The Rewind

The Rewind Recommends: Sarah And Steve Is One Of Irish Comedy's Forgotten Sitcoms

The Rewind Recommends: Sarah And Steve Is One Of Irish Comedy's Forgotten Sitcoms

Turbo minty fresh mad out of it. Or mad ouveh, for the sake of phonetics.

This is a phrase which has stood the test of time, if only in the vernaculars of Dublin folk that caught a glimpse at a short-lived RTE sitcom the guts of ten years ago.

Sarah and Steve, the brainchild of actor and spoken word titan Emmet Kirwan, ran for only one season just over ten years ago. The sitcom was low maintenance and low budget from the offset, with one static camera focussing on one of the two protagonists in each shot.

The nature of the shots in Sarah and Steve mean that the audience is usually only faced with one person onscreen. The onus, therefore, is on the script, in order to elevate the plot beyond what people are looking at.

The genius of Sarah and Steve lies in the ability of Sarah, played by Charlene Gleeson, and Steve, played by Kirwan, to weave stories together and create a world in the viewer's head.

We never see their shenanigans at Electric Picnic, nor do we peek in at the world of Steve's free gaff from beyond the steady cam in his bedroom. We manoeuvre around each of their homes so much so that, by the end of the ten episodes, we feel as though we're part of the furniture.

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Sarah and Steve's beauty is found in its simplicity.

The storytelling is everyday. The two protagonists play each and every role akin to you retelling a workplace story in the pub on a Friday. The comedy is borne from that. Slagging off people they meet on their travels, and creating a world of imagined slapstick comedy. You never see Steve getting a backer going down Tallaght Hill, but you know it's funny.

The simple nature of Sarah and Steve even boils down to the length of episodes. Ten episodes of ten minutes each means that you can binge the series in no time at all.

However, make no mistake, you'll still feel an affinity towards the two characters. You become enchanted immediately, become at one with your imagination and subsequently feel as though you live within this imagined Tallaght.

Sarah and Steve may have been broadcast ten years ago, but it still is just as funny in 2019.

You can watch the full first season of Sarah and Steve here.

Sean Meehan

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