TV: Less Than Streetwise


Thought The Hills was bad? Jon Hozier-Byrne sinks his teeth into Ireland’s version: Fade Street


Billed as “Ireland’s answer to The Hills”, Fade Street follows the idealistic careers and tempestuous social lives of beautiful, happening young people in modern Dublin. The recession apparently having bypassed Fade Street, the four protagonists party their way through the rite of passage that is living away from home.

There has been a lot of critical scepticism about Fade Street – many argued that an Irish take on The Hills would come off as self-important, false and ultimately pathetic. I’m glad to say, with a smile on my face and a little black coal in my heart, that the sceptics were completely and utterly correct.

Fade Street is the most pathetic piece of “unscripted” trash this reviewer has ever seen. The plot is idiotic and puddle-shallow, the concept is one flagrantly plagiarised off a cancelled show and the entire piece is just totally irrelevant and pointless, a cultural throwback to the boom years that reeks of quiet desperation.

I would like to describe the characters as poorly written, idiotic and utterly uninteresting, but the characters are supposedly non-fictional, so I’ll have to simply settle for saying that the women are idiotic and utterly uninteresting. There’s Louise, a vapid waste of airtime, who sums up her own character brilliantly when she meets her new roommate; “Actually, I’m kind of happy, you’re actually gorgeous. I was kind of worried that I’d get some freak!” There’s Dani, the aforementioned roommate and the only non-D4 cast member, who is similarly annoying but is still the only cast member even closely resembling a human being. There’s also Vogue, a would-be model with the gruff, raspy voice of a jaded old pirate. Every character comes off as selfish, egotistical and completely unlikeable and more then once I was physically angered by the constant deluge of utter drivel that fell listlessly from their flawlessly glossed lips.

The director recognised early on that no scene is complete without multiple shots of people making an “everything is so hard for me” facial expression, while some emotive hipster-alternative trash swells over the angst. Oh yes, the combination of Two Door Cinema Club and moody bitches, that’s a good night in. More time is spent quickly cutting between street signs and views of Dublin streets, trying to make them look hip and interesting, than on any sort of plot, or indeed, anything actually interesting at all.

It could be argued that it’s always unfair to judge a series on its pilot episode and that it simply introduces you to the characters and creates the foundations for the plot, which will organically evolve later. I, in riposte, say this is total wank and chips. It reeks of unoriginality and utter desperation, as the show’s creators try to cling desperately to the youth market by stealing from a show young people loved about five years ago. This is, most probably, the single worst programme RTE have ever choked out. In short, I didn’t like it.