helps.