Why we need the new series of Reeling in the Years more than ever

In an open letter to RTÉ, this IMAGE writer asks for the new series of Reeling in the Years to be released as soon as possible 

Dear RTÉ,

I may be overstepping the mark and quite possibly the show has not even been made yet but I just have to ask.

Where is the new series of Reeling in the Years?


I am in isolation. I am working from home. I feel like I am losing my mind. I can't stop staring at my legs. I have watched every Netflix murder documentary known to man.

I couldn't spell 'cloak' this morning and had to ask my work WhatsApp group chat if 'thirdly' was a word.

I am now a cup of tea.

Times are tough.

I'm presuming the nation has done and thought similar too. Now, all we ask is for some escapism. A source of relief in these troubling times.

And Reeling in the Years is the answer.

I could watch all five series and 48 episodes of previous years but I have seen them at least 20 times already. Ask me to reem off historical facts from the 1980s and I will shock you with my precision and level of detail. Ask me about the last decade, however, and I will fall short.


For some peculiar reason, I can't remember the last 10 years in much detail, but a certain few stand out. 2010 found Ireland still in the depths of a recession and once again sons and daughters left our shores. In 2012, we thought the world was going to end – thankfully it didn't.

2016 was bad, I know this for sure. Brexit and Trump hit us both at once and that November we all believed it was the end of days with the businessman at the helm of the US. It also saw the deaths of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and George Michael.

The entirety of that year was awful.

2017 wasn't much better and can be defined as a year of terror with the Manchester and London attacks causing widespread heartbreak and fear.

Now the world faces a new sort of crisis, more isolating and intimidating than any we have experienced before. It's an almost unknown entity. We can't see it, but we can feel it lurking behind every corner. An invisible threat, the level of menace is quite something.

Let's be honest, 2020 has not been the year to end all years. On New Year's Eve, we all wished for something better and brighter. What we got in actuality was fires, more Brexit, an election, a possible World War 3 and now a pandemic – and we are barely three months in.

If Reeling in the Years were to come on air, a sense of unity would envelop us. We might look at other years and realise, "Jesus, we actually survived that."


Because we can overcome this too, even though it may not feel like it right now. Reeling in the Years is a representation of tough times in the Irish landscape. From boom to bust to emigration, we have survived and thrived.

So RTÉ – for the good of us all – release the new series. We aren't doing much. Netflix is getting tiresome and we are jaded of the news.

Plus, I want to see if you will use Nicki Minaj's 2010 hit Superbass as a backdrop to random clips of politicians like Enda Kenny.

Thanks in advance,

Édaein O' Connell and the rest of Ireland x

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