WITH THE tragic news emerging today of the premature death of rising Irish star Danika McGuigan, The Irish Post is paying tribute by revisiting one of her most impressive roles.
RTE’s ‘Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope’ ran for two seasons after its premiere in 2016, and told the hard-hitting story of friends Aisling and Danielle trying to navigate the modern Irish world, struggling with keeping their partying from affecting their work, college and other responsibilities.
Danika played the more level-headed Danielle, and viewers in Ireland watched the girls’ stories unfold with rapture.
The show, written by comedian and writer Stefanie Preissner, took place between Cork and Dublin, and was praised for its strong female characters as well as its honest depiction of the pressures young Irish people experience-- especially how quickly a fondness for ‘the sesh’ can turn into a debilitating struggle with alcoholism.
It helped many people, and Danika played a big part in that.
As someone who previously struggled with substance abuse, toxic relationships, & maintaining a professional life through it all, I cannot sing enough praises for Netflix’s CANT COPE, WONT COPE.
I watched the 1st season 3 times & the newly released 2nd season is *amazing* pic.twitter.com/y8HQKT35WC
— 🍓🌸lil spook (@phosphorousmoon) August 18, 2018
‘Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope’ was much of the nation’s first introduction to actress Danika, who played Danielle in such a way that made her intensely relatable to many.
Tributes are flooding in from her friends and fans, with many lamenting the loss of such a young and talented life.
That’s heartbreaking. Nika came up to me at a London event and asked me to sign Constellations. I was sure we’d met before. She said that she was an actor and when I realised she was Danielle, I fully gushed at her for five minutes. Such a huge talent. Really sad for her family.
— Sinéad Gleeson (@sineadgleeson) July 24, 2019
Shocked to hear of the sudden passing of Danika McGuigan, such a a talented young woman. Absolutely loved her in ‘Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope’.
— Bronagh McAteer (@handwritten) July 24, 2019
'Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope' tells an important story, and Danika’s faultless acting throughout makes it a show that everyone should see. It is hard-hitting and tender with comedic moments, and is a beautiful legacy for the young actress to leave behind.
Both seasons of the show are available on Netflix and comes thoroughly recommended.
Ms McGuigan passed away on 23 July after a "brief but brave" battle with breast cancer. She was 33.
Her work on Can't Cope, Won't Cope stands as the perfect testament to a talent loved and lost. R.I.P. Danika.