Kevin Dundon’s courgette and feta pasta salad


Concerns raised over possible link between Covid-19 and four stillbirths in Ireland

Lauren Heskin

Not sure what to make tonight? Try one these delicious dinner recipes


3 unusual period properties for sale in Ireland for under €200,000

Lauren Heskin

‘Please stop asking women about their weight’: Nicola Coughlan rightfully hits back at body shaming...

Jennifer McShane

‘At the age of 33, I left my career and decided it was time to...

Caitlin McBride

This Victorian Rathmines home with sleek extension is on the market for €3.1 million

Megan Burns

6 brilliant books to put on your reading lists for 2021

Jennifer McShane

Helen James shares her favourite no knead bread recipe


Image / Editorial

Your New Hilarious, Must-Watch TV Series Starts Tonight

by Jennifer McShane
07th Nov 2017

A new BBC comedy already has everyone talking thanks to its realistic ‘winging it’ view of parenting. It has must-watch written all over it, says Jennifer McShane 

Only one episode in – the pilot that aired in 2016, now on BBCiPlayer – and Motherland has me hooked.  I was surprised at its general greatness until I clocked that the award-winning team behind it are rather brilliant themselves:  Sharon Horgan (IMAGE favourite and one half of Catastrophe); Graham Linehan (one half of Father Ted), writer and actor Helen Linehan and stand-up comedian Holly Walsh. What have they brought to the table in a series that revolves around the realities of middle-class motherhood? Quite a lot, actually.

When is the last time you can recall seeing a genuine depiction of motherhood on screen? And by that, I mean a film or series that doesn’t sideline mothers into stereotypes: There are those that have cracked under pressure; tragic figures gone a little bit crazy as a result. They nag and grumble. And the other camp: those who, depressingly, seem to “have it all” but are made to be complete ballbreakers. Both depictions are utterly depressing. This is what makes Motherland so refreshing. It just represents people – regular people – getting trapped in head-melting situations while trying to raise kids. Naturally, it makes for hilarious watching, but for some parents, the tears of mirth could turn very quickly as they see themselves reflected on screen.

Because who hasn’t been where mother Julia (the endlessly likeable Anna Maxwell Martin), is, stressed and having a mini-breakdown as she’s offered to host a child’s birthday party – a celebration which is to put all other past kids’ parties to shame, naturally – that she is in no way ready for? She just wanted a regular Pizza Express day out, but in a bid to impress the Alpha-Mums (because yes, they exist) she’s had to go all out. She assures, plans, then panics and implores her sweary-yet-straight-talking mum-friend, Liz to help and cries as she considers Liz’s suggestion: “You buy four caterpillar cakes and put them all together into a human centipede cake… Then tell them you’ve hidden a quid somewhere and relax. Then for the grand finale: play ‘Gangnam Style’ and give them undiluted squash. They’ll go f***ing mental.”

The kids aren’t the focus; the creators have allowed the female characters time to breathe, focusing on the gaps; the “in-between times” you get as a parent. And it completely works. You’re going to love it.

Motherland airs tonight, Tuesday at 10 PM on BBC2

Also Read

The grown up guide to wearing glitter lips

If Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel and Nars tell you...

By Holly O'Neill

Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky will soon get to talk of scandal on her terms

It was on this day, January 17th, 1998, when news...

By Jennifer McShane

The Menopause Diaries: The dreaded dryness down under

Helen Seymour is in Peri-Menopause, or at least she thinks...

By Helen Seymour

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

sore eyes UTI period
Health Check: What are prostaglandins and how do they affect my period symptoms?

If you find yourself suffering with symptoms like cramping, sore...

By Erin Lindsay

GoFundMe CEO: ‘Ireland is the most generous nation in the world’

These days, it’s easier than ever to give something back....

By Jennifer McShane

The trickle of information from the Government on restrictions has made a grim situation so much worse

By Amanda Cassidy

home in Ballsbridge house
This grand home in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 is priced at €2.95 million

Just a 15-minute drive from the city centre (and with...

By Grace McGettigan