Third-episode verdict: The Black Donnellys

Black Donnellys Carusometer3 Minor Caruso

It’s very confusing trying to pass a third-episode verdict on The Black Donnellys. Apart from the fact, I haven’t seen the pilot episode in some time and there have been a few changes made to it (like the addition of Kate Mulgrew to the cast. Plus I’m pretty sure someone died in the first episode yet he’s still around by the third. How odd), there’s also been a web-exclusive episode that advanced the plot a bit but hasn’t aired on television. So is this the fourth-episode verdict, the third-episode or the third-and-a-halvth? Oh so tricky.

Anyway, whatever aired this week, it’s time to pass verdict since I don’t especially want to watch any more episodes.

As you may recall, the pilot episode had a really rubbish first half and a really very good second half. That’s pretty much how the show has continued since, with each episode having a deeply dull first half followed by a clever second half. The unreliable narrator technique is still working nicely and provides some much-needed amusement, since otherwise, all the episodes would revolve around what to do with dead bodies and how to make sure this, that or the other Donnelly brother doesn’t get killed because of all the dead bodies.

All the same, I’ve lost interest. If this is “the Irish Sopranos as some claim”, I’m glad I’ve never got round to watch the actual Sopranos, because relentless turf wars, recriminations over murders and obvious idiots being obviously idiotic isn’t a great wait to spend time. I see next week, for instance, Tommy goes to the wake of another man he killed. Wasn’t that this week’s episode?

So The Medium is Not Enough declares that The Black Donnellys is a three or “Minor Caruso” on The Carusometer quality scale. A Minor Caruso corresponds to “a show in which David Caruso might guess star. If the show features Irish characters, he will make much of his Irish heritage, claiming that it gives him more insight than ‘those so-called writers’, adding frequent references to the script about Blarney Stones, Lucky Charms, curling and potatoes, as well as putting on an accent that ‘only lesser talents’ than he would describe as ‘sounding more like Scottish or maybe Pakistani’.”