A steady stream of small lovely details make Acorn TV’s latest import, Striking Out, a delightful short-run lawyer drama.
Striking Out, an Irish production, becomes available Friday on the streaming service and includes just four episodes.
It stars Amy Huberman (left) as Tara Rafferty, a Dublin lawyer who makes an impulsive late-night visit to her fiance’s flat and walks in on him having noisy sex with another female lawyer.
The fiancé, Eric Dunbar (Rory Keenan, bottom, right), chases Tara down the stairs and out into the street, trying to explain. Good luck with that one, Eric. Tara throws a shoe at him as she storms away.
The next morning we see Tara walking into the large, prestigious corporate law firm where she works with Eric. She’s still barefoot, one of those lovely details.
When she reaches her office and starts throwing all her stuff into a bag, she sees a mysterious person silently sitting on a chair. She gives him a couple of things to carry, and they leave together, at which point she asks who he is and he reminds her he is a client, Ray Lamont (Emmet Byrne).
He has a bail hearing in 20 minutes, and he’s a bit concerned he might be going to jail.
Tara switches gears, which under the circumstances is about as easy as making a sudden U-turn while skiing down the Alps.
She’s losing the case until she blurts out to the judge that Ray shouldn’t go to jail because he’s about to start a job, which he isn’t.
While she’s trying to figure out how to finesse that inconvenient truth, a rapid series of seemingly random events and chance meetings leads her to spontaneously start her own law practice, with offices in the back of a coffee shop run by a classic nice guy named Pete (Brahm Gallagher).
She hires Ray as her assistant, meaning now he really does have a job, and he steers her to Meg Riley (Fiona O’Shaughnessy), a computer whiz and private detective.
Throw in Tara’s longtime mentor and friend Vincent Pike (Neil Morrissey), and we’ve got ourselves, for TV drama purposes, a nuclear family.
Vincent quickly steers a case their way, though it’s an unfortunate one under the circumstances because this client has been cheating on his wife.
Happily, Tara seems able to compartmentalize and cobble together a quick case for him.
Meanwhile, Eric isn’t giving up. He enlists the help of Tara’s mother Irene (Ingrid Craigie), who thinks he’s a jackass, but doesn’t want to blow off a wedding to which she’s already invited a slew of important friends.
The normal pattern in cases like this is for the idiot fiancé to disappear. The fact Eric doesn’t, suggests that somewhere down the line Tara could be worn down into taking him back, a prospect for which no viewer anywhere will be hoping.
Striking Out isn’t the first show on which a fast-track lawyer (or other fast-track professional) suffers a personal blow that leads her or him to reevaluate and downshift to a new career that, at first, seems more modest, but that we viewers immediately realize has the potential to be more fulfilling.
A familiar storyline is fine, however, if we like the characters, and here we do. Tara and Ray are particularly intriguing, and the show has a strong vein of humor that keeps it all feeling fresh.