[The following contains spoilers.]
So far Liam Cuthbert and Emmet O’Brien’s podcast LUCYD has been structured rather like an entertainingly long-winded joke. There is a girl, Lucy Dillon (Marie O’Donovan), who keeps waking up to find that an item from her dreams has physically materialised in the room where she was sleeping. On the first night she dreams of a sword and when she awakens, lo, there is a sword. On the second night she dreams of fields of wheat and when she awakens, lo, there is wheat. On the third night she dreams of a horse and when she awakens, “neigh!” On the fourth occasion – this time she falls asleep in the afternoon – there are crows.
Such a format gives LUCYD a cheerful simplicity and a neatly stacked order. Yet you receive a rough jolt when, instead of ending with aplomb and on a punchline, the Season One finale has a load of plot queued up for you.
Although the finale introduces elements from Celtic mythology, LUCYD appears to hold a greater allegiance to Lauren Shippen’s popular podcast The Bright Sessions. Like Shippen’s atypicals, Lucy has a quirky superpower that she is struggling to gain control over and she comes up against a bent therapist (Darragh Feely). LUCYD begins to equal the nimble playfulness of The Bright Sessions in its fifth episode “The Lover.” Lucy awakens to meet the incarnation of her ex (David O’Leary), who reports that he is woven from her memories and that he has no autonomous existence outside of what she knows. Their conversation is henceforth, at least for Lucy, a kind of onanism. The virtue of this episode is its gentle emphasis and that it is no more unsettling than it can unavoidably be, opting instead for a bittersweet humour.
LUCYD styles itself “a supernatural drama” but it is in the main as relaxed and grounded as any romantic comedy. It does little with its characters; Lucy is a girl-next-door and her friends are just the lads. In one brief scene, Denise (Jean Law), an enigmatic friend of Lucy’s family, provides a dose of the human mystery that is generally absent from this drama. On the other hand, the cast is large and there are a lot of cooks standing around for such a simple broth. Presumably there will be more ambitious fare on the table in Season Two. It will be interesting to follow how the show adapts and what format it selects for its evolving storyline.