Quick Critique

Quick Critique: Notes On A Disaster, Episode 1 “The Beard”

Trevor Thomas (Dylan Mangan) and Peter Ryan (Simon McKeon) are awaiting to hear if their pitch for a film Notes On A Disaster is picked by their film production class. They wish to make a movie about a man who was the survivor of a car crash wracked with guilt who discovers a shower that allows him to time travel. While waiting, they decide to attend a party and score MDMA for it. Peter, meanwhile, has to deal with some complications that arise with his relationship to Sophie (Mandy Ní Carthaigh).

The Beard does a pretty serviceable job of setting up the main cast and premise of the series while also being pretty funny to boot. It does take a little bit to find its strive, but after a rather humourous scene involving Peter and his boss (guest starring El Diablo alumni Mike O’Dowd), everything starts gelling and we have a really fun ride. A lot of this is the great rapport with our leads. Trevor and Peter are both ambitious, but supremely incompetent in their own ways. They have a solid friendship this early in the series, but they tend to feed off their own worst impulses. We also see Peter’s inability to be open with himself and those around him with how he interacts with Sophie.

Both our leads have a great sense of comic timing and are really fun when high as kites during the party. While the rest of the cast aren’t as developed yet, we get a sense of each of their personalities and relationships with our duo. Alice Moloney’s Helen has a quiet but not at all subtle antipathy for the two, Eoin O’Reilly’s Alan is affable but an obsessive music snob, Eric Mooney’s Oliver is taciturn and odd, etc. Looking forward to seeing how they’re fleshed out moving forward.

There’s a great scene by the riverside in the twilight of morning that was used in the teaser. It communicates their ambitious if foolhardy belief in their idea. The Beard is a serviceable and enjoyable pilot episode, and I look forward to where the next 7 episodes take what’s been set up.


For more information on Notes On A Disaster, be sure to follow them on Facebook and subscribe to El Diablo Productions on YouTube.

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