The Clean Break TV series is a gem of a crime drama we found on AcornTV. It’s a mini-series with suspense, scenery, solid acting and a good plot. Set in Ireland, Clean Break follows several small time operators all hoping for a break or one last deal that will put them over the top.

Frank Malloy (Adam Fergus) is a used car dealer drowning in debt. His wife has left him, and his 17-year-old daughter does whatever she wants, whenever and with whoever. Local banker Desi Rane (Aidan McArdle) lets Frank know he has reached the end of the line. The bank is ready to reclaim Frank’s home, business, and property.

Clean Break TV show actors

Would you buy a used car from these guys?

This leads to a scheme reminiscent of the first season of Happy Valley. We know something will go wrong, a feeling that becomes more certain as we get to know the other characters involved. Despite the familiarity of the situation and the type of folks involved, the series maintains its originality and leads us in some unexpected directions.

The Clean Break TV series has a big budget feel without being slick or stylized. The Ireland we see here matches the mood, gray and dingy rather than clean and green. These are small town folks (the unnamed location is Wexford), big fish in a small pond, who would not make it in the larger world. They have a hard enough time where they are.

It’s worth noting that kids play a significant role in Clean Break. Some are smarter than the adults. Desi’s daughter Jenny is one of those children that seems highly intuitive, absorbing everything and saying little. She maintains a calm, all-knowing presence. Corrina (Kelly Thornton), Frank’s daughter, has the marketing idea involving local boxer Danny Dempsey (Damien Molony from Suspects). He’s popular with the youth; someone who briefly made the big time. 

Clean Break was written by Billy Roche for RTE One and Octagon Films and is deserving of the Irish film and television awards it received. The series was directed by Gillies MacKinnon and Damien O’Donnell. It first aired in Ireland in fall, 2015. Clean Break is certainly worth a month of the subscription price you would pay to see the four one-hour episodes on AcornTV.

Clean Break TV Series Trailer

Watch at your own risk! There are a couple of minor spoilers.