A NEW TV show by two of Ireland’s best comedians is getting raving reviews across the board.
Aisling Bea’s new Channel 4 show ‘This Way Up’ was released in full on Thursday 8 August and is proving a hit with viewers and critics alike.
The show, which stars Bea and 'Catastrophe' legend Sharon Horgan, co-writing, tackles bleak and difficult topics such as loneliness, anxiety and depression—but there are plenty of laughs to be found along the way.
The story follows TEFL teacher Aine (Bea) on her recovery after a nervous breakdown, and her worried older sister Shona (Horgan) as she juggles her own life with her fears about her sister’s mental health.
Bea’s talent for writing and comedy is apparent as she finds humour in some of the darkest places, and perfectly illustrates the way people hide behind a happy, joking façade when they feel nothing but despair inside-- something comedians and fans of comedy will be familiar with.
#ThisWayUp is glorious and heartbreaking and life-affirming and thoughtful and deliriously funny and @WeeMissBea is a goddess.
So many beautiful words that simply stay with you.
"I don't want to lie to you Shona, but I don't want to make you sad"
— Ali O'Neill (@nessiesdaughter) August 11, 2019
Bea and Horgan’s quick-witted, snarky, frustrated but generally loving sister act gives the show an extra boost and keeps the atmosphere light despite the heart-breaking subjects being discussed.
There are plenty of side-splittingly hilarious scenes-- you haven't lived until you've seen Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan singing an absolutely dire version of The Cranberries' 'Zombie'-- and they serve to make you let your guard down before hitting you with another uncomfortable truth about living with depression.
Have watched all of #ThisWayUp from the amazing Aisling @WeeMissBea @HelloMerman & @Channel4 & I have to say - ‘😮!’ The whole thing is a masterclass in nuanced, devastating hilarity. I laughed & wept aplenty. Ep 4 is one of the finest half hours of tv I’ve ever seen. Binge now.
— DeborahFrances-White (@DeborahFW) August 11, 2019
The show has been granted a weekly 9pm slot every Thursday but many binged the show in its entirety over the weekend, providing Bea with instant gratification and heartfelt demands for another season.
— Dr Catherine Hughes (@chughes15) August 11, 2019
The theme of loneliness lays the foundation for Bea's story. Many will find Aine's character to be uncomfortably relatable, and the show make people take heed at how their friends, who seem full of life on the outside, might be battling something dark in their minds.
The Kildare native has been blown away by the response and the glowing reviews, regardless of how deserved they are.
THANK YOU from @SharonHorgan , myself & the BIG team who helped make #ThisWayUp for all the nice messages. It's such a lovely, kind thing to bother doing & unbelievably appreciated even though I can't reply to 'em all because I pay the robots who do my tweets by the letter xx
— Aisling Bea (@WeeMissBea) August 11, 2019
You can catch 'This Way Up' on Channel 4 on Thursday, or binge the entire first season in a quick three hours on Channel 4 Player.