Four Compelling Things About Jack Irish

Harry, Cam, Linda, Jack - Jack Irish

Jack Irish is a TV drama series produced in Australia. It is based on the books by Peter Temple. Prior to the series there were three made for TV movies, also based on the books. The TV series made its US premiere on, a streaming service, on May 2, 2016 with the first two episodes. The rest of the 6 episode season will premiere weekly on Mondays through May 30, 2016. The movies are also available on Acorn.TV and DVD.

Because the three movies came first, I went online to read a bit about Jack’s background, since the series only touches lightly on it during conversation. Jack is a former attorney whose life apparently spiraled out of control because of a terrible event. He basically just gave up on everything and drank his way to the bottom of a bottle. Except for the fact he needed money to survive, he probably would not have bothered ever surfacing again.

Despite the fact I watch a lot of crime dramas; I will admit it took me a little while to get into Jack Irish. It may be because I typically like to watch programs from the beginning, and since the movies came before and were based on the earlier books in the series, it felt like I was jumping into the middle because I was! But, by the end of the second episode, Jack and his anti-hero charms had won me over and I became curious to know what was going on.


Jack - Jack Irish

Unlike other characters that turn to fighting for justice in the face of horrible life events, which is your typical super hero trope, Jack became a collection agent for seedy types and also performs occasional detective work. His problem is that he can’t seem to escape his sense of morality, which drives him to continue searching for the truth even when he has received multiple warnings not to proceed.

The end result is that he tends to get beat up a lot. Oh, and he does not carry a gun, at least 99% of the time, which seems to be a very dangerous habit considering the type of people he angers on a regular basis. Luckily for him, he has friends and associates that do carry guns and having worked with him on a regular basis know when to enter, guns blazing!

Interesting Characters

Harry, Cam, Jack - Jack Irish

Ok, did I mention that Jack Irish is filmed in Australia? So, that almost becomes a ’nuff said moment when it comes to interesting, but let’s play on a little longer.

Besides Jack, there is his lady friend, Linda, who moves out in the beginning of the first episode, but actually plays a very pivotal part in the mystery of the season and solving it. She is a smart, strong woman but does not always think through her actions. Then there is his cop friend, Barry, who is probably not completely on the up-and-up.

The collection work that Jack does is for Harry, most likely an underworld boss. His muscle is Cam. Add a racehorse to this side story of his associates and you get some really fun beats! Finally, there are the three elderly gents at the pub Jack frequents and the bar tender. The elderly gents are clearly meant to be the comic relief, a job which they accomplish very well. The bar tender and his love life problems also lead to some fun dialogue with Jack. A smaller but very important role of is that of his friend, Simone, whose computer expertise aids him with searches for information. Her personal life and the events portrayed make for even more humorous moments.

Good Underdog Vibe

Linda - Jack Irish

It is always fun to root for the underdog. While I would never consider Jack to be helpless, he comes across with that underdog vibe of always being in over his head. He seems to have no control over events as they happen around him. Luckily he is good at going with the flow!

With all the odds seemingly stacked against Jack, nothing going right, and his life a succession of bad events, who among us would root against him? Finally we get our satisfying resolution, when the tide turns and our ferocious underdog triumphs in the face of overwhelming odds, with a lot of help from his friends of course!

Twists and Turns

Linda - Jack Irish

As seems to be typical for many TV programs, Jack and the other main characters get pulled into something inadvertently and only as the scenario unfolds do they realize the greater scope and danger involved. When Linda leaves early on, you figure that is the last you will see of her. But, she ends up in the Philippines and other events that occur there play a big part in the reason why people in Australia are being murdered.

The big question is who is responsible, and what their motivation is. Of course, there is no straight line from event to event, or even reason to event, keeping the viewer guessing as to exactly what is going on until the end!


Have you watched Jack Irish? If so, what did you think about it? Maybe you saw the movies but not the TV series? I encourage you to give your opinion on the character and stories in this series in the comments section below!