It doesn’t take long to zero in on the absurd comedy of Amazon Prime’s Frank of Ireland — in the first episode, Frank (Brian Gleeson) tries to win back his ex Aine by learning mixed-martial arts like her new beau, then ends up taking his trainer to Aine’s grandmother’s funeral as his date after an ecstasy-fueled all-nighter, forgetting he’s supposed to sing at the memorial. It’s a disaster, of course, as are most things the 33-year-old failed musician Frank does, but that doesn’t stop him or his sidekick Doofus (Domhnall Gleeson) from trying to kickstart Frank’s career and love life by any ridiculous means they can think of. The Gleeson brothers have great chemistry, but the smaller characters (Frank’s mom, the MMA boyfriend) prove to be the MVPs of this joyfully crude sitcom set in suburban Dublin. (DAN NAILEN)
THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
Dawnie Wilson’s debut novel The Final Revival of Opal & Nev weaves together fictional characters and actual history into an engaging snapshot of the turbulence of the late 1960s, and a pointed critique of the music biz. The story is presented as a series of interviews conducted by a journalist with an unusual personal connection to the titular musical duo: a Black singer whose political protests alienated her from the industry, and a White guitarist whose later solo career made him a millionaire. As Opal and Nev prepare to reunite for the first time in decades, the dynamics of their relationship are questioned and buried secrets threaten to derail the whole thing. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST
REBELUTION, In The Moment. The reggae-rock crew headlines Spokane Pavilion Aug. 25.
STYX, Crash of the Crown. Forced myself to listen to the title track, and it’s rather proggy.
ANGELIQUE KIDJO, Mother Nature. The Afro-pop wonder brings serious energy and a slew of young African collaborators to her new one. (DAN NAILEN)