Bitter Sweet (TV drama)

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Bitter Sweet
RTÉ Bitter Sweet.jpg
Genre Television drama
Created by Di Burrows and Element Pictures
Directed by Declan Eames
Starring Deirdre O'Kane
Úna Kavanagh
Catherine Walker
Risteárd Cooper
Robert Sheehan
Country of origin Ireland
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 1
Producer(s) Di Burrows
Original channel RTÉ One
Original airing 23 March 2008
External links

Bitter Sweet is an Irish television drama produced by Element Pictures for RTÉ. It follows the difficulties encountered by three female friends who undergo difficult changes to their respective lives. The drama was broadcast on RTÉ One on 23 March 2008, an Easter Sunday, at 21:30. It is written and produced by Di Burrows[1] and directed by Declan Eames.[2] The costume designer was Sonya Lennon, future co-presenter of the fashion magazine show Off the Rails.[3] It featured the comedian/mimic Risteárd Cooper in a serious acting role. Robert Sheehan played the role of Liam.


Bitter Sweet is the story of three reunited female friends from Dublin – Carmel, Gerry and Marie. The three are from very different worlds, but still share common attributes that appear most prominent when they all undergo significant changes in their lives. Carmel is married with four children and owns a house by the sea. Gerry has a successful career and is sophisticated but husbandless since his death. Marie has just been divorced after twenty years of marriage and struggles to adapt to the changes that Dublin has undergone in this time. The drama follows the new problems that the three encounter. Gerry’s toyboy begins to develop serious feelings for her despite her disinterest in such a notion. Marie has to deal with post-divorce dating. Carmel is reeling from a series of shock-revelations that have broken her marriage.[4]


Name Age Abode Detail Actress Ref
Marie Dodgson
42 fashionable city-centre apartment Young and married, she has spent her life being a mother and raising children. Has led a sheltered, safe, comfortable, cosy life. Has not work because of her maternal and marital circumstances. Financially secure. Deirdre O'Kane [5]
Carmel Joyce
39 large architect-designed house with a huge garden in Malahide Happy, contented and taking her life for granted at first. Creative but has not been allowed to explore that creativity. Adapts to her new situation quite well. Úna Kavanagh [6]
Gerry O'Rourke
36 alone, in a beach house in Howth Bright, motivated, confident and career central. Has suffered a loss in her life at a very young age when she got married and her husband died. Because of this she has become more focused on her career and has done very well. She has a sexual relationship with a young man, but has intimacy issues when she buries her real feelings. Catherine Walker [7]


The Irish Independent was scathing in its criticism, describing the drama as "complete bollocks" in which "no cliché was left unturned". It was named by the newspaper as one of its six worst television programmes of 2008.[8]


  1. ^ "Q&A with writer and producer: Di Burrows". RTÉ. Accessed 20 December 2008.
  2. ^ "Q&A with director: Declan Eames". RTÉ. Accessed 20 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Q&A costume designer: Sonya Lennon". RTÉ. Accessed 20 December 2008.
  4. ^ "BitterSweet". RTÉ. Accessed 20 December 2008.
  5. ^ "Marie Dodgson – 42". RTÉ. Accessed 20 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Carmel Joyce – 39 (just)". RTÉ. Accessed 20 December 2008.
  7. ^ Gerry O’Rourke – 36". RTÉ. Accessed 20 December 2008.
  8. ^ "TV best and worst of 2008". Irish Independent. 27 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 

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