During lockdown this year, many people have been turning to their TV screens for some light-hearted entertainment. So far throughout 2020 shows like Tiger King and Quiz have been very popular with fans. There has also been a rise of binge-worthy tv shows over the years with shows like Stranger Things and The Umbrella Academy becoming the most watched shows on Netflix at the end of 2019. There have also been a lot of great Irish TV shows to keep audiences occupied at home, from Derry Girls to Normal People.
Another Irish TV show that has been popular for a few years now is The Young Offenders. After a film was made about the story in 2016, the characters were brought back for a TV series in 2018. Earlier this year the show released its third series, just as hilarious as the previous ones. The Young Offenders storyline is based in Cork and is a coming-of-age comedy about best pals Conor and Jock as they go through their awkward teenage years. They both have tough home lives, regularly commit crimes, and have always gotten into trouble at school and with the local Garda. While there have been plenty of funny scenes throughout the three series, here are just some of the best ones:
The coin toss competition with Billy Murphy
Conor and Jock, while harmlessly messing around in Cork, occasionally meet Billy Murphy, a renowned society misfit. In this particular instance, in a quest to help Mairead MacSweeney (Conor’s mother), they are cornered by Billy. To try and outsmart him, they plead with Billy to engage in a coin toss competition. The stated rules were that if Conor and Jock win with heads, Billy will let them in the building where he works as a security guard and if they lose with tails, Billy gets to punch both of them.
The two young offenders hilariously lose two consecutive tosses and are painfully punched in the face and stomach. When they lose the third toss, as Billy collects the coin and gets ready to deliver another fulfilling punch, they run into the building as his guard is down. This scene perfectly shows just how much trouble the two friends get into as, no matter how smart they think their plans are, they never quite pull them off well…
The bus journey turned hostage situation
While season three had the Debs episode hailed as ‘one of the best’, one of the best episodes from the first season has to be the season one finale. Conor, Jock, Siobhan, and Linda, are both on a casual bus trip when Billy Murphy happens to get on board. Eager to find out who on the bus has been wearing a look-alike mask of him to conduct robberies, Billy somehow takes the whole bus of passengers hostage without really meaning to.
Of course the passengers are shocked and scared, and there’s nowhere really to run or get off the bus. Billy negotiates with Sergeant Tony Healy over the phone and puts in his list of demands…for food. Feeling remorseful, Billy asks the bus full of hostages if they wanted anything to eat. The hostages surprisingly gained confidence at this point and responded with requests for pizza, potato wedges, and diet coke. For a scene that’s meant to be an intense situation, it’s funny to watch as scared passengers forget themselves slightly and make requests for food and drink like they’re casually ordering off a menu.
The Sergeant Healy vs masked thieves bike chase
From arguments on Come Dine With Me to children interrupting live video links on BBC, there have been many hilarious tv moments that audiences just can’t stop watching again and again. In The Young Offenders, it’s the chase scenes through Cork that keep viewers entertained. When they’re not in school or at home, Conor and Jock regularly steal bikes around the local area. Usually, they’re pretty bad at this as they are usually spotted by the local Garda before they even get on the bikes. The teens both have a long-running feud with the Garda, particularly Sergeant Healy. During the series the two have many chase scenes with Healy, but one sticks out as being more hilarious than the rest.
In the scene, Conor and Jock steal two BMX bikes that look really cool, but are actually much slower than they thought. Even worse, the bikes were so tiring that Jock had to wave a white handkerchief, in a bid to ask for a five-minute resting truce. Sergeant Healy, who was exhausted as well, complied. Conor and Jock were foolish enough to believe that once a truce is unanimously called for, all parties must comply. They didn’t know that Sergeant Healy was slowly creeping closer to them when they were not watching.