Some Joy but Not Much
There isn't a whole lot wrong with Finding Joy, but then there isn't a whole lot right with the series either. The first series aired about 2 years ago and with a mediocre beginning its strange to see the series return. Joy (Amy Huberman) has left the magazine job from the last season and is joined by her faithful side kick Stan (Paul Reid) and her best friend Trish (Hannah James-Scott) as Mother in need of some R&R. The rest of the cast largely seem to have been forgotten about, though in fairness I didn't watch the full series last time round so perhaps there are more characters from it in Season 2.
Episode one opens with a re-birthing canal as Joy and Stan try to look at a re-born life for Joy's online blog and from there the light unassuming comedy begins. The jokes are vaginal but largely nothing massively offensive, and the school girl comedy is helped as the main character returns to school.
But largely the 25 minute show is all over the place, trying to pack in as many scenes in as possibly unwilling to allow the characters settle. Many characters being introduced for the first time. So you can skip season one or forget it happened.
Amy Huberman is in my opinion a good comic actress but the comedy is so light she fails to pack a punch.
A long in-joke doesn't help. Firstly, understand, her husband is a well known Irish rugby player and about three years ago she starred, long-side Neil Morrissey, in Striking Out (a court room drama), which at this point seems like a million years away.
This is cameo leads to a punchline no one could ever have delivered. It would have been better if Neil Morrissey had relied on his Men Behaving Badly role rather than the forgettable role in Striking Out, a forgettable drama. Re-written it could have played on the idea that only some would remember Striking Out, but that ultimately its a joke long past its sell by date.
The show seem like a set of sketches feature Joy, flashbacks to her time in school, adult Joy smoking weed with the cool kids, Joy working in a shared office space and Joy having a girls night in with her best friend and her flatmate.
Nothing connects. It jumps from one idea to the next, throwing them out hoping one will catch, while adding some light blue humour in for good measure.
What's interesting about the show is that is is ultimately a damp squib. It's hype is unfounded (though in fairness RTÉ do need to promo their shows) but it's also not as bad as you might imagine.
The cast aren't that bad, they just aren't given anything to work with. Amy's roommate never comes across as broke tarot card reading new age hippy, her best friend is only introduced at the very end as a new mother who needs a break and her cameraman is her support but never gets a change to prove it to the audience let alone Amy.
Overall if your not looking for anything too heavy, and some very light entertainment, Finding Joy might have found a market.
Finding Joy airs on RTÉ ONE on Saturday Nights at 9:30, and its first episode is available on the RTÉ Player.