- 25 Nov 11
As The Hardy Bucks return to Irish screens, writer and actor Martin Maloney talks about what went into creating the new series – and why Ireland is so willing to laugh at itself.
“Should we head out the N11?” A good question that! When Hot Press catches up with the men behind The Hardy Bucks, they’re packed into a car in Ballsbridge, busy negotiating traffic en route to Carlow, where further promotional work for their new series awaits.
By the time you read this, series two will be well underway, with Eddie and the gang attempting to leave Castletown and their troubles behind by absconding to America. As is often the case with this particular rogues’ gallery, their best laid plans don’t exactly work out as might have been hoped. So what did the Bucks learn from the first series?
“It taught us to be more disciplined in terms of writing,” explains writer and star Martin Maloney. “There’s obviously a schedule you have to keep. We used to film chronologically and put it together in the edit. This time you really had to stick to a rigid script, especially if you’re being funded by a public service provider. You’ve really got to justify that what you do will have a good end result.”
Graduating from their own little YouTube sandbox to national television also saw some butting of heads with their new employers along the way. To what extent were they left to their own devices?
“Not entirely,” he admits. “RTÉ weren’t too hot on certain ideas and there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. We found a middle ground with them. The original concept is maybe a bit ‘out there’ for a wide audience. It’s debatable whether we could get the attention of people who would watch Desperate Housewives or Cougar Town. They might be a bit alienated. We’ve been trying to stay as original as possible, but it basically boils down to revenue. You have to have as many viewing as possible while trying to maintain your integrity as a writer.”
Between the antics of The Hardy Bucks, the surrealism of The Rubberbandits and Brendan Gleeson’s outrageous Sergeant Gerry Boyle in this summer’s box-office smash The Guard, it appears that Irish comedy is now thriving on a diet of send-ups. So what’s the secret?
“David McSavage said to me about two years ago that it’s good to hold a mirror up to society, and to just be as honest and representational as possible,” offers Maloney. “A lot of the time, certain productions follow a formula that’s unrealistic. People like to take the piss out of themselves, and Irish people especially can be very self-deprecating in terms of humour. I think that strikes a chord with people – they can relate to it.”
Typical of their ambition, Maloney & Co. aren’t content with going from internet sensations to bona fide TV stars. In a case of life imitating art, the guys have turned their attention to the US, entering into discussions with production companies about the possibility of bringing the show to the world’s biggest television audience.
“They’re very interested to see how we get on with our second series,” says Maloney. “They were looking at buying the concept of it. We’ll see how it goes, and there’s a door open there. We were told that it was kind of like a viral thing that was sent all over FOX in LA – it would have been nice if they’d sent us a few bob for it!”
Would he be comfortable selling off the rights to his beloved show?
“I don’t think I would. I think I’d like to have a hand in it and maybe try acting in it. I don’t know about losing control over something like that, and I don’t think Chris (Tordoff, co-writer and actor) would give it up that easy either. If they give us an offer we couldn’t refuse, then things might be different.”
Catch the brand new series of The Hardy Bucks, Monday nights on RTÉ 2 at 10.20pm.