Dúshlán 1881

Watching Dúshlán 1881 today.
The setting is great; families return to the life of their ancestors who were all kicked out of their houses in the 1880s, to see what life was like before they all made a new start and in some cases emigrated to America.
For some of the participants this is the first time they return to the land of their forefathers.

It is only going to last 3 days and 3 nights, which is not enough, I think, to get an actual feel for what life was like back then.

The beginning is not original but always surprising to me.
I know, I am an experienced time traveller, but every time I am still amazed and annoyed at how spoiled modern people are and how easy it is to shock them.
Oh no we have to sleep on straw, oh no I cant live without make up, oh no, we have to live without our mobile phones, oh no we cant shower every day….
Sigh.

The costumes are a huge let-down, they aren’t very authentic at all.
Modern day jackets, flatcaps, modern glasses, etc.
Just because something sort of looks like tweed doesn’t mean its old.
Such a shame, as good costumes really set the scene and wearing them is also quite the experience.

Another thing they got wrong is the lighting.
Mind you, they get that wrong in lots of shows.
But a little Victorian workers cottage is dark at night, an oil lamp, a candle perhaps, that is it.
Yet here we can clearly see that the room is been well lit by tv lights and it seems there is even a blue light outside mimicking moonlight.

Seeing the men put straw on the roof was nice, but why wear the modern gloves?
Was that another health & safety thing?
Why not at least wear old looking gloves over them so they at least don’t stand out so much?

The traditional Irish music makes up for a lot of the things that are wrong with this show though.
And hearing people sing by the fire in the evening is wonderful, it brought tears to my eyes.
The Americans meeting their Irish family members made me cry.

The background and the emotional charge added a lot.

So regardless of the sloppy mistakes, I think many viewers will have learned a lot and it was clearly an amazing experience for the families who took part.

RTÉ-One-Dúshlán-1881

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