The good news is that are many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The bad news…..roughly 91.4 percent of them are probably illegal. (It could go up to 97 percent, depending on where you pinch someone who isn’t wearing green.) Still, this is one of those rare holidays that’s all about self-indulgence and having fun, so you can’t help but want to indulge at least a little bit.
That being the case, why not enjoy St. Patrick’s Day the safe and sane way? Which is to say, spend the day watching some television. It can have the same kick as a cup of green beer and better taste than a plate of corned beef and cabbage. Plus, movies and films have long had a fascination with all things related to the land of shamrocks, whether it’s stars with an Irish heritage, examinations of the Irish-American way of life or historical epics about Ireland.
So if you’re looking to see green this St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t want to feel blue with a hangover the morning after, here are some Streampix movies and shows that connect one way or another to the Emerald Isle.
Sure, Tommy Gavin is an alcoholic. And an adulterer. And he’s got a horrible temper. Still, he’s got to be one of the most relatable characters in recent TV history. As portrayed by the Emmy-nominated Denis Leary, the Irish-American Gavin was the central figure in this long-running series about the lives and (many) loves of a group of New York firefighters post-9/11. Watching him struggle with drinking, women and his very Irish family, you couldn’t help but identify with his desire to do the right thing. Sometimes his ordeals were horrific. Sometimes they were hysterical. But every time, Tommy made for some riveting television.
Here’s a series that had the Irish, but no luck. Co-created by Oscar-winning writer/producer Paul Haggis, it lasted little more than a month after premiering on NBC in 2007. Despite the lack of airtime, though, this gritty drama about four Irish-American brothers coming of age in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York was a well-crafted (if exceedingly dark) look at the joys and perils of growing up working class and Irish.
You can’t talk about all things Irish and not mention A) Bushmill’s and B) Liam Neeson. He’s one of the biggest stars going both here and there, and none of his work paid more tribute to his homeland than this one. He stars as the title character, an Irish revolutionary who fought to the death for his country’s independence from the British. (If only he could have had his character from “Taken” show up…..every British soldier would have been in the hospital within about 20 minutes.)
When you think of famous Irish actors, chances are even the Lucky Charms leprechaun comes in on the list ahead of George Clooney. Still, his family has roots in Ireland so he certainly qualifies for this list. And “Ocean’s 11” perfectly showcases that heritage because in this comedic caper film about a Las Vegas robbery, his character is just like Ireland itself – lots of history, very handsome to look at and is legendary for possessing good luck.
Don’t let the title fool you. The movie may be set in Central America, but its’ hero is played by a pure Irishman – Pierce Brosnan. And while you may know him best as a British superspy named Bond, in this comedy/mystery/thriller he’s a decidedly less effective secret agent who gets assigned to an easy gig in Panama that turns out to be much more than he bargained for. The scenery here may be a lot different than it is in Brosnan’s native land, but he managed to thrive in the film and turn it into one of the best in his distinguished career.