30 things for November: Top TV shows, best gigs, new books 

30 things for November: Top TV shows, best gigs, new books 

RTÉ One, November 7 

Kin is gone, so now it’s the turn of the cops to take over that prime Sunday night spot. In a co-production with a Belgian network, Angeline Ball plays a detective in the Criminal Assets Bureau trying to unravel the links between an Irish drugs gang and a wider international conspiracy involving diamonds, terrorism and political corruption.

Dexter: New Blood

Sky Atlantic, November 7

Michael C Hall and his Dexter character probably outstayed their welcome by the time the season eight finale aired in 2013. Hopefully this revamp will recapture the magic of the early series, when the blood-spatter analyst provided intriguing viewing as he took out his own killing urges on the murderers of Miami. Set 10 years later, Dexter has changed his name, moved to a small town, and is in a relationship with the local police chief.

Keelin Shanley: Still Close

RTÉ One, November 8 

A documentary on the affable broadcaster who died from cancer last year, aged 51. It includes footage from the mother-of-two’s personal archive as she faces her diagnosis.


Netflix, November 11 

The series your teenagers shouldn’t be watching, but probably are. Season five ended with prominent characters Betty and Archie finding a bomb under the bed they were about to have sex in. We saw the explosion, but episode one of the new run will presumably reveal who was caught in it. Episodes drop weekly.

Curse of the Chippendales

Amazon Prime Video, November 12 

We know them as the male strippers who packed out Cork Opera House and other Irish venues, but this series shows the darker side of what went on around the entertainment troupe in their early days. Essentially a true-crime series with chiselled abs, it’s a square-jaw-dropping tale of murder, cyanide plots and corruption.

Rosario Dawson in Dopesick. 


Disney+,November 12

Eight-part drama series set in America’s unfolding opioid crisis. An impressive cast includes Michael Keaton as a doctor misled into prescribing  OxyContin, the drug at the heart of so much misery in the US; and Rosario Dawson as a DEA agent. We also get a glimpse inside the Sackler family, the disgraced dynasty behind Purdue Pharma, who made huge profits while their products wreaked havoc.

Fargo, season two 

TG4, November 16

While the four seasons of this series always arrived with plenty of potential, it’s probably fair to say that only season two really delivered. First aired in 2015, it combined the trademark quirkiness to superb characters and an engaging plot. Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons play the couple trying to cover up the hit-and-run death of a member of a local crime family. Also watch out for Kieran Culkin, who has since become a huge star in Succession.

Joe Exotic in Tiger King. 

Tiger King 2

Netflix, November 17

Joe Exotic may be in jail, but the original series was way too successful to stay away. The man himself is heard via a crackly prison phone line, and we’ll also catch up with the likes of Carole Baskin and Jeff Lowe.

Selling Sunset

Netflix, Nov 24

Season four of the scripted reality show arrives at last, and there have been quite a few changes since we last saw the Californian house sellers. A few of the regulars have left the Oppenheim Group – though they still do appear in this season – and newcomers included Hispanic TV star Vanessa Villela, and Emma Hernan, a former model with over a million Instagram followers.

The Beatles: Get Back

Disney+, Nov 25-27 

After impressing with his reworking of WWI footage in They Shall Not Grow Old, filmmaker Peter Jackson has been trawling the 60 hours of unseen footage shot in January 1969. With spruced-up sound and visuals, we see the Fab Four working on a new album and planned tour. Unfortunately, they’d have broken up within a few months. Fans are salivating, and the trailers suggest the material is good enough to spark a mini Beatles revival among the rest of us.

Des O’Driscoll 



Cork Opera House, Emmet Place, Cork City; November 2, 8pm, €36.50 

Conor O’Brien and his crew are back onstage at the Opera House, as part of a big, post-pandemic UK/Ireland swing in support of new album ‘Fever Dreams’.

HAUSU Collective 

Cyprus Avenue, Caroline Street, Cork City; November 2, 7.30pm, €10 

Cork City’s collective of young musicians and visual artists put on their second shared show at Cyprus Avenue, following a pre-pandemic packout. Arthur Valentine, Ghostking is Dead, Actualacid, Automatic Blue and Neil O’Sullivan Greene finally get to play lockdown releases live, while Colm Cahalane lends visuals.

Niamh Regan, Loah, Wallis Bird & Mary Coughlan with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra 

Cork Opera House, Emmet Place, Cork City; November 12, 8pm, €25 

Night one of Coughlans’ Right Here Right Now festival features an all-star lineup of female Irish singers and songwriters, including veterans like Mary Coughlan and Wallis Bird, Irish/Sierra Leonean singer Loah and Galway’s Niamh Regan – each accompanied by the Opera House’s in-house orchestra.

Junior Brother: Kerry songwriter and collaborators tread the Opera House boards. Pic: Mark O’Connor

John Spillane & Junior Brother with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra 

Cork Opera House, Emmet Place, Cork City; November 13, 8pm, €25 

A coming together of idiosyncratic, distinctly Munster folk voices for night two of Right Here Right Now, as Cork’s balladeering poet John Spillane shares a stage with the writerly, distinctly Kerry twang of singer-songwriter Junior Brother – again with the help of the Opera House’s in-house concert ensemble.

And So I Watch You From Afar 

Cyprus Avenue, Caroline Street, Cork City; November 13, 7pm, €17.50 

North Shore post-rockers finally get to fulfil the March 2020 gig set to happen on the night the Covid crisis was declared – reprising instrumental tunes from a first decade that took them from gigging around Ireland and the UK, to working on community music projects in Morocco and releasing via US indie institution Sargent House.

The Altered Hours 

Dolan’s Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick; November 13, 9pm, €16.50 

The post-album launch tour for Cork post-punk/psych-rock heroes The Altered Hours continues at Dolan’s in Limerick – near and dear to the hearts and homes of co-founders Elaine Howley & Cathal MacGabhann, hailing from the Tipp/Limerick borderlands.

Saint Sister: continuing their post-pandemic touring in Waterford and Cork. Pic: Ellius Grace.

Saint Sister 

Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford; November 17, 7pm, €17.50 

Northern duo Saint Sister sought to escape the ‘atmosfolk’ tag of earlier work with ‘Where I Should End’, released at the height of lockdown and accompanied by a guerrilla tour of record shops, radio and streaming gigs. Also playing Live at St. Luke’s in Cork City on the 25th.

Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh, Kate Ellis and Caimin Gilmore 

Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street, Cork City; November 19, 8pm, €20 

A celebration of contemporary folk music, Quiet Lights festival is highlighted by a meeting of folk minds in a renowned classical venue – violinist Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh, famed for his prowess with the ten-string hardanger d’amore fiddle, collaborates with Crash Ensemble cellist Kate Ellis and double-bassist Caimin Gilmore.

The Stunning 

Cyprus Avenue, Caroline Street, Cork City; November 25, 7pm, €30 

The Wall brothers and collaborators head back on the road to mark the delayed thirtieth anniversary of debut album ‘Paradise In The Picturehouse’: the first Irish debut album to go to Number One in the domestic charts, and stayed there for five weeks.

Wyvern Lingo 

Connolly’s of Leap, West Cork; November 26, 8pm, €21 

Crossing soul influence with indie-rock sensibility, Wicklow trio Wyvern Lingo’s second album ‘Awake You Lie’ has come in for warm critical acclaim, and they head under the hammers at Connolly’s with a head of momentum behind them. Playing Live at St. Luke’s in the city centre the following night.

Mike McGrath-Bryan


Diarmuid Ferriter – Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War

November 2

Historian Diarmuid Ferriter delves into the Irish Civil War and casts an eye over its impact on modern Ireland and Irish politics. 

Drawing on completely new sources, Ferriter highlights the importance of the tragic conflict on shaping the country we know today, particularly casting an eye on Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and their back-and-forth governing of Ireland since the end of the civil war and how Sinn Fein’s electoral success in 2019 – almost a century after the conflict – saw in the rival parties finally consider officially working together.

Wanda M. Morris – All Her Little Secrets

November 2

A fast-paced thriller, All Her Little Secrets is filled with twists and turns as a black lawyer gets caught in a dangerous conspiracy after the sudden death of her boss. On a cold January morning, Ellice Littlejohn finds her boss dead with a gunshot to his head and walks away like nothing happened for fear of her own dark past being exposed. 

However, things quickly get complicated when she is promoted and uncovers shady dealings inside the company, and her past and present lives collide.

Will Smith and Mark Manson – Will

November 9

If you think you know actor and singer Will Smith, you probably know only half the story. Smith has written about his life, from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to A-list Hollywood celebrity, with the help of writer Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. 

In Will, Smith describes learning how to balance his family life with the demands of his job and reveals how his eyes were opened when he learned his immensely talented family felt like performers in his circus.

Dr Larry Crumpler – Mission To Mars

November 11

For thousands of years, humans have been fascinated by Mars. Dr Larry Crumpler is among the best-informed about the Red Planet, having been one of the long-term planning leads for the Mars Exploration Rover Project. 

Dr Crumpler recounts planet’s history in Mission To Mars, from ancient astronomers to modern breakthrough discoveries. The ‘biography’ of Mars features full-colour photographs taken by rovers and NASA satellites images to allow us to understand and experience Mars as never before.

Joel M – Make Your Own Magic

November 11

TikTok magician Joel M moved beyond our phone screens and shares his own personal story, including how m

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