The RTÉ Player team share their top picks to watch on RTÉ Player this week.
On Thursday, RTÉ2 was the first broadcaster in Europe to air the much anticipated second series of Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning drama series The Handmaids Tale. Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale follows life in the Dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States and the final episode of the first series ended with a serious cliff-hanger as a pregnant Offred was bundled into the back of a van following a defiance of orders to stone a fellow handmaid. Series two began with a double bill shaped by Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. “Gilead is within you” is a favourite saying of Aunt Lydia. In Season Two, Offred and all our favourite characters will fight against, or succumb to, this dark truth. In case you missed it, catch up with the double bill of the first two episodes from The Handmaids Tale’s second series now on RTÉ Player.
As Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope returns for a second series, Aisling (Seána Kerslake) and Danielle (Nika McGuigan) are struggling with the new normality of being apart. We meet Aisling after she’s had her soul sucked out of her by small town Mallow for an entire summer where she has a job in a local financial establishment, but in typical Aisling style she throws in the towel at the first signs of trouble. Meanwhile in Vancouver, Danielle is struggling despite having her wish for more art and less Aisling come true. There is no-one at her side to roll her eyes at when the super politically correct art school culture in Vancouver starts grating on her. Series two gives Aisling and Danielle the chance to make all the right choices… but where’s the fun in that? Watch the first episode of the new series now on RTÉ Player
What Not to Miss?
RTÉ One goes wild this spring with a ground-breaking new natural history season. The first series to air will be the much-anticipated Ireland’s Deep Atlantic, which sees underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan embark on a series of voyages out into the open North Atlantic in search of large whales, sharks and cold water coral reefs 3,000 down on Ireland’s deep sea bed. The two-part series will document many of these creatures’ behaviour for the first time in any TV programme and investigate the health of our deep Atlantic waters. This is an area inhabited by the largest animals ever to have lived on Earth, by some of the most beautiful, strangest looking, resilient and fascinating life forms on the planet and ecosystems. The documentary series has become a partner in ground-breaking scientific research, sharing resources and collaborating with research scientists, which, to date will result in five scientific research publications, an unprecedented number for a TV documentary. Watch episode one now on RTÉ Player and catch the second part on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player Sunday.
Pick of the Week
With the help of some recovering gamblers and other experts on the subject, Baz Ashmawy takes a look at Ireland’s relationship with gambling. In All Bets Are Off, Baz considers the colourful and contagious world of gambling. From the bingo, to the bookies and the charge to Cheltenham every year it’s fair to say Ireland takes gambling very seriously. It is normalised. Endemic. Part of who we are. In truth, when it comes to gambling, we’re the biggest losers online and the third biggest losers in the world, per adult resident but the figures pale in comparison to the suffering caused by problem gambling. Follow Baz Ashmawy as he meets a post office manager who stole €1.75m from An Post to feed his addiction, a grieving widow whose scratch card addiction escalated following the sudden death of her partner and an Offaly footballer who lost his way through his exposure to the other ‘game’. Watch All Bets Are Off now on RTÉ Player.