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Jock (Chris Walley) and Conor (Alex Murphy) talking to Conor’s mother, Mairead MacSweeney (Hilary Rose) in the the new TV series version of ‘The Young Offenders’. Picture: Miki Barlok
Jock (Chris Walley) and Conor (Alex Murphy) talking to Conor’s mother, Mairead MacSweeney (Hilary Rose) in the the new TV series version of ‘The Young Offenders’. Picture: Miki Barlok
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Review: The Young Offenders is more Cork that Cork itself.

Quirky quips, clever wise-cracks and indefatigable humour seem to be the trademark elements of The Young Offender’s TV series, which aired on Thursday on BBC3.

The first episode kicks off with the Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley) getting up to their usual mischief only to be interrupted by Sergeant Healy (Dominic McHale) and as is now the norm for the boys, a high-speed chase ensues… on bicycles.

The boys, who we have previously seen chasing cocaine in West Cork, are back in school studying for their junior certificate and chasing girls may as well be on the syllabus, although if it were, Conor would fail miserably.

From their new found appreciation for the opposite sex to their long-standing fear of the local crazy man Billy Murphy, (Shane Casey) there is quite a few laugh out loud moments in the first episode.

Conor’s long-suffering mother Mairead (Hilary Rose) is once again pulled into their schemes against her will, only to be forced to stand by her son and his best friend Jock.

Another source of laughter is the facial expressions of their school principal, played by Dublin comedian PJ Gallagher and his two daughters, who attend the same school as their dad and the two boys, has you sniggering as well.

There are more than a few shout-outs to a subculture of Cork’s northside with young fellas on horses making a few appearances and the soundtrack is edgy and impressive.

Some things have remained the same as the movie, Mairead and Conor’s relationship still has tender moments and Conor remains infatuated with Jock to a worrying, but hilarious degree.

Anyone who was worried the Cork angle would be diminished in the series to cater for UK audiences can be assured that is not the case. The series is more Cork that Cork itself.

Well worth a watch and definitely good for a laugh, the series kicks off on RTÉ2 this Thursday. Don’t miss it.